Liverpool could have a third cruise facility in place in coming years that would overcome shortfalls at its existing two piers, officials said.
City officials are mulling a plan from Peel Holdings that would include a 10 year, US$20 billion investment in Liverpool, including a turnaround cruise facility able to handle the largest ships likely to be sailing the seas decades from now, said Frank Robotham, director of marketing for the port.
Currently, turnarounds take place at the Langton Dock, which can handle vessels up to 660 feet. The newly-built Liverpool Pier Head facility, by law, is used solely for calling ships because it was built using money granted by the European Community. British law prohibits ports use grant money to compete against other British ports for embarkation/disembarkation business, Robotham said.
Despite being newer than the Langton Dock, Pier Head is a 10-minute walk from downtown Liverpool. It lacks the baggage and passenger handling abilities, however, that the new facility would have.
“It’s where a lot of cruise ships want to be,” he said. “At the end of the day, we’re trying to provide better facilities here.”
City officials are likely to have the planning aspects of the proposed investment by Peel Holdings, which owns 51 percent of the Port of Liverpool, complete in 18 months, Robotham said. The investment will completely revamp Liverpool’s skyline, adding England’s largest skyscrapers.
“It’s like building a Manhattan in Liverpool,” he said. “The long-term goal is to create a really dedicated cruise facility.”