Initially one of the travel sectors that bucked the downward trend was that of cruising. On the face of it, the reasons seem obvious. Everything’s included in the price so you know what you are paying for and you paid in sterling so there were no nasty foreign exchange surprises. That didn’t necessarily turn out to be the truth as we mentioned earlier and some cruise business slumped. One part that remained resilient was where holidaymakers started their cruising from the UK. According to Gill Cruise Centre, just of half a million of us started a cruise in the UK, 20% over 2008. Of the bookings Gill made in 2009, over two thirds decided to start their cruise in the UK.
Gill thinks it is because fly cruises involve the hassle of airports. Starting in the UK removes that.
But cruise companies are also looking at visiting parts of the UK and now the Welsh government is looking to attract more. 6 cruise ships docked in what Lord Nelson praised as one of the best harbours in the world, Milford Haven, last year and one even went to Newport (CD-Traveller 15th July 2009 ). So now, 5 ports, Cardiff, Fishguard, Holyhead, Milford Haven and Swansea have formed Cruise Wales to try and attract more cruise ships to visit.
Why? Well it was estimated that one cruise stay in Milford Haven was responsible for injecting £170,000 into the local economy and that was for just a one day stay.
How long before other groups copy this Welsh example?