The number of cruise passengers visiting UK ports rose by 11% last year, says industry body CruiseBritain.

More than 100 ships visited the UK’s 52 cruise ports in 2012, according to figures, bringing a record 723,000 passengers on day calls, while last year also saw 962,000 passengers begin their cruise at a UK port, a 10% increase on 2011.

CruiseBritain said 47 different cruise lines docked in a UK port in 2012, with Britain’s island geography making ‘round Britain’ cruises “an unusual and unique itinerary option”.

Kate O’Hara, chairman of CruiseBritain, said: “The growth in both cruise ship visits and passenger numbers is a continued testament to Britain’s value as a cruise destination.

“Since 2004, we have seen the number of visiting passengers more than double and the number of different cruise ships calling has gone from 76 to 105, a rise of 38%.

“The uniqueness of round Britain cruises, together with our diverse regional history, heritage, culture and scenery, ensure our continued success.

“Britain’s destinations deliver an excellent passenger experience and we all work towards delivering a smooth operation for the cruise lines.”