Ferry travel has bounced back with nearly one million more British people travelling by the mode of transport in 2013.
Figures released by Discover Ferries today found 38 million Brits travelled by ferry in 2013, up 2.6% compared to 2012.
The number of cars carried increased 1.1% to 8.37m, while the coach figures were the best since 2008 with a 4.1% rise in 2013 year-on-year.
“These overall passenger, car and coach growth figures across the ferry industry in 2013 are very encouraging, and we have certainly bounced back from a challenging year in 2012, when the Olympics and rotten summer weather affected holiday bookings” said Discover Ferries director, Bill Gibbons on the numbers.
Continental routes across the English Channel and North Sea proved the most popular with a 5.8% rise in traffic, with short routes seeing 6.8% more passengers at 12.7m.
Domestic routes took 15.6m of the passengers with Scottish journeys performing top with a 3.7% rise in passengers to nearly six million.
Ferry services to the Channel Islands also improved 2.6% to 353,000 people.
Although more people took their cars on ferries in 2013, it was the coach sector heading to Ireland and the continent that saw the higher growth.
Nearly 104,000 coach trips by ferry were taken in 2013, up 6%, while those on the Irish Sea grew 7.2% to 22, 300 coaches.
“The hot summer in 2013 more than offset the cold spring, and the no-hassle, relaxed and value-for-money ferry travel experience is increasingly attracting passengers to travel by coach and car on our ferries. At 38 million passengers, ferry travel is now very much a mainstream choice, especially for families on holiday, and this will form the focus of our campaign for this year’s National Ferry Fortnight, running from 15-29 March,” added Gibbons.