Queen Anne, the first new ship to join the Cunard Line fleet in 14 years, officially made her debut in Liverpool, England, on Monday, June 3, 2024. 

Her inaugural visit to Liverpool comes exactly one month after she began sailing. The Pinnacle-class ship’s maiden voyage embarked from Southampton in the UK on Friday, May 3, 2024, for a 7-night cruise to La Coruna, Spain, and Lisbon, Portugal.

While maiden port calls are always big milestones for new cruise ships, Liverpool holds a special meaning for Cunard, as the port is the cruise line’s “spiritual home.” The British city was where Cunard’s first ever Transatlantic crossing embarked 183 years ago in 1840, and served as the brand’s headquarters for over 120 years.

Queen Anne Cruise Ship in Liverpool (Photo Credits: Global Ports Holding & Peel Ports)

Naturally, this is where the 3,000-passenger Queen Anne was officially named as well. Upon her arrival, the cruise line revealed that the whole historic city would serve as the new vessel’s godparent rather than choosing a single individual to fill the role, as is tradition.  

Thousands of people came out to witness the iconic smashing of the champagne bottle to christen the ship and to watch performancesby the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Opera Singer Andrea Bocelli, and Spice Girl and Author Melanie C, among others.

As the historic day turned to dusk, the 113,000-gross-ton vessel set off to finish her 14-night British Isles voyage with a celebratory fireworks display lighting her way. The cruise originally embarked from Southampton, England, on May 24.

The itinerary calls for one final stop at Cork, Ireland, before the voyage concludes on June 7 in Southampton. But passengers have already had the chance to visit Edinburgh, Scotland; Kirkwall, Scotland; Invergordon, Scotland; Greenock (Glasgow), Scotland; and Belfast, Northern Ireland. 

The arrival of Cunard Line’s newest cruise ship is historic for more than one reason. Queen Anne’s debut visit marks the first major arrival in the British port since operations of the facilities were taken over by Global Ports Holding Plc (GPH) in November of 2023. 

GPH, which is the world’s largest independent cruise port operator, was chosen by Peel Ports, The Mersey Docks and Harbour Company, and Liverpool City Council to be themain operator of the Liverpool Cruise Port for the next 50 years. 

As the former home of The Beatles is perfectly positioned to take advantage of the growing demand for cruises throughout Northern Europe and Ireland, one of GPH’s goals in taking control was to boost cruise tourism – something which Queen Anne’s inaugural visit helps to foster.

Queen Anne Cruise Ship in Liverpool (Photo Credits: Global Ports Holding & Peel Ports)

“We’re delighted to welcome the Queen Anne to its spiritual home here in Liverpool. When we added the Liverpool Cruise Port to our network, our first cruise port here in the UK, we set out our ambition to further elevate the cruise experience in the city,” said Stephen Xuereb, Chief Operating Officer at GPH. 

“Crucially, we want to continue developing Liverpool as a thriving destination for the cruise industry, and the arrival of Cunard’s majestic new vessel is a significant milestone for us as we embark on our first foray in the UK,” continued Xuereb. 

Read Also: Scottish Port Welcomes Cunard’s All-New Cruise Ship

As part of this new partnership, GPH has pledged to invest $25 million into expanding the port’s infrastructure, which will include the creation of a new floating berth that will allow two cruise ships measuring up to 300 meters, or approximately 984 feet, to dock simultaneously and bring roughly 7,000 passengers to the port per day.

Liverpool welcomed 102 ships and over 186,00 passengers in 2023, with this number set to increase to over 200,000 cruise guests in 2024. Once the port expansion is complete, this number is expected to eventually surpass 400,000 annual cruise visitors.

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