Welcome again to Then and Now, where each week we compare images of Merseyside landmarks, buildings, streets and events from bygone days with how they look today.

Our striking main image this week shows unemployed sailors desperately thrusting their discharge books through gaps in the railings in the hope of filling a last-minute vacancy on a departing liner.

The date is February 1924 and the landing stage at Liverpool waterfront is packed with hundreds of sailors seeking a berth on a ship. Such sights were not uncommon.

The Port of Liverpool was the base for both the White Star Line and Cunard – and the home port for many of Britain’s greatest liners.

They included the RMS Mauretania, RMS Aquitania, RMS Olympic and the ill-fated RMS Lusitania, sunk by a German U-Boat in May 1915.

Langton Dock in the enclosed north docks system was once the main terminal for cruise ships, but it was subject to tides which restricted arrival and departure times.

Sailors Crowd the Quay for One Job
Onboard Fred Olsen cruise ship Borealis on the Liverpool waterfront. Merseyside.
From 2012, cruises starting and ending in Liverpool have used the new terminal at Pier Head.

Our modern image, from July this year, shows the bow of the Fred Olsen cruise liner MS Borealis berthed at Liverpool waterfront.

Originally commissioned by the Holland America Line in 1997, the 61,849-tonne ship was formerly known as the MS Rotterdam.

It was purchased by Fred Olsen in 2020 and transformed into Borealis at the Damen Shipyards in the Netherlands.

The 780ft Borealis can carry 1,404 passengers with a crew of 600. It has a cruising speed of 25 knots.