Liverpool to host 'majestic' naming ceremony for Cunard's new Queen Anne ship
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Liverpool is set to host a huge naming ceremony for Cunard's new Queen Anne ship, this summer.
Cunard ships have previously attracted more than a million spectators to the banks of the Mersey. Huge crowds turned out in 1990, and in 2015 for the Three Queens ‘royal rendezvous’ in front of the Cunard Building to celebrate its 175th anniversary.
The Queen Anne naming ceremony will be part of a 14-night British Isles and Ireland cruise which will depart from Southampton on May 24, and see the ship perform a 'lap of honour' with maiden calls to Edinburgh, Invergordon, Greenock, Belfast and Liverpool.
The ship will arrive in Liverpool soon after sunrise on June 3, and plans for its arrival are set to include a special salute to the city which launched Cunard’s transatlantic line back in 1840.
The event in Liverpool is expected to draw tens of thousands of spectators to vantage points alongside the river at Pier Head, between New Brighton and Seacombe on Wirral and on beaches at Formby and Crosby in Sefton, with the naming ceremony broadcasted live to a global audience.
Guests onboard will have the opportunity to join the naming celebrations on June 3, which will be hosted by Matt and Emma Willis, and will include a host of surprise celebrations at Liverpool’s iconic Pier Head, with the original iconic Cunard Building at its heart.
The Busted star and his TV presenter wife said it will be a 'spectacular show' adding that the Mersey waterfront will be 'brought to life' by a range of 'world-famous' entertainers.
The new Queen Anne ship is nearing completion in Italy and Cunard say further details of timings, activities, and spectator information will be published in the coming weeks.
Cunard's president Katie McAlister 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.”
Councillor Liam Robinson 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.”