Sea and Coastal Passenger Water Transport

Sea and Coastal Passenger Water Transport

Sea and Coastal Passenger Water Transport


This industry includes all operators transporting passengers on the sea and coastal waters. It consists of operating excursions, cruise or sightseeing boats, ferries and water taxis and renting pleasure boats with a crew for sea or coastal transport.

The industry’s revenue is forecast to rise significantly in 2022-23 and the next five years (2023-2028). Investment by major cruise ship operators to increase their fleet capacity is expected to provide further resilience to challenging operating conditions. Additionally, ferry operators are expected to benefit from the end of the transition period between the United Kingdom and the European Union, with the UK’s withdrawal from the Customs Union enabling the return of onboard duty-free shops (Ibis World, 2022).


  • Fuelling costs
  • Partial co-dependency from travel agents
  • Attracting first-timers due to the cost-of-living crisis

(Ibis World, 2022; Mintel, 2023)


  • Increasing recreational activities
  • Reach of promotional marketing expansion via online adverts
  • Focus on eco-tourism and cost-effective packages

(Future Market Insights, 2023; Mintel, 2023)


Market Size

Number of businesses in the UK

The market size of the sea & coastal passenger water transport industry increased by 70.7% in 2022