Cruise Excursions from Liverpool Cruise Terminal
Why not get a group of friends together on board and check out the superb tours on offer from Liverpool Cruise Terminal
FOR more than a century, passengers and crews aboard liners sailing up the Mersey to arrive in Liverpool have been greeted with one of the most memorable port sights in the world.
As a ship approaches her berth at the city’s landing stage the unmistakable profile of the Royal Liver Building with its twin towers each crowned with a magnificent copper Lyver Bird ensures that spectators realise they are arriving in a port of importance.
This is statement architecture par excellence, and it is said that a third of the Royal Liver Building’s cost went on these twin towers whose only purpose is to impress – especially bullish North American travellers who believed they had a monopoly on the biggest, if not the best.
This landmark Edwardian building has superb support alongside the waterfront with the Cunard Building and Port of Liverpool Building, now collectively known as “the Three Graces”.
Their presence also shows that passengers are arriving in the heart of the city, rightly putting Liverpool on a par with a waterside elite including New York, Venice and Sydney. There is no awkward tendering, necessitating boarding a small boat in choppy waters to reach dry land. Within a few minutes of disembarking passengers can be enjoying the sites of the city, with a tour on foot or by coach, to the Beatles quarter, its cathedrals, museums, galleries and magnificent civic buildings.
Liverpool re-entered the passenger ship business seriously in 2007 with the opening of the present Liverpool Cruise Terminal to serve the rapidly expanding cruise market and in particular the growing popularity of round Britain cruises.
The city’s place in the modern cruise industry has boomed to such an extent that the existing tented Terminal is due to be replaced with a far larger, purpose-built temporary building which will triple its handling capacity from 1,200 passengers to 3,600.
This is because cruise liners making transit calls are getting bigger and the Terminal must reflect this. Also, following the Liverpool Daily Post’s successful Get On Board campaign to lift the ban on turnaround cruises (ie starting and ending cruises at Liverpool) more facilities are needed to serve passengers, crew and ship. Turnaround and transit cruise calls contribute £7m annually to the visitor economy, compared to £1.3m before turnaround calls began.
Princess Cruises, whose giant 3,000 plus passenger liners make up to six calls annually at Liverpool on round Britain cruises report an 85 per cent satisfaction rate for the city from passengers, second only to Dublin. Such is Liverpool’s rapid ascent as a visitor destination that there is even talk of a second cruise terminal further downriver.
The Terminal itself has a long and illustrious history which, with its predecessor Princes Landing Stage served Britain, its Empire, Allies, Commonwealth and peoples of all nations for nearly a century and a half.
Through peacetime and wartime millions of passengers have trod its gangways and pontoons: cruise passengers, business travellers, families, men, women, children, and seafarers. Nine million emigrants from all over Europe have passed through its gateways. For many thousands of military personnel this was their first and last contact with British soil.
Yet it all started with a spectacularly embarrassing event: the original Princes Landing Stage was constructed in 1874 and burned down the night before it was due to be opened by the Duke of Edinburgh. Undeterred, by this awkward set-back, Mersey Docks & Harbour Board had a new stage in position a year later. At a quarter of a mile long, this was the world’s largest floating structure.
This was gradually improved over its 100-year lifespan, including major upgrading in 1896 with the construction of Liverpool Riverside Station alongside, so passengers could board boat trains at London Euston.