Queen Anne arrives in UK ahead of star-studded Liverpool naming ceremony

Queen Anne departs Venice

Cruise giant Cunard has taken delivery of its latest vessel, Queen Anne, after she left the Fincantieri Marghera shipard in Venice, bound for her home port of Southampton.

Queen Anne will be officially named in a VIP celebrity ceremony in Liverpool, former Cunard base, on June 3.

Cunard took ownership of the stunning 3,000-guest, 14-deck ship during a traditional handover ceremony in Venice earlier this month, after five years of skilled construction in Italy.

Queen Anne, the 249th ship to sail under the Cunard flag, set sail for the south coast ahead of her seven-night maiden voyage to Lisbon on May 3. She will arrive in her home port today (April 30).

During the voyage home, Captain Inger Thorhauge and her crew prepared for the ship’s very first guests to join the 113,000-ton Queen.

Speaking at the handover ceremony, Katie McAlister, President of Cunard, said: “We are immensely proud of Queen Anne.

“Not only does she reflect the Cunard distinctive style on the outside, the inside perfectly echoes the brand heritage with reimagined, elegant spaces and designs. We can’t wait to welcome guests on board for her maiden voyage on 3 May.”

The Venice handover was attended by Italian Minister of Enterprises and Made in Italy, Adolfo Urso, and Italian Minister for Relations with Parliament, Luca Ciriani.

Katie McAlister, Paul Ludlow, President of Carnival UK, Pierroberto Folgiero, CEO and Managing Director of Fincantieri, Luigi Matarazzo, General Manager of the Fincantieri Merchant Ships Division, and Marco Lunardi, Fincantieri Shipyard Director, were also present.

From left: Marco Lunardi, Katie McAlister, Luigi Matarazzo, Paul Ludlow

Cunard has previously announced a series of partnerships for Queen Anne, including Le Gavroche at Sea residencies hosted by two Michelin-starred chef Michel Roux, wellness packages curated by Harper’s Bazaar UK’s beauty experts and exclusive British Film Institute screenings in The Pavilion.

She will also boast the widest selection of fitness, beauty, thermal and spa facilities so far seen on a Cunard ship, with her reimagined Mareel Wellness & Beauty proposition heralding a new era of wellbeing at sea.

Katie McAlister added: “We are so excited to welcome Queen Anne to our fleet as she completes a remarkable quartet alongside Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth, and Queen Victoria – marking the first time since 1999 that Cunard will have four ships in simultaneous service.

“We are now fully focused on readying her to welcome guests for her maiden voyage on 3 May before she embarks on an historic British Isles Festival Voyage, including a momentous naming ceremony in Cunard’s spiritual home of Liverpool on 3 June.”

Pierroberto Folgiero, CEO and Managing Director of Fincantieri, said: “We are very pleased and eager to deliver Queen Anne to Cunard, a pioneering figure in luxury sea travel, renowned for setting new standards in oceanic voyages for over 180 years.

“This beautiful and iconic ship testifies the longstanding partnership between our two companies, underscoring our shared commitment to excellence and tradition in the maritime industry.

“Queen Anne, as Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth, the other two ships we built for Cunard, proudly bear Fincantieri’s signature, embodying our enduring expertise, reliability, and craftsmanship in shipbuilding.

“Constructing a liner for such a distinguished shipowner not only reconnects us to our origins but propels us towards the future with a determination to blend tradition and innovation.”