Britain-based cruise line P&O Cruises has taken ownership of Iona, the latest addition to its fleet and the largest cruise ship that has ever been built for the UK market.
P&O Cruises will launch Iona in 2021. The new liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered ship, with 5,200-guest capacity and 17 guest decks, will be the largest ship built to serve the UK market, weighing 185,000 tonnes and 345m in length.
P&O Cruises president, Paul Ludlow, who signed the Protocol for Delivery and Acceptance commented, ‘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 feature further enhancements to P&O’s current designs, including a three-deck atrium in the heart of the ship, as well as SkyDome – an exclusively designed glass dome by British engineers Eckersley O’Callaghan. SkyDome is a tranquil pool environment by day with dining and entertainment by night, including specially commissioned aerial entertainment shows under the stars. The company says that 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.
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. 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.
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.