New Cunard Ship Glides Through Final Sea Trials

Cunard’s newest luxury liner, Queen Anne, successfully completes her rigorous sea trials and readies for her inaugural cruise season.

With Captain Inger Thorhauge at the helm, Cunard Line’s Queen Anne has concluded her final sea trials and is poised to embark on her inaugural 2024 summer season, launching in May.

Triumphant Final Sea Trials

Queen Anne, Cunard Line’s newest ship, has completed her final sea trials this month. Over the course of 16 days in February, the ship underwent a series of rigorous tests, including full-speed maneuvers and intricate navigational challenges, to ensure every system operates at peak performance.

After setting sail from Fincantieri Marghera shipyard in Venice, Queen Anne was subjected to an extensive program designed to scrutinize, test, assess, and calibrate all her major systems. 

The trials encompassed everything from the propulsion pods, which are crucial for powering the vessel, to the bow thrusters that enhance maneuverability, and the stabilizers that ensure a smooth journey. In addition, all complex electronic systems controlling the hardware were thoroughly tested.

Cunard’s first female captainCaptain Inger Thorhauge, shared her excitement and satisfaction with the outcomes of the trials, saying, “I am thrilled to report, [Queen Anne] passed with flying colors!”

The primary focus of the sea trials was to examine how Queen Anne handles a variety of situations, from full speed ahead to full speed astern, including tight turns, fast turns, slow turns, and emergency stops.

Part of the sea trials also involved taking the ship into dry dock at Palermo, Italy, for hull painting to prepare the new Queen for her official debut. Queen Anne now moves into the critical final phase of preparations for her delivery in April.

From Vision to Voyage

The journey of Queen Anne from concept to her successful completion of sea trials began when the first plans were drawn up by the renowned shipbuilders at Fincantieri and the visionary team at Carnival Corporation, which owns Cunard Line.

Construction of Queen Anne officially commenced in 2019, but was delayed by two years due to the global pandemic.

As the 249th ship to bear the Cunard standard and fourth ship in its current passenger fleetQueen Anne stands out as a Pinnacle-class vessel. This designation makes her larger than her Vista-class sisters, Queen Victoria, and Queen Elizabeth, at 113,000 gross tons.

Queen Anne Ship Sea Trials
Queen Anne Ship Sea Trials (Credit: Cunard Line)

Although not as big as the flagship Queen Mary 2, which tips the scales at 149,500 gross tons, Queen Anne is designed to carry more passengers. When she embarks on her maiden sail to Lisbon, Portugal, on May 3, 2024, she will have the capacity to hold 3,000 passengers.

Queen Anne’s float-out ceremony took exactly one year before her maiden cruise is set to depart, followed by an official naming ceremony that will take place in Liverpool on June 3, 2024, during the British Isles Festival Voyage.

Ready for Summer

Queen Anne is poised to make her grand arrival in her home port of Southampton, England, by the end of April 2024. The vessel is gearing up for a much-anticipated 7-night maiden voyage, charting a course to La Coruña, Spain, and Lisbon. 

Read Also: Cunard Line Announces 110 Sailings, Queen Anne Maiden Itineraries

After her inaugural journey, Queen Anne will navigate towards the Canary Islands in May, and then again in November and December. These trips will explore the lunar-like terrains of Lanzarote, the white sands of Fuerteventura, and the historical depths of Tenerife and Gran Canaria.

Queen Anne Cruise Ship
Queen Anne Cruise Ship (Image Courtesy: Cunard Line)

As the season unfolds, Queen Anne will transition from the sun-drenched Canaries to embrace the beauty of the Norwegian fjords. The 7-night voyage in June will call on Bergen, Ålesund, Geiranger, and Flåm for breathtaking explorations. Additional voyages in the region later in 2024 will introduce guests to more Norwegian ports, including Stavanger, Tromsø, Trondheim, Haugesund, Narvik, and the Lofoten Islands.

From the rugged coasts of Norway, Queen Anne will begin a Mediterranean leg and whisk passengers to the shores of Italy, Spain, and Portugal, along with the charming island of Mallorca. Highlights include calls in Barcelona, Cadiz, and Palma de Mallorca.

From there, Queen Anne will pivot towards the British Isles with voyages designed to reveal the diverse landscapes and rich histories of Scotland, England, and Northern Ireland.

Rounding out the summer itinerary, Queen Anne will explore Northern Europe, including calls in Hamburg, Germany; Copenhagen, Denmark; and Tallinn, Estonia.

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