Liverpool (England)

Cruise Port schedule, live map, terminals, news

Liverpool cruise port

Ireland - UK - British Isles

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2022-01-26 08:31

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  Port Map

Liverpool is a major port anc city in England's Merseyside (metro region) with population around 0,5 million (urban ~870,000, metro ~2,3 million). The cruise port is located along River Mersey Estuary's eastern side. Other major turnaround (cruise ship departure) ports in the UK are the England's Southampton, Bristol, Dover, Harwich, Hull, Tilbury-London, Newcastle and Portsmouth, and Scotland's Leith-Edinburgh and Greenock-Glasgow.

Ferries link Liverpool with Dublin Ireland (17 crossings weekly, travel time 7 hours), Belfast Northern Ireland (14 crossings weekly, travel time 8 hours) and Douglas, Isle of Man (12 crossings weekly, travel time 2 hours 45 min). These routes are operated, respectively, by the companies P&O FERRIES, STENA LINE and Steam Packet Company (purchased in May 2018 by Manx government for GBP 124 million).

Port Liverpool

Port Liverpool is located some 15 km / 9 mi away from Liverpool John Lennon Airport and some 60 km / 40 mi away from Manchester International Airport. The nearest to the cruise port train station (Lime Station) is a few minutes drive from the city centre, or at around 20 min walking distance.

Liverpool's cruising industry is constantly growing. The seaport welcomed a record number of ships in 2016 - 64 vessels. This was 10 more in comparison to 2015, bringing to the city over 85000 tourists. Pier Head terminal was inaugurated in 2007. On September 9, 2007, the very first ship to berth at the newly constructed cruise terminal was RSSC-Regent's superyacht Seven Seas Voyager.

Liverpool is a convenient UK cruise departure port on the Irish Sea. The city itself has a rich maritime heritage, being also the birthplace of UK's first passenger shipping line - Cunard. Since the Liverpool cruise terminal opened in 2007, it has renewed some of the world's most famous ocean liners. Liverpool is used mostly as turnaround port (offering regular round-trip departures) but also as transit port (of call) on itineraries with ports in the UK, Ireland and Baltic Sea countries (incl Norway, Sweden, Germany, Netherlands, Finland, Russia). The city itself is famous with a premier Football Club, the Beatles and many sport and cultural assets, among which galleries, museums, golf courses, racecourses.

liverpool cruise port

Operated by Peel Ports, Liverpool offers planning and support by a team of highly qualified professionals. The port operator also provides services related to the industries marine shipping (TEU-containers, cargo -general-liquid-dry bulks, metals, forest and project cargo), Ro-Ro (auto carriers). The cruise port operator Peel Holdings provides expert pilots and linesmen to assist navigation, port workers (stevedoring, porters, passenger handling staff) and modern facilities. In 2018, Princes Dock (cruise terminal) generated over GBP 7 million (EUR 8 m) in revenues.

Since 2012, when the city became a turnaround cruise port (serving roundtrip itineraries), the number of visiting ships doubled - from 31 (2012) to 61 (2015). The number of cruise ship tourists also doubled - from 38656 (2012) to 86365 (2016). Liverpool was ranked UK’s best cruise port of call for 2013 and 2014. In 2014, City Council announced that Cunard's building would be converted into a cruise terminal. The building was bought for GBP 1,5 million, with the idea to become ticketing hall for the new terminal. Later was estimated that the building's conversion would cost too much (between GBP 5-60 million) making it not suitable for the purpose.

In 2015, Liverpool cruise shipping industry brought around GBP 7 million to the city economy, with over 81000 passengers and 37000 crew. Each cruise tourist spent an estimated GBP 70 in the city, while crew members spent around GBP 30.

In 2015, the cruise port held the 50th anniversary celebrations for Princess Cruises (Carnival Corporation brand) and the 25th anniversary celebrations for Celebrity Cruises (RCCL / Royal Caribbean brand). Also in 2015, the port was visited for the first time by the P&O UK's newest and largest ship - MV Britannia. Inaugural calls were made by the Oceania line's ships Nautica and Marina. Those events were marked with fireworks shows, shoreside concerts and special occasion cakes.

