London to get cruise terminal for Olympics

The Mayor of London has given the go ahead for a cruise terminal to be built at Enderby Wharf, Greenwich, as part of a major development plan which includes a 251-room hotel and 770 new homes, writes Susan Parker.

Cruise Enderby Wharf Artist Impression
Cruising from the River Thames: Enderby Wharf

The plan also provides for the refurbishment and extension of Enderby House, of Moby Dick fame, which is grade II listed, as well as the expansion of the Thames Path, a new plaza and public square and a brand new street through the site (see image, right).

James Blakey, speaking on behalf of developers Mason Developments Ltd, says: “This will be the first and only purpose-built fixed cruise terminal in London. It will significantly increase the number of cruise passengers visiting London who will be within a few minutes walk of Maritime Greenwich and only 17 minutes by river bus from the vast array of Central London attractions.”

The 3.6 hectare site fronts onto the River Thames in Greenwich. It is equidistant from the Greenwich Maritime World Heritage Site and the 02 leisure and entertainment complex.

Work is due to start at the end of 2011 with the aim of completing the terminal in time for the 2012 Olympics.

Blakey said: “We are looking in the first few years at 30 to 40 ships up to a peak of 80 to 100 vessels a year between April to October.”

Ships of up to 240m in length and with an 8m draught will be able to come alongside at a finger pier which will extend about 75m into the river. Also accommodated will be the normal Thames Clipper service for the general public and, it is hoped, a bespoke Clipper service for cruise passengers.

The terminal will be owned by Mason which will be seeking tenders from interested terminal operators within the next six months.

Enderby Wharf is about 20 miles upriver from the Cruise Terminal at Tilbury, and downstream from Tower Bridge moorings. There is an existing mooring at Greenwich but no berth.


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Adam Coulter was a bit of a cruise novice when he took over the captaincy of Cruise International in 2010. In the past year and a half he's jumped right in, clocking up seven cruises in a year and a half plus a visit to the Panama Canal. When he's not on board a ship he likes nothing more than jumping off to do a spot of scuba diving, preferably in the warm waters of the Caribbean.