Cunard reports sales surge after Queen Anne launch 

Cruise operator Cunard reports record bookings following launch of £470m Queen Anne vessel which culminated in a spectacular naming ceremony in Liverpool. Tony McDonough reports

Cunard, Liverpool Cruise Terminal
Cunard’s Queen Anne departed the Mersey to fireworks following the naming ceremony


Cunard says the month-long launch of its new £470m Queen Anne cruise ship led to record bookings.

With a capacity for 3,000 passengers, Queen Anne set sail on her maiden voyage on May 3 before returning to her home port of Southampton. The vessel then embarked on a celebratory round-Britain voyage, including a spectacular naming ceremony in Liverpool.

Culture Liverpool estimates that more than 50,000 people attended Queen Anne’s naming ceremony close to Liverpool Cruise Terminal on June 4, with thousands more lining the banks of the River Mersey to witness her arrival in the city.

Cunard also generated more than 21m impressions across social media channels on the day of the event.

Crowds had started to gather as soon as the ship arrived in the morning and had gradually built up during the day. Those who had waited for hours were treated to amazing performances.

On stage were top Italian tenor, Andrea Bocelli, who wowed the crowds with an incredible performance, as well as the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts and more.

Proceedings were hosted by Busted musician Matt Willis and TV presenter Emma Willis.  And fve Liverpool ‘icons’ were invited on stage to represent the city.

They were former Spice Girl and author Melanie C, broadcaster and community leader Ngunan Adamu, local restaurant entrepreneur Natalie Haywood, Liverpool music and cultural legend Jayne Casey, and British Olympic heptathlete  Katarina Johnson-Thompson.


Liverpool ‘icons’, from left, Natalie Haywood, Ngunan Adamu, Katarina Johnson-Thomson, Melanie C, and Jayne Casey. Picture by Christopher Ison for Cunard
Cunard vessel Queen Anne at Liverpool Cruise Terminal. Picture by Tony McDonough


During the ceremony, the City of Liverpool was then named as Queen Anne’s Godparent in recognition of the long-lasting bond with its “spiritual home”. The vessel departed the Mersey shortly after 10pm amid a fireworks display.

READ MORE: Will Cunard cruises ever return to Liverpool?

Cunard now reports the month-long launch of Queen Anne saw more guest bookings than any equivalent period on record.

Company president Katie McAlister said: “We’re delighted to see such strong booking momentum in response to the successful launch of Queen Anne.

“This record-breaking booking period is testament to the hard work and dedication of our entire team, and we’re excited to have the opportunity to welcome so many new guests on board Queen Anne and the rest of our iconic fleet in the future.”

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