The Cunard Line’s former New York Headquarters served as the setting for a stunning preview of the latest of its Queens.
Cunard Line, one of the world’s most renowned cruise lines, has a rich history in New York City. Founded by a Canadian, Sir Samuel Cunard, the company has an unparalleled role in transatlantic travel connecting Europe and North America. Cunard’s Atlantic Ocean service began in 1840 when RMS Britannia sailed from Liverpool to Halifax and later to Boston. Soon after, New York City became a prominent destination. Cunard sent its most advanced steamship, RMS Arcadia to New York in 1850. 70 Years later, Cunard built a spectacular monument to itself at 25 Broadway, now Cipriani 25 Broadway. And it was here that Cunard introduced its newest Queen, named for Anne, the British monarch most renowned for being a royal patron of the arts and innovation. A perfect match for the ship that Cunard says will be the finest ship of its era.
Cunard’s New York Celebration took place in the elaborately decorated Great Hall
Soaring to a height of 65 feet, the 185-foot long Great Hall was a fitting background for the night’s grand introductions. Headlining the event was acclaimed actor/entertainer Alan Cumming. His cabaret-style performance was the perfect introduction to an entirely new entertainment concept debuting on Queen Anne: Bright Lights Society. With all due respect to its past, the name, Bright Lights Society, is a salute to Cunard’s legacy—the pioneering use of electric lights on their first ocean liner. Beyond the bountiful buffet tables and bars serving plenty of bubbly and Queen Anne’s eponymous Gin was a breathtaking contemporary art exhibit. Queen Anne will boast a 4300-piece collection—far larger than any other cruise ship afloat. Featuring works by both emerging artists and established talents, Cunard’s New York Guests were treated to works by photographer Michael James O’Brien, Canadian artist Eric Louie, Brooklyn textile artist Shradhar and London-based artist Tommy Camerno.
Queen Anne will feature 14 decks, 15 dining venues and accommodate up to 3000 guests served by 1,225 crew members.
Yes, Queen Anne will be the largest ship of the fleet of Cunard’s Queens—flagship Queen Mary 2 and the two almost identical Queens, Elizabeth and Victoria. As one of my fellow journalists reminded me, when Queen Mary2 was introduced 20 years ago, we gasped at her size. This writer’s first ship voyage was when I was 6 years old and sailed to England aboard the first Queen Mary. To a very small boy, she appeared gigantic. Yet it’s hard to believe my first Queen was smaller than Queen Anne will be. But then, the first Queen Mary didn’t boast a three-story Grand Lobby. Or an 835 seat Royal Court Theater. And there was nothing compared to Queen Anne’s Spa which will offer the widest selection of fitness, beauty and spa facilities on any Cunard vessel ever before.
Queen Anne will up the number of Britannia Club Balcony staterooms by 200%.
In addition to Britannia Inside, Britannia Oceanview, Britannia Balcony, the extremely popular Britannia Club Balcony staterooms will meet the demand for these privileged accommodations. Guests staying in Brittania Club dine at their own dedicated table in the dedicated Britannia Club Restaurant. Right in the heart of the ship and right next to the Grand Lobby, breakfast, lunch and dinner can be enjoyed by Brittania Club guests whatever time they choose. Not to be outdone, the ultimate Cunard experience belongs to passengers of the Princess and Queen’s Grill suites serviced by Butlers. These plush accommodations boast their own lounge and restaurants and even a private Grill’s Terrace.
Still 6 months to go before Queen Anne takes to the seas.
Katie McAlister, President of Cunard, introduced Queen Anne to the assembled press, VIP guests. Ms. McAlister noted another first for Cunard. The Captain of the ship will be a woman. Inger Klein Thorhauge has been guiding the progress of the ship since her appointment in March 2022. Captain Thorhauge celebrates 25 years with Cunard this year. She began her career in 1997 as Second Officer aboard Cunard’s Vistafjord. In May of next year, she will sail Queen Anne on her inaugural season sailing through Europe with itineraries featuring the Canary Islands, British Isles, Norwegian Fjords and the Mediterranean. All in preparation for Queen Anne’s 111-day World Cruise departing January 7, 2025.
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