Liverpool ‘sail-ebrates’ 15 years in cruise control

Liverpool’s cruise terminal is on course to welcome its one millionth international visitor by the end of the 2022 season, as it also gears up to celebrate its 15th anniversary.

The Cruise Liverpool team will mark the milestone with a series of celebrations across 15 days, highlighting the journey Liverpool’s cruise industry has been on since the terminal was officially opened by HRH The Duke of Kent in 2007.

In that time the terminal has welcomed more than 700 ships, and boosted the local economy by £65 million.

The anniversary celebrations will begin on Monday 5 September with the arrival of Fred Olsen Cruise Line’s Borealis, which will drop anchor to invite special guests on board for a launch event and tour of the ship. It is the first time a passenger ship in Liverpool has invited non-travelling guests on board since the Covid-19 pandemic. There will be shoreside entertainment by Merseyside drumming group Katumba Drummers as the ship departs.

The 15-day ‘sail-ebration’ will see Liverpool ONE’s ‘Tickle the Ivories’ piano on tour at the Cruise Terminal, with daily entertainment from local musicians, courtesy of Open Culture.

A special series of videos has also been commissioned to tell the story of the Cruise Terminal from the perspective of staff, trainees and volunteers.

Three special partnership arrangements will also be announced, which will improve access to careers in the cruise industry, support local tourism and reduce Cruise Liverpool’s carbon footprint.

Highlights include:

  • An exciting new partnership with Strawberry Field ‘Steps to Work’ programme, allowing young people with learning disabilities to follow their passion and learn about working at a busy Cruise Terminal
  • A partnership with war museum Western Approaches linking cruise passengers to one of Liverpool’s ‘hidden gems’
  • The recently launched Viking Mars, a striking all-veranda ship, will make an inaugural transit call into Liverpool on Thursday 8 September
  • A social media campaign highlighting why Cruise Liverpool continues to go from strength to strength
  • Disney Magic sails into Liverpool on Wednesday 14 September, with Marketing Liverpool giving a special ‘behind the scenes’ look via TikTok at what it’s like to be a Disney passenger
  • An inaugural visit from Hanseatic Nature on Thursday 15 September
  • Details to be released of a formal partnership with the University of Liverpool on a sustainability strategy for Cruise Liverpool

For more, follow Cruise Liverpool on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Councillor Harry Doyle, Cabinet Member for Culture and Visitor Economy, said:

“Cruise Liverpool has been on an incredible journey over the last 15 years. From the early days of six ships and 6,000 passengers, to the present day, where we have welcomed almost 100 operations and 200,000 passengers in 2022 alone, the ‘sea-change’ has been enormous. The cruise terminal has an important role to play in Liverpool’s future, and the next step is to explore how we can grow this future sustainably. We are looking forward to announcing more on this as celebrations get under way.”

John Mawer, Cruise Liverpool’s Head of Cruise Operations, said:

“Coming off the back of an extremely challenging two years for Cruise Liverpool and the wider industry as a whole, it’s important that we press pause and take stock of how far we’ve come in the last 15 years. But the next fortnight is as much about looking to the future as casting our minds back to the past.

“Liverpool City Council is in a unique position in owning and running its own cruise terminal. This arrangement paid dividends as we emerged from Covid and, as a team, we worked with colleagues on the community testing programme, ultimately guiding the country and cruise industry on how to ‘reopen’ safely. We know the city is navigating difficult waters at the moment and we’re working hard at Cruise Liverpool to attract more operators and expand our remit beyond cruise ships to ensure we can continue to have a strong economic impact whilst exploring innovative ways to meet our environmental goals.”

Clare Ward, Director of Product and Customer Service at Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, said:

“It’s such an honour to be able to launch Cruise Liverpool’s 15th anniversary celebrations on board Borealis and it’s a real testament to just how well we work together. We cherish our relationship with Cruise Liverpool and as we say at Fred Olsen ‘It’s all about the people. All of it. Everything.’ and this couldn’t be more fitting of how we feel working with the team at Cruise Liverpool.

“We’ve been sailing from this city for almost 20 years, and have developed some fantastic relationships with both our guests and the terminal. Last summer we resumed our sailings from Liverpool and have chosen to base one of our newest ships Borealis here for 2022 and 2023, meaning we have plenty of our exciting hand-crafted itineraries to offer Liverpool in the future.”

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