Small boats flotilla to welcome new Cunard ship to Southampton

A flotilla of small boats is due to welcome new Cunard ship Queen Anne into its home port of Southampton for the first time next month.

Ceremonial tugboats will add to the celebrations, spraying water cannons to herald the 113,000-ton, 3,000-passenger vessel’s arrival into the port on the morning of April 27.

The line is calling on mariners from local yacht clubs to join the flotilla at 9.30am as the second-largest Cunard vessel ever built first navigates Southampton Water amid an expected thousands of spectators.

Queen Anne, the 249th ship to sail under the Cunard flag, is then due to berth at the City Terminal at 10.30am.

An official blessing and plaque exchange ceremony will take place while the ship is at the Mayflower Terminal in the port on April 29 – the date of an overnight operational test attended by travel agents.

Queen Anne will set sail from Southampton on May 3 on its seven-night maiden voyage to La Coruna and Lisbon.

Cunard president Katie McAlister said: “The arrival of Queen Anne marks the dawning of a new era of luxury ocean travel. 

“As our first ship in 14 years, she is the next in a fine line, and we’re excited at the prospect of so many crafts, and spectators, gathering to welcome Queen Anne into her home port. This is a truly momentous occasion that will go down in maritime history.”

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