Cunard Line lays keel for new Queen Anne cruise ship

In Venice, Fincantieri shipyard laid the keel for Cunard Line’s new ship, Queen Anne.

Captain Inger Klein Torhauge welds the ceremonial coin into the keel before a massive crane lifts the Queen Anne center section into position next to the new structure.

The “laying” of the keel is a crucial milestone in shipbuilding, marking the official first step in the ship’s construction, and is celebrated with a ceremony attended by officials and cruise and shipbuilding companies.

The new ship, which will be completed at the end of next year, will enter service at the beginning of 2024.

“Over the last three years, the world’s leading designers have worked with master shipbuilders here at Fincantieri to design this ship which reinforces our resolve to be a world-renowned luxury brand on every continent,” Carnival UK chairman Sture Mirmel said at the ceremony.

Many generations will enjoy Queen Anne to come and we really look forward to welcoming her to our fleet.”

Queen Anne is the first new ship from Cunard since Queen Elizabeth launched in 2010, and will increase the fleet to four for the first time since 1999.

Queen Anne’s design draws on Cunard’s Art Deco past and will be a tribute to the “golden age” of travel.

The ship will feature Cunard’s first double-deck, 825-seat Royal Court Theater inspired by the world’s great theatres, with lavish fittings and velvet seats.

The ship will have 15 restaurants, including the main dining Britannia restaurant, found on all ships of the line — and the famous Golden Lion pub, which serves bar food.