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Travel industry news

30 Jul 2019

BY Tom Parry

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Iona: P&O reveals family-focused dining and excursion options

P&O Cruises has unveiled new family-focused attractions and activities available onboard its upcoming ship Iona – including a “street-food-style” dining experience and shore excursions.

PandO Iona.jpg

The line said its new dining concept, The Quays, offers a multi-venue dining piazza with a range of restaurants and eateries.

 

Families can opt for The Boardwalk Diner, “where American classics meet Southern soul”, while Fusion offers Asian flavours and take-away dishes throughout the day.

 

Traditional British fish and chips can be chosen at Hook Line and Vinegar, with The Olive Grove celebrating the flavours of the southern and eastern Mediterranean.

 

For extra global cuisine choices, Iona will feature Taste 360, a new concept offering a “street-food-style” experience on deck “so guests can try exciting flavours with a side of dramatic sea views”, P&O said.

 

Guests with a sweet tooth can visit Ripples gelateria, serving scoops of luxury Italian-style gelato. Iona will feature exclusive flavours from gelato makers Snowflake, inspired by the ship’s inaugural season cruising the Norwegian fjords.

 

Away from dining, Iona also offers onboard entertainment appealing to “toddlers to teens”.

 

P&O said The Reef onboard activity programme, aimed at six months to 12 years, would keep children “happy and entertained throughout the day and evening”.

 

Scene gives teens aged 13 to 17 the chance to test their skills with the latest gaming technology, while the ship’s Night Nursery allows parents the chance to enjoy Iona’s entertainment options without little ones in tow.

 

The whole family can also take an outing to Ocean Studios, a four-screen cinema complex onboard, The Club House, to play games or watch family-friendly stage shows in the Headliners Theatre.

 

Pop-up performances, including aerial and circus performances, will also be hosted in the Grand Atrium and SkyDome.

 

On land, P&O has developed a number of new shore excursions aimed specifically at families.

 

In Alesund, on the west coast of Norway, families can visit the Atlantic Sea-Park, one of Europe’s largest saltwater aquariums featuring 11 large landscape aquariums filled with North Atlantic Ocean life from various depths.

 

There are opportunities to get hands-on at the open touch pools, watch the seals and penguins play and peer into a tank that holds seven million pints of seawater.

 

Also in Norway, guests can connect with the wilderness as they explore the waters of the Geirangerfjord on the line’s Geirangerfjord Kayaking guided adventure.

 

At Preacher’s Pulpit, kayakers will look up at the sheer cliff face that climbs almost 610 metres into the sky from their vantage point on the fjord.

 

P&O’s In Between Branches adventure in Cadiz’s Roche forest sees guests zip-lining at the Entre Ramas Adventure Park with 58 games spread across six circuits of varying degrees of difficulty.

 

The chance to tour Europe’s largest football stadium and home to FC Barcelona, Camp Nou, is also an excursion on offer when visiting the city.

 

Guests will walk through the visiting team’s changing room and along the corridor where players enter the ground. They can also check out the press and interview rooms and the Barca Museum, which displays memorabilia and trophies.

 

Paul Ludlow, P&O Cruises president, said: “It’s not easy finding a holiday that caters to everyone’s needs and, when you are travelling with children, your happiness depends on theirs.

 

“We believe we have come up with the perfect solution – unprecedented choice and flexibility when it comes to dining as well as a fun and welcoming environment so parents can relax and recharge while the kids have the time of their lives. Iona really is the ultimate family holiday.”

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