Captain Inger Klein Thorhauge Talks About Cunard’s Queen Anne

Inger Klein Thorhauge has many reasons to be proud. She is the captain of the Queen Anne, Cunard’s first new ship in 14 years and the 249th vessel in Cunard’s history. She is also Cunard’s first female captain. During the recent voyage around the British Isles, Captain Thorhauge freed up time on her busy schedule for an interview for All Things Cruise.

Queen Anne First Captain Inger Klein Thorhauge, credit Cunard

Q: Technology advances constantly. Queen Mary 2 entered service in 2004. It was built with leading edge technology. Queen Victoria was launched in 2007, followed by Queen Elizabeth in 2010. Now we are in 2024 and the launch of Queen Anne,  twenty years after the arrival of QM2. What technological improvements are built into Queen Anne?

A:  Passengers on the Queen Anne will find improvements like Starlink internet service and an improved selection of offerings on their in-stateroom television. There have been incredible advances on the engineering side. Between the pods and the navigation systems, we have precise satellite positioning within four meters! The navigation system can also remember positions where the ship has been previously. The lighting onboard also powers down for energy saving.

Q: Everyone knows the importance of the carbon footprint. Many passengers would want to feel they are part of the solution, not part of the problem. What steps is Cunard taking with Queen Anne to reduce the ship’s carbon footprint?

A:  The ship has the Advanced Quality Air System (AAQS), cleaning carbon out of the exhaust. When the ship is in port it has the ability to utilize shore-based power connections, so the engines do not need to run to power the ship. Queen Anne also utilizes LFC biodigesters. They turn food waste into water.

Q: Improvements in comfort from the passenger’s perspective. Many Cunard passengers are repeat passengers. They have sailed on other Cunard ships and have their favorites. How will they find the cabins on Queen Anne different from other Cunard ships?

A:  In addition to improved internet connectivity and the upgraded TV program selections, passengers will discover the bathrooms have glass shower doors. When you enter your cabin you insert your ship ID card into a slot, turning on power. When you leave your cabin you retrieve your card, turning out the lights while you are away.

Q: Some people embrace change. Others don’t. You were named Captain of the Queen Anne in March 2022. You have been involved as the ship was designed and built. Some features, like the Commodore Lounge and the Queens Room, can be found on every ship. Others have unique spaces, like the Planetarium on QM2. What familiar spaces will passengers see on Queen Anne? What new features will they see?

A:  Queen Anne has been built for the future, while respecting Cunard’s past history. Guests onboard the Queen Anne will enjoy familiar favorite spaces like the Queens Room, Chart Room, Britannia Dining Room and the Commodore Lounge. The Britannia dining room has two tiers. Guests at early or late seating will enter through deck 2 and guests choosing Freedom dining enter on Deck 3. The Commodore Club is about twice the size, and the Royal Court Theater is on one level, seating just under 1,000 guests in comfortable chairs. The Bright Lights Society, a nightclub venue, is a new addition. The Pavilion is in the center of the ship features swimming pools and a huge film screen, all under a retractable glass roof. There is flexibility of spaces.

For example, on other ships, you can encounter a full house when you show up for Afternoon Tea in the Queens Room. On Queen Anne, the Britannia Club dining room is adjacent to the Queens Room, giving us the option of seating guests immediately instead of asking them to wait.

Q: How will the new ship perform at sea? Every passenger knows Queen Mary 2 is an ocean liner. It’s a hull with a hotel inside, instead of a hotel with a hull added around it, like some other cruise ships. This gives the QM2 great stability in rough seas, including the ability to keep moving forward during storms. Queen Anne is expected to have its first world cruise in 2025. What should passengers be expecting in terms of stability?

A:  She is very stable. The ship is outstanding. Queen Anne performed well in adverse weather conditions. The ship is slightly shorter in height than Queen Mary 2. (236 vs. 238 feet)

A: Will passengers have the same spacious feel of other Cunard ships? A veteran Cunard passenger, one who has taken the world cruise many times on Queen Victoria, remarked Queen Anne is 100 feet longer than the Queen Victoria yet carries 1,000 more passengers. Will the ship feel more crowded?

A:  I don’t feel that is the case. Queen Anne is about 100 feet longer than Queen Victoria; at 113,000 tons it is 25% heavier and about 10% wider. There is flexibility of space on the Queen Anne. The Pavilion is one example. There are additional smaller spaces in different places. The Cabana Bar, Bright Lights Society and Sky Bar are examples.

Q: The naming ceremony in Liverpool is a cause for celebration. What about other ports Queen Anne visits for the first time? Cunard is an iconic luxury brand, unique in the industry. On the World Cruise and other voyages, there will be many ports where the ship is making its inaugural visit. Will there be welcoming ceremonies in some of them? How are passengers involved?

A:  When Queen Anne makes a maiden call in a port, there is usually an exchange of plaques. There is often a welcome on the pier. In some ports they plant a tree to honor the ship’s arrival. It might feature music or local products. Sometimes there are fireworks. Tugboats might precede the ship, spraying streams of water.

Captain Thorhauge is a busy person, yet she took time to answer my questions, graciously and I appreciated her time very much!

For more information about Cunard Line and Cunard ships Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria, and Queen Anne, click here

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Also see Overall Review: Cunard Queen Anne Naming Ceremony Voyage ~So very much to like! – All Things Cruise


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