UK cruise industry on the rise in spite of Brexit fears

The UK cruise industry is showing resilience despite Brexit concerns across much of the travel industry, with Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) UK & Ireland expected to confirm a 2.1% rise in first-time cruise customers last year over the same period in 2017.

The total number of cruises taken between January and September has increased to 1,338,000 – 28,000 more than the same period the year before.

Figures suggest post-Christmas sales are showing strong demand from cruise customers, putting the UK’s cruise industry in a relatively comfortable position despite the nation’s political uncertainties. It remains to be seen if Brexit will have a serious long-term impact on the UK cruise industry, but operations are expected to continue on the same basis after March 29 as they are today.

The UK Government and ABTA have issued guidance for passengers worried about Brexit, reassuring passengers embarking on cruises from UK ports that they will continue to be protected by EU regulations on maritime passengers’ rights, which is expected to translate into UK law in the near future. Likewise, planes will still fly between the UK and EU after March 29, with the EU and UK to continue to cooperate in this sector for mutual benefits.

However, passengers are still advised to take out appropriate travel insurance and check the terms and conditions of their bookings. Passengers and agents are encouraged to check with respective cruise lines if they have any questions.

Andy Harmer, CLIA UK & Ireland director, commented: “We welcome this advice and hopes it reassures UK and EU citizens planning a cruise holiday. We would also advise that all UK travellers check the expiry date of their passport when booking travel arrangements, and ensure that there is at least six months’ validity at time of travel.”

CLIA UK & Ireland will announce its full-year figures for 2018 in the spring.

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