In what has been called a “positive signal for the future”, P&O Cruises has officially welcomed its new ship Iona to its fleet.
P&O Cruises took ownership of Iona on Friday at an official handover ceremony with the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany on Friday.
Speaking at the event in Papenburg, P&O Cruises president, Paul Ludlow, 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 o home port of Southampton.”
The 185,000 tonne Iona is largest cruise ship ever built for the UK market and the first British cruise ship to be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG). The ship is the newest addition to the fleet since the Britannia in 2013.
Iona includes first of their kind features such as the two-deck SkyDome – a glass dome that offers relaxing and unrivalled views of the surrounding sky and sea. The SkyDome is a tranquil pool by day and transforms into a entertainment venue by night. Cruisers can also craft individual gins at the first ever gin distillery at sea.
The ship also features 13 entertainment venues, four swimming pools, a infinity pool overlooking the waves and 16 whirlpools.
“Already eagerly anticipated by our guests, crew and the communities we visit, events this year have increased the sense of anticipation even more.Paul Ludlow, P&O Cruises President.
P&O Cruises operations are currently paused with the cruise line hoping to resume sailing in early 2021,
Bookings for sailings on Iona are currently open, with guests able to choose from Spain and Portugal, Canary Islands, Northern Europe and the Norwegian Fjords.