The new Iona delivered to P&O Cruises
In the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany on October 9th, P&O Cruises took ownership of Iona, the latest addition to its fleet and the largest cruise ship ever built for the UK market. Iona is the first of two new vessels for the P&O Cruises brand.
At 185,000 tonnes, 345 meters in length with 17 guest decks Iona is the first British cruise ship to be powered by liquefied natural gas. Features include the two-deck SkyDome with glass dome roof and spacious layout, a gin distillery, eight speciality restaurants including yet to be unveiled concepts. Not only: 13 entertainment venues, four swimming pools including a spectacular infinity pool at the aft of the ship and 16 whirlpools.
P&O Cruises president, Paul Ludlow, who was present at the event in Papenburg said: Iona 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. A new delivery is something special for everyone. The hope is to be able to sail again as soon as possible. Iona’s delivery is a very positive signal for the future of cruising. Already eagerly anticipated by our guests, crew and the communities we visit, events this year have increased the sense of anticipation even more.
Shipyard managing director Jan Meyer explained: This is really a very special delivery for us for a variety of reasons. Not only because of the current corona crisis, but also because we delivered Aurora to P&O Cruises exactly 20 years ago.
It is not yet clear when Iona will be able to leave with certainty for her first cruise. Whilst our operations are currently paused until early 2021 – continued Ludlow – 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.