It appears the global recession has not been able to halt the popularity of cruising. More holiday-makers than ever are discovering what a fantastic value holiday experience a cruise offers. The Passenger Shipping Association (PSA) Annual Cruise Review for 2007/08 reported an 11% increase in the UK cruise market to 1.34 million (7% of the package holiday market). It is estimated by 2012 passengers will exceed the 2 million mark.
Let’s face it, it’s a pretty unique type of holiday. Settle into a comfy cabin, with an amazing array of leisure facilities close at hand. Wake up in an exciting new destination each day, with the option to partake in exciting shore a
dventures, cultural insights, or just explore in your own time. Back on the ship there’s usually a range of tasty dining options to choose from, quality entertainment, including live theatre style shows, movies and of course a range of bars. With the cost of most onboard meals (some speciality restaurants charge extra) and entertainment included in the price, the vast majority of your holiday spend is taken care of before you leave.
To support the growing demand, cruise lines are constantly developing the onboard experience and introducing new ships and destinations. More than 30 new liners are currently in production, with top cruise lines like P&O Cruises (Azura), Celebrity Cruises (Celebrity Eclipse), Cunard Line (Queen Elizabeth) and Royal Caribbean (Oasis of the Seas) amongst those launching amazing new ships in 2009/10. Look out for tropical gardens the size of football pitches, real grass lawns on deck, giant poolside movie screens, plus more Michelin-starred chefs bringing delectable cuisine to the seas.
Cruise itineraries now reach all corners of the world and there’s a style and pace to suit every type of cruiser. If you’re after active, yet relaxed cruising there’s cruise lines like Ocean Village and Royal Caribbean offering great adventures for the energetic. For something more traditional, elegant voyages offered by Cunard Line and Fred Olsen, reflect the class of a bygone era, P&O Cruises and NCL Cruises offer a blend of heritage and contemporary cruising for all ages, while American-style cruising with impeccable service in luxurious surroundings, as offered by Celebrity Cruises and Princess Cruises is ever-growing in popularity.