Cruising from British ports showed 14% growth last year and further rises are projected as more ships operate ex-UK cruises.

Figures released by CruiseBritain show 837,000 people sailed from the UK in 2010, continuing a seven-year upward trend. There were 541,000 visits, a 21% rise year-on-year, made by 116 ships representing 53 cruise lines.

This represents growth over the last seven years of 134%, according to the Passenger Shipping Association-VisitBritain joint body. 

Even more significant growth has been seen for passengers calling at UK ports during the course of their cruise.

CruiseBritain chairwoman kate O’Hara said: “We are seeing the UK increase in popularity every year and becoming a major player in the cruise market.

“Round Britain cruises are increasing and projected figures for 2011 show that this market sector will continue to grow. 

“Our port members are welcoming new ships including Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Eclipse, Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth and P&O Cruises’ Azura.  In addition, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Royal Caribbean International, Disney Cruise Line and Holland America have significantly increased their presence in the UK.”