Liverpool’s growth includes turnarounds with new facilities planned
Liverpool has 40 calls confirmed this season and there are 50 already scheduled for next year, with over 70,000 passengers due to visit Liverpool. Both transit and turnaround calls are on the increase.
The cruise terminal at Liverpool’s iconic Pier Head location was built for transit calls initially. A baggage handling facility was constructed in 2012 in order to accommodate turnaround operations for ships with about 1,200 passengers.
“Operations have been a resounding success and passenger feedback unanimous in that they welcome the convenience of sailing from their nearest port”, explained Angie Redhead, cruise & operations manager Liverpool Cruise Terminal.
Plans are now in hand to develop a larger facility that can accommodate up to 3,000 passengers, ideally at the Pier Head and hopefully for completion in 2016. It will be joint funded by stakeholders. Peel Ports, the commercial port operator, says its new project will have a similar transformational effect on the region’s economy to the new container Liverpool Two and £1bn (E1.17bn) shopping development Liverpool One.
A dredging campaign begins at the Mersey Bar in May of this year in order to ensure that the largest container ships can enter and this will also benefit cruiseships.
“Liverpool falls outside of the ECA which has huge commercial and geographical benefits particularly for round Britain and Ireland cruises and those heading towards Norway and the Baltic,” said Redhead.
Ports which fall outside of the ECA have developed a website showing their locations, potential itineraries and destination information : www.european-edge.com
Thomson Cruises returns to Liverpool in 2014 with three turnaround calls and both Cruise & Maritime Voyages and Fred Olsen Cruise Lines have increased their operation due to demand from their strong northwest customer base which represents a catchment of about 16m people.
Liverpool repaid £8.2m (E9.6m) grant money to UK in order to be given permission to operate turnarounds. The city committed to this repayment due to the overwhelming demand by both the consumer and the cruise industry to have a departure point that suited their north west customer base.
When it comes to transit calls more and larger vessels are calling, in particular Celebrity Cruises which makes its inaugural visit this season. Infinity will call five times in total, including a ‘split voyage’ in September so that passengers will be able to embark from the city’s new cruise terminal.
A further five calls are booked in 2014 with an overnighter during the British Open Golf Championship that is taking place at Royal Liverpool Golf Club.
MSC Cruises are calling for the first time and Hapag-Lloyd Cruises also calls with newbuilding Europa 2 and Hanseatic.
There is plenty for passengers to do in the UNESCO World Heritage city of Liverpool, there being more museums and galleries in Liverpool than anywhere else outside of London. From award-winning visitor attractions such as The Beatles Story and amphibious tours, to stately homes and the UK’s largest Cathedral, there is plenty of choice.
The city has also been voted UK’s friendliest city by Trip Advisor for three consecutive years. Liverpool Cruise Terminal’s newly-launched website has a whole host of information for both trade and consumer www.cruise-liverpool.com
Due to the growth of the cruise business as well as related activities, LCT is looking to recruit a deputy cruise & operations manager to oversee the operational delivery of each ship visit.