Cunard Line has announced the necessary delay of Queen Anne, citing supply chain shortages and energy concerns that will push back the ship’s debut by several months. Now, Queen Anne will not welcome guests until May 2024.
Booked guests impacted by the delay are being contacted, and guests booked on the maiden voyage are being rebooked on the new inaugural sailing automatically.
Queen Anne Delayed
The first new ship for Cunard Line since Queen Elizabeth debuted in 2010, Queen Anne will now be delayed for four months. Instead of joining the line in early January 2024, the ship’s inaugural sailing will now be in May 2024.
In a letter sent to booked guests, Cunard Line explained: “As a result, for reasons beyond our control, our much-awaited new ship Queen Anne will be arriving later than expected and we have been advised that we must regrettably cancel her maiden season sailings departing from January 4, 2024, up to and including April 14, 2024.”
The cruise line cited supply chain issues and energy constraints as factors in the ship’s delay, circumstances that have similarly delayed other new cruise ship deliveries in recent months.
“Due in part to unforeseen events that have occurred in recent years, the shipbuilding industry, like other industries, has faced numerous challenges including energy shortages and global supply chain constraints,” the email read.
The new Pinnacle-class, 113,300-gross-ton cruise ship is currently under construction at the Fincantieri shipyard in Marghera, near Venice, Italy. Her first steel was cut in October 2019.
This is not the first delay for the highly-anticipated new ship; when she was announced in September 2017, it was anticipated that she would join the Cunard fleet in 2022, but the industry-wide pandemic shutdown – which also stopped work in shipyards and disrupted supply chains worldwide – forced lengthy delays in her construction.
New Maiden Itineraries to Go on Sale
Despite the delay and these new cancelations, interest is high in the vessel that promises to be as regal as her fleet mates.
The new inaugural season of voyages, which are now planned to set sail in May 2024, will go on sale in December. The cruise line’s loyal past passengers, Cunard World Club members, will have the opportunity to book passage first, with reservations available from December 6, 2022. General bookings will open the next day, December 7, for all interested guests to make reservations.
Guests previously booked on the now-canceled maiden voyage are being automatically moved to the new maiden voyage, and thus will still have the opportunity to be part of that momentous sailing.
“As you were due to sail on Queen Anne’s sold-out maiden voyage, we will be automatically moving your booking to the new maiden voyage over the coming weeks, and we will issue you with new booking details,” the email to impacted guests read.
The new 7-night inaugural sailing will being in Southampton on May 3, 2024, and will visit both La Coruna, Spain, and Lisbon, Portugal.
Guests who are unable to join the new maiden voyage can contact the cruise line to cancel their plans or rebook on a different sailing. If guests must cancel, they will receive a full refund as well as a 10% future cruise credit (FCC) based on what costs have already been paid.
Guests not automatically rebooked on the maiden sailing will still receive a full refund and the 10% credit, but must arrange their own rebooking for an alternate itinerary if desired.
Other Ship Delays
Queen Anne is not the only new vessel to have been delayed due to pandemic disruptions that continue to echo through the shipbuilding industry.
Disney Cruise Line’s new Disney Wish was delayed by several weeks, Carnival Cruise Line’s Mardi Gras was delayed a total of seven times before finally welcoming guests in July 2021, and Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Viva has already had delays and multiple cruise cancelations while she is still under construction.
P&O Cruises, AIDA Cruises, Margaritaville at Sea, and Virgin Voyages have also also delayed ship debuts due to ongoing shipbuilding and supply struggles.