The first big ship of Liverpool’s cruise season will arrive on Wednesday 13 May, and a new member of the team will be extending a wing of friendship to welcome passengers and crew.
Flagship vessel Royal Princess will make her Mersey debut, bringing with her 3,560 passengers eager to explore the city.
The ship, which is set to arrive around 7.15am, is part of the popular Princess fleet which celebrates its 50th birthday this year.
To mark this special occasion, the ‘Spirit of Liverpool Liver Bird’, a modern interpretation of the city’s iconic emblem, will be officially unveiled by Assistant Mayor Wendy Simon. The 8foot bronzed tribute to the city will take pride of place at Liverpool Cruise Terminal for this year’s cruise season, welcoming passengers and crew who come to the city.
And in honour of the 50th birthday, a birthday cake will be presented by Lord Mayor Erica Kemp to Royal Princess’s Captain Nash, the Liverpool Ukulele Band will play Happy Birthday and there will be a balloon release to mark the special occasion.
Royal Princess departs the city at approximately 6pm accompanied by a performance from opera singer Danielle Thomas and a colourful explosion of confetti cannons.
Assistant Mayor and cabinet member for culture and tourism, Councillor Wendy Simon, said: “Our cruise season is already well underway, and people really love to see huge vessels on our World Heritage Waterfront, and without a doubt, the Royal Princess will fit the bill.
“We’re delighted to welcome her to Liverpool for what we hope is the first of many visits, and it’s wonderful that such a powerful and symbolic piece of art is to be unveiled in time to greet the thousands of visitors who will be leaving the ship to explore the city.
“There is a huge amount of attention on the waterfront at the moment with the impending visit of those very special Cunard Queens, and I think the arrival of the Royal Princess will whet people’s appetite when it comes to seeing just how stunning our city can look when impressive ships sail on to the Mersey.”
The Spirit of Liverpool is a Liver Birds Inc project and has been created by Merseyside sculptor Rick Myers who is director of the company. Once the 2015 cruise season has finished, it will be moved to Central Station.
Arthur Johnson, also a director, said: “We are delighted that The Spirit of Liverpool will be on the banks of the Mersey to welcome the tens of thousands of tourists arriving on cruise liners this summer.
“We would like to thank the City Council, Mayor Joe Anderson in particular, and the staff at Liverpool Cruise Terminal for their support.”
The Royal Princess was christened by Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge on June 13 2013. Cruise Critic described it as one of the ‘Most Popular Ships at Sea’ and she has won five prestigious Travel Weekly Magellan Awards in the Large Ship, Atrium, Spa, Pool and Mobile App Design categories.
This is set to be a record-breaking year for Cruise Liverpool with 54 cruise ships scheduled to berth, bringing with them more than 80,000 international visitors.