Britain Predicts a Record 2023 Cruise Season

Tower Bridge in London

According to numbers released by Cruise Britain, the cruise industry’s post-Covid transition year was a success with predictions for a projected record season in 2023, according to a press release.

“2022 was the first full year of cruise activity since the pandemic and really built upon the unprecedented success of the 2021 domestic season. What we are seeing now are the rewards for an industry that has consistently worked together to recover, regenerate and develop”, said Ian McQuade, chair of Cruise Britain. “Whilst Round Britain and Ireland cruise popularity continues to grow, we have now seen the successful return of itineraries where British port calls are part of a multi-country story of discovery.”

The previous record season for the UK was 2019 while in 2022, the UK welcomed a total of 2,176 cruise calls, which is a drop of 22 percent compared to that record year. UK orts welcomed nearly 1.4 million guests, which is around 80 percent of the 2019 numbers. In addition, visitors in 2022 brought around £100m to Britain’s coastal economies. 

“Looking ahead to this year, we see a very robust projected growth of 8 percent in terms of port calls across the UK. Some regions such as the South West, North West and Scotland are reporting likely figures in excess of this national growth rate,” added McQuade. 

“This is a fantastic projection and the strength of the immediate growth trend is a testament to the increasing popularity of Britain as a cruise destination. We really can offer a port for every cruise ship currently sailing – from expedition ships to boutique and mid-range vessels up to the largest afloat.”

In the previous year, the UK welcomed 52 different cruise lines with ships visiting diverse ports including Belfast and Bristol, Portland and Portsmouth, Douglas (Isle of Man) and Dover, among others.

“The UK offers an incredibly diverse cruise holiday experience for guests and this is one of the most powerful reasons for the growth projections that we are seeing. Cruise Britain and all its members continues to work with cruise lines, industry partners and stakeholders, and government to support the development of cruise as a resilient and profitable sector of the travel industry,” concluded McQuade.


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