On May 25, 2015, the cruise port was visited by all three Cunard liners (RMS Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria) for the "Queens Royal Rendezvous" spectacle on Mersey River (the YouTube video below). On July 4, 2015, QM2 sailed out of Liverpool on a 10-day cruise to Canada (Halifax) and USA (Boston and New York) commemorating the Cunard's first ever Transatlantic ship crossing. On July 4th, 1840, Cunard Steamship Company started its regular passenger shipping service with RMS Britannia (paddlewheel steamship) crossing the Atlantic Ocean from Liverpool to Halifax.

In February 2016, City Council announced the preferred site (Princes Jetty) for the construction of a new passenger terminal that could facilitate Transatlantic cruise shipping (eastbound ocean crossings to the UK). The new terminal building has capacity 3600+ passengers. Previously suggested plans for the Cunard Building (used as terminal) were scrapped in 2014. For the last time, Port Liverpool hosted regular Transatlantic ship crossings in 1968.

In the end of March 2016, City Council commissioned early design work and appointed a consultancy team (KKA Architects, Turner and Townsend, Royal Haskoning DHV Engineering) to develop a conceptual design for a new cruise terminal. The building has to be able to handle around 3600 passengers. This capacity is 3 times larger than the existing terminal's (1200 pax). The new terminal has passport control, waiting lounge, baggage hall, public restrooms, cafe-restaurant, dedicated taxi rank, coach and vehicle pick-up areas, terminal car parking (for up to 300 cars).

On May 5, 2016, officially started Fred Olsen's season with Boudicca. The ship had scheduled 16 roundtrips out of Liverpool (Pier Head terminal). Among the destinations were Mediterranean (Adriatic), Canary Islands, UK-British Isles, Greenland, also roundtrip Transatlantic crossings to Canada-New England.

In June 2016, Port Liverpool contracted the company SCH (Southampton Cargo Handling). The GBP 0,74 million deal was for 3-year stevedore cruise ship services. The SCH company handles all cruise vessels visiting Liverpool and employs local people for stevedoring. The contract was renewed in 2019 (until 2022). On August 19, 2016, city council approved a GBP 0,95 million (USD 1,2 million) feasibility study into the new passenger terminal development. Port's 2016 schedule had a total of 63 ship visits (9 more / over 2015) bringing 114,676 cruise passengers and crew. The generated economic impact was around GBP 7 million (EUR 8,2 million). The port's 2016 maiden ship calls were 4 - Artania, Amadea, Disney Magic, L'Austral.

In 2018, the cruise port had booked 57 ship calls, with 100,000+ passengers and crew. Season's highlights included 5 maiden calls (AIDAaura, Ocean Dream, Seabourn Ovation, Viking Sun, MS Berlin), the Cunard liners Queen Victoria (May 22) and Queen Elizabeth (July 23), as well as overnights of Celebrity Eclipse (June 12) and MS Europa 2 (September 8). In April 2018, Liverpool City Council officially approved the GBP 50 million cruise terminal project. By this development, Princes Jetty (on Princes Parade) will be demolished and the new facility will be built as suspended dock (on River Mersey). The new terminal has capacity to handle world's largest cruise liners.

Since July 2018, the deepwater container terminal Liverpool2 (operated by Peel Ports) is included in 2M's (shipping alliance Maersk+MSC) Transatlantic service. With the new line, 2M temporarily switched TA2 (Felixstowe to Liverpool) while to Maersk’s Colombia Express (South America) was included Liverpool for exports to Newark. Both services are weekly and include Liverpool as final port of call on these westbound Atlantic crossings. Among the UK export cargoes are Scotch whiskey, food products, machinery. The new services also opened direct UK-USA links from Liverpool to Charleston SC and Savannah GA. Liverpool2 terminal serves smaller-sized boxships (max capacity 8500 TEUs), while larger vessels use RSCT (Royal Seaforth Container Terminal). In early-2018, Peel Ports started rail freight service from the port via partnership with DB Cargo AG (Deutsche Bahn AG).

