Highlights of Visiting Liverpool by Cruise Ship

by Janis on July 14, 2017

We made our first visit to Liverpool, England via Holland America’s 14-Day Celtic Explorer Cruise on the ms Prinsendam.

Holland America Line, Prinsendam, docked in Liverpool, EnglandThe captain dealt with high winds as he sailed the ms Prinsendam up the River Mersey to dock at the Liverpool Cruise Terminal, which is a 1,150 ft. floating structure that allows cruise passengers to conveniently depart near Pier Head in Liverpool.

Royal Liver Building (left) and Cunard building, Liverpool, EnglandPier Head is renowned for its trio of buildings known as the Three Graces – the Royal Liver Building, the Cunard Building and the Port of Liverpool Building. These buildings showcase Liverpool’s great wealth during the late 19th and early 20th century, and are part of the Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Royal Liver Building (left in the photo above) dates to 1911, and is topped with two liver birds, the symbol of the city of Liverpool. The birds face away from each other, with one designed to watch the city and its residents, and while the other bird faces the sea, long known for bringing prosperity to Liverpool.

The Cunard Building, (right in the photo above) was constructed between 1914 and 1917, and was home to the Cunard Line headquarters until the 1960s.

From our research before we visited the city, we learned about the history of these buildings as well as these 18 Fun Facts About Liverpool
Memorial to the Engine Room Heroes of the Titanic, Liverpool, England

Also on Pier Head, you will find the Memorial to the Engine Room Heroes of the Titanic. As home to the White Star Line, the city of Liverpool has a strong connection to the ill-fated liner that sank on April 15, 1912 after striking an iceberg in the North Atlantic Ocean. Liverpool was the port of registry for the liner, and the words ‘Titanic, Liverpool’ were visible on the ship’s stern.

This waterfront memorial is dedicated to the 244 engineers who lost their lives at sea as they remained working below the passenger decks to supply the stricken liner with electricity and other amenities for as long as possible. Constructed in 1916, it is the first monument in the United Kingdom dedicated to the working man.

Beatles Statues on Pier Head, Liverpool, EnglandWalking a little farther, we reached the popular Beatles Statues on Pier Head. It’s a popular photo op.

The Beatles got their start in Liverpool, going on to achieve 17 number one hits during their time together. The band named two of their songs – Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields — after areas in their hometown.

Visitors can learn much about the lives of The Beatles at the world’s largest permanent exhibition purely devoted to the band at the Albert Dock in Liverpool. Buy tickets instantly here for admission to The Beatles Story.

We did not take the tour, but our friends that did really enjoyed it.

Merseyside Maritime Museum, Liverpool, EnglandWe did spend nearly two hour in the nearby Merseyside Maritime Museum, with a variety of exhibits ranging from the sinking of Lusitania during the First World War to the untold story of the connection between Liverpool and the Titanic. The museum tells the stories of emigrants who sailed from Liverpool in search of a better life in the ‘New World’, explains ‘Life at Sea’ for seafarers, and even has Hello Sailor! – an exhibit about gay life on the ocean.

Best of all, admission is free to the Merseyside Maritime Museum, as well as to The International Slavery Museum that is on the third floor of the same building.

Liverpool played a key role in the slave trade; the city was also home to three prominent men who pioneered the abolitionist movement.

coffee at Cafe W, Waterstones bookshop, Liverpool, EnglandWe love coffee and we love bookstores, so of course we loved a late morning coffee break at Cafe W on the second floor of the fabulous Waterstones bookstore in Liverpool. We could not tear ourselves away from the store without buying a stack of books.  After all, sea days on a cruise ship and reading go together, and bookstore in the United Kingdom always help us discover English authors that are new to us.

Rested and refreshed, we set out to explore more of Liverpool. As one walks further away from the waterfront, you see signs of the tough times the city of Liverpool as faced during the last few decades.

Carling beer, Liverpool, England

A key for keeping Mr. Jones exploring on foot is an occasional stop at a local pub. In the photo above, he’s enjoying a pint of Carling beer.

Gin and Tonic, The Hub Alehouse and Kitchen, Liverpool, EnglandAfter more walking, we were ready for lunch. At 16 Hanover Street, we discovered The Hub Alehouse and Kitchen, which served excellent food in addition to a proper Gin and Tonic.

Starbucks mug from Liverpool, EnglandOf course, we found a Starbucks at Liverpool ONE, so we could add a mug to our collection. (We actually use our mugs; as you can see if you look closely I’m having my coffee in this one today as I write this post.)

view of Liverpool waterfront including the Open Eye Gallery and the Three Graces Buildings - Liverpool, EnglandFinally, we wrapped our day in Liverpool by walking along the waterfront back toward our Prinsendam cruise ship. As we walked, we got a great view of the waterfront attractions including the Open Eye Gallery (large black building in photo above), and the Three Graces Buildings.

Liverpool is a terrific city to visit via cruise ship as many of its new and historic attractions are within short walking distance of the port.

Learn more about Liverpool, England with these resources:

Liverpool: Pevsner City Guide


Tours in Liverpool to check out:

Have you visited Liverpool, England?

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Check out other posts from our 14-Day Celtic Explorer Cruise on Holland America’s ms Prinsendam:

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