Cunard's Queen Anne event in Liverpool a 'once in a lifetime' experience for cruise passengers

Guests aboard the Queen Anne cruise ship said the trip is a "once in a lifetime" experience.

Having recently taken her maiden voyage, Cunard's new liner Queen Anne arrived in Liverpool this morning for her naming ceremony - a moment signified by the traditional smashing of a bottle of champagne against the 249th ship to carry the Cunard name.

The day is packed with performances by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, DJ Lauren Lo Sung, a funk and soul set by Craig Charles and the appearance of legendary tenor Andrea Bocelli.

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While the ship remains docked at the Pier Head for the ceremony, guests have been able to soak up the concert experience at the waterfront. Dianne Finn is one guest aboard the Queen Anne, travelling with her husband and friends.

She told the ECHO: "We only live 20 miles up the road [in Knutsford, Cheshire] but everything surrounding the ship and ceremony is why we booked it. The welcome has been absolutely fabulous. Liverpool is the home of Cunard and what better place to name a ship than here?"

Quizzed on today's performers, specifically Andrea Bocelli, she added: "He's not a Liverpool boy, is he? He's fabulous but we're excited to see everyone perform, especially to watch the fireworks later tonight. We'll be back on the ship by then. We're sailing to Ireland tomorrow and we're sad to go but life on the ship is great as you can imagine."

Dianne and her friends have travelled on multiple cruises throughout the years but Queen Anne holds a special new place in their hearts. Dianne added: "We've been on a few and this has been just fabulous. Absolutely fabulous. We've had some sunshine and some 'liquid sunshine' but it doesn't matter because this whole experience has been once in a lifetime. Absolutely fantastic."

You can see the Queen Anne's full itinerary here.

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