In November 2019, ACL (Atlantic Container Line, subsidiary of Grimaldi Group) signed with Peel Ports Group a 15-year RSCT concession extension (until 2035). Peel Ports in 2019 started a development project to expand RSCT for handling larger-sized boxships. The project (2019-2021) included widening the Seaforth Basin (by 28 m / 92 ft) and purchasing two new ZPMC STS (ship-to-shore container cranes / China-made - by Zhenhua Heavy Industries). Now RSCT has 8 STS cranes plus 22 cantilever RMGs (rail-mounted gantry cranes). Each ZPMC STS crane has height 92 m (302 ft - to frame's top) and 132 m (433 ft - with raised boom), and weighs ~1600 tons. ZPMC STS cranes are with capacity ~30 moves per hour, can outreach 24 TEUs, handle max loads 85 tons and operate in max wind speeds 55 mph (88 kph).

In 2019, the cruise port handled 86 ship calls (~40% increase over 2018).

Port Liverpool, along with its cruise ship terminals also has passenger ferry terminals, containership terminal and drydock facilities for ship refurbishments and repairs.

  • port address - "Liverpool Cruise Port Terminal, Princess Parade, Liverpool, L31DL"
  • UN-LOCODE (United Nations location code) - GBLIV.
  • one dedicated cruise terminal
  • capability to accommodate 2 liners at a time
  • supported by excellent road, rail and air infrastructure
  • deep water berths (draft 12,6 m / 41 ft)
  • large ships can berth alongside a quay (length 376 m / 1234 ft)
  • Cruise ships usually arrive in Liverpool in early morning (6, 6:30, 7:30 or 8 am) and depart from Liverpool in late afternoon (5, 6 pm) or in the evening (9, 9:30 or 10 pm).

Next is the lengthy video about 2015's Cunard celebrations in Liverpool. The unique event featured precise maneuvering by the Cunard cruise ships in front of thousands of spectators. Following the rotation, the ships formed an arrowhead formation before the three abreast arrangement - their first time ever. With all 3 cruise vessels aligned on the river, QM2 sounded the anniversary year number (175) by blowing 1 single short blast followed by 7 and then 5 blasts. The '"cruise ship dance" was culminated with a salute by 9 jets from Red Arrows (UK's Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team). Following the celebrations, QM2 left the port. Followed fireworks and digital light shows at Pier Head.


Cruise itineraries to and from Liverpool England

Follows a list of destinations visited by cruise ships leaving out of Liverpool:

  • Round-trip itineraries out of Liverpool visit Iceland and Greenland, often with Faroe Islands (Torshavn) and British Islands ports.
  • North Sea itineraries (around the UK) visit ports in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales.
  • Baltic Sea - cruises to Norway (themed "Norwegian Fjords") and Europe's Arctic (North Pole) visit the following ports in Norway. Among the destinations is the Svalbard Archipelago's Spitsbergen island.
  • Baltic Sea - itineraries to Scandinavia and Russia include an overnight stay in St Petersburg.
  • Mediterranean cruises leaving from Liverpool can be either round-trip or one-way. They visit ports in Portugal, Spain, Italy, France, often Gibraltar and Malta, sometimes - Adriatic Seaports. Up to a month-long round-trips may include Black Sea ports in Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Russia, and also in Greece and Turkey.
  • Another popular destination are the Canaries (Canary Islands), often combined with Madeira Island.
  • Transatlantic crossings - cruises from UK to Canada New England and USA can be round-trips from Liverpool or one-ways (ship repositioning routes).
  • Short breaks (mini cruises) from Liverpool to Bristol (3-day / 2-night), Greenock-Glasgow (2-day / 1-night) or to Southampton (4-day / 3-night) are offered as one-way ship relocation deals. Short break round-trips to Ireland visit Dublin and Belfast.

Itineraries on which Liverpool is included as port of call are often Transatlantic repositioning crossings, also roundtrips leaving from UK ports.

Liverpool cruise terminal

Port Liverpool's cruise season runs from March through November. Until mid-2012, the embarkation and disembarkation was at Langton Dock. Port's current cruise ship berth is a floating pontoon with tidal range 10 m (33 ft). This means that at certain times its access bridges are very steep. To cruise passengers, the port provides mobility buses to transport tourists between the gangway and terminal's passenger lounge.

