More than 100 cruises will call into Liverpool in 2022 providing a £15m boost for the city centre visitor economy. Tony McDonough reports
Liverpool Cruise Terminal will welcome more than 100 cruise calls in 2022 as the recovery from the global pandemic gathers pace, providing an estimated £15m boost to the city.
When COVID-19 hit in early 2020 the global cruise industry grind to a halt. The sector started its recovery last summer and Between May and December 2021, Liverpool’s terminal hosted around 100 cruises from 12 different operators.
This saw 80,000 passengers either boarding, disembarking or passing through the city, delivering a shot in the arm to Liverpool’s battered visitor economy. Although the industry is still feeling the ripple effects of COVID-19, there is optimism that this year’s season will be bigger and better than ever.
With confidence high following Liverpool’s handling of the return of cruising last spring, more operators are turning to the city to make bookings. Inaugural visits are expected from 10 ships including Valiant Lady, Celebrity Apex and Norwegian Dawn.
The season will get into full swing in March, with a visit from Virgin Voyages, and will also include visits from the Queen Victoria (June) and the popular Disney Magic (September). Fred Olsen will also return, having chosen Liverpool as its homeport for its flagship Borealis ship for a second season.
The Cruise Liverpool team is also working closely with cruise industry experts on plans to tackle the negative impact of cruise emissions on the local environment.
John Mawer, head of cruise operations at Cruise Liverpool, said: “We are looking forward to marking the 15th birthday of Liverpool’s Cruise Terminal later this year, and what better way to do it than ensuring record ships and passengers visiting our shores and enjoying the famous Liverpool welcome.
“We also want 2022 to be the year when we make progress in reducing the environmental impact of the ships on the city, there’s a long way to go but talks are already underway and I’m excited to be a part of the conversation on behalf of Liverpool.”
While uncertainty remains around COVID-19, Cruise Liverpool will maintain its ‘satellite’ terminal at the Arena and Convention Centre for the foreseeable future, giving passengers and operators a safe and speedy way of joining or leaving a cruise.
Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture and Visitor Economy, Cllr Harry Doyle, added: “While we move into the 2022 season with some justifiable caution, there’s optimism that we will be able to give passengers and operators passing through our terminal the experience they deserve.
“With all the talk of the problems the industry has faced, it’s important to remember the impact that the lack of cruising has had on our loyal passengers, who work hard all year round to earn their place on board.”