Cruise market will see ‘modest growth’ in 2012, says PSA

The growth in the number of British cruise passengers is to slow to just 1% next year, the Passenger Shipping Association has admitted.

This represents a slowdown from a projected increase of 5% this year and almost 6% in 2010.

Figures released at the Travel Convention in Palma show an estimated 1.73 million passengers will take a cruise holiday next year, a rise of just over 1% on this year’s forecast figure of 1.71 million passengers.

PSA director Bill Gibbons attributed the slowdown to fewer new ships entering service in 2012.

“Looking forward, we anticipate modest growth in 2012 as capacity slows following the reduction in the number of new ships being built,” he said.

“However, we remain confident that growth will continue over the coming years as companies introduce new ships including the 3,611 passenger vessel for P&O Cruises, the largest in their fleet, due for introduction in early 2015.

“The great choice of ships now providing cruise holidays from the UK to a wide variety of destinations will lead to more passengers sailing from British ports.”

The figures show that a record number of passengers are expected to depart on cruises from the UK in 2012 at 835,000, against 760,000 this year.

Gibbons added: “Cruising is expected to continue to outperform other areas of the holiday market with travel agents, who account for around 80% of sales, continuing to play an important role.”

The PSA expected seven new ships to enter service in 2012 for companies such as Carnival Cruises Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, MSC Cruises, Disney Cruise Line and Oceania Cruises.

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