When Cunard’s Queen Anne sets sail for its inaugural voyage on 3 May 2024, it will become the 249th ship to sail under the Cunard flag, bringing the number of ships in the cruise line’s fleet to four for the first time since 1999.
Constructed by Italian shipbuilders Fincantieri, Queen Anne is a 113,000gt, 3,000-guest ship with 14 decks. The central Grand Lobby spreads over three decks and houses a contemporary sculpted mural celebrating ocean travel. A total of six standards of accommodation are available to guests onboard, with 15 dining venues.
Queen Anne’s interiors have been designed with five ideals in mind: craftmanship, storytelling, style, innovation and heritage. Interior design teams searched the Cunard archives at the University of Liverpool for historical layouts, materials and patterns from the last 180 years of the brand to ensure the ship’s aesthetic is reminiscent of Cunard’s gilded age. To pay homage to the brand’s long history, Queen Anne also has an original early-1700s coin from its namesake’s reign, alongside a specially commissioned coin, embedded in its keel by Captain Inger Klein Thorhauge during the keel laying ceremony.
“Queen Anne marks a new era for Cunard with reimagined signature spaces and experiences, designed with distinction and underpinned by seafaring expertise and outstanding White Star Service, redefining the Cunard brand and aiming to set the benchmark for the industry,” says Tom Mahoney, director of UK sales at Cunard. “Queen Anne’s breathtaking interiors take inspiration from Cunard’s past, celebrating the beautiful art deco style finishes that the brand is known for, to define a striking new design direction for the future.”
Queen Anne will spend its maiden season sailing from Southampton, UK, calling at over 60 ports in destinations such as the Canary Islands, the Norwegian Fjords, the Mediterranean, the British Isles and Northern Europe. The ship’s maiden voyage is a seven-night cruise from Southampton to Portugal’s capital Lisbon, stopping at La Coruña in Spain along the way.
“We chose Northern Europe for part of Queen Anne’s maiden season because this beautiful part of the world offers such a captivating blend of history, culture, and stunning landscapes,” explains Mahoney. “There are so many highlights to mention, but of course, its maiden voyage to Lisbon will be an incredibly momentous occasion for Cunard and any guest fortunate enough to be on that voyage will experience a truly once-in-a-lifetime cruise.”
Following the maiden voyage, Queen Anne will set off from Southampton for a 14-night roundtrip calling at Funchal on the Portuguese archipelago of Maderia in the Atlantic Ocean, followed by calls at Lanzarote, Gran Canaria, Tenerife in the Canary Islands, then La Coruna in Spain.
“One highlight that I have to mention is Queen Anne’s 14-night British Isles sailing from 24 May to 7 June 2024, which will be a fantastic opportunity to showcase our new ship to cruise lovers across the nation,” says Mahoney. “The port call in our spiritual home of Liverpool on 3 June 2024 will be a fantastic moment in time.”
During this voyage, Queen Anne will sail from Southampton up to Newhaven in Scotland, where guests can disembark and visit Edinburgh two miles away. Once back onboard, the ship will cruise the Firth of Forth, sailing past Bass Rock – an imposing volcanic island that has been the setting of many Viking and smuggler tales – before calling at Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands. From here, Queen Anne will sail to Inverness, where guests can explore the Scottish Highlands, try to spot the Loch Ness monster and sample a dram of whisky at one of the regions distilleries. Once guests re-embark, Queen Anne will spend two days scenically cruising the Hebrides islands before calling at Greenock. The ship will then head to Belfast in Northern Ireland, Liverpool in England, and finally the seaside town of Cobh in Cork, Ireland, where ships berth just 200 yards from the town centre. The cruise will then conclude with a return to Southampton.
Queen Anne will then sail two Western Mediterranean voyages, before returning to Scandinavia and Northern Europe for a further four sailings.
“The launch of Queen Anne is a hugely significant occasion for the brand and something that we are all incredibly excited about,” says Mahoney. “We are the pioneers of luxury ocean travel and with Queen Anne we are taking inspiration from our past to define our next chapter. From a commercial perspective, the addition of Queen Anne to our fleet will represent an increase of more than 44 per cent capacity and we are very much looking forward to its maiden world voyage in 2025, where we can show it off to the entire globe.”
This article was first published in the 2024 issue of Cruise & Ferry Itinerary Planning. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed. Subscribe to Cruise & Ferry Itinerary Planning for FREE to get the next issue delivered directly to your inbox.