Liverpool City Council in the UK is to conduct a detailed study into the feasibility of constructing a permanent cruise terminal.
The council is to look into the design and cost of constructing a terminal at the former Princes Jetty at Princes Parade, which would be capable of handling 3,600 embarking and disembarking passengers with baggage – twice as many as the existing facility. The site would include passport control, passenger lounge, café, toilets, taxi rank, vehicle pick up point, coach layover area and a car park.
And today the world famous Cunard line – which describes the city as its spiritual home – said the development could lead to the reintroduction of its transatlantic crossings from Liverpool, which last took place regularly in 1968.
“The temporary cruise liner building has been a tremendous success and served us well, but a city of Liverpool’s standing and ambition needs a permanent building if we are to continue the growth we’ve seen in recent years,” said Joe Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool. “It’s always been my ambition to develop an iconic terminal which makes Liverpool a world-class destination for cruise liners. What we are doing now is drawing up detailed plans which will give us a clear picture of the costs and then enable us to make a decision as to whether to proceed. Clearly there will be a cost to the construction of the facility, but this will be offset by the hugely beneficial economic impact that passengers have when they spend money during their stay.”
Since Liverpool became a turnaround facility in 2012, the number of vessels visiting the city have almost doubled from 31 to 61. Passenger numbers are up from 38,656 in 2012 to an expected 86,365 this year. In 2015, the cruise industry generated an estimated £7 million for the city’s economy, up from £1.3 million when it was a port of call destination.
“There is always a buzz around the city when a big liner is in port and we know there is an appetite from the cruise lines to come to Liverpool,” said Wendy Simon, assistant mayor and cabinet member for culture. “It is vital that we give passengers the best experience that we can and a larger, permanent facility would enable us to do that.”
A company is expected to be appointed to carry out the feasibility study in March, with work completed in the summer and a final decision taken over the project later in the year.