Not Quite A Review Of Cunard’s New Queen Anne

October 6, 2023  |  Share:


“Queen Anne is not just a replication of what has gone before.” 

it’s not often that I receive an invite to visit a ship under construction. But when Cunard got in touch a few months ago and offered me the opportunity to see Queen Anne at the Fincantieri shipyard just outside Venice, it was something I couldn’t pass up.

What follows is not necessarily a review but more a summary of the notes I took while exploring. If anything, I hope it captures a glimpse of what is to come when the much-anticipated ship joins the fleet in May 2024. It was also an excellent opportunity to share some of the pictures I took – but if you’d like to see more, I’d recommend heading over to our social channels, which I’ll link at the end.

First impressions

Queen Anne Stern View

The Stern


As I mentioned earlier, this marked my first visit to a ship under construction, and it proved to be an utterly remarkable experience. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, but the shipyard was nothing short of immense. A constant flow of workers weaving in and out of the ship, spilling out from the warehouses, and manoeuvring on forklifts. Preparing a ship like Queen Anne is a round-the-clock operation, right up until she’s ready to set sail.

Even though Queen Anne is smaller than Queen Mary 2, she still presents an impressively imposing spectacle. Towering above the adjacent warehouses and industrial structures, the striking red and black funnel immediately catches your eye from the road that parallels Fincantieri. Yet, standing in its shadow is an entirely different experience. It was the first time I truly grasped the ship’s sheer size. The ship appears almost complete from the exterior, although it could use a fresh coat of paint… or two.


Queen Anne Funnel

The iconic red and black funnel.

Chris Frame

Our guide for the tour was Chris Frame, a maritime historian who is closely linked with Cunard. Not only will he be a guest speaker on Queen Anne’s Inaugural sailing, but Chris and his wife played an important role in naming the suites on the vessel. 


Chris Frame Cunard Speaker

Maritime Historian Chris Frame.


His knowledge and insight into the history of Cunard was astounding. He could give a sense of what Queen Anne would be like when the work was completed, and his passion for the project was genuinely infectious.

(Chris has a website dedicated to the history of Cunard, which I highly recommend).

The Decor

Queen Anne Artists Impressions

Artist impressions


Discussing the designer’s intentions for how Queen Anne will appear when she arrives next spring is a little challenging. As you’ll notice from the pictures, Queen Anne is very much in a state of undress, resembling more of a construction site than a state-of-the-art modern cruise vessel. Nevertheless, thanks to some strategically placed artwork and Chris’s talent for bringing spaces to life, we were able to get a sense of how everything will eventually come together.

If you’re familiar with Cunard or have sailed on one of the line’s other Queens, you’ll know the line’s preference for a strong Art Deco influence in interior design. Interestingly, this choice initially sparked some controversy when the style was first introduced, with Cunard receiving criticism for not adhering to a more “classically British” approach. As for Queen Anne, you can still expect to find the Art Deco aesthetics that have made Cunard so beloved over time. However, it was emphasised that this would be a modern interpretation, not necessarily the same as what you might encounter on the Queen Mary 2 or Queen Elizabeth.


Queen Anne Commodore Club Bar

The beginnings of the Commodore Club…


My main takeaway is that should Cunard pull off anything close to the artwork on display (and there’s absolutely no reason why they shouldn’t), then Queen Anne will provide guests with an onboard environment nothing short of breathtaking. Aside from the lavish furnishings and design-led diversity of the public spaces, the use of natural light is truly inspired – even while every window is covered by protective plastic.

Signature Spaces

One aspect that many of our clients adore about Cunard, and undoubtedly one of the key reasons why so many return for multiple voyages, is the distinctive onboard spaces. Few cruise lines can rival Cunard’s ability to blend maritime tradition with modern comfort seamlessly. With Queen Anne, Cunard has elevated this synergy to new heights.

Some of these spaces, such as the Chart Room bar and lounge, will occupy more extensive areas than ever before. The Queen’s Room, spanning the ship’s width, retains its grand size similar to that of Queen Mary 2, offering ample room for afternoon tea and dancing.


Queen Anne Britannia Restaurant

The Britannia Restaurant


The Britannia Club Restaurant now enjoys a more prominent location just off the Grand Lobby, which itself will showcase ‘dynamic’ artwork that changes depending on your viewing angle. Similarly, the Royal Court Theatre on Queen Anne has been reimagined and will stand out from those aboard Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth. In this two-tiered space, Cunard aims to recreate the ambience of 1930s music halls, ensuring that every seat provides clear sightlines to the stage.


Queen Anne Pool Area

A view across what will be the pool area.


The design of the pool area is notably clever. When fully retracted, the roof still covers the bar area, ensuring that those looking for shade in hot weather or seeking shelter during inclement conditions can enjoy the outdoor surroundings and fresh air.

A new take on wellness

Queen Anne’s wellness offerings are a departure from anything Cunard has previously undertaken. Drawing from years of experience, the cruise line has created distinctive spaces dedicated solely to relaxation and rejuvenation. On the top deck, you’ll discover The Pavilion, housing a wellness studio where instructor-led classes are offered, and the Wellness Cafe, serving various healthy, seasonal dishes.


Queen Anne Hydrotherapy Pool

The hydrotherapy pool area.


On the lowest passenger deck, you’ll find the Mareel Wellness & Beauty Spa, featuring a spacious thermal therapy pool and a range of treatment rooms where guests can indulge in a menu of treatments set in idyllic surroundings.

Final Thoughts

With just over six months remaining until Queen Anne’s inaugural voyage from Southampton to Lisbon, the ship is rapidly taking shape. I’m eagerly anticipating how the ship will appear when she embarks on her maiden voyage next May.

Ever since her announcement in early 2022, Cunard has often referred to Queen Anne as “The Next In A Fine Line“, which is particularly fitting given the goal of offering guests a fresh interpretation of the classic Cunard experience. If you’re considering booking a voyage during her maiden season or have already made a reservation, I’d love to hear your expectations and what you’re especially looking forward to. Please feel free to comment below or contact me directly at David@cruiseline.co.uk.

To end on a fun note: Did you know that over 3,500 km of wiring is being used on Queen Anne? If all that wiring were laid end-to-end, it would stretch from Cunard’s frequent homeport of Southampton all the way to Tenerife.


David Queen Anne

Obligatory hard-hat photo…

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One Response to Not Quite A Review Of Cunard’s New Queen Anne

  1. Hi David. Thank you for the kind comments about my contribution to the tour of Queen Anne. It was a pleasure to have you in my group. Chris.

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