P&O Cruises has taken delivery of new ship Iona, with president Paul Ludlow calling the vessel joining the line’s fleet “a very positive signal for the future of cruising”.
The 5,200-guest ship – the largest cruise ship ever built for the UK market – was handed over during a ceremony with the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany on Friday (9 October).
P&O is now preparing for its maiden season to Northern Europe, Spain, Portugal and the Canary Islands from Southampton.
Ludlow said Iona was “already eagerly anticipated by our guests, crew and the communities we visit” and that he believed “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 whilst also upholding the latest approved travel protocols,” he added.
P&O said Iona would “herald a new era in cruise holidays” with many first-of-their-kind features onboard – including a two-deck, glass-roof SkyDome.
Guests can also craft gins at the industry’s first gin distillery at sea. Iona will also have eight speciality restaurants including yet to be unveiled concepts, as well as 13 entertainment venues, four swimming pools including an infinity pool at the aft of the ship and 16 whirlpools.