Cunard celebrates historic Queen Anne naming ceremony with unforgettable performances and dazzling celebrations

3 June 2024 [Southampton, UK]

Cunard’s newest ship Queen Anne was centre stage as the luxury cruise line hosted a spectacular naming ceremony in its spiritual home of Liverpool.

Tens of thousands of people gathered at Liverpool Waterfront to witness the historic celebrations, which featured performances from iconic Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts and more.

On-stage proceedings were hosted by Busted musician Matt Willis and TV presenter Emma Willis.

Liverpool was the birthplace of Cunard’s first Transatlantic Crossing, 184 years ago in May 1840, and was the company’s headquarters for 128 years. The love and affection the people of Liverpool still have for all things Cunard is clear – never more so than when a Cunard ship arrives on the Mersey. 

Queen Anne made her maiden call to Cunard’s spiritual home at around 7am, ahead of an impressive naming ceremony that marked a new chapter in the luxury cruise line’s 184-year history.

The ceremony opened with a one-of-a-kind performance by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, which captivated the audience's senses through powerful yet delicate melodies.

The City of Liverpool was then named as Queen Anne’s Godparent in recognition of the long-lasting bond with its spiritual home.

Five Liverpool icons were invited on stage to represent the city, including former Spice Girl and author Melanie C, broadcaster and community leader Ngunan Adamu, local restaurant entrepreneur Natalie Haywood, Liverpool music and cultural legend Jayne Casey, and British Olympian heptathlon athlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson.

These distinguished women, who embody the heart and future of Liverpool, just as Queen Anne does for Cunard, were chosen because of their significant contributions to culture at a local, national or international level.

The iconic smashing of the Champagne bottle against the ship signified this historic moment and wished the vessel and its crew good fortune on its future voyages.

To top the bill, operatic superstar Andrea Bocelli ended the event with an unforgettable performance of two of his iconic songs, ‘It’s Time to Say Goodbye’.

Katie McAlister, President of Cunard, said: I would like to thank our Liverpool Icons, these amazing women, for representing the city and taking part in this historic ceremony and to all of the people of Liverpool for once again opening your hearts and welcoming Cunard and Queen Anne.