£470m Queen Anne sets sail for Liverpool

Cruise giant Cunard has taken delivery of its £470m Queen Anne cruise ship and the vessel has now set sail on a voyage that will eventually bring her to Liverpool. Tony McDonough reports

Queen Anne
Cunard cruise vessel Queen Anne departs he Fincantieri Marghera shipyard in Venice


Cunard’s £470m Queen Anne cruise ship has set sail on a journey that will eventually bring her to her “spiritual home” in the River Mersey.

In the last few days Cunard has taken delivery of the 113,000-tonne vessel that was built at the Fincantieri Marghera shipyard in Venice. Construction took five years and Queen Anne is the 249th ship to sail under the Cunard flag.

She will now set sail for Southampton where she will arrive on April 30. On May 3 the ship will depart the Solent and will embark on a seven-night maiden voyage to Lisbon.

On Monday, June 3, Queen Anne is expected to arrive at Liverpool Cruise Terminal just after sunrise ahead of a naming ceremony. This visit will be part of a celebratory ‘lap of honour’ voyage around the British Isles.

Plans are being made for her arrival to include a special salute to the city where Cunard’s pioneering transatlantic service – and passenger shipping itself – was launched in 1840.

Cunard’s hosts for the spectacle will be  Busted musician, Matt Willis, and his TV presenter wife, Emma. The couple recorded this message revealing what guests can expect from the event.

Liverpool waterfront is expected to draw tens of thousands of spectators to vantage points alongside the river at Pier Head, between New Brighton and Seacombe on Wirral and on beaches at Formby and Crosby in Sefton.

A live global broadcast will ensure the eyes of the world once again fall on a Cunard event in Liverpool. Cunard ships have previously attracted more than a million spectators to the banks of the Mersey.

READ MORE: Cruise terminal hotel WILL still go ahead

For the maiden call of QE2 in July 1990, and in 2015 for the Three Queens event to celebrate the 175th anniversary of Cunard in front of its former headquarters Cunard Building.

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 May 3.”

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