Cruise Industry Providing Boost for UK Economy


The UK tourist industry and economy have benefitted significantly from Southampton’s development as Northern Europe’s main hub for passenger ships and cruise holidays. The south-coast city has grown into one of the world’s most visited ports with more than one million passengers passing through the dockside every year.

With some of the world’s best-loved and most technologically-advanced ships docking at the port, Southampton has seen the traffic volume increase significantly in recent years. This year has seen a 10% increase in passenger embarkations from last year as well as a 20% year-on-year increase on in-day calls.

This increase is delivering additional benefits as more tourists are using the UK as a base for the start and/or end of their holiday at either end of a cruise holiday. Popular holiday resorts and cities in the south of the UK including Bournemouth, Devon, Cornwall and London are enjoying increased visitor numbers from cruise holidaymakers during shore excursions or days on land.

St Ives - Robert Pittman

With more than one million passengers embarking from Southampton last year spending an average of £60 on shore, tourist towns are benefitting greatly from the increasing numbers of tourists. This represented a 10% increase of 10% since 2012.

Daren Taylor, chairman of the CruiseBritain initiative, enthused: “Cruise tourism is a valuable source of income to ports and destinations across Britain and is increasingly being factored into local and regional tourism. “When cruise line direct expenditure on food and beverage, fuel and other non-durable goods, jobs, business services and travel agent commissions, plus indirect benefits from suppliers and employee compensation, are added into the equation, it is clear that cruise business is big business for the UK economy.”


This pattern looks only set to increase with ever-improving services and itineraries coming to Southampton in the next couple of years. Most notably, Royal Caribbean’s newest liner Anthem of the Seas will call the coastal town home next year upon its launch in April 2015. As part of the world’s first ever Smartship fleet, with sister ship Quantum of the Seas, the new vessel is amongst the most exciting ships ever to be launched in cruise industry history.

Cruise1st have a great selection of cruise itineraries sailing from Southampton to a wide variety of different destinations. Visit our Sail from UK page or call 0808 2746 777 to find your perfect cruise holiday, sailing from Southampton.

Images sourced via Flickr Creative Commons. Credits: Robert Pittman


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Claire has worked in the travel industry since leaving college in 1994. One of this blog's most regular contributors, Claire covers cruise news and industry trends.

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