Palma.— The number of British passengers taking an ocean cruise grew by just 1'000 in 2012, the Passenger Shipping Association has revealed.
Figures released yesterday show that despite the modest rise, the sector still attracted the highest number of UK passengers yet, with a total of 1.7 million cruisers.

Cruises also still account for one in every eight overseas package holidays.
In September the PSA warned that it had not expected the number of cruisers to grow last year due to the absence of new UK-specific vessels.
It was also the year of the Costa Concordia catastrophe.
One notable rise however was the number of passenger embarkations from the UK, which increased 10%, up to 962'00 in 2012, with 78'000 extra UK and 6'000 additional overseas passengers.

There was also an 11% increase in passengers visiting UK ports during their cruises, with 723'000 passengers visiting British ports. The number of UK ports receiving cruise calls also increased to 52.

As in previous years, the most popular destination was the Mediterranean, with 698'000 British passengers visiting the region.
However the PSA said there was also a noticeable trend of an increased appetite for cruising to Northern Europe, with a 29% rise from 342'000 passengers in 2011 to 443'000 last year.

Continued growth was also seen in luxury'cruising.