More passengers than ever before are visiting Great Britain through the country’s 50 cruise ports.  

Figures released today by CruiseBritain show that in 2011, more than 100 ships visited the UK – an increase of sixper cent over 2010. 

And these ships brought a record 648,000 passengers, a rise of 15 percent.

2011 also saw 878,000 passengers join their cruise at a UK port, a five per cent increase on 2010, with 86 per cent of passengers being British. 

Fifty different cruise lines tied up in a UK port in 2011 with passengers taking day trips to a variety of destinations across the country. Britain’s island geography makes Round Britain cruises taking visitors from coast to castle, city to countryside in one easy visit an unusual and unique itinerary option. Plus, Britain’s geographical proximity to complementary countries offers additional choice for a wide range of lines and ships. From expedition cruises to boutique ships, British-focussed to German, North American, French and Spanish-focussed lines, Britain’s islands, cities and coasts are growing in appeal.

‘The growth in both cruise ship visits and passenger numbers is a testament to Britain’s value as a cruise destination’ commented Kate O’Hara, Chair CruiseBritain.  ‘Over the last seven years, we have seen the number of visiting passengers double.  The uniqueness of Round Britain cruises together with our history, heritage, culture and scenery ensure our continued success. Britain will be very much on the world stage in 2012 and this can only mean a higher profile for the country in the global travel market,’ added O’Hara.