The president of ship company Cunard has said “it is quite possible” the firm would begin cruises from Liverpool if the city built new facilities.
Liverpool has a cruise liner terminal but it does not have facilities for cruises to begin and end in the city.
The city is appealing against a restriction that stops it becoming a turnaround port. The proposals are opposed by Southampton, which could see its port business suffer if they are approved.
Cunard’s flagship Queen Elizabeth, which was launched in October, is visiting the port for the start of the city’s River Festival and will depart at 20:50 BST after a firework display.
Pay Back Grants
Cunard president Peter Shanks said: “Southampton remains our base, but if in future Liverpool do invest in their facilities, and like other ports around the world have the opportunity for turnaround, then it is quite possible that some voyages would start in Liverpool.
“I think that would be very popular for our guests.”
Liverpool is restricted from becoming a turnaround port by conditions attached to a government grant for the building of the cruise liner terminal, which opened in 2007.
In return for lifting the restrictions, Liverpool City Council would pay back £5.3m in government grants over 15 years.