Global Ports Holding Plc (GPH), the world's largest independent cruise port operator announced on Wednesday (Apr03) that it has signed a 50-year agreement with Peel Ports Group’s subsidiary, The Mersey Docks and Harbour Company Ltd, to operate cruise services at Liverpool Cruise Port.

Liverpool Cruise Port Joins Global Ports Holding Network

In the picturesque setting of Liverpool, a symbolic moment was held at the Cruise terminal, bringing together leaders from Global Ports Holding, Peel Ports Group, and Liverpool City Council, marking a significant milestone in the port's journey.

Investing in Excellence

Recognizing the port's immense potential, GPH plans to invest up to £25 million into infrastructure enhancements, subject to the granting of the appropriate permits and licenses. This investment will include the addition of a new floating dock that will increase capacity and allow for the simultaneous berthing of two 300-metre ships and over 7,000 passengers a day. This investment will also see the construction of a new terminal building that will enhance the passenger experience at the port, featuring waterfront retail and hospitality offerings that will cater not just to cruise passengers, but also to land-based visitors and local residents.

In 2023 alone, Liverpool Cruise Port welcomed 102 cruise ships and over 186,000 passengers, with this number expected to increase to over 200,000 passengers in 2024. Upon completion of infrastructure upgrades, annual passenger numbers are anticipated to surpass 300,000, signalling a promising trajectory for the port's future.

Liverpool: A Vibrant Cruise Destination

Liverpool, known for its rich cultural heritage and vibrant maritime legacy, is set to become an even more enticing destination for cruise enthusiasts worldwide. It offers significant opportunities for tourists to engage in the arts, music, architecture, and its historic football teams.

Liverpool Cruise Port is well-positioned to participate in the growing Northern European and British and Irish cruise markets. It has good airport connectivity, with two international airports within an hour's drive, providing significant potential for the port to act as a gateway to the Northern European and Round Britain Cruise Markets for American and European passengers, as well as being well-positioned to act as a home port for the domestic passenger market. This strategic collaboration opens a new chapter of possibilities, promising enhanced experiences for travellers and bolstering the city's position as a premier cruise hub.

Mehmet Kutman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Global Ports Holding: "The addition of Liverpool Cruise Port, our first cruise port in the British Isles, to our network marks another important milestone in GPH's ongoing development and growth. I would like to thank Liverpool City Council and Peel Ports for their support throughout the process. Liverpool boasts a rich maritime heritage, and the GPH team looks forward to working with all stakeholders to further enhance the success of this remarkable destination.”

David Huck, Chief Operating Officer at Peel Ports Group: “We are proud to be embarking on a new strategic partnership with Global Ports Holding (GPH) as it takes over operations at the Liverpool Cruise Terminal.

Liverpool City Council’s stewardship of the Terminal over the last two decades has truly transformed the City into a thriving cruise tourism destination. We see this new chapter as an opportunity for us to honour that legacy.

We look forward to making that vision a reality alongside GPH through a strategic partnership and our combined maritime and cruise expertise, as well as to exploring other potential opportunities as part of the wider Peel Ports Group portfolio.”

Andrew Lewis, Chief Executive of Liverpool City Council: “Liverpool City Council is delighted to have helped enable this historic agreement between Peel Ports and Global Ports Holdings plc.

Responsibility for Liverpool’s cruise operations now passes to a world-leading operator, with ambitious plans to grow Liverpool’s position as an excellent cruise and tourism destination. We look forward to working  closely with GPH to support their ambitions, and to extending a welcome to many more visitors to Liverpool.”