|Historic and refreshed aptly describe Liverpool along the Mersey River in England. // Photo courtesy of Visit Britain|
Along the Mersey River, Liverpool, England was the original port of registry for RMS Titanic and other iconic Cunard Line and White Star Line ships including the RMS Lusitania, Queen Mary and Olympic. Over the past few decades, however, many cruise ships simply sailed away to other ports of call.
|Trendy dining spots including cozy brasseries dot the Liverpool cityscape. // Photo courtesy of Visit Britain|
Fast forward, though, as today’s Liverpool has been dramatically transformed from a once gritty industrial city to an appealing urban enclave with hot eateries, attractions, a wealth of museums and Beatles’ experiences.
It’s such a draw that London visitors venture by train to Liverpool for day tours. Clients can learn more about all the new attractions and what to see and do via this new app: Itsliverpool.com/app.
Rebirth of Cruising
Cruise tourism is returning too. In summer 2016, ships making maiden calls at Liverpool include Royal Caribbean International’s Brilliance of the Seas; Disney Cruise Line’s Disney Magic; and Ponant’s L’Austral.
Also making one or two port calls next summer are Azamara Club Cruises’ Azamara Quest; Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Silhouette; Regent Seven Seas’ Seven Seas Voyager; Ponant’s Le Boreal; Cunard Line’s Queen Elizabeth; Seabourn Cruise Line’s Seabourn Quest; Oceania Cruises’ Nautica; and Fred. Olsen Cruises’ Black Watch, Braemar and Boudicca.
Princess Cruises’ Caribbean Princess makes a significant number of port calls at Liverpool in 2016.
Several lines also use Liverpool as a turnaround port, including Cruise & Maritime Voyages’ Marco Polo (September 24) and Fred. Olsen Cruises’ Boudicca, with many 2016 turnarounds.
What to See and Do in Liverpool
Given the historic sites and many downtown attractions, city tours remain popular for cruisers headed to Liverpool. Princess Cruises’ city tour at $99 per person includes a scenic drive past the Royal Liver Building, Pier Head, Town Hall and Chinatown.
At Penny Lane, cruisers are able to photograph the street sign immortalized by the Beatles. Then it’s on to Christ the King Cathedral, a Roman Catholic basilica with a tower containing 25,000 stained glass pieces.
Cruisers can snap photos of the Anglican Cathedral, Walker Art Gallery and St. George’s Hall before the tour visits Albert Dock, part of the city's landscape for more than 160 years.
|Albert Dock is home to Tate Liverpool, the Maritime Museum and the Beatles Story, not to mention trendy eateries and bars. // Photo courtesy of Visit Britain|
Today, however, Albert Dock is a wonderful mix of magnificent architecture, historic buildings and entertainment and family fun. Tours often end here, giving cruisers who so desire free time to dine, shop, enjoy drinks at a local bar or tour such attractions as Tate Liverpool, the Maritime Museum, International Slavery museum and the Beatles Story, an exhibition about "the Fab Four."
Formed in Liverpool in the 1950s, the Beatles were a local favorite; they played more than 300 gigs at Liverpool's Cavern Club. Cruisers who are fans of the iconic group often opt for a Beatles shore excursion.
For example, Oceania Cruises’ “In the Steps of the Beatles” tour includes a visit to the Beatles Story exhibition; a walk along Mathew Street, home to shops selling memorabilia, Beatles’ statues, the Hard Day’s Night Hotel and the Cavern Club; and a drive along Penny Lane and past Strawberry Field.
|Beatles themed activities for cruisers include tours of "Fab Four" sites. // Photo courtesy of Visit Britain.|
That Oceania tour is $89.25 for guests on the "Your World Collection" ($119 per person, otherwise). However, it's totally free for those opting for the Unlimited Passport Collection or OLife Advantage program (for early bookers).
What's ahead for Liverpool in terms of future tourism development? An additional $2.3 billion dollars of development is either under way or planned for the near future.
In 2016, Caines Brewery Village at Baltic Triangle, site of the former Robert Caine Brewery, will open with a new art-house cinema, beer museum, fitness and beauty center, artisan food market and the restored Cains Brewery and renovated Brewery Tap Pub.
Other current development projects include:
- More attractions for Liverpool Waterfront;
- New commercial spaces, residences, restaurants and cafes at Wolstenholme Square;
- Additional cultural events and a new waterfront park at International Festival Gardens; and
- The “New China Town” urban quarter with a China-themed retail area, new homes and shops with rooftop gardens.
Also, a new bronze Beatles sculpture by Andrew Edwards is being donated as a gift from The Cavern Club to the City of Liverpool. It's likely to occupy a place of honor at Liverpool Waterfront’s Pier Head.
Want more Liverpool information? Visit www.visitliverpool.com