Liverpool cruise terminal set to hit the 1m mark

As Liverpool cruise terminal gets set to celebrate its 15th anniversary it is also about to welcome its one millionth international visitor by the end of the 2022 season. Tony McDonough reports

Cruise vessel Borealis at Liverpool cruise terminal. Picture by Status Imagery


Monday marks the start of celebrations for the 15th anniversary of Liverpool’s cruise terminal.

And Cruise Liverpool is already set to welcome its one millionth international visitor by the end of the 2022 season. By the time this season ends it will have seen 90 cruise ships sail up the Mersey, welcomed 200,000 passengers and generated £15m for the city.

HRH The Duke of Kent officially opened the terminal in 2007. Since then it has seen more than 700 vessels berth at the facility. This has boosted the Liverpool city centre economy by an estimated £65m.

In August LBN reported Liverpool City Council was still committed to building a new £50m terminal that would also include a hotel. A council report said: “The council is currently assessing timescales and likelihood of market growth for taking this scheme forward to the next stage.”

Cllr Harry Doyle, Cabinet Member for Culture and Visitor Economy, said: “The cruise terminal has an important role to play in Liverpool’s future. The next step is to explore how we can grow this future sustainably. We are looking forward to announcing more on this as celebrations get under way.”

Birthday celebrations will begin with the arrival of Fred Olsen Cruise Line’s Borealis. It will drop anchor to invite special guests on board for a launch event and tour of the ship. It is the first time a passenger ship in Liverpool has invited non-travelling guests on board since the pandemic.

There will be shoreside entertainment by Merseyside drumming group Katumba Drummers as the ship departs. The 15-day ‘sail-ebration’ will see Liverpool ONE’s ‘Tickle the Ivories’ piano on tour at the cruise terminal. And there will be daily entertainment from local musicians, courtesy of Open Culture.


Disney Magic
Disney Magic is due Liverpool Cruise Terminal on September 14. Picture by Tony McDonough


A series of videos has also been commissioned to tell the story of the terminal from the perspective of staff, trainees and volunteers. Three special partnership arrangements will also be announced. These will improve access to careers in the cruise industry, support local tourism and reduce Cruise Liverpool’s carbon footprint. Highlights include:

  • A new partnership with Strawberry Field ‘Steps to Work’ programme, allowing young people with learning disabilities to learn about working at a busy Cruise Terminal.
  • A partnership with war museum Western Approaches linking cruise passengers to one of Liverpool’s ‘hidden gems’.
  • The recently launched Viking Mars, a striking all-veranda ship, will make an inaugural transit call into Liverpool on Thursday, September 8.
  • A social media campaign highlighting why Cruise Liverpool continues to go from strength to strength.
  • Disney Magic sails into Liverpool on Wednesday, September 14, with Marketing Liverpool giving a special ‘behind the scenes’ look via TikTok what it’s like to be a Disney passenger.
  • An inaugural visit from Hanseatic Nature on Thursday, September 15.
  • Details to be released of a formal partnership with the University of Liverpool on a sustainability strategy for Cruise Liverpool.

John Mawer, Cruise Liverpool’s head of cruise operations, added: “Coming off the back of an extremely challenging two years for Cruise Liverpool and the wider industry as a whole, it’s important that we press pause and take stock of how far we’ve come in the last 15 years.

“But the next fortnight is as much about looking to the future as casting our minds back to the past. Liverpool City Council is in a unique position in owning and running its own cruise terminal.

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“This arrangement paid dividends as we emerged from COVID and, as a team, we worked with colleagues on the community testing programme, ultimately guiding the country and cruise industry on how to ‘reopen’ safely.

“We know the city is navigating difficult waters at the moment and we’re working hard at Cruise Liverpool to attract more operators and expand our remit beyond cruise ships to ensure we can continue to have a strong economic impact while exploring innovative ways to meet our environmental goals.”

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