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Cruise holidays

More than two million Brits could be taking cruise holidays by 2012 according to a new report on the cruise market.

The Cruise Report 2008 has been produced by Carnival UK which includes the popular cruise companies P&O Cruises, Cunard and Princess Cruises.

Last year 1.35 million people from the UK took cruise holidays according to the Passenger Shipping Association. This year the PSA predicts that number will leap to 1.55 million. Based on these figures, and its own performance, Carnival UK is predicting numbers will reach 2 million by 2012 at the latest, and could reach a staggering five million by 2020.

New larger cruise ships are being built to cope with the increased popularity of cruising. P&O Cruises’ new ship Ventura, which departs on its maiden Mediterranean cruise in April, is 40% larger than Arcadia, currently the largest cruise ship in the British market. And Royal Caribbean’s huge new Independence of the Seas will be the largest cruise ship ever to be based in Britain when it starts sailings from the port of Southampton in the summer.

The Cruise Report 2008 also predicts a sea change in the profile of people taking cruise holidays. It believes that by 2020 the average age of people taking cruise holidays will be 30-something, a far cry from the traditional image of cruises being for retired people.

There are several other fascinating predictions in the report. Experts believe that by 2020 there could be two cruise ships providing a weekly service from Southampton to New York. The growth of cruising in other markets is also predicted. According to the report there could be cruise ships catering for the burgeoning markets of China and India, as well as cruise ships operating from Europe to as far afield as Australia.

Written by: Nick Purdom


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