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Liverpool sails towards a bumper cruise season

LIVERPOOL will welcome more than 100 cruises to its shores in 2022, as the City plans to deliver its most ambitious season yet. The outbreak of the global Pandemic in March 2020 led to the cancellation of cruises worldwide for almost 14 months. Despite this, the City's cruise industry mounted a respectable recovery in the 2nd ½ of 2021. Between May and December 2021, Liverpool's terminal hosted around 100 cruises from 12 different operators, with 80,000 passengers either boarding, disembarking or passing through the City. Although the industry is still feeling the ripple effects of Covid19, there is optimism that this year's season will be bigger and better than ever. With confidence high following Liverpool's handling of the return of cruising last spring, more operators are turning to the City to make bookings. Inaugural visits are expected from 10 ships including:- the Valiant Lady, Celebrity Apex and Norwegian Dawn.

Liverpool City Council's Cabinet Member for Culture and Visitor Economy, Cllr Harry Doyle, said:- "While we move into the 2022 season with some justifiable caution, there's optimism that we will be able to give passengers and operators passing through our terminal the experience they deserve. With all the talk of the problems the industry has faced, it's important to remember the impact that the lack of cruising has had on our loyal passengers, who work hard all year round to earn their place on board. Plans for 2022 are shaping up nicely, and we will continue to take all the necessary precautions to make cruising through Liverpool a safe experience for everyone involved.'"

The season will get into full swing in March 2022, with a visit from Virgin Voyages, and will also include visits from the:- Queen Victoria (June) and the popular Disney Magic (September).

Did you know that the Terminal opened in 2012? John Mawer, Head of Cruise Operations at Cruise Liverpool, said:- "We are looking forward to marking the 15th birthday of Liverpool's Cruise Terminal later this year, and what better way to do it than ensuring record ships and passengers visiting our shores and enjoying the famous Liverpool welcome. We also want 2022 to be the year when we make progress in reducing the environmental impact of the ships on the City, there's a long way to go but talks are already underway and I'm excited to be a part of the conversation on behalf of Liverpool."

Fred Olsen will also return, having chosen Liverpool as its homeport for its flagship Borealis ship for a second season. A fitting tribute to the terminal as it marks its 15th year in operation. While uncertainty remains around Covid19, Cruise Liverpool will maintain its:- 'satellite' terminal, at the Arena and Convention Centre, for the foreseeable future, giving passengers and operators a safe and speedy way of joining or leaving a cruise. Cruise Liverpool's 2022 season is expected to provide a ₤15 million boost to the local economy; welcome news for local businesses and supply chains; after a difficult 24 months. Meanwhile, the Cruise Liverpool team continues to work closely with cruise industry experts on plans to tackle the negative impact of cruise emissions on the local environment.

Southport Offshore Rescue Trust's new Lifeboat Station - quick video tour and interview

WE were invited by the Trustee Directors of the Southport Lifeboat to take a look at their new lifeboat house that has just opened following 3 years of construction work.

Southport Lifeboat is an independent offshore rescue service that relies on donations, fundraising and volunteers who have long wanted a new boathouse.

The Trust, contrary to popular belief, is fully independent of the RNLI or Sefton Council, and relies on just public donations to support itself to provide a first-class life-saving service in an area of coast and water covering between the River Mersey and the River Ribble, and up to 25 miles offshore, including Southport's Marine Lake..

Within our previous edition we reported that the £1.4m new boathouse became reality on 14 January 2022, when the Trust moved into its new home. Work to build this new station started back in 1999, but it took many years to raise the funds required.

The trust had obtained planning permission in August 2015, after working with Sefton Council and Natural England to meet the conditions necessary for approval. Despite a lot of the funds being in place and having obtained planning permission, the Trust still faced another hurdle, the signing over of the land. This thankfully was quickly resolved and work started, with construction expected to take 36 weeks, which would have seen them taking occupation early in Spring 2019. This would have meant they could move out of the old boathouse, which was built in 1886 and had served Southport’s independent crew since the Trust was established in 1987, into the new building. Sadly, the move had to be delayed by to a series of issues that led to delays, including the Covid19 Pandemic.

This new boathouse will now act as the Charity's new home, that is believed to be the biggest Lifeboat Station in the North of England, at 705m² gross floor, that, unlike the former building, that was in effect a basic garage with an office room, the crews will now be able to store it's 2 Lifeboats, it's Launch vehicles, ATV quad bikes and all other lifesaving equipment used by them. Plus, the members of the team will be able to use the new facilities that had not been available in the old facility. This includes:- operations lookout, office space, workshop, and a designated area to allow for a training facility which will also double up as an area where public tours can be accommodated. Along with designated areas for drying kit and welfare facilities, such as a shower, toilets, and kitchen, have all been incorporated into this new, state-of-the-art building.

Southport Offshore Rescue Trust (SORT) is an independent charity that provides a 24-hour lifesaving service around the Southport coast, but only with your help.

The service has helped over 5000 people since being reformed in 1988, and has always aimed at giving its crew the best equipment possible to help save lives on our coastline. This new facility will do just that, but they still need your help to keep it afloat. Please see:- Southport-Lifeboat.Co.UK for more information.

Why not let us know what you think should happen to the old, historic, boathouse? Should Sefton Council make it into a museum, with information about the Town's connectuion to the worlds worst Lifeboat disaster, as well as the very first ever lifeboat station, that was located in Formby Vilage, as Southport was part of that network of Lifeboat Stations?

Please do let us know your thoughts, by emailing us at:- News24@SouthportReporter.Com.

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