Cruise holidays have become more popular in the last decade due to being a more cost-effective and convenient way of visiting multiple destinations.
Cruise expert Jenni Fielding at Cruise Mummy has compiled a list of 503 search terms, including 67 cruise lines, and then used Google Keyword Planner to identify which cruise companies are the most popular in the UK.
P&O Cruises has topped the charts with an average of 632.71 monthly searches per 100,000 residents. Being a British based company with cruises to destinations all over the world, it’s no surprise that it is popular with Brits. P&O Cruises has a wide range of ships that cater to both families and adults-only cruises and offer short trips to Europe as well as journeys spanning over a month that visit ports in Greenland or the Caribbean. They also offer two adults-only ships and five family-friendly, catering for all.
In second is Royal Caribbean, with 294.05 average monthly searches per 100,000. Founded in Norway in 1968, Royal Caribbean is the largest cruise line by revenue and the line utilises its own private island, CocoCay, in the Bahamas on some of its itineraries. Royal Caribbean offers departures from many European and North American ports, such as Southampton and Miami, alongside departures from Australia and Dubai.
Third place goes to Marella Cruises with an average of 274.62 monthly searches per 100,000. Formerly Thomson Cruises, Marella Cruises offer an all-inclusive package as standard which covers most of the drinks on offer. Marella Cruises has a small fleet of ships which mainly operate out of Spain, Greece, or Croatia.
Average monthly search volume per 100k
Coming in at fourth is MSC Cruises with an average of 201.18 monthly searches per 100,000. MSC Cruises has a wide variety of ports ranging from Northern Europe to Egypt and Asia and is one of the cheapest cruise lines on offer.
Ranking fifth is Celebrity Cruises, with an average of 171.42 monthly searches per 100,000. Celebrity Cruises offers an all-inclusive package with many of their cruises. This includes a basic wi-fi package and a drinks package with tips included.
On many cruise holidays, drinks packages will cost extra and are offered in tiers including soft drinks, alcoholic packages, and premium. There are still places on board where these packages aren’t included, as most ships will have a coffee shop such as Costa Coffee or Lavazza on board. Internet packages are also available, although connections aren’t as good as those on land due to being in the middle of the ocean.
Cruises also have plenty of entertainment options and these differ between the family-friendly ships and the adult-only ships. Those that allow children on board also have a daycare option so that parents can have some time to themselves.
Something rarely thought of on a family holiday is a dress code, but on cruise ships, this is an expectation. Most ships will have formal nights of some kind, and just how formal depends on the line. P&O Cruises and Cunard state that black tie nights are for tuxedos and ball gowns, whereas Marella Cruises’ formal nights take it back a notch to plain shirt and dress trousers. All these however, can be avoided if the passenger wishes to. Dress codes apply to most clubs, bars, and restaurants on the ship in the evening but there are areas for more casual wear.
Jenni Fielding, cruise expert at Cruise Mummy commented on the findings:
“It wasn’t until the 1960’s that cruise lines started to put an emphasis on the entertainment aspect and today a cruise ship is a hotel, cinema, theatre and holiday resort all in one.
“Cruising is still seen as more luxurious than flying to a hotel, and depending on factors like the cruise line, itinerary, and cabin, cruising is cheaper than most package holidays. The average price of a seven-night cruise can be between £500-£2000 per person.
“Due to the increase in single people travelling alone however, many lines now have a limited selection of single berths which even include balcony cabins.
“Companies are now looking to make cruising more environmentally friendly and accessible to more passengers. Ships are getting bigger and though some ports are restricting access, cruises are still a popular choice for those who want a luxury experience.”