British celebrity couple Matt Willis and Emma Willis will host the naming ceremony for Cunard’s new Queen Anne in the cruise brand’s ‘spiritual home’ of Liverpool, England, on 3 June 2024.
Queen Anne, which is currently nearing completion at Fincantieri’s Marghera yard in Italy, will be christened during a 14-night ‘British Isles Festival Voyage’. It will depart Southampton on 24 May and will also include calls to Edinburgh (South Queensferry), Invergordon and Greenock in Scotland; and Cork in the Republic of Ireland; and Belfast in Northern Ireland.
The ship will arrive in Liverpool for its christening shortly after sunrise on 3 June, ahead of a day of celebrations which will include the naming ceremony, live performances from “eminent entertainers” and a “special salute” to the city, which is where Cunard began its transatlantic passenger shipping service in 1840. It will remain in the city until late evening, before departing for Cobh.
Cunard will also host surprise celebrations at Pier Head, which is home to the Cunard Building.
“Cunard has an incredible bond with the city of Liverpool,” said Katie McAlister, president of Cunard. “It is where our founder Sir Samuel Cunard began his transatlantic line in 1840, so what better place to officially name our new ship than somewhere that holds so many special memories.”
Queen Anne’s guests will be able to join the christening ceremony, along with thousands of other spectators who are expected to watch from vantage points alongside the river at Pier Head, between New Brighton and Seacombe on Wirral and on beaches at Formby and Crosby in Sefton. Cunard will also host a live global broadcast.
“We’re delighted to be part of such a fantastic occasion and can’t wait to join everyone in Liverpool for an exciting and action-packed day, full of surprises and celebrations,” said TV presenter Emma and musician Matt, who have recorded a message on the Cunard Instagram page revealing what guests can expect from the event. “Mersey waterfront will be brought to life on 3 June, as world famous entertainers are set to put on a spectacular show. It's going to be a day to remember, and we can’t wait to welcome the fourth Queen to the iconic Cunard fleet.”
The 113,000gt Queen Anne is the third vessel Fincantieri has built for Cunard and will accommodate 3,000 guests across 14 decks. Notable onboard highlights will include the largest curated art collection at sea, a new open-air multipurpose wellness space named The Pavilion on the top deck, and the Bright Lights Society, a custom-created performance venue that will host shows created and managed by live experience company ted.
The vessel will also boast four new dining venues – Aji Wa, Aranya, Sir Samuels and Tramonto – as well as Cunard’s signature favourites, such as the Queens Grill restaurant and the Golden Lion pub, both of which will offer new menus curated by Michelin-starred chef Michel Roux.
“Queen Anne is the next in a fine line for our brand and she will be bursting with breathtaking moments around every corner, evolving our core values of luxury, sophistication, and glamour,” said McAlister.
Queen Anne will embark on a seven-night maiden voyage from Southampton to Portugal’s capital Lisbon on 3 May 2024, marking the first time Cunard has operated four ships simultaneously since 1999. The vessel will then spend its inaugural season sailing from Southampton to more than 60 destinations, including the Canary Islands, the Norwegian Fjords, the Mediterranean, the British Isles and Northern Europe. Cunard has curated 50 signature shore experiences across these 60 ports.