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.
I am of course joking, as nice as this would be it is only what local newspapers would have you believe. Earlier this week I was outraged by the same local papers making a claim that the new Merseytravel offices will cost £85 million. An expensive waste in such dire times you may say, I agree, until you take into account that this figure is made from 30 years of rent payments, in 30 years time the QM2 will be coming to the end of its life and I will be 51.
It is however annoying that today a groundbreaking story was developing, and Cunard where about to announce the full turnaround cruises that we had been hoping for. You can read Liverpool Daily Post article here . Later in the day the story was dismissed by Cunard, and you can read this article here.
This is not to say it will never happen as I believe that Cunard will start some cruises from Liverpool, and I am hoping for a transatlantic, but I think this will be as often as Holland America does a transatlantic to Rotterdam (that’s rare). Liverpool has a lot to offer the cruise industry, a northern departure port with a great city centre and a huge regional population to be exploited.
However Southampton has offered Cunard sailings since 1911, and Cunard stopped regular service from Liverpool 1966. While the former Cunard head office graces Liverpool’s waterfront it have not been occupied by the shipping line for some time. Sources vary, and If you know please let me know.
Cunard refers to Liverpool as their ‘spiritual home’ and that’s a reasonable statement, the plans and contracts for the original Queen Mary was developed in the offices of the Cunard Building in Liverpool, However they are now part of an organisation which is well and truly Southampton based, that is not about to change, and actually they have quite a nice office building near the docks.
This is probably a bit more ratty than usual, but I was annoyed by this headline while on my train this morning, and its the second time this week the news has been that far off the mark. Please share your thoughts below…
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You can read my previous articles on the Liverpool Cruise Industry:
– Liverpool 2012 Cruise Calls
– Why go down south to Cruise?
– The Southampton V Liverpool : Cruise War
– Fred Olsen Quits Liverpool