The Liverpool City Council, UK has approved a report to see the terminal extended with additional 400 square metres in order to handle turnaround calls by bigger cruise ships.
The expansion of the current temporary structure is now necessary after plans to use the Cunard Building, former head office of the company, as terminal had to be abandoned in the end of 2014 after it had emerged that the price of converting the building for that use would be unreasonable.
The extra space will mean that the terminal can handle up to 1,800 guests per ship. Following the announcement, this proposal will need planning and it's hoped the work will be completed by the end of 2015.
The facility, located at Pier Head in immediate proximity of the centre of Liverpool, can handle calls by larger, Post-Panamax vessels. Callers this year include Queen Mary 2, Royal Princess and Britannia that are all of at least 140,000 GT in size.
However, the cruise terminal has limited baggage handling as well as other check in facilities, which restricts the size of ships that could turn around in Liverpool. Cruise & Maritime Voyages and Fred Olsen Cruise Lines operate sailings from the facility, using vessels of up to about 900 travelers. The largest cruise ship that has operated a turnaround call at Liverpool temporary cruise terminal is of about 1,200 guests in capacity.
The extension of the terminal, running since 2011 when 15 cruise ships brought 27,000 passengers, would not interfere with the current operations of the facility. This year, 54 vessels will handle 80,000 guests, which is a 40% increase on 2014.
A new zone is planned to allow early arrivals to wait inside the cruise terminal, whereas previously they have been denied access. There will be improvements to the gateway linking the Liverpool facility to the main pontoon berth while the city council takes ownership of the actual facility.