Fireworks will light up the sky tonight as Queen Anne sets sail on her maiden voyage from Southampton.

The 113,000-tonne ship will take the first group of lucky cruise passengers on a seven-night trip to La Coruna in northwest Spain and Lisbon in Portugal.

She is due to leave at around 9pm on Friday.

On Tuesday, hundreds of cruise enthusiasts turned up at piers and marinas across Southampton to get a glimpse of the Queen Anne in all her glory.

Hundreds watched from Mayflower Park in Southampton – which many regard as the top spot in the city to watch the towering vessels float into the port.

It has been reported that the tickets for the maiden voyage sold out in just minutes – a testament to Cunard’s popularity.

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As the ship arrived in Southampton on Tuesday, one cruise lover told the Echo he was on the reserve list for today’s voyage.

Tim Bonde had travelled all the way from Derbyshire 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.”

Queen Anne will be leaving Southampton at around 9:15pm today and residents will be able to get a glimpse of the ships as she sails off to sunny Spain.

The ship will be returning to the city on May 10 after its maiden voyage.