Liverpool and Southampton on the verge of Cruise Wars

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#2
Wallasey,U.K.
321 Posts
Joined May 2005
This is a very disappointing argument between 2 English ports.Lines moved away from Liverpool to Southampton in the 60's mainly because Med cruises were all the rage and it took a day longer from Liverpool.Now there are far more Scandinavian cruises, better suited to Liverpool and for Med options many people like sea days and so do cruise lines, they make more money!!
However,it is a real pain to get to Southampton from the North west I always feel particularly on the way back that it negates some of the good of the holiday by travelling for so long.
When the day turnaround facility was built at Liverpool no-one was brave enough to think bigger.The building next to the landing stage is too small to deal with checking in passengers,it's tiny that should have been thought through.Also Peel holdings should have paid for it (they could easily afford it) and then Southampton could have no objection.
Peel have now submitted their own plans to build a cruise terminal but that will take years to sort out.
Forward thinking was not good.
Even if Liverpool had a proper turnaround facility, Southampton would still have the lions share of UK traffic becuase of it's postion.Is a bit of competition not healthy?
Also, if you've been in Southampton when there are more than 2 ships in at a time it's a nightmare!!!
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#3
Cheshire ENGLAND
1,457 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
Thanks for bringing this to our attention. I have registered my support for the Liverpool terminal. The extra tourists would boost the local economy. John Lennon Airport is only a few miles away from the terminal and there are plenty of hotels in all price ranges locally. I did a transatlantic cruise last year from Galveston and the biggest challenge of my trip was getting home from Southampton on a Sunday.

I'm all for a bit of healthy competition. I've been cruising for many years and would love the opportunity to join a cruise ship without having to spend a day or more travelling to join it.
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#4
Halifax, Yorkshire UK
652 Posts
Joined May 2004
Competition is good for everyone, especially the passengers, so bring it on Liverpool.
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#5
Hamwic, Hants, UK
1,339 Posts
Joined Mar 2003
Originally posted by jaz33
Competition is good for everyone, especially the passengers, so bring it on Liverpool.
Fair competion is good but ...

As far as the owners of the port of Southampton is concerned it is not fair competition as they have had to use their own (private) money to upgrade all their cruise facilities, whereas the owners of the port of Liverpool have used EU (public) money to build the facilities they now want to use in competition

If they pay back the EU grant they received, then there would\should be no opposition to their plans.

I can understand people wanting to cruise from locations closer to home (I almost certainly wouldn't be cruising if it was not for Southampton being close) but if going to the Med, would you really want to spend another day at sea in British Waters ?
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#6
England
48 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
Originally posted by philhar
This is a very disappointing argument between 2 English ports.Lines moved away from Liverpool to Southampton in the 60's mainly because Med cruises were all the rage and it took a day longer from Liverpool.Now there are far more Scandinavian cruises, better suited to Liverpool and for Med options many people like sea days and so do cruise lines, they make more money!!
However,it is a real pain to get to Southampton from the North west I always feel particularly on the way back that it negates some of the good of the holiday by travelling for so long.
When the day turnaround facility was built at Liverpool no-one was brave enough to think bigger.The building next to the landing stage is too small to deal with checking in passengers,it's tiny that should have been thought through.Also Peel holdings should have paid for it (they could easily afford it) and then Southampton could have no objection.
Peel have now submitted their own plans to build a cruise terminal but that will take years to sort out.
Forward thinking was not good.
Even if Liverpool had a proper turnaround facility, Southampton would still have the lions share of UK traffic becuase of it's postion.Is a bit of competition not healthy?
Also, if you've been in Southampton when there are more than 2 ships in at a time it's a nightmare!!!
I totally agree with everything that Philhar has to say. There are thousands of us up North who would love to cruise in and out of Liverpool. And yes the extra sea days would be very welcome - I would love to see Celebrity and RCCL up here. Bring it on. I too will be registering our support for a turnaround terminal in Liverpool - don't take too long though - I'm a pensioner now!!!
#7
Bangor, Northern Ireland
36 Posts
Joined Aug 2005
As much as Southampton is convenient for a lot of people, travelling from Northern Ireland to there is not just as easy flightwise as say, Belfast to Barcelona for example. Flights to Liverpool would suit us perfectly and I for one would be happy enough for "Healthy Competition" if it enabled me to have an easier transit to my cruise ship port. As for the extra sea day, I don,t see it as a problem. This is, of course, my own personal opinion. Wait and see....wait and see......
#8
2 Posts
Joined Aug 2006
Originally posted by KarenR_UK
Fair competion is good but ...

