A showcase event at London’s Carlton House Terrace provided an insight into the design of Cunard’s new 3,000-passenger cruise ship, Queen Anne, which is scheduled to launch in 2024.
The luxury line unveiled artwork and design plans for the vessel, which is Cunard’s first new ship in 12 years and will once again bring the fleet to a total of four ships. Queen Anne’s interiors take inspiration from Cunard’s past, celebrating the beautiful Art Deco style that the brand is known for and introducing modern concepts to take Cunard into the future. The vessel will include a collection of 4,300 pieces of art from more than 3,000 artists and the brand new Bright Lights Society live music venue.
One room at Carlton House Terrace was transformed into a gallery to unveil some of the artwork, along with information on the artists and the stories about how the works were conceived. Elsewhere there was a taste of the Bright Lights Society, with a live stage and bars serving cocktails made with Cunard’s Three Queens Gin. The spirit was individually crafted by Pickering’s to celebrate the flavours of the Mediterranean, Americas and Orient; routes associated with each of Cunard’s current vessels, the Queen Victoria, Queen Mary 2 and the Queen Elizabeth, such as the Mediterranean.
Queen Anne’s art champions upcoming young contemporary artists who were asked to produce modern pieces inspired by photographs in the Cunard archive. Highlights include Tommy Camerno’s contemporary portrait of Queen Anne which will be displayed in the iconic Queen’s Room, famous for Cunard’s afternoon tea served by white-gloved waiters.
The painting within a painting portrays Queen Anne, the sovereign of England, Scotland and Ireland from 1702 to 1714, surrounded by some of her favourite objects including Chinoiserie porcelain. The artist said the painting evokes her personal life as well as exploring artefacts with cultural and historical meaning.
Cunard Acting Senior Vice President, Angus Struthers, told guests that instead of buying a random collection of art, every piece had a meaningful and historical link to Cunard’s 182-year history interpreted through modern eyes, saying:
“We are a heritage and luxury brand, but we also need to evolve. We want people to come onboard and see things they weren’t expecting. It is a ship that is inspired by the past but designed for the future.”
Guests were also introduced to Bright Lights Society, a new intimate venue, designed by London interior design company Richmond International, which has been involved in projects at leading luxury hotels including The Langham in London, Chicago and Boston and the Four Seasons Gresham Palace in Budapest. Providing what Cunard describes as “an exciting carousel of entertainment, where no two nights are the same”, the name honours Cunard’s heritage as the sailing the world’s first ocean liner to use electric lights.
Other design houses involved with the new ship include the David Collins Studio and Sybille de Margerie who worked with renowned Creative Director Adam D. Tihany. Their joint portfolio covers luxury hotels, bars, restaurants, high end yachts and grand private residences.
While retaining classic areas, such as the Grand Lobby and Queens Room, the new ship with have reimagined areas and brand new venues to provide passengers with a greater choice. Struthers said more details about the ship would be announced at a later date, adding:
“I want to thank our world leading designers and brand partners as they continue to refine the Cunard signatures and craft a collection of exciting new Queen Anne venues and experiences. We look forward to sharing more about the collection over the coming year.”
Queen Anne is due to set sail from Southampton in May 2024 and maiden season itineraries will visit destinations including the Mediterranean, Canary Islands, Scandinavia and Norwegian Fjords. The cruises went on sale on 7th December 2022.
Known as the ‘River Cruise Queen’, Jeannine Williamson is an award-winning travel writer, cruise expert and our cruise correspondent, who has clocked up thousands of nautical miles.
Photographs by Christopher Ison courtesy of Cunard