Cunard’s upcoming new vessel, Queen Anne, reached a momentous milestone on Wednesday, May 3, 2023 as the ship was floated out at the Fincantieri Marghera shipyard in Venice, Italy. This brings the much-anticipated ship one step closer to completion and her debut in May 2024.
Queen Anne Floated Out
Queen Anne officially touched water for the first time on May 3, 2023, exactly 365 days before her planned maiden voyage to Lisbon on May 3, 2024.
The float out ceremony is a grand occasion for any vessel, and includes blessings, speeches, and cheers as water is flooded into the dry dock and the ship finally begins to float on her own.
“We are delighted to celebrate this important milestone in the construction of Queen Anne. The float out ceremony marks the ship’s transition from her building dock to where she truly belongs – in the water,” said Sture Myrmell, Carnival UK President.
Cunard is a subsidiary of Carnival Corporation & plc, the same umbrella company that owns Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, and other popular cruise lines around the world.
Queen Anne‘s construction officially began in September 2022 with the keel laying ceremony, which included traditional coins and marked the beginning of the ship’s physical construction. The float out now notes the completion of the ship’s exterior hull, and the outfitting of interior spaces can begin.
“Queen Anne is the third ship we have the pleasure to build for Cunard, a pillar in the history of British seafaring, with whom we share a real commitment to excellence,” said Luigi Matarazzo, General Manager Merchant Ships Division of Fincantieri.
“Building a liner for this shipowner takes us back to our roots yet, at the same time, spurs us forward to the future in a spirit of determination to bring together tradition and innovation and further strengthen our longstanding relationship.”
Fincantieri also built two of Cunard’s other active vessels, Queen Victoria (2007) and Queen Elizabeth (2010).
“Today marks a significant moment for Queen Anne as we recognise the dedication by the master ship builders at Fincantieri to build a ship that reinforces our position as a world-famous luxury brand,” said Myrmell.
Up Next for Queen Anne
Now that the 113,300-gross-ton ship’s exterior hull is complete, the next phase of construction is to add the line’s signature luxury and elegant finishes to the interior.
The design concepts for Queen Anne, the 249th vessel that will sail under the prestigious Cunard flag, have been founded on heritage, craftmanship, style, storytelling, and innovation, blending both classic and contemporary styles for distinctive flair.
The ship’s 14 decks will offer travelers several breathtaking moments, including the largest curated art collection at sea. Other features include the spacious Grand Lobby, the relaxing top deck Wellness Studio, numerous lounges for live music, entertainment, and socializing, a putting green, multiple sun-soaked pools, and much more.
First Sailings for the New Queen
Queen Anne is scheduled to debut in May 2024, and she will offer a variety of itineraries on her inaugural tour. Among her destinations will be top ports of call throughout the British Isles, the Canary Islands, the Norwegian fjords, northern European capitals, western Mediterranean hotspots, and other outstanding destinations.
The ship will be homeported primarliy from Southampton, but will also offer select embarkations from Germany and Italy.
In early 2025, Queen Anne will reach North America for the first time as part of her epic “Maiden World Voyage,” a 112-night roundtrip sailing from Hamburg that departs on January 7, 2025. This distinctive tour will include destinations in the Caribbean, transiting the Panama Canal, and stops in Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia, China, Vietnam, Oman, Egypt, and many other amazing ports of call.
When the new ship enters service next year, it will be the first time Cunard has simultaneously operated four ships since 1999.