QEII visit heralds new cruise liner terminal

I believe its due to arrive at 7 a.m on Friday morning. See you there, erm, maybe.

QEII visit heralds new cruise liner terminal

Liverpool’s new cruise liner terminal will be officially opened as the QE2 makes a 40th birthday visit to the city.

HRH the Duke of Kent will unveil a plaque to formally open the terminal on Friday September 21. The ceremony will be attended by Margaret Hodge, the Minister for Culture and Tourism, Carol Marlow, President of Cunard Line, and representatives of the organisations involved in developing the terminal.

Margaret Hodge said: “Liverpool has a rich history and is recognised internationally as a thriving, creative and cultural centre. As it gears up to become Capital of Culture, bringing thousands of visitors from around the world, it is fitting that Liverpool will be able to welcome cruise liners in style.”

The £19m terminal will allow the world’s great cruise ships to return to the Mersey on a regular basis. A total of 23 vessels with more than 25,000 cruise passengers are already confirmed over the next 18 months.

The new terminal involved creating an extension connected to the existing landing stage at Princes Dock, allowing cruise ships of up to 350-metres in length to berth. It also has top class visitor facilities.

Funding for the facility has included £10 million from the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) and £7.1m from the Merseyside Objective One programme

Carol Marlow, President and Managing Director, Cunard Line, added: “We are delighted QE2 is officiating at the opening of the splendid new City of Liverpool Cruise Terminal. Cunard was founded in Liverpool in 1839 and the city was home to our Head Office for nearly 130 years so it’s always nice to come back ‘home'”

Sara Wilde, Chair of Mersey Waterfront, said: “We’re proud to welcome the QE2 to this fantastic new gateway to the Mersey Waterfront. As well as being welcomed ashore into a World Heritage Site, visitors will also experience a diverse range of rural and urban locations along our superb 145km coastline.”

The terminal has been developed by a partnership between Liverpool City Council, Peel Ports, Northwest Regional Development Agency, Liverpool Vision, City Focus, Government Office North West and the Mersey Waterfront Regional Park.

Following the official opening of the terminal there will be a reception for guests aboard the QE2 following which guests and passengers will attend a concert at Liverpool Cathedral to celebrate the QE2 visit.

The concert will feature soprano Lesley Garrett, tenor Nicky Spence, conductor Anthony Inglis, The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and the Band of the Royal Scots Guards. Speakers at the event include Carol Thatcher, author of the history of the QE2 and Sir Jimmy Savile, a frequent traveller aboard the liner.

In the evening there will be a firework display as the QE2 bids farewell to the Mersey.