Liverpool 2018 Cruise Ship Schedule

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Liverpool Cruise Terminal is in the midst of its successful tenth year in operation, a subject that we will cover in a separate article. Using data from Crew-center.com and cruisetimetables.com we have been able to piece some of the 2018 cruise schedule together.

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My Plan for a 21st Century Mersey Ferry

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Recently there has been much talk about the Mersey Ferry service in Liverpool. I thought I would but my hat in the ring and give my five point plan. Recently mayoral candidate Joe Anderson has announced that he would order a new ferry, meanwhile owners Merseytravel have been looking to close one of the landing stages.

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Why Liverpool is perfect for Crystal Cruises new office…

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I’m bound to be a fan of Liverpool, I currently live here, and have done for several years. With that world class waterfront, culture, museums, public events, low cost of living – I think its perfect.

Crystal Cruises, under the new ownership of Genting Hong Kong, is pursuing a huge expansion plan. This will involve the introduction of several new vessels, the start of an airline.

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Liverpool’s Cruise Terminal

On the 21st May Liverpool Cruise Terminal will be finished, this temporary building, anticipated to be around every summer for 3 years while plans are drawn up for a permanent replacement. On May 29th Ocean Countess, the small cruise ship which has been operating out of Liverpool’s trouble Langton dock terminal will operate the first cruise starting from the Pier Head in 40 years. Continue reading

Cunard is coming to Liverpool! (Maybe… Probably Not…Very Unlikely)

Well this is it, the facts have been laid out, Cunard is abandoning the coastal village of Southampton and graciously returning to their natural home of Liverpool. They have also announced a huge fleet development which will grow the Cunard fleet into 16 ships by the end of the week, utilising empty building slots at Fincanteri and STX. The first four huge ships will be named Caronia, Carmania, Carpathia and Saxonia. Playing on the traditional British values of the Cunard brand.

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Going Down?

There has been debate that people from the North, Birmingham and up wouldn’t like to go down South for a Cruise, namely out of Southampton. This has been one of the points for Liverpool’s cruise ambitions. I disagree, just like the way Manchester serves the international market in the North, an Northern cruise port could do the same.

Realistically Liverpool suffers from being on the wrong side of the country, however it is only a few hours more sailing time from Portugal and the Canaries as Southampton, and I believe (somewhere from memory) that Liverpool is 6 hours less sailing time to New York than Southampton. To the North Liverpool could serve Iceland, Ireland and Greenland, as well as the historic link with Canada.

While Fred Olsen has left Liverpool due to the ongoing problems with the cruise terminal, it is clear that the ships were sailing full and Fred Olsen were happy with the performance. Liverpool’s very own Ocean Countess, which has been undertaking a series of cruises operating out of the Langton Dock facility will be returning next year for more cruises. This small ship operates a successful cruise operation from the port.

I know that people will travel down to Southampton to embark on a cruise, however I think that further growth can be achieved by offering cruises from across the country, as more people will be introduced to cruising in the North, a relatively untapped market. The physical presence of cruise ships in the Tyne, Clyde and Mersey can encourage people to go on cruises. Realistically I think Liverpool can achieve around 15 cruises operating out of the port if approval is granted.

I have done the trip to Southampton (three times) by Train, It is a long journey, and expensive, the most recent occurrence being that I travelled at the undesired time, arriving at Southampton at 23.45 and coming home stopping at Manchester and getting a coach as trains to Liverpool had finished, yet the trains still cost me £80 return.

Liverpool has however commented that the view is great and our world heritage waterfront is much better than Southampton’s, That’s true, Southampton has a glamorous IKEA but it is also an amazingly efficient cruise port, with numerous cruise facilities. It would be stupid to knock Southampton’s cruise industry when it has been amazingly successful. However I genuinely feel Liverpool can offer a better cruise experience it just needs the time and Investment to make these cruise facilities. Liverpool could be like Avis ‘We try harder’, a reference to Avis being smaller than Hertz, but trying harder!

In America many cruise line operate out of numerous cities across the country, to appeal to the local markets, I believe the same will happen in the UK, and Southampton will lose market share but still grow, as other UK ports grow their operations. I believe Newcastle is likely to be the main concern, not Liverpool, as Newcastle is on the right side of the Country to cruise the Fjords and Continent.

