Leading cruise agent charters boat to welcome Cunard’s Queen Anne to homeport

A leading cruise agent has maintained a tradition of being among the first to welcome a new Cunard ship to its homeport after chartering a motor cruiser to greet Queen Anne this week.

Sovereign Cruise Club managing director Stefan Shillito chartered the vessel from Southampton before heading to Cowes on the Isle of Wight, where a champagne afternoon tea was enjoyed with VIP Cunard clients and members of the Sovereign and Cunard teams.

The group then returned to the seas to welcome Queen Anne as it arrived in Southampton for the first time, before joining its first guests for an overnight showcase.

Shillito said: “This is a tradition that we have had at Sovereign since the maiden arrival of Queen Mary 2 in Southampton on Boxing Day 2003.

“We also welcomed Queen Victoria in 2007 and Queen Elizabeth in 2010, and chartered a boat to say an emotional farewell to dear old QE2 in 2008.”

He added: “We were the first boat to welcome Queen Anne as she loomed out of the mist looking magnificent and we had our Union Jacks waving and our patriotic music to make an amazing atmosphere. A highlight was when she spotted us and sounded her whistle in salute.

“It’s been such a wonderful few days both welcoming the ship in and spending a lovely day and evening on board.”

Related Articles

Seabourn introduces group booking scheme to ‘amplify’ trade sales

Andrew Magowan to depart Crystal Cruises at end of May

AE Expeditions expands Antartica sailings for 2025-26