Irish and UK cruise passenger numbers surpass 2 million
Passenger numbers have doubled from 1 million in just 14 years
Dublin, 16th April 2019 The Irish Travel Agents Association (ITAA) has welcomed news of record-breaking Irish and UK cruise passenger numbers, as announced by the Cruise Lines International Association (Clia). Surpassing 2 million passengers for the first time, the figures indicate a 2% year on year growth in passenger numbers.
The global cruise industry is continuing to strengthen, with approximately 90% of Irish and UK customers setting sail within 12 months of their first cruise.
Commenting on the figures, ITAA CEO, Pat Dawson, said, “The cruise industry is demonstrating considerable growth and has become an important part of both inbound and outbound Irish tourism. By hosting turnarounds, Irish ports allow tourists to end their sailing here and travel within Ireland before flying directly home, while Irish holidaymakers join the ship to set sail on their adventure.”
Andy Harmer, Clia UK & Ireland director, said, “It is a great milestone for the whole industry and has come after a lot of effort from a lot of people.”
“It took more than 150 years to hit the first million and it has taken the last 14 years to hit the two million mark.”
Dawson continued, “With growing popularity among Irish holidaymakers and such striking passenger numbers, it is disappointing that Dublin port is reducing the number of cruise liners it will host. Last year saw 150 ships call to Dublin port and we expect this to rise to over 160 by the end of 2019. However, from 2021, only 80 will be permitted by Dublin port. This is a major blow to the choice of cruise available to Irish holidaymakers.”
Cruises to central and western Mediterranean regions remain the number one destination for European cruise passengers, while Clia’s research also reports strong growth in cruises to Northern Europe, the eastern Mediterranean, Canary Islands, and the Baltics.