Liverpool could begin to welcome ships capable of carrying “at least 4,000 passengers” from summer 2020 after plans for a new cruise terminal were given the green light last week.
Construction of the £50 million terminal could begin this summer, a Liverpool City Council official said, allowing embarkation and disembarkation in the city.
In 2017, the city welcomed more than 60 vessels carrying 120,000 passengers and crew, although current infrastructure only allows for ships capable of carrying fewer than 2,000 passengers to use the city as a turnaround port. Fred Olsen and CMV are among the lines sailing from Liverpool.
The development would enable ships such as Royal Caribbean International’s Independence of the Seas, P&O Cruises’ Britannia and Norwegian Cruise Line’s soon-to-launch Norwegian Bliss to sail from the city if desired by the lines.
As part of the plans, Princes Jetty on Princes Parade will be demolished to make way for a “state-of-the-art” terminal suspended deck on the Mersey featuring a baggage-handling facility, passport control, a lounge, a cafe, toilets, a taxi rank and a vehicle pick-up point.
Angie Redhead, head of city assets at Liverpool City Council, told TTG she wanted “all cruise lines” to consider sailing from Liverpool and that “with careful planning” the terminal could facilitate even larger ships in future.
“We know the demand to sail from Liverpool is there and ships these days are getting bigger and bigger,” she said. “It’s about building a facility that can compete with Southampton and giving local people more choice of ships, lines and itineraries.”
Tiffany Woodley, owner of Merseyside-based TTG Top 50 Travel Agency Myriad Travel, welcomed the terminal’s development, adding it would “really open up” the family and luxury cruise market in the region.
“There’s not a huge amount for those demographics where we are in terms of cruise, so being able to attract different lines would be a fantastic boost,” she said.
“Being able to sail from Liverpool would be a massive driver. Fred Olsen and CMV do very well at the moment as it is a real effort for customers to get down to Southampton.
“We need a good cruise terminal for customers and agents in the north and it’s even better for it to be in Liverpool.”