TV presenter Jane McDonald first shot to fame in 1998 with the reality show The Cruise. After 18 years away from the world of cruising, she has set out as part of a new four-part travel show, Cruising With Jane McDonald, to discover why cruising continues to be such a popular holiday choice for millions of people each year and what has changed since she was last at sea.
The first cruise that she undertook as part of the show was with MSC Cruises. Jane took a seven night sunshine cruise from Miami around the Caribbean on board one of MSC Cruises’ largest and most modern ships, MSC Divina, calling at Nassau, St Martin and Puerto Rico before heading back to Miami.
The series sets out to explore the booming cruise industry, which has seen unprecedented growth since Jane first found herself at sea. In 2009, 17.8 million passengers took a cruise globally and this figure is set to rise to 25.3million by the end of 2017.
Cruising is continuing to grow in popularity in the UK & Ireland, achieving the highest growth rate of all major European markets and in 2015 saw its largest annual rise for seven years. This picture is reflected in the growth of MSC Cruises, the UK saw a 35 % annual increase in guests, reaching record breaking highs in the Caribbean, Emirates, and Mediterranean (2016).
Perhaps the biggest change in the industry has been the guest demographic. The average age of the MSC Cruises’ guest from the UK is 46, with an ever-growing number of families choosing a holiday with the international cruise line, which offers high quality, effortless cruises, with plenty of opportunity for fun and relaxation on board modern ships at affordable prices.
Cruising With Jane McDonald airs on Channel 5 on Friday 10th February at 21:00