An economic report by the ECC shows that the number of Europeans taking a cruise holiday has more than trebled in the last 10 years.

Back in 1995 one million European passengers took a cruise and now that figure stands at around 3.9 million.

It has also predicted that by 2015 the number of cruise tourists from Europe could reach 5.1 million.

As a continent, Europe accounts for more than 23% of total cruise passengers.

The report of the 2006 statistics was commissioned with Euroyards, Med Cruise and Cruise Europe.

Other findings include the fact more than €495 million has been paid out to travel agents in commission and that the industry accounts for more than 250,000 jobs in Europe.

The cruise industry now accounts for more than a quarter of a million jobs in Europe and is responsible for more than  €10.6 billion in direct expenditure as well
as 15 million visits to European ports.