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Last night, against a backdrop of soaring architecture, beautiful works of art, fine caviar and the perfect gin and tonic, Cunard introduced its newest ship—and its new president, Katie McAlister—to its New York travel partners. The event took place at the company’s former New York offices 25 Broadway—now Cipriani 25 Broadway.

In homage to the original Queen Anne, who was known for her support of the arts, 4,300 pieces of art have been curated for the ship in what will be the largest art collection at sea; many were hung around the room for guests to admire. A performance by Alan Cumming highlighted Queen Anne’s Bright Lights Society, a new cabaret-style entertainment venue designed for intimate and diverse performances.

The ship will be home to the largest art collection at sea. (Photo credit: Cheryl Rosen)

“Cunard has a great history in North America over many years, and the key is our relationship with travel advisors,” McAlister told Recommend. “I know they will be absolutely delighted with Queen Anne. It gives guests more choices and a slightly different ambiance—and I think they will love it.”

Cunard Introduces First Ship in 13 Years

The 3,000-passenger Queen Anne will have 14 decks and “some of the finest accommodations at sea,” including twice as many Brittania Club staterooms as other ships in the fleet, a new top-deck wellness studio, and The Pavilion, a retractable glass-domed area that includes a pool and an open-air theater. The launch of Cunard’s 249th ship will mark the first time in the 21st century that the line will have four ships at sea. The ship will feature 15 dining venues.

During her maiden season, which kicks off in May of next year, Queen Anne will be sailing in Europe, including Iberia, the Atlantic Coast and the Canary Islands; the Norwegian Fjords, Northern Europe and the British Isles; and the Mediterranean. Then she will cross the Atlantic on Jan. 7, 2025, for a maiden World voyage.

(Photo credit: Cheryl Rosen)

Cumming noted that Noel Coward set some of his greatest works on cruise ships, including “Sail Away,” which opened on Broadway in 1961. As the eponymous song suggests, he sang:
“When the storm clouds are riding through a winter sky
Sail away, sail away
When the love light is fading in your sweetheart’s eye
Sail away, sail away
When you feel your song
Is orchestrated wrong
Why should you prolong your stay?
When the wind and the weather blow your dreams sky high
Sail away, sail away, sail away.”

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