The UK cruise market increased by 12% last year with 1.2 million Brits taking to the seas.

The Passenger Shipping Association’s figures reveal the number of cruise holidays have doubled from a decade ago, with the UK cruise market showing the biggest growth rate in Europe with over 450,000 people choosing to cruise from the UK.

PSA director Bill Gibbons said the cruise boom is set to continue this year with even more passengers travelling from UK ports.

Gibbons estimates an increase in passenger numbers of 100,000 to 1.3 million this year with the figure rising to 1.5 million in 2008.

He added that the fly-cruise market increased by 13% last year and the number of Brits choosing to cruise in the Mediterranean grew by 22%, followed by the Caribbean up 17%.

The PSA has increased its membership by four cruise lines to 37, with Silversea Cruises being the latest to join.