Liverpool Cruise Liner Terminal - a saga
The inability of cruise liners to use the new ÃÂ£20m Pier Head terminal on the Mersey to start and finish their journeys is fast becoming a major issue.
Major cruise company Fred Olsen is unhappy it is unable to base a ship at the Cruise Liner Terminal at the Pier Head and is currently forced to tie up in Langton Dock among scrapyards in Bootle's dockland.
The company is ready to pull out of the city because: "We find it virtually impossible to explain to potential customers why Liverpool has a much-heralded new cruise berth while we are berthed in a dismal industrial area."
And Thomson Cruises - owned by TUI - has already pulled the plug on a possible 30- voyage programme after trying out the unsightly berth at Langton Dock.
The power to solve the situation lies with Liverpool City Council and Peel Ports, which owns Mersey Docks and Harbour Company (the official port and harbour authority).
For the latest installment on the saga, click here.
Rose Bailey, a Liverpool city councillor, was on one of the latest cruises departed from Langton Dock.
Here are some lines from an email she sent me earlier today:
Just a few points. We set off from Langton dock on a Fred Olsen cruise on the Black Prince on 1st December.
Taxi driver (from Liverpool) could not find entrance to terminal. Passengers sat in a portacabin. Area a total mess.
Impression of Liverpool disgusting and passengers commenting for days afterwards about cost and incompetence regarding the new terminal not being in use for cruise liners.
While on board the hotel manager described the working of the catering/cleaning and hospitality on board and he stated that not only does the cruise liner berth in Liverpool but ALL supplies are picked up at Liverpool too.
The loss of the 30 Thomas Cook berths plus the Fred Olsen liners means that the loss is not just in tourism but for many companies the loss of contracts supplying the ships.