Liverpool ‘still committed’ to £50m cruise terminal

A Liverpool Council report says the authority remains ‘committed’ to the proposed £50m cruise terminal with cruises set to boost the city economy by £16m in 2023. Tony McDonough reports

Norwegian Star
Norwegian Star, a cruise vessel at Liverpool Cruise Terminal. Picture by Tony McDonough


Liverpool City Council “remains committed” to building a new £50m cruise line terminal, a new report reveals.

However, a report to the local authority’s culture and visitor economy committee said the cruise sector would still take ““one to two years” to fully recover” from the pandemic. This is despite the world’s biggest cruise company, Carnival, reporting a strong bounceback.

The council report said: “The council is currently assessing timescales and likelihood of market growth for taking this scheme forward to the next stage but remains committed to developing Liverpool Cruise Terminal to support growth.”

Liverpool’s current cruise facility, which opened in 2007, will have welcomed 90 cruise ships and 200,000 passengers during the current season. This will generate around £15m for the city. In 2023 109 vessels are already booked. This is expected to boost the city centre economy by around £16m.

Fred Olsen Cruise Lines generate £2.25m alone. It will commit 30 to operations per year into Liverpool. It has made reservations as far in advance as December 2024.

The report added: “Current cruise bookings show 109 cruise operations are scheduled for 2023. There is still some post-pandemic re-positioning globally and re-positioning from the Baltic, so some bookings are relatively recent, and this figure may increase.”

A permanent cruise facility has been planned for the Liverpool waterfront for several years. It would Incorporate a terminal building and a hotel, the terminal would offer an increased capacity.

Prior to the pandemic the cruise industry was on an upward trajectory with passenger numbers soaring. At the start of 2020, the team at Cruise Liverpool were getting ready for what would be the current terminal’s busiest year since it opened in 2007.

However, in March 2020 the £100bn industry ground to a halt. Of the 400 or so large cruise vessels sailing across the world around 90% were berthed indefinitely. Major cruise operators were forced to take on billions in extra debt to survive.

Last summer there was a strong recovery with more than 100 cruises returning to Liverpool, bringing 80,000 passengers to the city.

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