Cruise Passenger Numbers On The Rise

One in eight package holidays taken is now a cruise with 1.7 million of us expected to get on board a cruise ship this year, up 5% on 2010.

The figures, from the Passenger Shipping Association, also show that cruising isn't just popular among older people in the UK. The average age of a cruiser is 55 years old, and youngsters have also got the bug with half a million people choosing to travel with their family or as part of a group. 

Western Europe, Atlantic Islands, Norway and the Mediterranean were the big cruise destination winners in 2011 and there's an emerging trend for short cruises from UK ports. 

New research published by P&O Cruises who are celebrating 175 years of heritage this year, reveals that more passengers come from Southampton than any other UK city, and Southampton was also the second busiest European port in 2011, after Venice.