Cunard’s Three Queens may have grabbed the headlines when they met in an historic event on the Mersey in 2015, but they’re not the only ships that have been getting the attention on the river.
The Ferry ‘Cross the Mersey has been famous since Gerry and the Pacemakers immortalised it in the heyday of Merseybeat. In April 2015, Sir Peter Blake – the artist behind the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – was commissioned by Liverpool Biennial and Tate Liverpool to ‘dazzle’ one of the ferries, Snowdrop. The result is a magnificent psychedelic design that can be seen crossing the river throughout the day on the River Explorer cruise, and is a must-do when visiting the city. The ticket also includes entry to the U-Boat Story attraction at Woodside ferry terminal.
If your appetite for The Beatles has been whet on the ferry, call in to The Beatles Story site at the ferry terminal. This is one of two sites (the other is just along the water at Albert Dock), and your ticket covers entrance to both for a 48-hour period. The Beatles Story is an interactive museum which charts the story of the four lads who changed the world, from the first days through their Hamburg adventures and Beatlemania to the later solo careers. It’s fantastically detailed and accessible for all ages. For more information visit our Beatles Story page.
The waterfront is also home to some of the city’s enviable collection of national museums. The newest major addition to the Liverpool skyline is the distinctive white lines of the Museum of Liverpool, which was built in 2011 to sit alongside the Three Graces. Inside, the museum explores how the port and its people, have shaped the city’s story. You can climb aboard a full-size replica of an old Overhead Railway carriage, sing a city hit on the karaoke, or experience life in an 1870 Liverpool house.
Another popular venue is Merseyside Maritime Museum and International Slavery Museum, a former warehouse which has four floors of exhibits looking at the influence the water has had on Liverpool over the last three centuries. Like all of the city’s national museums, they are completely free.
Tate Liverpool has a permanent collection boasting artwork from names such as Picasso, Matisse and Cezanne. It has also built a reputation for outstanding exhibitions, with its recent Chagall, Pollock and Warhol shows winning widespread critical acclaim. With a constantly changing events programme, a visit is strongly recommended.
The Echo Arena, at the heart of Kings Dock is unique – not only because of its location on Liverpool’s magnificent Waterfront, it is the only arena and convention centre under one roof in Europe. The recently opened and interconnected Pullman Hotel Liverpool further adds to its offer as an ideal conference venue or a perfect getaway for a gig – the Echo Arena regularly hosts big names in the music world such as Elton John and Beyoncé.
The Cruise Terminal further along the Waterfront on Pier Head welcomes a variety of cruises year-round from Disney to Cunard. Its convenient location, just a 10 minute stroll from the heart of the city makes a Liverpool stopover a popular one for cruise passengers throughout the summer season.
As well as its cultural attractions, there are restaurants and bars to suit every taste, alongside stunning hotels which have seamlessly integrated into the waterfront such as Malmaison, Jury’s Inn and Titanic Hotel. All of which makes it a destination in itself, before you even venture inland to the heart of the city.