Let me know what you think! Facebook, Twitter, Comment & Email

Thanks,
Liam
Liam@Crociere.co.uk
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Liverpool Cruise Calls 2012

Liverpool will see one of its best years of cruise ship visits next year, and we have complied the list of cruise ships visiting in 2012. Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth will return and P&O will have Arcadia and Adonia calling.

Feel free to right click and save it for your reference.

Sorry about the lack of blogs but I decided to take a break for a few days, its my summer holiday! We will be building a website for cruise visitors, in Southampton they have the Cruise Southampton organisations which uses a website and twitter to assist cruise passengers, we will be planning something similar. If you have any suggestions get in contact!

Thanks,
Liam
Liam@crociere.co.uk
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LiverBoat : My First Adventure with a Vessel Charter

On 14th August 2010 I hosted my first business endeavour, LiverBoat. It is probably my greatest achievement so far but it is also my biggest failure. I didn’t really want this blog to be about me, and what I’ve done, but I think you will find this story interesting.

In February 2010 I spoke with some friends and decided to charter a Mersey ferry, I spoke with Merseytravel, the owner of the ferries, and arranged a visit to familiarise ourself with the size of the ferry and how the night would work. These ferries aren’t small ferries they carry 370 passengers and have two onboard bars. The Mersey Ferries are made up of the Royal Iris of the Mersey, Snowdrop and the Royal Daffodil. My ferry was the Royal Daffodil.

In case you don’t know I’m twenty, It was quite funny to watch the face of the Merseytravel staff member look at us when she seen how old we were, it was her ‘You’re about four years old, you cannot afford to hire this ferry, what do you think you’re doing’ face. 

However she was really helpful and helped us make decisions about the ship layout and what to expect on the night. She also put me in contact with companies who could provide the electrical & DJ equipment.

Ticket sales were restricted to being sold after 1st April, the hope being that we could build momentum and ticket sales would be quite fast, however the 1st April came and went and ticket sale were slow, this was a significant problem as future promotion was to be funded by early ticket sales. It was expected that friends and family close to those involved would be quick to buy tickets, in fact the opposite was true. This was by far the biggest hole in the business plan.

In an attempt to ramp up ticket sales, thinking once we reached a certain amount all the tickets would quickly sell, we used special offers and promotions, mainly on Facebook.

This proved to be a silly mistake, we ended up basically under cutting ourselves to people who were already going to buy tickets. At the start tickets were only available from the organisers. So we branched out and made them available from two shops in town and from the website www.liverboat.co.uk.  

We did however sign some of Liverpool best DJ’s, one from Liverpool’s top radio station. We expected these to be major pulls, but we just didn’t have the promotion tools to push it to a market larger than our friends. We also pushed the tickets basically from the signing of the charter agreement, this actually just made people hate us, six months of pushing ticket sales for one night. That was a bad marketing strategy.

As an extra pull, we worked with a local nightclub to host an official after party, and a bar in the ferry terminal to host a pre-boarding drinks. These were at no cost to us, but created extra value for our customers and where significant promotion tools.

On the night I was amusingly unable to get onboard my own ship as we couldn’t get into the ferry terminal, having finally got on by waving our vessel charter agreement at people we found the ferry all set up. We however didn’t have enough passengers to fill the ship, by more than half. Ticket sales had been worse than my own worse case scenario. So we closed the top deck, which condensed people into a smaller space, creating the appearance of a busier ferry. The night wasn’t actually so bad, it had a great atmosphere and people seemed to enjoy themselves.

I learnt a lot from my adventure, It was however a financial disaster. Actually It was awful, the loses from the event was more than enough to pay for a cruise for a family of four in the Caribbean (from the UK), Something which still worries me now! But would I do it again, If I could yes, I would, I still feel I have unfinished business with the ferry. It was sad as it was very publicly not the great success I hoped for.

I compare it to (on a significantly smaller scale) the beaching of the Mardi Gras of Carnival Cruise Lines first voyage. Known as the Mardi Gras on the Rocks moment, Since then Carnival has become the most successful passenger shipping business in history, and has achieved what JP Morgan failed. They have taken over Cunard Line, from whose former Head Office my ferry set off from. So maybe I can do something similar too.

The spare web space was used to create this website, so in fact this is a sister project to LiverBoat. I hope you enjoyed that, I was wary about typing this, actually I originally typed this on the 14th August 2011, the year anniversary but wasn’t sure to post.

Thanks,
Liam
Liam@crociere.co.uk