Captain's Log - February 2024

February 22, 2024 [Valencia, Calif.,]

In the sixth and final instalment of her Captain’s Log series, Captain Inger Thorhauge shares her experiences of Queen Anne’s latest milestone as our impressive new ship successfully completed sea trials.   

In the weeks ahead, the Captain will turn her attention to final preparations ahead of our newest Queen’s arrival in Southampton...

Our new ship has just completed a unique voyage.

For 16 days in February, Queen Anne was put through her paces during her critical first sea trials.

And, I am thrilled to report, she passed with flying colours!

The complexity of the entire shipbuilding project spanning several years, and the way in which plans and concepts have been brought to life thanks to the skills of our design teams and shipyard partners, culminated in our momentous passage from Venice to Palermo and back.

And what a trip it was.  

For the months of her fit-out, Queen Anne has been alongside at our builder Fincantieri’s shipyard. 

Hundreds of contractors, miles of cabling, welding, noise, heat, and harsh work lights greeted me every time I stepped on board. 

All that changed the moment the order to ‘let go ropes’ was given and we edged away from the crowded quayside at Marghera.

Before long, with tugs stood down, Queen Anne was making way under her own power for the very first time. It was a very moving milestone in the project – but not one we could savour for too long!

Ahead of us was a vast programme of checking, testing, assessing, and calibrating all major systems.

Everything from the pods powering our propulsion system, to the mighty bow thrusters aiding our manoeuvrability, and the stabilisers giving us ‘wings in the water’ was tested to the extreme.

And all the complex electronic systems controlling all this hardware were also thoroughly tested to ensure they meet the required specification and performance.

The volume of work was enormous. 

A primary aim was to see how the ship handles in various situations from full speed ahead to full speed astern, tight turns, fast turns, slow turns, and crash stops. 

Believe me, these were stringent tests and Queen Anne’s performance under these extremes was really impressive.

We also took the ship into Dry Dock at Palermo to paint the hull as we continue efforts to ready our new Queen for delivery. 

More tests and inspections were carried out all the way back to Marghera to complete the schedule. No sooner were we back alongside in the familiar surroundings of the yard than gangways were put in place and legions of engineers, yard workers and contractors were back on board.

We are now in the critical final phase of work towards completion and delivery of the ship in April and In the coming weeks Queen Anne’s crew will start to assemble.

This will be a very exciting part of the whole project. I know that when we start to see more crew in Cunard uniforms on board than yard workers in their protective gear, we’ll be getting ever closer to our momentous maiden departure for Southampton.

I cannot wait to take command on Queen Anne’s historic first sailing under the Cunard flag. I know that first voyage to our home port will be another very busy and exciting time for all of us on board. 

Until then, it’ll be goodbye from me as I sign off the last of my Captain’s Logs from the shipyard. 

In the meantime, I hope you all enjoy this update in the Queen Anne journey, and I look forward to seeing you in Southampton as we write the next chapter of the Cunard story.