The number of passengers using the UK's biggest cruise-ship port could leap 11% this year.

A total of 1.57 million passengers passed through Southampton in 2014, with the port retaining its position as Europe's largest embarkation and disembarkation port.

And numbers could rise to 1.75 million in 2015, according to global organisation the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).

Last year, there 422 cruise ship turnarounds at Southampton - each of which was estimated to contribute £2 million to the local economy.

The CLIA also announced today:

  • The cruise industry contributed £2,247 million to the UK economy last year - up from £2,225 million in 2013;
  • The industry created around a further 800 jobs in the UK in 2014, taking the total number to 71,222;
  • The UK remains one of Europe's biggest cruise markets, with a 25.7% share of passenger numbers in 2014, a year in which 1.64 million British passengers took an ocean cruise;
  • Tilbury port in Essex handled 54,000 passengers last year, with this figure set to almost double to 100,000 in 2015, with further growth expected in 2016;
  • 12% growth, to 83,000 passengers, is expected this year at the port of Liverpool , while an 11.5% increase to 20,000 is likely at Bristol;
  • Cruise traffic to islands around the UK is also forecast to grow strongly in 2015 with traffic through Guernsey port in the Channel Islands predicted to jump 20% to 130,000 and through Orkney by 17% to 79,000 passengers.

CLIA UK and Ireland director Andy Harmer said: ''Today's report reaffirms the UK's position not only as one of the world's major cruise markets, but as a country which continues to reap multi-billion pound dividends from the cruise industry.''