Once you try a cruise, you never go back. Or say so the Germans, it seems. Germany remains the number one source market in Europe for cruises, having overtaken the UK back in 2015.
Fear not, though, the UK's appetite for a cruise remains strong, with around 1.8 million passengers from these shores taking to the waves every year, according to the most recent figures from trade body Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).
The growth of UK cruise passengers in 2015 was the highest increase in eight years, as per the figures – we're expecting the results for 2016 to arrive shortly.
CLIA puts the surge in passenger numbers down to increased capacity, with P&O's Britannia, which holds 3,600 passengers, and Royal Caribbean's 4,180-passenger Anthem of the Seas having launched in 2015.
Potential PR war
However, the cruise industry is in the midst of a potential PR war at the moment – which threatens to strangle its growth – following claims that passengers on a cruise ship could be inhaling "60 times higher concentrations of harmful air pollutants" than they would in natural air settings.
The CLIA have responded by questioning the validity of the research by Naturschutzbund Deutschland (NABU), a German environmental association. It argues that the claim is "completely unsubstantiated" and points to how a third of the world's cruise ships have already been fitted with emission reducing technologies.
Citing how "billions are being invested in the development of advanced liquefied natural gas (LNG)-fuelled cruise ships that will have lower emissions and higher energy efficiency", the CLIA appears confident that the public won't be too put off by these latest claims.
Capitalising on the growth
With demand for cruise holidays appearing to rise all the time, the number of cruise providers is rising, too. Whether you're a cruise specialist or wish to add cruise to your travel offerings, our technology provides a platform for you to maximise selling opportunities and take advantage of the expanding cruise market.
Unlike many cruise platforms, our technology keeps customers within your site for the duration of the booking process, instead of directing them away to third-party suppliers.
It also caters for engaging imagery, detailed deck plans, maps and itineraries, all presented in an easy-to-use flow, helping you turn cruise browsers into bookers.
Meanwhile, thanks to the advanced filtering, customers can narrow down their choice by price, ship name, cruise line, departure port, star rating and duration, allowing them to quickly and easily sieve through the holidays on offer.
There are lots of other value-adding features in our cruise booking platform, too. If you want to find out more.