Liverpool will host the spectacular Naming Ceremony for Cunard’s newest ship, Queen Anne, on June 3, with thousands expected to attend the huge celebration, which will be broadcast live around the world.
The event will take place on the Mersey waterfront as part of a celebratory ‘lap of honour’ voyage around the British Isles.
The spectacle will be hosted by Busted musician Matt Willis and his TV presenter wife, Emma.
The Queen Anne is expected to dock on the Mersey shortly after sunrise, marking the highly anticipated port of call on the exclusive 14-night voyage.
A unique salute to the city where Cunard’s groundbreaking transatlantic service and passenger shipping itself were introduced in 1840, and where the recognisable Cunard Building serves as the focal point of the Three Graces, is planned for her arrival.
The 14-night British Isles Festival Voyage will set sail from Southampton on May 24 and make its first stops at Edinburgh (South Queensferry), Invergordon, Greenock, Belfast, and Liverpool. During her maiden calls at these locations, passengers will have the unique chance to participate in the Naming ceremonies. Then, in the late evening, the ship will make a spectacular departure for Cobh and return to Southampton.
The official Naming will serve as the centrepiece of Queen Anne’s celebration, which is currently being finished in Italy.
Tens of thousands of people are anticipated to watch the event in Liverpool from viewpoints near the river at Pier Head, on the Wirral between New Brighton and Seacombe, and on the beaches at Formby and Crosby in Sefton. The world’s attention will be drawn to a Cunard event in Liverpool once more thanks to a live worldwide broadcast.
In July 1990, the renowned QE2 made its maiden call to the Mersey banks, drawing in over a million spectators. Two years later, in 2015, the Three Queens held a ‘royal rendezvous’ in front of the Cunard Building to commemorate the 175th anniversary of the most recognisable name in shipping.
The British Isles Festival Voyage
The voyage’s guests will have the rare opportunity to take part in a historic occasion in Cunard’s history, which will feature a number of unexpected celebrations at Liverpool’s renowned Pier Head, with the original, iconic Cunard Building at its centre.
As Queen Anne makes her first visit to Cunard, the spiritual home of the king, an amazing lineup of distinguished performers will provide live, unforgettable performances surrounding the official naming.
The 14-night British Isles Festival cruise is scheduled to depart Southampton on May 24. It will include first-time calls at Greenock, Belfast, Cork, and Liverpool in addition to an exciting array of onboard activities that highlight the finest locations in Britain and Ireland. The events in Liverpool, on the iconic waterfront of a city the brand has such a strong connection to, will be a very treasured memory for Cunard.
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.”
Matt and Emma Willis added:
“We’re delighted to be part of such a fantastic occasion and can’t wait to join everyone in Liverpool for an exciting and action-packed day, full of surprises and celebrations. Mersey waterfront will be brought to life on 3 June, as world famous entertainers are set to put on a spectacular show. It’s going to be a day to remember, and we can’t wait to welcome the fourth Queen to the iconic Cunard fleet.”
Councillor Liam Robinson, Leader of Liverpool City Council, said:
“It’s a huge honour for Liverpool to be chosen as the location for the official naming of Queen Anne. 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, which lives long in many people’s memories. 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. The naming ceremony is set to be a majestic sight and I’m sure it will attract huge crowds to the waterfront who want to be part of this unique moment in ours and Cunard’s history.”
Further details of timings, activities, and spectator information for Queen Anne’s visit to Liverpool will be published in due course.