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Liverpool waterfront to host spectacular naming ceremony for newest Cunard ship

LIVERPOOL is to host the spectacular Naming Ceremony for its newest ship Queen Anne on June 3, with thousands expected to turn out for the huge celebration which will be broadcast live globally.

The event will take place on the Mersey waterfront during a celebratory ‘lap of honour’ voyage around the British Isles.

Cunard’s hosts for the spectacle will be Busted musician Matt Willis, and his TV presenter wife, Emma.

Queen Anne is expected to arrive on the Mersey soon after sunrise on what promises to be the most eagerly awaited port of call on the exclusive 14-night voyage.

Plans are being made for her arrival to include a special salute to the city where Cunard’s pioneering transatlantic service – and passenger shipping itself – was launched in 1840, and where the iconic Cunard Building forms the centrepiece of the Three Graces.

The 14-night British Isles Festival Voyage will depart Southampton on 24 May with maiden calls to Edinburgh (South Queensferry), Invergordon, Greenock, Belfast, and Liverpool where guests sailing on the voyage will have an exclusive opportunity to join the Naming celebrations before a spectacular, late evening departure bound for Cobh followed by her return to Southampton.

The formal Naming will be the highlight of a day of celebration for Queen Anne, currently nearing completion in Italy.

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. A live global broadcast will ensure the eyes of the world once again fall on a Cunard event in Liverpool.

Cunard ships have previously attracted more than a million spectators to the banks of the Mersey, first for the maiden call of the renowned QE2 in July 1990, and in 2015 for the Three Queens ‘royal rendezvous’ in front of the Cunard Building to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the most famous name in shipping.

The British Isles Festival Voyage
Guests on the voyage will have an exclusive chance to be part of a unique event in Cunard’s history that will include a host of surprise celebrations at Liverpool’s world-famous Pier Head, with the original iconic Cunard Building at its heart.

An impressive line-up of eminent entertainers will give unforgettable live performances surrounding the official naming as Queen Anne makes her maiden call into Cunard’s spiritual home.

The 14-night British Isles Festival voyage will depart Southampton on 24 May with maiden calls to Greenock, Belfast, Cork, and Liverpool and a programme of exciting on board experiences that showcase the best of Britain and Ireland’s shores. The events in Liverpool will be a truly treasured memory for Cunard, on the historical waterfront of a city the brand has such an incredible bond with.

Katie McAlister, President of Cunard, 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.”

Matt and Emma Willis added: “We’re delighted to be part of such a fantastic occasion and can’t wait to join everyone in Liverpool for an exciting and action-packed day, full of surprises and celebrations. Mersey waterfront will be brought to life on 3 June, as world famous entertainers are set to put on a spectacular show. It’s going to be a day to remember, and we can’t wait to welcome the fourth Queen to the iconic Cunard fleet.”

Councillor Liam Robinson, Leader of Liverpool City Council, 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.”

Further details of timings, activities, and spectator information for Queen Anne’s visit to Liverpool will be published in due course.

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