Cruise line Cunard is sending Queen Anne, its newest vessel, to Liverpool for a ‘spectacular’ naming ceremony. Tony McDonough reports
Cunard’s newest cruise vessel Queen Anne will sail up the Mersey this summer and take part in a spectacular naming ceremony.
On Monday, June 3, Queen Anne is expected to arrive at Liverpool Cruise Terminal just after sunrise. 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.
The 14-night British Isles Festival Voyage will depart Southampton on May 24 with maiden calls to Edinburgh (South Queensferry), Invergordon, Greenock, Belfast, and Liverpool.
While on the Mersey guests sailing on the voyage will have an exclusive opportunity to join the naming celebrations before a spectacular, late evening departure bound for Cobh followed by her return to Southampton.
This formal naming will be the highlight of a day of celebration for Queen Anne, currently nearing completion in Italy.
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. 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.
An line-up of eminent entertainers will give live performances surrounding the official naming as Queen Anne makes her maiden call into Cunard’s spiritual home.
Katie McAlister, president of Cunard, said: “Cunard has an incredible bond with the city of Liverpool. 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 is the next in a fine line for our brand and she will be bursting with breath-taking moments around every corner, evolving our core values of luxury, sophistication, and glamour.
“Liverpool is known the world over as Cunard’s spiritual home and we are all so excited for the city to see Queen Anne up close on her maiden call.”
Liam Robinson, Leader of Liverpool City Council, added: “The city and Cunard share a rich history, we are the original home of the world-famous cruise line and we staged the incredible spectacle of the Three Queens on the Mersey in 2015.
“This is yet another prestigious, international event taking place in our city, casting Liverpool into the limelight once again and showcasing our enviable maritime offer.”
Further details of timings, activities, and spectator information for Queen Anne’s visit to Liverpool will be published in due course.