New Cunard Queen Arrives at Homeport Ahead of Maiden Voyage

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There is new royalty in Southampton with the arrival of Cunard Line’s newest vessel, Queen Anne, as the ship reached her homeport on April 30, 2024, just days ahead of welcoming guests for her maiden voyage. The stunning ship arrived with traditional fanfare as befits her royal status and the first new ship for Cunard Line since Queen Elizabeth joined the fleet in 2010.

Queen Anne sailed gracefully up Southampton Water, accompanied by a fireboat water salute, with ship fans lining the shore waving flags and otherwise welcoming the new vessel.

“Our new Queen has arrived! Welcome to the world, Queen Anne. Last night Queen Anne made her grand entrance into her home port of Southampton,” Cunard Line posted on social media. “We are so proud to welcome Queen Anne to the Cunard fleet.”

The 113,000-gross-ton, Pinnacle-class ship is now nearly ready to welcome up to 3,000 passengers aboard, with 1,225 international crew members available to ensure spectacular service for all who sail on the new ship.

Queen Anne's Arrival in Southampton
Queen Anne’s Arrival in Southampton

Over the next two days, before Queen Anne begins her maiden voyage, the remaining crew members will be arriving to the vessel and supplies will be taken onboard. Preparations will undoubtedly be made for special events for the ship’s initial sailings, which are always momentous occasions for any new vessel.

The ship also hosted an overnight preview event on May 1, welcoming media, travel advisors, and VIPs aboard with expert panel discussions, ship tours, and introductions to the highlights of the new ship, including her exclusive menu offerings. An evening drinks reception in The Pavilion brought both Captain Inger Thorhauge and Cunard President Katie McAlister together to welcome everyone.

“It was a privilege to showcase so many exciting and elevated new concepts to our VIP guests,” said McAlister. “Queen Anne boasts the widest selection of dining venues, bar, entertainment, and  wellness so far seen on a Cunard ship and we are all so proud of the experience and incredible service that our guests will enjoy on board.”

The maiden voyage is a 7-night voyage to Lisbon and is sure to have a number of VIPs onboard to commemorate the sailing. The ship will visit La Coruna, Spain, on the sailing as she officially begins service.

The arrival of Queen Anne – just days after the ship was officially handed over to Cunard Line on April 19 from the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy – marks the first time the cruise line has had four ships in service in 25 years.

“We are so excited to welcome Queen Anne to our fleet as she completes a remarkable quartet alongside Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth, and Queen Victoria – marking the first time since 1999 that Cunard will have four ships in simultaneous service,” said Katie McAlister, president of Cunard

Queen Anne is the 249th vessel to ever sail under the Cunard flag, and she continues more than 180 years of maritime history with the cruise line.

She is the first vessel to be named for Queen Anne (reign 1702-1714) and completes the fleet that now honors every Queen Regnant over the last millennium – Queen Mary (reign 1910-1936), Queen Victoria (reign 1837-1901), and Queen Elizabeth (reign 1936-1952), save Queen Elizabeth II (reign 1952-2022).

The ship’s official christening is scheduled for June 3, 2024 in Liverpool, during the ship’s 14-night “British Isles Festival Cruise” that will depart Southampton on May 24, with visits throughout Scotland and Ireland before arriving in Liverpool for the naming ceremony.

Monumental Firsts Ahead

As Queen Anne begins service, guests sailing on her various itineraries throughout her maiden season are sure to experience a variety of special moments above and beyond the distinctive, classic service of a Cunard cruise.

Queen Anne's Arrival in Southampton
Queen Anne’s Arrival in Southampton

When the ship visits any port for the first time, it’s a special occasion often featuring welcome events or receptions, VIP greetings, and a plaque exchange between the ship’s captain and local dignitaries to commemorate the first visit. Those plaques are displayed onboard to showcase the history of a vessel’s travels.

Read Also: Queen Elizabeth II’s Royal Legacy of Cruise Ships

Queen Anne will be visiting more than 60 unique ports of call in 16 countries over the next few months, including destinations in the Mediterranean, Scandinavia, and the Canary Islands, before setting sail on her 108-night Maiden World Voyage on January 9, 2025. That remarkable journey will take her even further to North America, Australia, and Asia.

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