Cruises account for 10% of 2015 UK holidays: who are the biggest customers?

By ,   October 16, 2015 ,   Cruise Industry

This year, the popularity of cruises has increased largely in the UK. The positive trend is expected to continue in 2016, according to a research commissioned by ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents).

Cruises, as a holiday option, account for 10% of the British holiday market this year, an increase of three percentage points from last year. “This steady growth looks set to continue with 13% of people stating that they are planning a cruise holiday in the next 12 months,” ABTA said in a statement.

Part of the growth of cruise holidays can be attributed to returning passengers; 80% of people who have been on a cruise stated that they would like to go again. "For people who have been on a cruise, the chance to see multiple destinations tops the list of things they value about cruise holidays with the on board facilities, including catering, entertainment and accommodation, also highly prized," ABTA said.

Young adults between 25 and 34 years of age are Britain's second largest age group for cruise lines, just 1% behind the 65+ age group, according to a survey commissioned by ABTA.

Cruise holidays were particularly popular with holidaymakers aged 65 plus with 13% of those who took a holiday in the last 12 months taking a cruise.

“They were followed by people aged 25-34, 12% of holidaymakers in this age group took a cruise in the last year. 25-34 year olds are also the most interested in taking cruise holidays with almost half (48%) stating that they were interested in trying a cruise,” ABTA said, adding that 15% of young families (those with children under five) who took a holiday in the last 12 months took a cruise.

Cruise line officials have said that the industry has suffered for a long time from an image problem in Britain, whereby cruises are viewed suitable only for elderly people. The figures released by ABTA could thus indicate that this could be changing.

Last year, 1.65 million British took a cruise, a fall of 5% on the previous year.