Travel By Numbers: Cruises

As National Cruise Week begins, Ben Ross counts the ways for travellers to see the sea
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The Independent Travel


Number of countries – Austria, Hungary, Germany and Slovakia – passed through on Viking River Cruises' new eight-day Passau to Budapest trip along the Danube, available from March to December 2010. The price per person starts at £1,465.


The number of cruises taken by British passengers in 2008 (representing one in 12 of all package holidays), a figure that's expected to be the same this year. Tomorrow sees the start of National Cruise Week, an awareness-raising exercise run by the industry's umbrella organisation, the Passenger Shipping Association ( ), with the aim of swelling those numbers still further with various promotions from cruise companies.


The tonnage of the MV Spirit of Adventure, a relatively small cruise ship, carrying a maximum of 352 passengers. Cruises this winter include a 25-night Dragons and Temples trip running from 13 December to 6 January, beginning in Mumbai, with stops in Sri Lanka, the Andaman islands, Thailand, Malaysia, Bali and Borneo. Prices from £5,221 per person.


The year "Castaway Cay" opened for business. The Walt Disney Company-owned private island in the Bahamas acts as an exclusive port of call for the Disney Wonder and Disney Magic cruise ships, which operate from Florida. Various on-site Disney-themed distractions are on offer for passengers.


The maximum number of passengers that can be carried on the Freedom of the Seas (operated by Royal Caribbean), which is currently the largest passenger ship in the world. Later this year, the Oasis of the Seas, also operated by Royal Caribbean, will be launched, with space for 5,400 passengers.


The percentage of cruises booked by UK customers that start in a British port. Southampton, Dover and Harwich are popular – the latter is the starting point for Voyages of Discovery's "Springtime in the Norwegian Fjords", which begins on 24 May 2010 and takes in Bergen, Alesund and Flam. The eight-day cruise is available for £799.


The number of ships operated by Oceania Cruises: the Regatta, Insignia and Nautica. Oceania has launched a promotion on selected winter 2009-2010 cruise itineraries to coincide with National Cruise Week. Sample prices include £1,485 (excluding flights) for a 19-night South American cruise from Rio de Janeiro in Brazil to Valparaiso, Chile, departing on 3 January 2010.


Price, in pounds sterling, of a cruise with the first man on the moon. Neil Armstrong leads a 26-day voyage of discovery to the Falklands and Antarctica with Titan Travel's National Geographic Journeys By Sea, departing 15 November. Price based on double occupancy.