Queen Anne sets sail for her maiden voyage to Lisbon in May 2024 – the start of many journeys and the beginning of a new chapter in Cunard’s 183-year-old story.

The ship will be vast – 322m long, standing 64m above the water, and with a gross tonnage of 113,000, making her the second biggest in Cunard’s fleet. With 14 decks, 1 498 staterooms and suites, 15 eateries and a host of unique spaces for guests to enjoy, Queen Anne is a 21st-century luxury masterclass.

As the 249th ship to sail under a Cunard flag, Queen Anne will be a crowning salute both to Cunard’s heritage and to their exciting future. “To think it all started in 2017 with the initial concept and announcing the ship in 2018, the journey has been a true labour of love!” says Francis Fred, Cunard’s senior brand manager.

For design director Alison Clixby, Queen Anne has been a compelling odyssey. “Queen Anne will be amazing. We are really trying to push the brand into the future. Our mantra was, if you walk into a space you will immediately know you’re on a Cunard vessel. But we wanted to take the best of Cunard product and style and create the next iteration.

“The ship has taken a much more contemporary tone. It’s bolder in its design, much more colour – it’s almost like a boutique hotel on the ocean. The first boutique hotels were unique, really distinctive, no holds barred. A very strong design aesthetic.”

The challenge was to bring together the ideas of more than 40 designers while always referencing the Cunard design DNA. “It needs to be elegant, refined, timeless and authentic to the brand, but what does that mean when you’re designing an interior?” asks Alison. “When we looked at how we interpret those ethereal standards, we said Britishness is at the heart of Cunard, but it’s a bit quirky, witty, eccentric, a bit Vivienne Westwood. It’s the tradition and formality of cruising versus what it is now to be a modern British person who’s used to luxury environments. It’s how we address that reinvention of glamour and luxury.