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by Sail Croatia
Last updated 14 July 2022
Cruise Statistics UK and Global 2022

Cruise Statistics UK and Global 2022

Cruises have always been a popular staple in the UK; when planning our holidays, most of us will look into them sooner or later. What could be better than a cruise to offer us new experiences and - most importantly - pleasant weather?

But just how many people are interested in cruises in 2022? The uncertainty of the pandemic has many of us questioning the future of our holidays, so to find out just how many people are still eager to book a cruise, we conducted a survey which gave us some insights into cruise industry trends of 2022.

Cruise industry statistics: a summary

In a rush? Here’s the quick version of course cruise statistics:

  • More than a quarter of UK adults have previously been on a cruise.
  • Adults between the ages of 16 and 24 are the most likely age group to want to go on a cruise, and the most likely to have been on a cruise before.
  • Over half (56%) of the population is interested in going on a cruise in the future.
  • 5% more men have been on a cruise than women, but 2% more women want to go on a cruise than men.
  • Sheffield is the city with the most interest in going on a cruise, with over two thirds (68%) saying they would like to do so in future.
  • The UK searched for “cruise” more than any other country in the world from 2018-2020, but dropped below the US in 2021.
  • In 2018, 2019 and 2020, people in the UK conducted more online searches (per person) for cruises than any other country in the world. However in 2021, the US conducted the most searches, followed by the UK.

Cruise Popularity in the UK - What the Statistics Say

We used Censuswide to survey 2,000 UK adults in 2022 about their experience with cruises. Our survey asked the question:

Which of the following statements applies to you:

  • I’ve never been on a cruise before but I want to
  • I’ve never been on a cruise before and I don’t want to
  • I’ve been on a cruise before and I want to go on another
  • I’ve been on a cruise before but I don’t want to go on another

How many UK adults are interested in cruises in 2022?

How many UK adults are interested in cruises in 2022?

Our survey found that:

  • More than 1 in 4 (28%) of the UK has been on a cruise in the past.
  • 56% of UK adults would like to go on a cruise holiday in future.
  • 8% of respondents said they wouldn’t go on a cruise again, after having previously been on a cruise.
  • 1 in 5 UK adults appear to have the cruise bug, stating that they would choose to go on another cruise, after having been on a cruise holiday in the past.

What age groups are most likely to be interested in a cruise?

Whatever age you are, a holiday is an attractive prospect; but do holiday types differ with age? Our survey asked for the ages of respondents in order to discover which age groups are more likely to be interested in cruise holidays.

  • The most likely age group to want to go on a cruise is 16-24, with 66% of respondents saying that they are interested in a cruise.
  • 16-24 year olds are also the most likely to have been on a cruise previously (36%).
  • Adults aged 55 or more were the second most likely to have been on a cruise, only 5% less than 16-24 year olds (31%).
  • The least likely age group to have been on a cruise in the past is 45-54, with 76% of respondents saying they have never had a cruise holiday.
Cruise interest by age

Which gender is the most interested in cruising?

We asked our respondents their gender to evaluate the impact of gender on cruise interest and previous cruise experiences. We found that:

  • Men are 5% more likely to have been on a cruise in the past than women.
  • 8% more women than men have never been on a cruise but would like to in future.
  • And 6% more men than women have been on a cruise and want to go on another cruise.

Which cruise lines were the most popular worldwide in 2021?

There are a few names everyone knows when it comes to cruises, but just how popular are the top cruise companies in the world? To find out, we used Keyword Finder to analyse the volume of searches made for each of the most popular cruise lines globally.

Rank Cruise Line Average monthly searches worldwide
1 Royal Caribbean 1,350,000
2 Carnival Cruise 896,000
3 Norwegian Cruise Line 359,000
4 Disney Cruise 339,000
5 Princess Cruises 290,000
6 Celebrity Cruises 276,000
7 MSC Cruises 247,000
8 Fred. Olsen 184,000
9 P&O Cruises 160,000
10 Hurtigruten 134,000

Our data discovered that:

  • Royal Caribbean is the most popular cruise company in the world, with 1,350,000 global searches per year.
  • That’s 454,000 more than its closest competitor, Carnival Cruise.
  • And over a million more than the tenth most popular cruise line, Hurtigruten (134,000 searches).

Which countries show the most interest in cruise holidays?

To get a better idea of the countries with the most interest in cruises worldwide, we used Keyword Finder to analyse the volume of searches per 100,000 people per country in 2021. We entered the fifty most populated countries in the world to conduct our analysis*​.

Double Bed Cabin

Our analysis revealed that:

  • The United States conducted the highest volume of searches for “cruise” in the world in 2021, with 76.4 searches per 100,000 people.
  • The UK conducted the second highest number of searches at 74.2, only 2.2 less than the US and over double Canada’s search volume.
  • Countries such as Canada, France, Poland, Germany, Italy and Saudi Arabia also conduct some of the highest volumes of searches for cruises worldwide.
Rank Country Searches per 100,000 people in 2021
1 United States 76.4
2 United Kingdom 74.2
3 Canada 34.7
4 Malaysia 15.1
5 Poland 7.9
6 France 6.6
7 Philippines 6.4
8 Italy 5.8
9 Germany 5.5
10 Saudi Arabia 5.5
11 Spain 5.3
12 Thailand 4.2
13 Brazil 4.1
14 South Africa 4.0
15 Mexico 4.0

*Some countries did not show any data in Keyword Finder, so these have been excluded from the study.

