Come Sail With Me?

Sep 23, 2011, 10:00 ET from

CHESTER, England, September 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --

9 out of 10 Brits who have been on a cruise would recommend it

Cruises a surprise hit with 18-35s

But 58 per cent of Brits remain 'cruise-phobic'

Britain has long been considered a nation of 'cruise-phobics' who prefer to keep their feet planted firmly on dry land. But new research* by Travelsupermarket has found cruising holidays are in fact booming, and nine out of 10 UK travellers who have been on a cruise, would recommend it to friends and family.

Over the past 12 months a staggering 1.6 million Brits have embarked on a cruise holiday** One in every nine package-holidays is now a cruise making it one of the most popular all-inclusive travel choices for Brits. Yet despite this, there's still a sea of misconceptions when it comes to cruising.

58 per cent of 'cruise-phobics' are yet to set sail because they feel cruises are too expensive, 36 per cent believe they're like 'floating holiday camps', a quarter (25 per cent) say they would feel 'confined' and 15 per cent of Brits believe cruises are only for 'posh people'.

However of those who had taken at least one cruise, only eight per cent said they were disappointed by their experience and almost half said they enjoyed the experience 'far more than they had expected' (47 per cent). Those surveyed admit that cruises hold enormous appeal to travellers who want to take a foreign holiday 'without flying' (28 per cent).

For the majority of first-time cruisers their favourite part of the journey was seeing lots of destinations but 'having to only pack and unpack once' (72 per cent). This was closely followed by the food on board (enjoyed by 66 per cent of cruisers) and waking up in a new place every day (59 per cent). Exploring a 'wide range of locations with an expert guided tour' also rated highly for almost half of all British passengers (47 per cent) who were keen to take in a bit of culture.

Despite the myth that cruise holidays are predominantly favoured by older travellers, the study found that cruise holidays are now increasingly popular with a much younger market. Almost 60 per cent of 18-35 year olds who had been on a cruise said they had 'more fun than they thought they would'.

Bob Atkinson, travel expert from commented: "What this research has found is that many of us still hold outdated misconceptions on cruising. These days cruise holidays no longer need to be expensive, long haul journeys. 'Taster' cruises, of two to three days, operate frequently throughout the UK and Europe and allow you to get your 'sea legs' while only being away for a few nights.

"Cruise holidays are becoming increasingly affordable so if you shop around for the best deal and book as early as possible, you could bag yourself a real bargain. Cruises offer incredible value for money, with more and more families recognizing that food, entertainment and activities are nearly always included in the price allowing mum and dad the opportunity to keep the whole family entertained at a price comparable to a standard beach holiday.

"And with the growth of capacity sailing direct from the UK, you'll avoid the stress usually associated with getting through customs because there are no security limits or liquid restrictions and you don't need to lug your bags onboard or pay hefty airline baggage fees when you sail away. Your bags are delivered right to your room and once you're settled, you'll only have to unpack once, yet still see lots of different places on one trip."

Top tips from travelsupermarket:

  • If you are unsure of taking the plunge then why not try a 'taster' cruise to see if cruising is right for you. Many cruise lines operate two or three night weekend cruises departing from the UK, a great way to find out if you will enjoy a longer voyage.
  • Remember, you don't have to pack light- the majority of cruise liners don't have any luggage restrictions- but do check if you are flying off to join your cruise asairlines will have baggage restriction.
  • Cruise holidays are a great option for uneasy flyers or those who prefer to avoid airports during peak holiday season.
  • Cruising needn't be intimidating, speak to a cruise concierge at our dedicated cruise booking service who will be happy to talk you through how a cruise works. They will also find the cruise that is right for you.
  • Ships and cruise lines can differ hugely, just like hotels and beach resorts, so it is important to check out the style, ambience and facilities on board to ensure you don't have any nasty surprises. And stick to cruise lines where English is the main language used on board to make it easier for you.
  • Families should check out kids clubs, baby watching services and entertainment suitable to keep all ages happy. Some ships are far more child friendly and accommodating than many beach hotels.
  • Alcohol is generally paid for on board (except for five star cruise ships), so you will need to budget for that, otherwise drinks are usually free. You will also need to some money for tips; your cruise line will give you details before you go. Also check for any activities that require payment to allow you to budget, such as excursions in ports of call, beauty treatments and any shopping you may wish to make on board.
  • Use price comparison to find the best deal on your cruise holiday. Whilst many book a cruise up to two years in advance to get incredible early booking discounts, you can also get last minute deals when cabins remain unsold at rock bottom rates.

Thinking about a taking cruise? Here are some of the best deals available right now:

Taster cruise    
Fred Olsen Boudicca
3 nights: Southampton - Antwerp    
GBP229 pp sail direct from the UK

Late deal    
Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas   
7 nights LHR - Western Mediterranean    
GBP799 pp including flights

Family deal    
MSC Fantasia
7 nights LON - Mediterranean    
Total for 2 adults & 2 children =GBP1889including flights

Prices sourced from and correct as of 08/09/2011

Notes to editors:

*Opinium Research carried out an online survey of 2054 UK adults aged 18+ on behalf of Of whom 348 had been on a cruise before and 1706 have not. Fieldwork took place 19-22 August 2011. Results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria.

**IRN Research - International Passenger Survey taken from the PSARA 2010 annual report (issued May 2011)

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For further press information contact:

Emma Morris
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