New Cunard Queen Sets Off on Maiden Voyage With Great Flair

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In an historic moment that befits her royal status, Cunard Line’s new Queen Anne departed Southampton just after 9 p.m. on Friday, May 3, 2024 to begin her maiden voyage. Thousands of spectators lined the shore to watch her departure, and a spectacular fireworks show heralded the beginning of what will hopefully be a long, smooth, and memorable service life.

Onboard the ship, a sailaway party celebrated the passage along Southampton Water as the ship began her 7-night voyage. A “Maiden Gala Evening” was underway, set to include special performances from English tenor Russell Watson, noted for his operatic as well as pop songs.

The ship will make her initial port visits to La Coruna, Spain on May 5 and Lisbon, Portugal on May 7, before returning to Southampton on May 10.

Queen Anne Arrival in Southampton
Queen Anne Arrival in Southampton

“Queen Anne’s maiden voyage signals the dawning of a new era in luxury ocean travel and her historic sail away from Southampton was a very special moment for everyone connected with Cunard,” said Katie McAlister, President of Cunard.

Queen Anne is the 249th ship to sail under the Cunard Line flag, continuing a distinguished maritime history that began in 1840 when the British and North American Royal Mail Steam Packet Company, which would eventually become Cunard Line, was founded.

Cunard Line has not had four ships in simultaneous operation since 1999, and Queen Anne now joins her fleetmates Queen Mary 2 (2003), Queen Victoria (2007), and Queen Elizabeth (2010).

“Here in the UK and across the globe, Cunard is famous for our beautiful iconic Queens. With Queen Anne joining our fleet, she marks not just a new icon but the completion of a perfect quartet alongside Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth, and Queen Victoria,” said McAlister.

A Diverse Maiden Season

As befits a new ship already steeped with nautical history and a reputation for elegance and luxury, the 113,300-gross-ton, Pinnacle-class Queen Anne has a diverse season ahead of her.

After this first special sailing, the new vessel will make her first 14-night cruise to the Canary Islands. Her second 14-night voyage is around the British Isles and will include her naming ceremony in Liverpool on June 3.

Throughout the next few months, Queen Anne will offer departure options from Southampton, Civitavecchia, Hamburg, and Kiel, while she visits diverse ports of call in the Mediterranean, Scandinavia, northern Europe, the British Isles, the Canary Islands, and the Baltic Sea.

Queen Anne Arrival in Southampton
Queen Anne Arrival in Southampton

Read Also: Cunard Announces 50 Exclusive Shore Experiences for Queen Anne

In January 2025, she will begin her Maiden World Voyage, setting sail on January 9 for a route that will take her to North America, Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, and Asia. The outstanding itinerary includes transits through the Panama Canal and the Suez Canal – provided the tensions in the Red Sea subside to permit that passage safely.

Her fleetmate, Queen Mary 2, recently adjusted a month of her 2024 world cruise to bypass the troubled region, but it is far too early to determine if such changes will be necessary for the new ship’s first world cruise.

Queen Anne is now Cunard Line’s second largest vessel, and can welcome 3,000 guests aboard. Queen Mary 2, the last true ocean liner left sailing in the world, is the largest in the fleet at 149,215 gross tons, but can only welcome approximately 2,700 travelers.

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