New Cunard ship Queen Anne handed over

New Cunard ship Queen Anne has officially joined the fleet during a handover in Italy – but an overnight test event involving agents has been cancelled.

The 3,000-passenger vessel has now set sail for Southampton ahead of its seven-night maiden voyage to Lisbon on May 3.

Cunard took ownership of Queen Anne on Friday at the Fincantieri Marghera shipyard in Venice.

However, the line confirmed that the April 29 overnight test voyage from Southampton will no longer take place.

The company insisted that the changes to the operational test were being made to ensure the ship is ready for its maiden voyage.

A Cunard spokesperson said: “As we put the finishing touches to Queen Anne and prepare for the long-awaited maiden voyage on May 3, after careful review we shall be re-purposing some of the schedule over the next two weeks.” 

Attending the handover in Italy, Cunard president Katie McAlister said: “We are so excited to welcome Queen Anne to our fleet as she completes a remarkable quartet alongside Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth, and Queen Victoria – marking the first time since 1999 that Cunard will have four ships in simultaneous service. 

“We are now fully focused on readying her to welcome guests for her maiden voyage on 3 May before she embarks on an historic British Isles Festival Voyage, including a momentous naming ceremony in Cunard’s spiritual home of Liverpool on 3 June.”

Fincantieri chief executive and managing director Pierroberto Folgiero added: “We are very pleased and eager to deliver Queen Anne to Cunard, a pioneering figure in luxury sea travel, renowned for setting new standards in oceanic voyages for over 180 years. 

“This beautiful and iconic ship testifies the longstanding partnership between our two companies, underscoring our shared commitment to excellence and tradition in the maritime industry. 

“Queen Anne, as Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth, the other two ships we built for Cunard, proudly bear Fincantieri’s signature, embodying our enduring expertise, reliability, and craftsmanship in shipbuilding. 

“Constructing a liner for such a distinguished shipowner not only reconnects us to our origins but propels us towards the future with a determination to blend tradition and innovation.”

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