Liverpool City Council is scouting potential sites for a larger cruise terminal, as it looks to grow the number of cruise lines and passengers visiting the port.
The council is currently looking at the former Princes Jetty at Princes Parade as a location for a ‘permanent cruise liner building’.
The announcement comes as it emerged the number of vessels visiting the city since it became a turnaround port in 2012 had almost doubled from 31 to 61.
Passenger numbers four years ago were 38,656, while this year Liverpool is expecting 86,365.
The council is to appoint advisors to carry out a study in the design and cost of constructing a terminal capable of handling 3,600 passengers – twice as many as the existing facility.
Cunard said the plans could result in more transatlantic sailings featuring the port.
Cunard’s Angus Struthers said: “Liverpool’s ambitions to develop its cruise business have been clear for some time. We’re therefore delighted that today’s announcement takes the development of a new cruise terminal into its next phase.
"Liverpool will forever be Cunard’s spiritual home, and, as the world witnessed with the Three Queens spectacular last May, the city’s pride in this association, and the level of interest in Cunard across the whole northwest of England, remains strong.
"Though Southampton will remain Cunard's homeport, we look forward to working with Liverpool to see how we can develop a great experience for our guests. In particular, we will be looking at how we might be able to incorporate Liverpool into Queen Mary 2's iconic transatlantic crossings."
Major of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, admitted there was still a lot of work to be done before the scheme could be given the green light.
He added: “The temporary cruise liner building has been a tremendous success and served us well, but a city of Liverpool’s standing and ambition needs a permanent building if we are to continue the growth we’ve seen in recent years. It’s always been my ambition to develop an iconic terminal which makes Liverpool a world-class destination for cruise liners.
“What we are doing now is drawing up detailed plans which will give us a clear picture of the costs and then enable us to make a decision as to whether to proceed.
“Clearly there will be a cost to the construction of the facility, but this will be offset by the hugely beneficial economic impact that passengers have when they spend money during their stay.
“There is still lots of work to do before we can give any scheme the green light, but the fact that we have identified a potential site which we are seriously looking at shows the importance we attach to the cruise market.”
The current terminal is estimated to have generated £7 million for the city’s visitor economy last year, up from £1.3 million when it was a port of call destination.
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