Discussions about whether Liverpool City Council will have to repay an £8.6m European grant used to build the Liverpool Cruise Terminal will be concluded "by the summer", according to Cllr Mayor Joe Anderson.
The mayor visited Brussels last week to meet officials from the European Commission in search of "a clear way forward".
The commission is examining the case following complaints from rival ports that the grant contravened State Aid rules barring funding that helps one business benefit over rivals.
Liverpool Cruise Terminal is operated by Peel.
The council has already agreed to return £8.8m of a £9.2m Government grant after the handout from the Department of Transport was deemed to breach State Aid rules.
Anderson said: "We have already provided information on the terminal to both the Government and the commission.
"But I think it's better to meet people face to face. We were warmly welcomed and the meeting was very encouraging.
"I am confident that a conclusion will be reached quickly – possibly as early as the summer."