Queen visit caps record-breaking cruise season

Liverpool’s record-breaking cruise season will reach a high-water mark next week when the city welcomes the iconic Queen Mary 2 to the Mersey.

The 149,000-tonne vessel – the largest ocean liner ever built – will be on full view on Tuesday, 16 July whilst moored in front of the city’s World Heritage waterfront.

QM2 was last seen in its spiritual home in 2015 when 800,000 people came to see her and her sister ships Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth for Cunard’s 175th anniversary celebrations.

Since that time QM2 has had a full re-fit and boasts 10 dining options on board, four swimming pools, a theatre and the first planetarium at sea.

During the ship’s historic call to Liverpool 300 passengers will join her as part of a transatlantic voyage to New York via Reykjavik and Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The visit will mark a highlight for the team at Liverpool Cruise Terminal who are now half-way through their most successful season ever.

This year will see 86 ships carrying 165,000 passengers and crew members arrive in Liverpool. The season is expected to boost the local economy by £12m, with Liverpool City Council in the final stages of planning for a brand new Cruise Terminal, which will be able to take the next generation of super cruise liners.

At the halfway point of this 2019 season, the terminal has so far welcomed 37 ships, 55,000 passengers and 25,000 crew members. There have been seven new ships visiting Merseyside for the first time and two new cruise lines have chosen the terminal for future visits.

This year, Richard Branson’s Virgin Voyages have announced it will be bringing its first ocean liner Scarlett Lady to Liverpool in 2020.

QM2 is expected to make port at midnight on Monday, 15 July and be in Liverpool until 8pm the following day.

There will be a host of sail away celebrations from 7pm including a spectacular quayside concert featuring local spoken word artist Lynsey Price, Liverpool’s very own Town Crier and a sensational programme of live entertainment. A colourful confetti show will signal the ships departure at 8pm. This FREE family fun event bidding QM2 a fond farewell can be enjoyed from Princes Parade.

Liverpool City Council Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Tourism, Cllr Wendy Simon, said: “We think this is a real homecoming for the Queen Mary 2 and we are delighted to have this magnificent ship back in our city.

Attracting liners of this calibre to Liverpool is really helping to cement our status as a global city and travel destination.

The reason these beautiful ships keep returning is that the team at the Cruise Terminal provide an experience and level of service that rivals any in the world and, of course, the passengers will all get the legendary Liverpool welcome.

It is only fitting that the city that was the birthplace of passenger cruising continues to lead the way by welcoming the world’s top ships. We are all looking forward to the many more of the upcoming highlights of this year’s cruise season.”

Angus Struthers, Vice President Sales & Marketing at Cunard said: “Given our historic ties with the city, we are delighted to return to Liverpool, the spiritual home of Cunard. As with this special voyage, when the opportunity arises, we’re always keen to tailor our itineraries to meet local desire for local departures, especially on the iconic Transatlantic route sailing to New York.”

• You can find out more about Liverpool Cruise Terminal at: https://www.cruise-liverpool.com/