At an official handover ceremony with the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany on Friday, P&O Cruises took ownership of Iona, the latest addition to its fleet and the largest cruise ship ever built for the UK market.
At 185,000 tonnes, 345m in length with 17 guest decks and setting new ground for guest experience, Iona is the first British cruise ship to be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG).
P&O Cruises president, Paul Ludlow, who was present at the event in Papenburg and signed the Protocol for Delivery and Acceptance said:
“Iona’s delivery is a very positive signal for the future of cruising. She is now officially part of the P&O Cruises fleet and we are focused on readying her to welcome guests during her new maiden season to Northern Europe, Spain, Portugal and the Canary Islands from our home port of Southampton.
“Already eagerly anticipated by our guests, crew and the communities we visit, events this year have increased the sense of anticipation even more.
“Whilst our operations are currently paused until early 2021 Iona will not be sailing for the moment but we look forward to our guests experiencing this game-changing ship as we will continue to offer unparalleled holidays at sea whilst also upholding the latest approved travel protocols.”
Iona will also herald a new era in cruise holidays with many first of their kind features including the unique two-deck SkyDome. Its glass dome roof and spacious layout flooded with natural light offers relaxing and unrivalled views of the surrounding sky and sea. SkyDome is a tranquil pool environment by day with dining and entertainment by night, including stunning specially commissioned aerial entertainment shows under the stars.
Guests can also craft individual gins at the first ever gin distillery at sea or unwind in the Oasis spa featuring a range of destination-themed treatments.
Iona will have eight specialty restaurants including yet to be unveiled concepts, as well as 13 entertainment venues, four swimming pools including a spectacular infinity pool at the aft of the ship and 16 whirlpools.
For more information or to book, call P&O Cruises on 03453 555 111, visit www.pocruises.com or visit a travel agent.
About P&O Cruises
P&O Cruises is Britain’s favourite cruise line, welcoming guests to experience the good life and enjoy a blend of discovery, relaxation and exceptional service catered towards British tastes. P&O Cruises fleet of premium ships combine genuine service, a sense of occasion and attention to detail, ensuring guests have the holiday of a lifetime, every time.
In 2021, P&O Cruises will launch Iona. The new LNG-powered ship, with 5,200-guest capacity, will be the largest ship built to serve the UK market. Iona will feature enhancements to already successful brand signature venues from the existing fleet, as well as features newly developed for Iona. These include a breathtaking three deck atrium in the heart of the ship as well as SkyDome – an exclusively designed glass dome by award-winning British engineers Eckersley O’Callaghan. This will be a world first at sea and offer a unique space for both relaxing in all weathers and providing entertainment, featuring aerial performers and a wealth of live acts.
P&O Cruises visits over 200 destinations worldwide and offers itineraries generally ranging from two to 17 days and also an annual world cruise. P&O Cruises sails to Australia & New Zealand, Baltic, the British Isles, Canada, the Spain, Portugal & the Canary Islands, the Caribbean, Central America, Dubai & the Arabian Gulf, the Far East & Asia, the Indian Ocean, the Mediterranean, Scandinavia, South America, the South Pacific, the United States and Western Europe.
The company is part of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL;NYSE:CUK).
SOURCE P&O Cruises