It aims to turn Greenwich into a world-beating cruise ship destination, but a long-planned terminal will now not be fully operational until 2017 - six years after it was given planning permission.

A cruise liner terminal at Enderby Wharf in east Greenwich was first approved back in 2011 and had been expected to open in time for the 2012 Olympics. That date was later put back to 2013.

But now the project - which could cater for 40,000 tourists and take mammoth ships up to 240m long - is not expected to be fully operational until 2017, with some use of the pontoon prior to that at the end of 2016.

Kate O'Hara, who took over as chief executive of developer London City Cruise Port last August, said had always been working towards a 2016 opening.

She said the designs were under review as the project would now focus less on transit and more on allowing passengers to embark and disembark, requiring more space for baggage storage and other facilities.

She said: "It's all positive. We've been listening to what the market need and wants and we're reviewing the current design in line with that."