There are murmurs and rumours of a new cruise port in the north of England to rival Southampton, with Hull proving to be a successful city for Cruise and Maritime Voyages. The idea was first mooted back in 2008 as part of a study into the feasibility of a terminal, and it has been again unveiled as part of a City Plan to improve Hull.
The north of the country would certainly benefit from a major cruise terminal. There are a number of cruise ships that depart from some cities, including Hull, Newcastle and Liverpool, along with Glasgow and Edinburgh north of the border, but these are all limited to certain ship sizes. If you want to travel on some of the bigger ships out there on the ocean you’ll need to travel to Southampton, or to a lesser extent Harwich.
Cruise and Maritime Voyages offer cruises from these cities already, with their smaller ships more manageable for the ports. Hull has shown itself to be the most popular since the cruise line began offering sailings from the city in 2010. All 2013 cruises are sold out with 30% of the 2014 itineraries booked as well.
Chris Coates, the commercial director of Cruise and Maritime Voyages, said “Hull has proved to be a very good regional market for us. There is a huge demand to sail from the port. It is very important for us as a destination…There is a huge potential in the wider region and it is something we are looking to continue growing.
“What is great for us is customers come from the Humber, East Yorkshire and the Wolds – they aren’t travelling from elsewhere but they are proving the levels of demand locally. I think a terminal would attract a wider market and help open up new destinations, which would be great for the city.”
Of course not only would potential passengers in the north benefit hugely from a large cruise terminal closer to home, it would also bring in great benefits to the city hosting it. It’s estimated in the plans for the Hull terminal that the city could expect a windfall of almost £15million just due to cruise tourism. That doesn’t take into consideration other potential benefits, such as work carried out on ships.
I’d love to see a northern city get a major terminal, and Hull would be a good candidate – no offence intended to the city but you could argue it would benefit more than Newcastle or Liverpool, which are already more popular with visitors for various reasons. What do you think?
By Ian Lewis