Liverpool cruise port map (printable)

Pier Head cruise terminal

location - Princes Parade (at Pier Head, next to the Royal Liver Building).

Royal Liver Building is one of the city's "Three Graces" on the waterfront - sided by "Cunard Building" and the "Port of Liverpool Building". Unlike many other terminals, Liverpool's cruise ship terminal is located at only 20 min walking distance (approx 1 km / 0,6 mi) away from downtown.

The cruise terminal has a small building. Adjacent to its exit point are public phones and a taxi rank. In several outlets outside the terminal are available restaurants and cafes, also ATMs and currency exchange. The passenger terminal building has refreshment facilities, restrooms and welcome desk. The building is small-sized, so it is recommended to avoid early arrival. 

Berth's capacity is 2 ships (docking along the quay). The berth is capable of accommodating ships with max LOA length 350 m (1148 ft) - no vessel width or draught restrictions.

liverpool cruise ship terminal

Next drone video shows Liverpool's Gate 3 cruise terminal and Celebrity Silhouette. The ship visited Liverpool on July 23, 2017, on a 12-night British Isles roundtrip from Amsterdam Holland.


(NEW) Liverpool cruise terminal

In December 2016, was launched an international search for a technical team to design a new cruise ship terminal in Liverpool. The new facility will be located on River Mersey (former Princes Jetty off Princes Parade), approx 1000 ft (305 m) downriver from the Pier Head terminal.

The new passenger terminal can handle turnaround cruise vessels (on roundtrip UK itineraries) with max capacity 3600 passengers. The terminal building is 2-storey (sized 10,000m2), with baggage hall, passenger lounge, check-in facilities, passport control, cafe-restaurant, bar lounge, public toilets, taxi rank, vehicle pick up point. Development plans were based on land reclaimed from River Mersey. The project also included the construction of a new quay wall, changes on Princess Parade (allowing tour buses and shuttles), also a new passenger terminal, luggage storage facility, passport control, vehicle pick up area, large car parking.

In mid-May 2017, City Council appointed Place North West team to design the new cruise terminal facility. Engineering consultancy company Ramboll will lead a 4-member team (2 architects, 1 cost manager, 1 planning consultant) to work up detailed designs for the facility. Then will be submitted a planning application (for Princes Jetty). The Ramboll company will then manage the project and assist with construction monitoring and contractor procurement. Additional (new) elements at the cruise ship facility could also include a hotel (capacity 200 rooms) and a multi-story car parking (capacity 1100 vehicles). However, the parking may be located further north, to be able to support also Ten Streets and Bramley Moore Dock stadium.

In April 2018, City Council approved the GBP 50 million cruise terminal project. By this development, Princes Jetty will be demolished and the new facility will be built on a suspended dock (on River Mersey). The terminal will have capacity to handle world's largest cruise liners. An additional GBP 32 million were assigned for upgrading road A565 (connecting Liverpool with Tarleton) to support the new terminal, plus GBP 20 million for a newbuild link road extending Leeds Str to the waterfront.

Construction works started in May 2018, with scheduled completion in 2022 spring. Major works included building a vehicle linkspan bridge, pedestrian walkway, landing stage improvements, new ancillary buildings, Princes Parade improvements (to incorporate terminal parking and passenger pick-up/drop-off areas), pedestrian crossing facilities.

In 2019 started the GBP 32 million project for upgrading the A565 road (Liverpool to Tarleton, Lancashire) to support the new cruise terminal. Also started works on the GBP 20 million project to build a link road extending Leeds Street to Liverpool's waterfront and supporting the new Isle of Man Ferry Terminal.

Next video shows the signature exterior and interior design elements of the new cruise terminal.


Liverpool ferry terminals

Ferries link Liverpool with Dublin Ireland (17 crossings weekly, travel time 7 hours), Belfast Northern Ireland (14 crossings weekly, travel time 8 hours) and Douglas, Isle of Man (12 crossings weekly, travel time 2 hours 45 min). These routes are operated, respectively, by the companies P&O FERRIESSTENA LINE and Steam Packet Company (purchased in May 2018 by Manx government for GBP 124 million).