As far as the owners of the port of Southampton is concerned it is not fair competition as they have had to use their own (private) money to upgrade all their cruise facilities, whereas the owners of the port of Liverpool have used EU (public) money to build the facilities they now want to use in competition

If they pay back the EU grant they received, then there would\should be no opposition to their plans.

I can understand people wanting to cruise from locations closer to home (I almost certainly wouldn't be cruising if it was not for Southampton being close) but if going to the Med, would you really want to spend another day at sea in British Waters ?
Over the years I am sure Southampton has/will recoup any money they have spent by the huge number of cruise ships which sail from there. It could not do any harm to let Liverpool have a few ships in for turnaround. Langton Dock is an eyesore, and the locking system out into the Mersey is painfully slow. There is little in the way of facilities at Langton Dock - crane for lifting off luggage, public transport nearby, decent embarkation hall, refreshment and toilet facilities all poor or totally absent. I live in the northwest and hate having to travel to Southampton, Harwich or Dover. It usually means an overnight stay which adds to the cost of the cruise, I'd rather spend that money on my visits ashore. It is far easier for people from Ireland, the Isle of Man , Midlands, Scotland and Wales to get to Liverpool than having to go all the way to Southampton. On one occasion when we sailed from there and there were two huge liners in as well as our much smaller ship, the traffic jam to get into the port was so dreadful we nearly missed the ship! Come on Southampton, dont be greedy, a few ships using Liverpool is not really going to do you any harm.
#9
Halifax, Yorkshire UK
652 Posts
Joined May 2004
Originally posted by KarenR_UK
Fair competion is good but ...

As far as the owners of the port of Southampton is concerned it is not fair competition as they have had to use their own (private) money to upgrade all their cruise facilities, whereas the owners of the port of Liverpool have used EU (public) money to build the facilities they now want to use in competition

If they pay back the EU grant they received, then there would\should be no opposition to their plans.

I can understand people wanting to cruise from locations closer to home (I almost certainly wouldn't be cruising if it was not for Southampton being close) but if going to the Med, would you really want to spend another day at sea in British Waters ?
While the owners fight over what is fair and what is not there is only one loser and that is the fare paying passengers. I personally don't mind travelleing to Southampton, as the roads are fairly good from where we are and I also include an overnight stay as part of the holiday, but I would like the choice. Sailing from Liverpool would open up many other destinations for those of us that don't always want to go away for the 'sun'. As far as I can see opening up Liverpool as a turnaround port would hardly affect Southampton as that port would keep the majority of th Med traffic. Don't forget that there is life above the Home Counties
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#10
Liverpool UK
669 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
We have done one cruise out of Southampton due to having our previously booked fly cruise cancelled due to the ash cloud earlier this year, we wont be cruising from Southampton again any time soon, the journey there was long and tedious and on arrival we found our terminal (Mayflower) in the middle of an industrial wasteland.
The terminal itself was adequate and efficient but on arrival at our cabin the view from the balcony was simply horrible - 2 massive piles of scrap metal awaiting export!
Compare to that the pier head terminal at Liverpool with it's iconic backdrop of famous buildings which is on par with the likes of New York and Sydney.
Liverpool is well situated with 2 major airports close by, it takes about the same time by train from London to Liverpool as it does to Southampton, not a lot of diffrence by road either.
Liverpool has a hell of a lot to offer both cruise lines and visitors, it also gives those who do not live in London or the South a much easier place to start their cruises from.
We hope the development goes ahead soon and will be booking on one of the first cruises out of the terminal. Until then we will be giving Southampton a wide berth and booking fly cruises as it's much easier for us to fly from Manchester to join our cruise than travel to Southampton.
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#11
neston.wirral. uk
588 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
I can understand Southamptons dispute because of EU fundings etc., but because of the logistics Liverpool would have found it hard to get private funding to become a turnaround port. How many sailings are from Southampton per year (hundreds?) how many does Liverpool want (20/30?)
Southampton will not suffer as they will always have the major share, so let Liverpool have their small amount.
OR...maybe Southampton are afraid of Liverpool being voted by Tripadvisor European contributors as the 5th favourite place to visit in the UK.
#12
Yorkshire
9 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
[quote=liverpoollad;26769879]I can understand Southamptons dispute because of EU fundings etc., but because of the logistics Liverpool would have found it hard to get private funding to become a turnaround port. quote]

I can not understand Southamptons dispute.
They could have applied for EU funding to expand their facilities, they either chose not to, someone slipped up or they were turned down by the EU (probably because they are awash with funds from cruise lines fees)
Either way Southampton are being very petty with their protest.

