Increased demand for cruise holidays has been highlighted in a new poll by travel deals firm Travelzoo.

The results follow last night’s return of ITV fly on the wall documentary The Cruise based on board Princess Cruises’ flagship Royal Princess.

Travelzoo published more than 170 cruise deals in its weekly ‘top 20’ email last year, and sent over 26.7 million cruise deal emails to its 4.5 million-strong UK database.

The dedicated cruise deals page on the Travelzoo website saw more than 4.4 million visits during the year.

A poll revealed that more than half of the UK members (53%) had been on a cruise, a 3% rise from two years ago.

And 36% of the sample plan to take a cruise this year – an increase of 11% since 2015, and slightly up on 34.5% last year.

Travelzoo UK general manager Joel Brandon-Bravo said: “Cruise is becoming an ever-bigger part of Travelzoo’s business, and our data shows that not only is the appetite for cruising among our members growing, they’re becoming big fans – over a quarter (27%) of those who’ve cruised have been on two-three, and 22% have been on a whopping eight or more.

“We’re seeing more exciting and inspiring itineraries from the cruise partners we work with now than ever before – last year we published deals for cruises in South America, a Panama Canal and Mexico cruise, and an Australia and New Zealand cruise – and a growth in the number of river cruising deals available.”

He added: “This spring, Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruise Line and Norwegian Cruise Line will all launch their largest-ever ships, complete with cutting-edge technology and a whole host of onboard activities and exciting partnerships with brands like Audi, Apple and Burberry to enhance the passenger experience.

“Onboard product is becoming ever more sophisticated across the industry, with improving wi-fi, wearable tech, interactive avatars and virtual-reality dining and shore excursion samplers expected to become available this year.

“Traffic to the cruise sections on Travelzoo’s websites peaks in January, and ‘The Cruise’ will no doubt increase this further by putting a spotlight on everything cruising has to offer.”

Princess Cruises’ UK and Europe vice president Tony Roberts said: “’The Cruise’ is a fantastic platform for not only Princess but for the cruise industry as a whole.

“It gives viewers the chance to see behind the scenes of making a cruise ship run and also the varied guest experience.

“We hope people who have never considered a cruise before will tune into ITV and start exploring the amazing holiday they could have on a Princess cruise.”