Figures just released by Cruise Britain for 2021 show a strong restart last year with 80 UK ports welcoming cruise ship calls, more than in any year to date. With cruise operators looking to deploy ships into the UK it became an opportunity for less well-known ports to welcome a call, reports the membership based organisation.
After a cautious start in May 2021, the final number of lines visiting the UK came in at 27 with 40 individual vessels making over 1,100 calls between them.
Kate O’Hara, chair, Cruise Britain speaking during Seatrade Cruise Global in Miami commented, ‘Collectively, the industry worked tirelessly to enable the UK to successfully reopen to cruise in May. Cruise Britain and its members collaborated with operators, government, port and public health, CLIA and the UK Chamber of Shipping to support the successful resumption of cruise.’
Experience of the 2021 season has laid a strong foundation for 2022, she added.
Strong British sourcing
Over 400,000 passengers embarked on a cruise from Britain in 2021, the vast majority of them British residents during the summer domestic season. Almost the same number stepped ashore at transit ports with increasing numbers of operators making transit calls as the season continued.
For some ports, it proved a record season as they accommodated vessels, often at short notice; for other ports, it was a disappointing season with some of their regular operators unable to come to the UK.
‘These figures were beyond our expectations in early 2021’, commented O’Hara. ‘And now we are looking forward to 2022’s season with a spirit of cautious optimism. Many ports are expecting record numbers but all are retaining the flexibility and responsive attitude that has brought us this far.’
Every port in the UK is now open to cruise, plus there is the welcome return of Guernsey and Jersey in the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man.
Cruise Britain and attending members can be found at stand 1815 at this year’s Seatrade Cruise Global.