When Cunard’s exciting new addition, the stunning MS Queen Anne, begins cruising in early 2024, she will reflect the traditional much-loved Cunard luxury and service, plus a more contemporary edge.
Set to impress and eagerly awaited, bookings for the ship will open this May. Already there has been huge interest in the MS Queen Anne, which is the 249th ship in the cruise line’s historic fleet.
It will mark the first time since 1999 that the company will have four ships at sea including Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth.
Sture Myrmell, UK president of Carnival, Cunard’s parent company, says this marks a very special moment in Cunard’s 182-year history. “It showcases Cunard’s exciting global plans for the future, allowing even more guests around the world to set sail with Cunard.
“With design inspired by the past and set for the future, Queen Anne is the perfect way for our guests to rediscover the joy of exploration and travel again,” he says.
Bridging tradition and contemporary luxury, the MS Queen Anne will combine influential design styles of both past and present and introduce an updated Cunard livery.
The décor will reveal bold colour tones and showcase a striking aesthetic, while remaining in keeping with Cunard’s timeless sophistication.
When she sets sail, she will feature reimagined Cunard signature spaces as well as the introduction of new dining, culture, and entertainment experiences, underpinned by outstanding White Star Service.
A pioneer of luxury travel since 1840, Cunard chooses its ship names to reflect its British heritage, specifically honouring queens regnant – monarchs in their own right, not the spouse of a reigning king of the last millennium. In this case, Queen Anne served as queen of England, Scotland, and Ireland from 1702 to 1714 and at a time when England and Scotland were united as Great Britain.
Cunard says it explored multiple naming options and was ultimately inspired by Queen Anne’s reign, further engaging with British historian, author, and television presenter, Kate Williams, to assist in the detailed research. “Queen Anne has a fascinating tale to tell – one of queenship, unity of developing constitutional monarchy, a golden age of the arts,” says Williams. “She was an inspiring woman, wildly popular with her people. She should be celebrated, and this new ship in the Cunard fleet is the perfect way to do it.”
Strong sales reflect the confidence of guests eager to cruise on Cunard’s much-loved ships. Myrmell says Cunard experienced record-breaking sales the first two days after releasing its Summer 2023 itineraries. “Cunard’s two strongest booking periods in more than a decade have happened in the last 12 months,” he says.
Jamie Paiko, Vice-President of Sales for Cunard North America, says the recent sales surge, which was especially strong for the beautiful Princess and Queens Grill Suites, surpassed record-breaking sales in 2021 for MS Queen Elizabeth summer sailings. Cunard’s Summer 2023 schedule includes 150 voyages calling at 120 ports in 35 countries, with 23 late evening departures and 15 overnight stays with voyages between two nights and 37 nights in length.
There’s also keen interest in Cunard’s inaugural Great Australian Culinary Voyage, which will celebrate Australia’s unique food and wine offerings on a five-day cruise from Sydney on 28 January next year on MS Queen Elizabeth. Culinary royalty such as Matt Moran will join the sailing, ensuring a vibrant programme of curated events and dinners, demonstrations, talks and onshore experiences. Katrina McAlpine, Commercial Director Cunard Australia and New Zealand says: “Australia isn’t just known for world-class beaches and stunning places; its unique produce and talented people have earned us a reputation as one of the world’s leading foodie destinations.
“We are extremely proud to showcase this on our Great Australian Culinary Voyage and to work with a fantastic line-up of acclaimed culinary talent. I am also really excited to give our suppliers a platform to highlight their incredible produce and tell our guests the story behind what they are eating and drinking.”
Some of Australia’s most coveted chefs, wine makers and food critics will shine the spotlight on the country’s culinary diversity.
Guests can taste exceptional creations, learn about Indigenous ingredients and local produce, sample beautiful Australian drops and immerse themselves in Sydney, Melbourne and Burnie’s (Tasmania) food scenes on bespoke shore excursions during the voyage.
The Cunard difference
So, what sets Cunard ships apart from others? Much-loved features include the impeccable White Star Service with onboard staff meticulously trained at the White Star Academy to offer the pinnacle of luxury service at sea. Bell boys are on hand to assist – usually dressed in distinctive Cunard uniforms, they will have specifically Australian attire for the MS Queen Elizabeth homeport season in Australia (see breakout box).
The time-honoured ritual of daily, complimentary afternoon tea with white-gloved waiters in the Queen’s Room with delicious sandwiches and traditional scones, jam and cream is always popular.
Gala evenings are grand affairs with two themes – either Black and White or Roaring ’20s, with voyages of seven nights or more offering the chance to attend both.
Christmas at Sea is a wonderful celebration with carols in the Grand Lobby, mince pies and visits from Santa plus a delicious three-course Christmas dinner – and if you are still peckish, there’s always afternoon tea.
Cunard’s Grill Suites reflect the pinnacle of luxury in ocean-going travel, with floor to ceiling windows, separate living area and private balcony and exclusive Queens Grill restaurant space to relax, and a personal butler.
There’s always a great choice for dining on board Cunard ships – from casual eateries to formal dining room with fabulous dining and impeccable service. Wellbeing and wellness offerings include fitness classes, deck games and pool activities – fancy yoga on deck or fencing in the Queen’s Room?
Guests are also spoilt for entertainment with talks by some of the world’s most inspiring personalities including well-known historians, explorers, top diplomats, politicians, scientists and other notable experts. You will find one of the most beautiful and largest libraries at sea on RMS Queen Mary 2, with 10,000 volumes in English, German, Japanese, Spanish and French, as well as a planetarium.
With its rich heritage, royal history and refined status, Cunard is set to sail into an exciting future.