Cruising from home port proves popular

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CRUISE operators couldn’t have had a worst start to 2012 with the sinking of the Costa Concordia – but one company is increasing the number of cruises it runs from a Yorkshire port.

Cruise & Maritime Voyages said Hull had proved the most popular of all its regional departures, apart from Tilbury, and this year there will be nine departures.

Passengers will depart on board the Ocean Countess for the Norwegian fjords and other destinations including Honfleur, Guernsey, Isles of Scilly and Holyhead in Wales.

Last year, 1.7 million Britons took a cruise holiday and 753,000 began their cruise from a UK port.

Marketing manager at Cruise & Maritime Voyages Mike Hall said people liked the convenience of taking a cruise from closer to home.

He said: “The typical cruising demographic is predominantly in the retired sector and they choose to cruise from the UK because they don’t want to fly. They don’t want the hassle involved in airports or having to travel all the way to Southampton.”

Mr Hall said the Costa Concordia disaster had more of an effect on those who never cruised before. He said: “We have still got some empty cabins on some cruises. They are not all completely sold out, but nevertheless they have sold well.”

The first departure is on April 21 for a six-night trip to the Norwegian fjords.