Did interest in cruise holidays fall during the pandemic?

The pandemic has had a massive effect on most holidays and holiday industries around the world, but how much has it affected interest in future cruises? We analysed keyword data from 2018 through to 2021 to find out how interest has been impacted throughout the course of the pandemic.

Double Bed Cabin
  • Interest in cruises in the US, the UK and Canada peaked in 2019 and reduced significantly between 2019 and 2021.
  • In every country other than the US, UK, Canada, and South Korea, search rates for “cruise” rose again in 2021.
  • The country that has been impacted by the pandemic the most in terms of interest in cruises is the UK. The difference in search volumes for cruises in 2019 to 2020 was greater than any other country, decreasing from 150.7 searches per 100,000 people to just 94.6.
  • In contrast, interest in cruises in the Philippines rose consistently between 2019 and 2021, rising from 3.3 to 6.4.

Which countries are willing to spend the most money on cruises?

During our research, we also searched for keywords such as “world cruise” and “best cruise lines” to get a better understanding of the countries most interested in spending more money on cruises overall.

  • “World Cruise” had the highest search volume per 100,000 people in the UK in 2021, with 4.3 searches.
  • >Canada had the second highest search volume, with less than half of the UK’s total searches (2.3).
  • Spain and Italy had the same amount of searches for “world cruise” each, fourth on the list after the UK, Canada and the US (0.3).
  • Despite having less interest in world cruises, the US had the most interest in “best cruise lines”, with two more searches than every other country combined. (6.8).

Which countries are more interested in cheaper cruises?

Alternatively, we looked into the keywords “cruise deals” and “cheap cruises” to find out which countries are interested in cruising at a lower price.

  • Despite having the most interest in world cruises, the UK had the highest search volume for “cruise deals” at 16.5 searches per 100,000 people, 5.4 higher than the US.
  • The US also had a very high search rate for “cruise deals” at 11.1 searches, more than double Canada’s searches.
  • The US had the most interest in “cheap cruises”, with a search rate of 7.6 searches per 100,000 people.

Where in the UK are people most interested in a cruise?

Everyone has their preferences when it comes to holidays, but are some preferences more common in certain areas? Our survey asked respondents which part of the UK they live in to help answer this question.

According to regions:

  • Greater London is the region with the most interest in cruises, with 64% of the population saying they want to go on a cruise in future.
  • 54% of adults in Scotland do not want to go on a cruise, making it the region with the least interest in the UK.
  • Additionally, 77% of people in Scotland have never been on a cruise before.

And according to cities:

  • The city with the most interest in cruise holidays is Sheffield, with an interest rate of 68%, 10% higher than the average of 58%.
  • Only 2% of respondents in Plymouth said that they had been on a cruise and would not go on another.
  • And 29% of adults in Sheffield said they had been on a cruise and would want to go on another in future.

What About Small Ship Cruises?

Whether it’s a 500 passenger ferry or an exclusive yacht, small ship cruising is increasing in popularity too. Here’s how searches globally for “small ship cruising” have changed over time.

Month Global Searches in Google for “Small Ship Cruises”
Jan-17 4400
Feb-17 8100
Mar-17 8100
Apr-174 6600
May-17 6600
Jun-17 6600
Jul-17 8100
Aug-17 8100
Sep-17 6600
Oct-17 6600
Nov-17 5400
Dec-17 5400
Jan-18 9900
Feb-18 8100
Mar-18 6600
Apr-18 6600
May-18 6600
Jun-18 8100
Jul-18 8100
Aug-18 8100
Sep-18 6600
Oct-18 6600
Nov-18 5400
Dec-18 5400
Jan-19 12100
Feb-19 8100
Mar-19 8100
Apr-19 6600
May-19 6600
Jun-19 8100
Jul-19 9900
Aug-19 9900
Sep-19 9900
Oct-19 8100
Nov-19 8100
Dec-19 8100
Jan-20 12100
Feb-20 9900
Mar-20 6600
Apr-20 5400
May-20 5400
Jun-20 5400
Jul-20 5400
Aug-20 5400
Sep-20 4400
Oct-20 4400
Nov-20 4400
Dec-20 4400
Jan-21 5400
Feb-21 5400
Mar-21 6600
Apr-21 6600
May-21 6600
Jun-21 6600
Jul-21 6600
Aug-21 6600
Sep-21 6600
Oct-21 8100
Nov-21 6600
Dec-21 6600
Jan-22 9900
Feb-22 9900
Mar-22 9900
Apr-22 12100
May-22 12100
Jun-22 12100

Despite a dip in demand over Covid (as experienced right across the leisure and travel sectors) demand for small ship cruising is also on the up.

Inspired to take your own cruise?

Hopefully, this rundown has helped you get a better understanding of cruise interest across both the UK and the world. Holidays are an integral part of life, and decisions about yours should be made carefully to ensure that you get the best possible holiday for you. Wherever you decide to go on holiday this year, we hope that you enjoy yourself! For more information on the latest travel guides, travel inspiration and destination ideas, check out our travel resources and cruises page.