LIVERPOOL has been named the ‘Best UK Port of Call’ for the third time in four years by the world’s largest cruise review site. ‘Cruise Critic’ – sister site of ‘Trip Advisor’ – has awarded the 2016 honour to the city, following on from previous prizes in 2013 and 2014. The judges commented that Liverpool “is poised to flourish, quietly but steadfastly winning back its reputation after a half-century of struggle and economic decline” and “the recipe for success has been a heavy investment in development, both leading up to and following on from the plaudits of the mid-2000s, and the city is now reaping the rewards of that investment in increased tourism and retail.” They also cite plans for a new, larger cruise terminal building able to handle turnaround cruises with up to 3,600 passengers at the former Princes Jetty as “a strong commitment by the city to continue its long, rich maritime history”. There is also praise for the world-famous scouse welcome, with judges noting “cruise passengers arriving in the city will find a warm welcome from Liverpudlians who are enjoying renewed confidence that their city has overcome the difficulties of its recent past.” The awards highlight excellence in cruise travel, and are selected by an international panel of cruise journalists, recognising the very best cruise lines, ships and ports. Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said: “This is more proof of the incredible revival that we have seen in Liverpool’s cruise industry over the last few years. “The team at the terminal, along with representatives from our tourist industry, go above and beyond to welcome people to the city and make it a memorable trip for them. “Despite our ever growing number of awards, we are absolutely not complacent and I know that we can attract more liners if we have the right infrastructure. That is why it was a pledge for my next four years as mayor to move forward with plans for a permanent facility to handle bigger vessels and more passengers.” Passenger numbers are up from 38,656 four years ago to almost 78,000 this year plus 34,000 crew – generating an estimated £6.5 million for the local economy through spending while on shore. Liverpool’s Cruise Manager, Angie Redhead, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded UK Port of Call of the Year” for the third time in four years. “Cruise Critic is one of the first places travellers look when contemplating a cruise as its reviews are so well trusted. To have the stamp of approval is so very important in such a competitive industry and is an essential promotional tool we can use to attract more cruise lines and passengers. “As we know, Liverpool people are extremely proud of our maritime heritage and our famously friendly welcome and this award acknowledges both of these elements showing the true essence of Liverpool. “Liverpool is going from strength to strength as a passenger destination and I am sure this award will result in more cruise visitors in the future.” Cruise Critic UK editor Adam Coulter said: “It’s been a mammoth year for ocean, river and luxury cruise ship launches, many of which are the largest addition to each line’s fleet. “These awards consider the needs of UK travellers — whatever their budget, and personal preferences — to help them plan the perfect holiday on the water. “The ever-increasing itinerary and ship options offered are impressive, and by sharing our combined first-hand insight and expertise, we can celebrate some of the top choices available.” The full list of Cruise Critic Editor Picks Awards for 2016 and information regarding each award is available at http://www.cruisecritic.co.uk/editors-picks/ Last year, Liverpool scooped the ‘Destination of the Year’ prize at the prestigious Seatrade Cruise Awards.