Forth Ports tugs welcomed Cunard Line’s new cruise ship, the Queen Anne, into the River Forth on May 26, 2024, with a dramatic water cannon salute.

The event was further marked by a performance from local piper Louise Marshall, celebrating the ship’s maiden voyage into South Queensferry, Scotland, located 30 minutes from downtown Edinburgh and serving as the entrance to the River Forth.

“We are thrilled to have Cunard’s brand-new ship call into the River Forth,” said Rob Mason, head of cruise for Capital Cruising. “She is a magnificent vessel, and we extended a very warm Scottish welcome to her and her guests as they arrived into South Queensferry.”

Queen Anne Arrives in South Queensferry (Photo Courtesy: Cunard Line)

Queen Anne’s arrival highlights the significance of Scotland’s cruise industry, which has substantially impacted the local economy.

According to Mason, “Scotland’s cruise business contributes significantly to the economy, supports hundreds of jobs, and delivers to local businesses and communities.”

He noted that this year marks the busiest cruise season ever for the region, as passengers and ship lines increasingly choose Scottish ports and anchorages to explore the diverse attractions, including the UNESCO World Heritage site of Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital and the largest city in Capital Cruising’s ports.

Queen Anne joins more than 160 cruise calls scheduled for the 2024 season, bringing up to 3,000 passengers and 1,225 international cruise members to the port.

Queen Anne, the latest addition to Cunard’s fleet, is on a special theme cruise after debuting on May 3. Traveling from its homeport of Southampton, England, the South Queensferry call is the first of the British Isles Festival Voyage.

The 14-day cruise around the British Isles will arrive in Kirkwall, Scotland on May 28, Invergordon, Scotland, on May 29, and Greenock (Glasgow), Scotland on June 1. It will continue to Belfast, Northern Ireland; Liverpool, England; and Cork, Ireland, before returning to Southampton on June 7.

During the special voyage, Queen Anne will celebrate her official naming and christening in Liverpool, Cunard’s original headquarters in 1839. The June 3 event will feature a performance by world-renowned Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli.

Queen Anne Cruise Ship (Image Courtesy: Cunard Line)

The festivities, hosted by musician Matt Willis and his wife, TV presenter Emma Willis, also include the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, and DJ Lauren Lo Sun. The ship’s godparent is yet to be revealed.

Cunard President Katie McAlister commented on the special voyage, “Queen Annes’s maiden voyage around these shores will be a truly historic sailing, and I know many of our loyal Cunarders will be eagerly awaiting what will be an iconic journey.

As Cunard’s 249th ship, delivered by the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy on April 19, 2024, the 113,000-gross-ton Queen Anne boasts 14 decks and features art deco-inspired interiors.

Read Also: Scottish Port Expects to Double Cruise Ship Arrivals by 2027

Passengers can enjoy various activities, such as a world-class spa, fitness center, swimming pools, and a diverse lineup of performances in the ship’s theatre. 

After her British Isles event cruise, Queen Anne will spend the summer sailing through the Western Mediterranean and Northern Europe. Her itineraries include the Norwegian Fjords and Scandinavia, with 5- to 18-day cruises.

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