The European Cruise Council said almost 4.95 million passengers took a cruise holiday in 2009. The UK continues to contribute the largest number of passengers with Germany breaking the million passenger figure for the first time. The number of UK passengers has doubled in nine years to 1.53 million, representing 31.5% of the market. Germany continues to show strong growth in second place with 1.02 million passengers and 21% of the market. Italy, the third largest cruise market in Europe, saw a 16% increase to 790,000 passengers while Spain, with increased capacity from its national brands, showed a 26% increase to 627,000 passengers in 2009. The Mediterranean and Atlantic Islands continue to be the most popular destinations with 2.8 million passengers visiting the regions in 2009 – giving a market share of 57%. Northern Europe had a 20% increase in the number of cruise visitors to 884,000 while the Caribbean and the rest of the world accounted for 1.23 million passengers, an increase of 19% over the previous year.