Liverpool have a great history as a turnaround port which must be revived,
for the sake of everyone (except the wealthy, overcrowded Southampton)
#13
Southampton
17 Posts
Joined Apr 2010
The trouble as I see it, is that Liverpool has always relied upon State handouts in all their endeavours. Well let me tell them here and now, your Banker, (New Labour), went out in May and they'll be no more funding for you guys to splash around. Here in Southampton, we have had no Government funding throughout New Labours 13 years of profligacy, unlike Liverpool. What we have built is with private funding, something you'll have to get used to, that is if you can find anybody brave enough to splash the cash.

Secondly, the physical side of ship owner's preferences, favours Southampton, which is blessed with 2 high tides and 2 secondary high tides each 24 hours and a minimal tidal range unlike Liverpool,. In addition it has three new passenger handling terminals. OK one may overlook wasteland and a scrap heap when boarding from 106 Berth Western Docks,, but how long does one look at that before sailing? The difficulties with Liverpool is the fast flowing Mersey, the use of locks and the general antiquity of the whole dockside. I should know, I sailed from there many times when in the Merchant Navy in the 50's and 60's.

Shipowners have also based their Head Offices in the Port and just to add salt to the wound, we are closer to London and other large conurbations than Liverpool.

All in all, this is just sour grapes when Liverpool can see just how successful Southampton is. Furthermore, Liverpool could not handle more than one liner at a time if they are having their turn-round in that port, unlike Southampton, which can handle as many as 5 in one day.

Pugwash
#14
Liverpool UK
669 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Could one of the moderators please do something about the above politically motivated post.
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#15
Southampton
326 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
I think the main points of this discussion has been that PAX who have to travel from the North want to have a port close to them, which is perfectly understandable.

I feel that there should be more development of other ports to handle cruise ships. As a taxpayer though, I wouldn't want to be paying out for a city to have a nice new cruise terminal that I might never use, when that money could be used elsewhere. Southampton will always be a preferred choice for the Med cruises as it's relatively closer, and it's not too bad for Scandinavia, once you swing out of the Channel and into the North Sea

Harwich I feel gets a bit of a raw deal, and if they could get a better cruise terminal setup could be more tempting for passengers travelling to Scandinavia.

Then maybe a cruise terminal could be opened in Newcastle, or even Edinburgh. These would be ideal ports to go to North Europe/Scandinavia.

Unfortunately, I feel that the Liverpool/Southampton Cruise Terminal War will garner no winners for either side, and feel that ultimately could be decided by the cruise ship operators themselves, due to fuel price rises still going on.

I think we are under no illusion that all cruise ship operators want to maximise their profits as much as possible. If any cruises were to leave Liverpool or wherever else, should the fuel cost be about 25% more, you can guarantee that they'll make the cruise cost 40% more.

Build more cruise terminals, yes. Although the benefits of the current cruise ship schedule in Southampton is supposed to benefit the local economy, there seems to be little evidence of the money being invested in the area..

ScrozUK
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#16
neston.wirral. uk
588 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
Pugwash14.

I will not demean myself replying to your post, all I can say you must not have been to Liverpool waterfront for a long time. Don't forget 5th favourite place to visit in the UK.

Cheers
#17
6 Posts
Joined May 2010
Pugwash 14

All I can say is that you seem to base your opinion and knowledge of Liverpool on things you saw 60-70 years ago. You mention the general antiquity of the whole dockside. Yes, it may have been antiquated in the 50's and 60's but I think you would find that it has moved on a whole lot since then.
Also, your comment; "Liverpool has always relied upon State handouts in all their endeavours",is based on a reputation of this city conveyed by the media. For a start there is the £1 billion of PRIVATE investment on the Liverpool 1 shopping development. And that is just for starters. This city is on the up and that is without a lot of government help.
I don't think Southampton would have anything to worry about. As pointed out, the Cruise Liner Terminal can only take one ship at once. We could never compete with Southampton.
#18
Liverpool UK
669 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Originally posted by liverpoollad
Pugwash14.

I will not demean myself replying to your post, all I can say you must not have been to Liverpool waterfront for a long time. Don't forget 5th favourite place to visit in the UK.

Cheers
Certainly a much nicer place to visit than Southampton and yes I can comment as work takes me there on a regular basis.
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#19
Halifax, Yorkshire UK
652 Posts
Joined May 2004
LOL, obviously the North/South divide still exists. Such a shame, when this could have been such an interesting thread, that pugwash had to bring it down to the lowest common denominator.
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#20
Wigan UK
172 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Must agree with Jazz33 and say this could have been a very interestin thread, untill Pugwash spoiled it with his outdated political ravings :-(
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