The growth rate of the UK and Ireland ocean cruise market slowed to 5.6% last year, when 1.89 million passengers took an ocean cruise from an increase of 8.8% in 2015, when the number of passengers carried stood at 1.79 million, figures released by CLIA UK & Ireland show.
The share of first timers fell by two percentage points to 31% after remaining stable for two years. The fresh figure is the lowest since 2009, when it hit a low of 29% and the second lowest in a decade.
The number of bed nights fell by 2.2% to 18.5 million and the average duration of cruises booked decreased to 9.8 nights from 10.6
The average age of the passengers decreased to 55.4 years from 56.2 in the previous year and a high of 58.2 set in 2-14, the figures show.