World's Newest Cruise Ships Visits Cork: Port of Cork Company Welcomes Queen Anne on Maiden Voyage to Cobh

The Port of Cork Company (PoCC) proudly welcomed Cunard’s newest ship, Queen Anne, on her maiden voyage to Ireland today, 5th of June 2024. The arrival of the 249th ship to fly under the Cunard flag marks a historic moment for both Cunard and the Port of Cork, renewing a long-standing association that dates back to the early 20th century.

Ireland, and particularly the Port of Cork, has played a significant part in Cunard history. Cobh, formerly known as Queenstown, is one of the oldest of the company’s ports of call. Three of the most famous Cunard vessels that visited Cobh were the Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) and the ill-fated Lusitania and sister ship, the RMS Mauretania in the early 1900s.

As the newest cruise ship in the world and the latest addition to the Cunard fleet, Queen Anne embodies a unique blend of heritage, craftsmanship, style, storytelling, and innovation. The 113,000-ton, 3,000-guest ship spans 14 decks and is 323 metres in length, making it the second largest vessel on Cunard’s fleet. The ship offers passengers a multitude of onboard experiences, including more choices of leisure, entertainment, dining, and bars than ever before.

In a ceremonious event aboard the Queen Anne, a traditional plaque exchange took place to commemorate this significant occasion. Representatives from the PoCC presented a custom-made plaque to the ship’s Captain, symbolising the enduring relationship between the port and Cunard. This tradition, upheld for all maiden visits, underscores the historic and ongoing partnership.

Moreover, a commemoration wreath was placed at the Lusitania Memorial in Cobh to honour the memory of those lost in the tragic sinking of the Lusitania in 1915.

Conor Mowlds, Chief Commercial Officer at the Port of Cork Company and Chair of Cruise Ireland, stated, “The arrival of the Queen Anne on her maiden voyage to Cobh is a momentous occasion for the Port of Cork. This event not only celebrates our rich maritime heritage but also reinforces the strong bond we share with Cunard. We are honored to welcome the Queen Anne and her passengers, and we look forward to many more such visits in the future.”

The Queen Anne’s visit to Cobh is a highlight of her British Isles Festival Voyage, a 14-night circumnavigation of the British Isles, which includes other maiden calls to Greenock, Belfast, and Liverpool. This voyage celebrates the rich maritime heritage of the British Isles and Cunard’s deep-rooted connections to these historic ports.

Katie McAlister, President of Cunard, remarked, “Queen Anne’s British Isles Festival voyage is celebrating the very best of Great Britain and Ireland and we are delighted that our guests on board have the opportunity to visit Cobh, a location so embedded in our history.”

The final leg of the voyage will see Queen Anne departing from Cobh this evening to Southampton. Throughout her maiden season, Queen Anne will sail from Southampton on itineraries to the Mediterranean, Scandinavia, the Canary Islands, and the Norwegian Fjords, visiting over 60 unique destinations in 16 countries.

About Port of Cork Company

The Port of Cork is the world’s second-largest natural harbour and a key international trade gateway. It is the key seaport in the south of Ireland and is one of the three Ports of National Significance (Tier 1) as designated by National Ports Policy.

The National Ports Policy mandates Tier 1 Ports to lead the response in meeting Ireland’s future port capacity requirements. In this capacity, the port is also central to the national economic growth given that national ports handle approximately 90% of all imported and exported tonnage in Ireland.

As a multi-model port it is only one of two ports in Ireland to service all six shipping modes – lift on/ lift off, roll-on/ roll-off, liquid bulk, dry bulk, break bulk and cruise.

The Port of Cork Company (PoCC) is a commercial semi-state company responsible for the broad range of commercial running of Cork harbour as well as the navigation and berthage in the port.

In 2022, the Ports of Cork and Bantry reported a total consolidated traffic throughput of 10.2 million tonnes. The PoCC’s direct workforce is 170 staff, however, it supports thousands of jobs through indirect employment through warehouses, hauliers and shipping agents.

PoCC is a hugely important catalyst for trade and employment, offering direct connectivity to a global supply chain, particularly for FDI. 35 of its top customers are from industries such as Med-Tec, Pharma, IT, chemical and Agri-Food accounting for €145 billion of manufacturing and supporting over 45,000 jobs directly in the southwest region.

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