Queen Anne is Cunard's first ship in a decade. Credit: Cunard

Cunard to launch Queen Anne in six months

Author: Will Payne

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The launch of a new Cunarder is always big news – and with six months to go, Queen Anne is already making a splash, as Will Payne reports

All eyes will be on Queen Anne when she sets sail from Southampton to Lisbon on May 3, 2024 with her 3,000 lucky passengers on board.

Luxury line Cunard has a lot riding on this launch – it has to honour the heritage of its iconic brand while building a modern ship that appeals to all ages. That’s no easy task, but with six months to go until the launch of the line’s 249th vessel, the buzz is already building.

First up is the news that Inger Thorhauge, the line’s first ever female cruise captain, will be at the helm for Queen Anne’s maiden voyage next spring. Captain Thorhauge will go on to lead the 1,200-strong crew as they sail around the Mediterranean on their first season at sea.

Guests will discover a ship that feels light, bright and contemporary. Designers David Collins Studio, Richmond International and Sybille de Margerie have worked with creative director Adam D Tihany to develop interiors that retain the classic Cunard style while updating it with many new touches.

Inger Thorhauge, the line’s first female cruise captain, will be at the helm. Credit: Cunard

One of Queen Anne’s most striking aspects will be the three-deck atrium centred upon the Grand Lobby, which features a constantly changing contemporary art sculpture, a bar and a sweeping staircase.

Other new spaces to look out for are The Pavilion – an open area on the top deck with a glass roof that retracts in warmer climes – and the Wellness Studio, a retreat for fitness fans that will be open from sunrise to sunset.

Look out too for the Wellness Café, a healthy-eating spot with the focus firmly on plant-based and sustainably sourced cuisine. Elsewhere on board, the wellbeing theme continues at the Mareel Wellness and Beauty spa, where guests are invited to enjoy the widest selection of fitness, beauty, thermal and spa facilities ever offered aboard a Cunard ship.

“For more than 180 years, Cunard has constantly refined the definitive experience of luxury ocean travel,” says Katie McAlister, the line’s president. “I know that guests around the world are looking forward to sailing with our new Queen, and we are counting down the days until we can welcome them aboard.”

The Grand Lobby functions as a main focal point for passengers. Credit: Cunard

Home from home

As you’d expect of a ship this size, Queen Anne will offer her guests a wide choice of accommodation, ranging from ultra-luxurious suites to spacious balcony and inside cabins.

There are 27 wheelchair-accessible staterooms, and all guests get a kingsize bed, writing desk with chair, fridge, tea-making facilities, 24- hour room service, USB charger points and UK power sockets.

Those staying in a Queens Grill Suite or the Penthouse will also enjoy the services of a 24-hour butler, plus access to the exclusive Queens Grill restaurant.

Queen Anne's Grand Suite master bathroom is a sumptuous room indeed. Credit: Cunard

Food for thought

Foodies are in for a treat on Queen Anne, thanks to an exclusive culinary partnership with double Michelin-starred chef Michel Roux Jr, who will design a new Gala Evening menu for the Queens Grill restaurant.

And that’s just one of the ship’s 15 dining options, which also include the signature Britannia Restaurant, where the decor takes inspiration from the four seasons and the menus and wines are chosen to match.

Alternative venues include a Mediterranean restaurant, a pan-Asian venue, a steakhouse grill and a tapas bar.

When the sun dips over the yard arm, drop into the Golden Lion – Cunard’s take on the traditional British tavern. Here you’ll find a globe-trotting selection of craft beers, wines and spirits – and some rather special pub grub, also thanks to Monsieur Roux.

There are plenty more bars and lounges, each offering something different – but special mention must go to the Bright Lights Society, where you can enjoy hosted live music in an uber-glamorous setting.

Take a seat in the spacious Queens Room View. Credit: Cunard

Let us entertain you

Serious thought has gone into the entertainment aboard Queen Anne, with the evening programme at the 825-seat Royal Court theatre featuring musical productions, including ‘A Slice of Saturday Night’ by the Heather Brothers and performances by the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

To find out more about everything this exciting new ship has to offer, keep up with us here at World of Cruising.

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