LUXURY liner the Costa Mediterranea will make its first voyage down the River Mersey as cruise season descends on Merseyside.

The annual cavalcade of cruise ships will begin today (Friday, April 12) and will span over the next seven months with the award-winning cruise terminal welcoming a record-breaking 86 ships.

Now in its 12th year of operation, the cruise terminal has generated more than £7m for the local economy and this year that figure is set to almost double.

One of the newcomers is the Costa Mediterranea which will bring more than 2,000 passengers to Liverpool en route from Dublin to Belfast.

The ship docked at 7.30am today and a Liverpool Town Crier welcomed the passengers onto dry land at 8am.

At 4pm, the Lord Mayor of Liverpool Cllr Christine Banks will exchange ceremonial plaques with the ship's captain before it departs at 6pm.

Other visits include the Queen Victoria on June 12, Queen Mary on July 16 and the Disney Magic cruise liner which will make its fifth return journey to Liverpool on September 13.

Liverpool City Council’s director of culture, Claire McColgan, said: “Liverpool has firmly secured its status as one of the favourite destinations for many of the big cruise liners.

“This is because of the amazing work of everyone involved with the terminal and the warm welcome passengers get when they visit our city.

"The fact that so many ships will be coming to Liverpool this year is a testament to the success of the terminal and it is something that everyone in our city should be really proud of.

“Cruise season in Liverpool is always an exciting time and this year I am sure it will surpass expectations.”

For more information about the cruise terminal visit