Modest Growth Forecast for UK Market

P&O Ventura

The UK market has had to absorb additional capacity amounting to 316,000 more passengers, coming out of the pandemic in 2022 and 2023, according to the 2023 Cruise Industry News Annual Report.

The capacity growth was driven by P&O Cruises’ introducing two new ships in short order, the Iona and Arvia, boosting the brand’s capacity from just short of 550,000 in 2019, the last normal operating year, to nearly 800,000 in 2023.

The other major operator in the UK market is Marella Cruises, which will see its capacity grow from approximately 407,000 in 2023 to 440,000 by 2024 and remaining at that level, barring any more ship introductions, and maintaining its position as the second largest brand in the UK.

Thus, the national cruise supply is forecast to see little growth from 2023 to 2029, only increasing from approximately 1.6 million to 1.8 million passengers over the time period.

The P&O and Marella brands typically target different market segments, with P&O in the premium segment and Marella in the more price conscious so-called budget segment.

Cunard Line is also based in Britain, but also markets its capacity in other countries, such as the United States, Australia, Germany and Japan.

Other more typical British brands include Fred. Olsen, Saga and newcomer Ambassador Cruises, with the latter taking up the slack where Cruise and Maritime has been.

As is the second largest national cruise market in Europe, Princess and MSC also have ships dedicated to the UK market and other European and North American cruise lines market here as well.

The 2023 Cruise Industry News Annual Report is available in digital and printed formats. Order today by clicking here.


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