Fantastic news this week for London, both as a destination and a departure point in the UK, as Boris Johnson, the Major of London, gave the go ahead for a brand new London cruise port in the Greenwich area on the River Thames.
The new terminal will allow mid sized ships, with a maximum capacity of 1600 passengers, to dock within just a few miles from the city. At present the nearest ports to London are Dover and Southampton. Understandably the larger ships that are based out of Southampton will still not be able to dock at the new terminal, however it gives the smaller ships a unique selling point of being able to get right in to the heart of London.
The new cruise terminal is scheduled for 2017 and is expected to receive up to 55 ships visits per year. Cruise lines expected to use the new terminal are Fred Olsen, Regent Seven Seas, Saga and the new Viking Ocean Cruises ship the Viking Star.
The cruise terminal has been years in the planning with concerns raised from local residnents of Greenwich, and other parties, over the environmental impact the terminal may have to air pollution. Due to these concerns the Mayors office has secured a significant contribution from Greenwich Council towards ‘Ongoing environmental monitoring or improving air quality’ as part of the Council’s existing Air Quality action plan.
Setting the environmental concerns aside I personally think the new terminal will be a positive impact for both the UK economy and tourism as a whole in London. The ships that will be visiting are not overly large vessels and lets face it London is a huge city which attracts millions of visitors a year so a few thousand more is relatively small fish in comparison! We have so much culture and history in London to get immersed in I think our new visitors will fall in love with our capital.
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