river cruising is on the up as more Brits chose to sail the region’s waterways
in 2011. Figures released by the Passenger Shipping Association (PSA) show the number of UK passengers increased by 7% in 2011 to 80,000 persons. The growth rate was two percentage points higher than that of ocean cruises.
The number of British passengers choosing a
combined cruise along both the Rhine and Danube doubled, while the French
rivers of the Rhone and Seine saw a combined increase of 28% Further afield, the Russian waterways saw an
11% increase while the number of holidaymakers taking river journeys in
Asia and China rose by six per cent.
The trend for cruising the world’s river
continued to grow and, with the exclusion of The Nile, saw a 5% increase in the number of UK passengers enjoying a river cruise. The
political unrest in Egypt saw the number of Nile cruises taken by British
passengers fall by 57% t to 25,000. The
average price paid for a river cruise in 2011 rose to £1,574 compared with
£1,367 in 2011 with the total value of the UK river cruise market being
approximately £179 million.
European river cruises in particular continue to grow in popularity, PSA
director Bill Gibbons said “The appeal of a river journey has never been
stronger. Passengers enjoy panoramic landscapes together with easy access to
explore the heart of great cities and towns, and all while just unpacking
once.2012 will see the launch of 12 new
river cruise vessels, a number which feature suites and balconies, together
with some wonderful new itineraries.”
UK ocean cruise market grew by 5% to a record of 1.7 passengers in 2011, with
nearly 700,000 people taking their first ever cruise, figures of the Passenger
shipping Association (PSA) show.“Passengers
cite the key attractions to cruising as value, service and the wide choice of
worldwide destinations. More British passengers than ever chose to begin their
cruise holiday from a UK port – up 100,000 on the previous year to 753,000.And if current trends continue, within three
years half of British passengers will join their cruise ship in a UK port,” PSA
said in a statement.
continues to grow within the package holiday sector with one in every eight
package holidays now being a cruise when it was only one in 25 just nine years
cruises saw a surge in winter holidays with a seasonal rise of 33% - over the
year, this related to an eight per cent increase. The
top destination remains the Mediterranean, which showed a 10% increase in the
number of British passengers visiting the region followed by Northern Europe
which retained second place.However,
the highest increase in popularity goes to the Atlantic Islands – the Canaries
plus Madeira – which recorded a rise of 19%.
An emerging trend for short cruises from UK
ports has led to nearly 50% of all cruises booked being of seven nights or
Director William Gibbons, said: “It’s clear the exceptional value, high
standards and choice of destinations have contributed to a record number of
British passengers taking a cruise in 2011.The increased costs of fly-cruise holidays have led to more people
joining their cruise at one of the UK’s 50 ports.The sheer diversity of the cruise market
means there is a holiday for everyone.”
Representing Carnival Cruise Lines’ most ambitious refit and transformation project ever, Carnival Destiny will undergo a $155 million makeover next year that will incorporate all of the line’s “Fun Ship 2.0” dining, bar and entertainment features, as well as a variety of exciting innovations unique to this vessel. The refit will also include a reconfigured layout, the addition of a partial deck and the expansion of two other decks within the forward section of the ship, providing the opportunity to incorporate a number of new and exciting on-board spaces. One-hundred and eighty-two cabins will be added, as well.
The redesign will be so extensive and wide-ranging that the ship will be renamed Carnival Sunshine following the 49-day dry dock, which will take place from February to April 2013. The refit work will be completed by Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri. Following the dry dock, Carnival Sunshine will embark on a schedule of 9- and 12-night Mediterranean voyages from Barcelona and Venice from April to October 2013 then launch year-round 7-night Caribbean departures from New Orleans beginning November 2013.
"This is our most ambitious ship conversion project to date and it will radically transform the Carnival Destiny into essentially an entirely new ship offering a variety of exciting dining and beverage choices, spectacular outdoor spaces and entertainment options, and on-board innovations not available anywhere else," said Gerry Cahill, Carnival president and CEO.
Royal Caribbean International says it is celebrating an addition to its spring and summer UK deployment - in May 2013 the 3,114-guest Adventure of the Seas will offer cruises from Southampton alongside the 3,634-guest Independence of the Seas, based in Southampton for its fifth season.
Dominic Paul, vice president and group managing director, Royal Caribbean International, EMEA, explains: “The UK cruise market has long been a success story for Royal Caribbean International and doubling the number of ships sailing from Southampton is another great milestone. Royal Caribbean International is fiercely proud to have changed the face of UK cruising with the introduction of activity-packed ships offering rock climbing, ice skating, surfing and much more. Not only does having both Adventure of the Seas and Independence of the Seas sailing from Southampton mean we can offer a greater variety of cruise holidays from the convenience of a UK port, but it also means we continue to demonstrate our commitment to the UK market, and the port of Southampton .”
Royal Caribbean International first based a ship in Southampton in 2005 with the 2,435-guest Legend of the Seas and this has since steadily increased with larger and larger ships calling the cruise city home. 2013 is the first year that two Royal Caribbean International cruise ships will be based from Southampton .
In 2008 the world’s largest cruise ship at the time – Independence of the Seas – launched from Southampton and has remained based from the port during the spring and summer months of the year ever since. The addition of Adventure of the Seas to Royal Caribbean International’s UK deployment sees the cruise line offer more Mediterranean, Northern Europe, Iceland , Baltics and Canary Island cruises than ever before.
When Adventure of the Seas arrives in Southampton on 24 May 2013 the ship will offer a series of seven, 12, 13, 14 and 16-night cruises. An early booking offer allowing savings of up to £500 per stateroom will apply to allAdventure of the Seas cruises booked before 31 May 2012 when the new deployment goes on sale on 20 March 2012.
Itinerary highlights from the new Adventure of the Seas UK-based 2013 season include:
Seven-night France and Spain cruise departing Southampton and calling at Vigo, Gijon and Bilbao in Spain, and Le Havre for Paris in France available from £599 based on 24 May 2013 departure
A 12-night Baltic cruise featuring destinations such as Oslo , Copenhagen , Tallinn , Helsinki and an overnight stay in St Petersburg departing Southampton from just £999 based on a 31 May 2013 departure
A 14-night Mediterranean Cities cruise departing Southampton on 7 July and 13 October 2013 with ports of call in Malaga, Cannes, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Valencia, Cartegena, Lisbon and Vigo from £1,199
The early booking offer allows for savings of up to £500 per stateroom on cruises of 15 nights or more, save £400 on cruises of 11-14 nights, and save £200 per stateroom on all cruises between six and ten nights in duration. A deposit of just £150 per person secures the early booking price, and protects from any future price increases.
Plus, Royal Caribbean International is also offering a number of value added options for guests including free carparking in Southampton, free coach travel to UK departure ports, and low prices on regional flights to UK departure ports on all cruises booked of ten nights or more as part of the early booking deal.
All prices quoted are based on the savings allowed by early booking offers. Price offers only apply for bookings made before 31 May 2012. Adventure of the Seas features an in-line skating track, an ice skating rink, a rock climbing wall, a street of shops and restaurants running through the center of the ship, extensive family facilities, and a host of restaurants from fine Italian dining to casual burger bars.
On 2 May 2013 Independence of the Seas will arrive in Southampton following a dry dock enhancement and will offer a series of new itineraries including more shorter cruises such as two-night cruises le Havre for Paris and three night cruises to Le Havre for Paris and Zeebrugge for Bruges. Independence of the Seas will also offer eight night cruises to Norway , 14-night Norway and Cork cruises, various 14-night Mediterranean cruises, and 12 night Canary Islands cruises.