Iona will be the name of the newest P&O Cruises flagship due to launch in 2020. At 180,000 tons she will be the biggest cruise ship ever built for the British market, with a capacity for 5,200 guests. P&O Cruises launched a competition to name the new cruise ship last year which had over 30,000 applicants. The winner will receive VIP tickets to the ship’s naming ceremony in spring 2020.
Inspired by the island Iona in the Inner Hebrides, the name is said to represent a celebration of the sea and our island nation. It also continues the P&O Cruises tradition of ending ship names with an ‘A.’ P&O Cruises senior vice president Paul Ludlow stated:
“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 is known for its peace and tranquility 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.”
On 25thApril Iona’s steel cutting ceremony took place at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany. Paul Ludlow, Carnival UK president Josh Weinstein and Tim Meyer, director of Meyer Werft attended the event.
Iona will have a number of key features which will set her apart from the rest of the P&O Cruises fleet. These include:
- SkyDome roof and pool with retractable stage for shows in the evening
- A bold, ultra-modern atrium featuring glass and a grand staircase
- 15 dining venues, including 8 speciality restaurants
- More than 10 bars
- 4 swimming pools and 18 whirlpools
- The ship will be more environmentally friendly than any other vessel in the fleet, as it will be powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). She will be the third Carnival Corporation ship to use LNG and no other cruise ships are currently powered this way.
- Richmond International will be designing the interiors of the ship. They were responsible for the contemporary design on board Britannia.
- The ship will have the same blue funnel and livery as the rest of the fleet.
Iona’s sister ship will be launched in 2020. I’ll be posting more about the new ship as and when details are released. Personally I am excited about Iona and I think she will be quite different from the rest of the P&O Cruises fleet (although I am fond of all of their ships). It will be exciting to see what new features she will bring to the cruise market.
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