Pink elephant or red herring? Would you upmarket cruise from Liverpool?
A regional broadcaster covering the Southampton area reports, according to documents seen by them, Liverpool Council could face substantial fines over the construction and use of its new cruise terminal, which to the untrained eye externally looks more like an upmarket warehouse shed. The news came after the European Union (EU) began an investigation into the saga surrounding the construction of the new terminal.
Julian Bray Cruise Industry expert comments: "Although Southamptons nose is firmly, and remains out of joint, it is a very remote possibility that the EU will take any immediate action, if at all, against Liverpool over the new cruise terminal. mainly due to the fragile state of the Euro, and its partners. The Coalition Government has enough on its plate with shipowners, albeit mainly Greek!
"David Camerons often repeated claim that we are stronger being out of the Euro currency, would seem to favour the sleight of hand by the councillors home to the Beatles. The reality is that politically it would be seen as playing into the hands of politicians who want us to exit Europe, as any litigation over such a small amount in European budget terms, would simply draw attention to 'illegal' protectionist trade rules set up within the Euro area.
"In practical terms, it makes sense to have two major deep water cruise terminal hubs, in different parts of the country, as London and the South is rapidly pricing itself out of the bulk cruise market. As it is Royal Caribbean are to withdraw its mega Independence of the Seas from the European market and replace it with several smaller older but recently retrofitted cruise ships, in order to offer a greater variety and service the shorter 7 day cruise taster market, all of which operate on board using US dollars as the ship currency."
Officials from Merseyside drew strong criticism from 'competitors' based in Southampton, who claim that Liverpool began to offer and use the new shed like facility for visiting cruise ships, in particular to act as a hub ie to facilitate cruise embarkations , terminations plus all the provisioning and major logististics such fuel bunkering and passenger handling associated with border controls, despite failing to win approval from the EU.
Liverpool was awarded £18 million by the UK and EU governments to build its terminal on the proviso that it would only be used for sightseeing voyages rather than becoming an established turnaround or hub port.
But after refuting that agreement, Southampton officials are livid as they claim the unauthorised terminal, could cost millions in terms of lost revenue, trade in the town and the loss of many hundreds of jobs.
Southampton port director Doug Morrison in an interview with the broadcaster described the situation as "simply not right".
"Liverpool is operating as a turnaround port with the use of millions of pounds of public subsidy," he explained."We have put millions of private money into Southampton, not got a penny from the public purse, and they have a financial advantage on us." he commented
Contributor: Media, Cruise Line , Aviation, Politics & Travel Expert, Broadcaster & Journalist Julian Bray NUJ, EQUITY UK Landline: 01733 345581 Mobile: 07944 217476 ISDN2 downline +44(0)1733 555 319 (UK HOME ISDN 017 33 55 53 19) G722/APT-X Dual Codecs Glensound GSGC5 SKYPE: JULIAN.BRAY.UK