Liverpool to welcome 87 cruise vessels in 2019 – 48% more than in 2018

Liverpool Cruise Terminal welcomed more than 100,000 international passengers and crew during the 2018 cruise season, generating an estimated £7m for the local economy. Tony McDonough reports

Disney Magic
Disney Magic at Liverpool Cruise Terminal. Picture by Tony McDonough


There will be 87 cruise vessels calling at Liverpool Cruise Terminal in 2019 – a 48% increase on the 57 that arrived in the Mersey this year.

Liverpool Cruise Terminal welcomed more than 100,000 international passengers and crew during the 2018 cruise season with many more expected next year, new figures from Liverpool city council reveal.

The council said around 50,000 people came to the waterfront during the season to view the vessels. The economic impact of the terminal’s operations on the city this year is estimated to be around £7m.

See images and fly-through video of Liverpool’s new cruise terminal

Total tonnage of the cruise vessels coming into the River Mersey was 3m gross tonnes and the team at Cruise Liverpool facilitated 24 turnaround calls and 33 transit calls throughout the season.

In addition to cruise ships, the terminal provides specialist support to a range of working vessels, such as dredgers and offshore wind farm support vessels. It has also welcomed calls from both the Royal navy and foreign navies.

Inaugural calls

During the 2018 cruise call schedule, Liverpool Cruise Terminal received four inaugural calls, including the first ever call by a Japanese vessel, Ocean Dream – which will be returning to Liverpool in 2019 for an overnight visit.

In May the city welcomed the three Tall Ships as part of the Tall Ships Festival. The berth was open to the public over the bank holiday weekend. Almost 10,000 visitors were recorded.

The ‘Magic on The Mersey’ event took place in September to mark the return of Disney Magic and included spectacular street theatre, a Disney character parade and a farewell pyrotechnic display attracting 30,000 visitors and bringing in approximately £250,000 to the city’s economy.

Such was the popularity and success of ‘Magic on the Mersey’ it won the 2018 Tourism Event of the Year at the Liverpool City Region Tourism Awards.

018 Mersey River Festival
Tall Ships Lord Nelson and Morgenster during the 2018 Mersey River Festival


Even more ships

And 2019 is shaping up to be better still with 87 Cruise Ships due to visit Liverpool, a 48% increase on this year, and will include 11 inaugural calls, 23 different cruise lines, including Costa and Norwegian lines arriving for the first time.

Liverpool’s terminal is gearing up for site preparation works for the new facilities with work expected to start in the New Year. Equivalent to the size of two football pitches, the terminal will be serviced by an off-site multi-storey car park and will enable the world’s largest cruise ships (up to 3,600 passengers) to embark and disembark at Liverpool. It’s also expected to directly create more than 500 new jobs.

Deputy Mayor of Liverpool and Cabinet member for Culture, Tourism and Events Cllr Wendy Simon, said: “2018 has been an extraordinary year for Cruise Liverpool – winning tourism awards and having staff internationally recognised as dynamic leaders in the global cruise industry.

Click here for the full cruise call schedule in 2019

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