Cunard's newest cruise ship Queen Anne has arrived in her home port of Southampton

Crowds gathered at Mayflower Park to watch the liner pass just before 7.30pm ahead of her maiden voyage on Friday where she will entertain 3,000 guests.

Earlier hundreds also watched from Hythe Marina as the behemoth of a ship passed.

Daily Echo: Andrew StretchAndrew Stretch (Image: Ross Marshall)

Andrew Stretch was among the crowd at Mayflower Park. He works at the cruise terminal and said he had already booked a cruise on the Queen Anne.

Andrew said: "I’ve been following the building of the ship all through its journey.

"Cunard is without doubt the top cruise liner even though they are a little bit more expensive.

"The Queen ships are definitely something special."

Daily Echo: Queen Anne from Hythe Marina. Picture: Stuart MartinQueen Anne from Hythe Marina. Picture: Stuart Martin (Image: Stuart Martin)

Tim Bonde lives all the way in Derbyshire but came down to see the Queen Anne at Mayflower Park.

He said: "I’m on the reserve list for a maiden voyage cabin, but I don’t think that’s likely to happen.

"I’ve been on all the other Cunard ships and I absolutely love them all.

"It’s always more of a voyage than a cruising holiday and this is just a fantastic experience.

"It’s also great to have the first female captain on a Cunard ship when travelling.

"I’ve always found them to be an extremely inclusive and diverse company."

Anne is the 249th ship to fly under the Cunard flag. She completes a quartet alongside Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth, and Queen Victoria.

It marks the first time since 1999 that Cunard has four ships in service at the same time.

The ship sets sail on Friday for a seven-day trip, taking in La Coruna in Spain and Lisbon in Portugal before returning to Southampton on May 10.

For her 2025 programme, Queen Anne will be sailing out of Southampton, providing a range of destinations and itinerary lengths varying from two to 19 nights, visiting destinations across the Mediterranean, Scandinavia, the Canary Islands, and the Norwegian Fjords.

Her maiden season will include 19 maiden calls to incredible locations such as Bilbao, Ibiza, Skjolden, Messina and Santorini.