P&O Cruises have revealed the name of their upcoming megaship, due to join the fleet in just under two years – Iona. Named for the peaceful island of the Inner Hebrides, Iona is set to join the P&O Cruises fleet in May 2020, becoming the largest ship dedicated to the British market and the first ever cruise liner running exclusively on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).
With a massive 5,200-passenger capacity – the ship will immediately become the largest liner catering to the British market, taking over from fleet mate, Britannia.
The steel cutting ceremony took place earlier this month at the shipbuilders, Meyer Werft, in Papenburg, Germany, as the ship starts to take shape. This landmark ship demonstrates the strength of the British cruise market, and the demand to cruise from the UK and around our nation.
The name came about as part of a competition, asking members of the public to pick a suitable moniker for the new ship. Iona was the winning entrant, beating off the competition, with more than 30,000 people casting their vote.
The island of Iona boasts a proud seafaring heritage, so a perfect title for the new ship, and the line will be delighted this has been recognised by the public.
P&O Cruises Senior Vice President, Paul Ludlow, spoke of the island’s impact on the British Isle’s development as a nation and as a tourism hub:
“We are an island nation and as Britain’s favourite cruise line it seems very fitting to highlight one of our most notable islands and celebrate the geographic diversity of the UK, especially as we can trace back our roots to the Scottish Isles. Iona played a significant part in shaping the history of our nation and we hope that with this very special name our new ship will shape the future of holidays at sea for generations.
“Iona is known for its peace and tranquillity, stunning landscape and, most importantly, the view of the ocean from almost every point on the island. This mirrors our primary intention when building the ship, which was to make the sea the star. Throughout the design process we were mindful that we were building a ship, not a hotel, and the intrinsic beauty of the sea, the vistas of the coastlines and ports of call should be at the fore and visible as much as possible from all areas of the ship.”
Whilst details of the ship are still being slowly revealed – there are a few things we know about Iona 24 months before she takes to the sea. An enormous Atrium will be the focal point of the new liner, with a three-deck glass-panelled façade. The ship will feature an outdoor promenade, measuring at half a mile in length, with a series of al fresco dining venues dotted along.
Feeding the 5,000+ guests will be 17 eateries, including seven speciality dining venues, significantly more than the rest of the P&O Cruises fleet. Additionally, there are plenty of entertainment venues to delight the whole family.
Cabins on board Iona go on sale in September, but until then you can book your place on board other members of the fleet on our dedicated P&O Cruises page. Alternatively, give our friendly customer care team a call on 0808 274 6777.