Liverpool's ferry port terminal (Pier Head Landing Stage Terminal) is located off St Nicholas Place Car Park at Princes Half-Tide Dock (Princes Parade).

(NEW) Isle of Man-Liverpool ferry terminal

In September 2018 were announced port's plans for building the new "Isle of Man Ferry Terminal" at Princes Half Tide Dock. The facility is located approx 700 m (2200 ft) from the current Pier Head berth at Princes Half-Tide Dock (within Liverpool Waters and Peel Land).

The existing Pier Head terminal will be reconstructed into a dedicated cruise terminal as part of the Liverpool Waterfront development project (budgeted GBP 5 billion / EUR 5,6 billion).

  • The new passenger terminal's cost was initially estimated at GBP 36,5 million (EUR 40,6M). Funding was subject to Tynwald approval. The project's initial cost was GBP 30M, which increased due to additional structural and construction works - on the site and the quay walls.
  • Ferry terminal's max capacity is 1000 passengers and 200 vehicles. The inauguration is planned for March 2021. Wheeled freight and passenger vehicles will be served by a new link road (project cost GBP 7,6 million / EUR 8,5 million).
  • In late-October 2018 were released new terminal's building and infrastructure designs.
  • On April 9, 2019, the new ferry terminal project was approved by the Manx Government, which signed a long-term leasehold agreement with Peel Ports for the site. This was the first time when the Isle of Man Government became a UK property owner.

In late-April 2021 was officially announced that due to the Coronavirus crisis, the Isle of Man Ferry Terminal in Liverpool will cost at least GBP 43 million (~EUR 49,5M / ~USD 59,9M) and be completed in March 2022 (instead of December 2021). The additional costs (~5% over the original budget) were partly due to the need to strengthen the harbour's walls (to cope with the impact of the powerful bow thrusters of the new ship). Works were also delayed by the archaeological excavation on the site and the need to dispose unexploded bombs from WW2 (1939-45).

In Ju;y 2021 was announced that the Manx government will have to spend an additional GBP 13,8 million (EUR 16M / USD 18,9M) on the new ferry terminal (total cost GBP 55,8M / EUR 64,76M / USD 76,4M). The extra money was needed to tackle "unforeseen problems", including staffing difficulties, shortage of materials, COVID rules-associated costs.


Liverpool tours, shore excursions, hotels

City Tours and Shore Excursions

  • The Albert Dock: dates from 1846. Visit fine galleries, museum and many shops.
  • Croxteth Hall & Croxteth Park: it is 5 miles away from the Liverpool’s center. It was Earls of Sefton ancestral home. Currently, Liverpool City Council manages it.
  • Liverpool Cathedral: the largest British Anglican Cathedral
  • Liverpool Museum: it is located on William Brown Street. Discover many collections and attractions it this fine museum. You can see the Planetarium and the Natural History Centre.
  • The Mersey Ferries: famous from the ” Ferry Cross the Mersey” song by by Gerry and the Pacemakers.
  • Merseyside Maritime Museum: located at Albert Dock. Discover the seafaring heritage of Liverpool.
  • Museum of Liverpool Life: discover the story and the culture of the citizens of Liverpool.
  • The Metropolitian Cathedral:”Paddy’s Wigwam” (Chris the King) cathedral.
  • Sefton Parl Palm House: amazing botanical exhibition. The Victorian Glasshouse is listed as Grade II.
  • The Walker art gallery: known as the “National Gallery of the North.” You can see of of the largest collections of art outside of London.
  • The Cavern Club: the birthplace of Merseybeat
  • Haydock Park Racecourse: 30 min away from the city by car. Haydock Park Racecourse is the most visited and popular racecourse in England.
  • Liverpool Empire Theatre: the theater is two-tier, the largest in the UK.

Port Liverpool cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The port's schedule lists all ships (in links) with cruises going to or leaving from Liverpool, England. To see the full itineraries (ports of call dates and arrival / departure times) and their lowest rates – just follow the corresponding ship-link.

4 January, 2022
Fred Olsen Cruise Lines Cruises cruise lineFred Olsen Borealis

Liverpool - user reviews and comments

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