17 Sep

A quarter of Brits have been on a cruise and four in ten would like to try one

Ahead of National Cruise Week (19-27 September), new research* for ABTA reveals that a quarter (25%)* of people have been on a cruise holiday.

A further four in ten (40%) have not been on a cruise but are interested in going. A third (30%) of people stated that they are not interested in cruising.

Table 1.1 – Attitude towards cruise holidays

I have not been on a cruise holiday but am interested 40%
I have not been on a cruise holiday and have no intention of going 30%
I have been on a cruise holiday and want to go again 20%
I have been on a cruise holiday but don't want to go again 5%
Unsure 5%

Cruises are an increasingly popular holiday option and in the last 12 months alone, one in ten (10%) people who have been on holiday took a cruise, a slight increase from 7% in 2014. This steady growth looks set to continue with 13% of people stating that they are planning a cruise holiday in the next 12 months.

Cruise holidays were particularly popular with holidaymakers aged 65+ with 13% of those who took a holiday in the last 12 months taking a cruise. They were followed by people aged 25-34, 12% of holidaymakers in this age group took a cruise in the last year. 25-34 year olds are also the most interested in taking cruise holidays with almost half (48%) stating that they were interested in trying a cruise. Additionally, 15% of young families (those with children under five) who took a holiday in the last 12 months took a cruise.

Part of the growth of cruise holidays can be attributed to returning passengers; 80% of people who have been on a cruise stated that they would like to go again. For people who have been on a cruise, the chance to see multiple destinations tops the list of things they value about cruise holidays with the on board facilities, including catering, entertainment and accommodation, also highly prized.

Table 1.2 – What people who have been on a cruise value about cruise holidays

Chance to see multiple destinations 77%
Quality of food and drink offering 70%
Ease of travel 61%
On-board entertainment options 52%
Quality of accommodation 50%

ABTA Chief Executive Mark Tanzer commented: “Cruise holidays are a fantastic way to see a variety of destinations with all the logistics taken care of, so it is not surprising that they are growing in popularity. In recent years the cruise market has expanded outside the traditional Mediterranean and Caribbean destinations and now offers an incredible variety of voyages, including Scandinavian cruises, Arctic cruises and European river cruises. The industry has also responded to customer demand for ships of varying size and scale catering for every budget and taste.”

*Consumer research was conducted by Arkenford Ltd (www.arkenford.co.uk) who specialise in tourism and leisure market research. The ABTA Consumer Trends survey generated response from a nationally representative sample of 2003 consumers using an online research methodology and related to holiday booking habits in the 12 months to August 2015. Fieldwork was conducted in August 2015.