Home Travel News

Cunard's newest shipshape royal debut is fit for a Queen

Ahead of her christening in Liverpool in June 2024, bookings for Queen Anne’s 2026 world cruise and all new-season sailings open this week. Demand is sure to be strong, so here's more about Cunard’s newest queen and what's on board.

Ahead of her christening in Liverpool in June 2024, bookings for Queen Anne’s 2026 world cruise and all new-season sailings open this week. Demand is sure to be strong, so here’s more about Cunard’s newest queen and what’s on board.

In January 2024, Cunard booked a record number of guests – up by 25 per cent from the previous high of the past 10 years, with demand rising for cruises in 2024 and further ahead. 

Cunard President Katie McAlister said: “As we prepare to navigate what is set to be a truly ground-breaking year for Cunard, it has been fantastic to have such a strong start to the year.”

“The appeal of Cunard is strong for guests across the world and is particularly strong for sailings across Europe on our new ship Queen Anne.”

CUNARD QA Queens Suite Q6 2022
Render of Queen’s Suite on Queen Anne.

The cruise line’s new voyages, from September 2025 to January 2027 across all four ships, open for bookings at 12 midnight on 8 March 2024 and will no doubt boost those January figures even further. 

As Cunard won’t have a ship homeporting in Australia after Queen Elizabeth’s upcoming 2024-25 season, local fans will keenly anticipate the chance to sail aboard Queen Anne close to home on sectors of her 2025 and 2026 World Voyages. 

Firsts for Cunard

Render of Queen Anne.

Queen Anne is Cunard’s first new ship for 12 years and it’s the first time the cruise line has had a four-ship fleet since 1999.

With a guest capacity of 3,000, she is larger than Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth and accommodates about 400 more guests than the line’s current flagship, Queen Mary 2.

Her captain, Inger Klein Thorhauge, is not only Cunard’s first female captain but the first captain of the new ship. When Thorhauge was named captain of Queen Victoria in 2010, she became the first female captain in the history of the cruise line. More recently, she was at the helm of Queen Elizabeth

“I am very proud to be Cunard’s first female captain but to be named as the first captain of Queen Anne is the greatest honour. It means the absolute world to me to be a part of the next chapter of Cunard,” Thorhauge said. 

Four new restaurants

Cunard Queen Anne chef Michel Roux redesigning Golden Lion and Queens Grill menus
Chef Michel Roux is redesigning the Golden Lion Pub and Queens Grill menus.

Foodies will be happy to hear that four of Queen Anne’s 15 restaurants are new to the line and that renowned British-French chef Michel Roux is revamping the Golden Lion pub’s menu. He is also creating a gala night menu for the Queens Grill.

Queen Anne’s new dining venues include Cunard’s first Indian restaurant Aranya. Indian cuisine in all its delicious, diverse forms is thankfully finding its place in the sun aboard the world’s major cruise lines. Aranya’s menus have been designed by acclaimed Indian chef Surjan Singh, known in the foodie world as Chef Jolly, along with Cunard’s culinary development team. 

The other three new specialty restaurants are Aji Wa, a Japanese restaurant with sushi and an omakase tasting menu; Sir Samuels, a high-end steakhouse; and Tramonto, which will feature outdoor dining and Mediterranean-inspired cuisine. 

New public spaces

Queen Anne Experience Lounge
Render of the Experience Lounge.

The Pavilion is a multi-purpose space that boasts a specially designed glass dome roof that can retract in warmer climes. As well as a swimming pool, the Pavilion accommodates a central stage and a large LED screen for open-air theatre, cinema screenings, live music and more.

Queen Anne’s new iteration of the much-loved Royal Court Theatre is Cunard’s first two-deck theatre. The sumptuously decorated, art deco-style venue will host West End plays, Broadway shows, acclaimed speakers from all over the world in the Insight program and feature-length movies.

Cunard’s signature Mareel Wellness & Beauty experience features the widest selection of fitness, beauty, thermal and spa facilities seen so far on a Cunard ship. There is also an array of treatment rooms and a private spa suite alongside a brand-new, top-deck wellness studio. 

Retail therapy

Queen Anne Grand Lobby Boutiques
Render of Grand Lobby boutiques.

Among the collection of 115 well-known luxury brands aboard Queen Anne are 27 first-time retail partners with Cunard. These include Hugo Boss, Raishma, Chapel Down, Whittard and 886 Royal Mint. Garrard, the first official crown jeweller in the UK, will also have its first boutique on board a Cunard ship.

Another first for the line is the gallery-style Cabinet of Curiosities. Set in the Grand Lobby, 38 display cases showcase a 360-degree display of collectables, jewellery, fashion and art from Cunard’s partner brands – such as Chanel and Bremont – available to buy, alongside never-before-seen treasures from the archives.

Complementing the new retail offerings is Queen Anne’s dedicated Shopping Host – yet another Cunard first. 

New Cunard voyage highlights

Queen Anne Cabinet of Curiosities
Render of the Cabinet of Curiosities.

The four queens – Queen Anne, QM2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth – will sail more than 300 voyages between September 2025 and January 2027. They will visit 184 different destinations around the world, including 70 countries and 108 UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Queen Anne and QM2 will visit Australia and New Zealand on their 2026 World Voyages. Both ships will depart from Southampton on 11 January; among Queen Anne’s local sectors are an 18-night Hong Kong-Sydney cruise, departing 27 February; a nine-night Sydney-Fremantle cruise, departing 17 March; and a 25-night Sydney-Cape Town cruise, departing 17 March.

QM2 World Voyage sectors beginning or ending in Australia include a 28-night Los Angeles-Sydney cruise, departing 3 February; a five-night Auckland-Sydney cruise, departing 27 February; and a 24-night Sydney-Singapore cruise, departing 4 March. 

QM2 will make her first transit of the Panama Canal during her 2026 World Voyage. 

For further information, visit cunard.com