River Cruises Rise in Popularity

Published on 1 January 1970 by Raffick Marday

The impact of the major news stories around the Costa Concordia disaster seem to have had a knock-on effect on the number of people taking an ocean cruise, with overall numbers growing by less than 0.1% last year.

Prepaid cards for holidaysIn stark contrast, the number of Brits opting to take a river cruise increased by 14% to a total of nearly 130,000, according to figures just released the Passenger Shipping Association. European river cruises increased to a record high of 90,000, representing a rise of 12%.

River cruises on the Nile once again became the most popular, attracting more than 28,000 passengers in 2012. This marks an increase from 25,000 the previous year, although still falls short of the 58,000 recorded in 2010.

Analysts believe that greater investment by river cruise operators and an improvement in the political situation in Egypt have played an important role in the upward trend.

The popularity of taking a European river cruise is highlighted by the 27,000 passengers who chose the Rhine and its tributaries. Overall, Northern Europe saw an increase of British river cruise passengers to the tune of 29%, a record total figure of 443,000.

While Brits still favour the Mediterranean, numbers were down to 698,000, which is a fall of 9% year-on-year.

The fall in popularity of Caribbean cruises, which saw a drop of 21%, is another indication that passengers are opting for ‘no fly’ cruises and voting with their feet against the higher flight costs caused by increased air passenger duties and the increasing delays at airport passport and security checks.

Whereas five years ago, taking a flight to join up with a cruise accounted for 65% of the market, in 2012 807,000 passengers chose to leave from a British port compared with 894,000 who flew to a destination to start their cruise.

If you are planning on travelling to Europe this year, taking a prepaid card can help you stay on top of your budget whilst overseas.

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