Video: Watch Iona float out

Video: Watch Iona float out

Last month, P&O Cruises welcomed Iona to its fleet following an official handover ceremony with the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany.

At 185,000 tonnes and 345m in length with 17 guest decks, Iona is the largest cruise ship ever built for the UK market and also the first British cruise ship to be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG).

P&O Cruises said it will “set new ground for guest experiences”, with a glass-roofed SkyDome, a gin distillery, new dining and entertainment concepts and wellbeing retreats.

Iona’s maiden season will be to Northern Europe, Spain, Portugal and the Canary Islands from its home port of Southampton.

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.

“Already eagerly anticipated by our guests, crew and the communities we visit, events this year have increased the sense of anticipation even more.

“While 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 while also upholding the latest approved travel protocols.”

Iona’s as-yet-unnamed sister ship will be delivered in December 2022.