Meyer Werft delivers Iona as new P&O flagship

Malcolm Latarche

Malcolm Latarche · 13 October 2020

ShipInsight


At an official handover ceremony with the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany on Friday, P&O Cruises took ownership of Iona, the latest addition to its fleet and the largest cruise ship ever built for the UK market.

At 185,000gt, 345m in length with 17 passenger decks and setting new ground for guest experience, P&O Cruises new flagship is the first British cruise ship to be powered by LNG and is equipped with four dual-fuel MaK engines.

Iona

P&O Cruises president, Paul Ludlow, who was present at the event in Papenburg and signed the Protocol for Delivery and Acceptance 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 to Northern Europe, Spain, Portugal and the Canary Islands from our home port of Southampton. Already eagerly anticipated by our guests, crew and the communities we visit, events this year have increased the sense of anticipation even more. Whilst 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."

Iona will also herald a new era in cruise holidays with many first of their kind features including the unique two-deck SkyDome. Its glass dome roof and spacious layout flooded with natural light offers relaxing and unrivalled views of the surrounding sky and sea. SkyDome is a tranquil pool environment by day with dining and entertainment by night, including stunning specially commissioned aerial entertainment shows under the stars. Guests can also craft individual gins at the first ever gin distillery at sea. Iona will have eight specialty restaurants including yet to be unveiled concepts, as well as 13 entertainment venues, four swimming pools including a spectacular infinity pool at the aft of the ship and 16 whirlpools.

The Iona is the first of two new ships for the P&O Cruises brand. Six more ships for Carnival Corporation (Miami) have already been ordered in Papenburg and from Meyer Turku in Finland for other brands of the group. "This is really a very special delivery for us for a variety of reasons. Not only because of the current Corona crisis, but also because we delivered Aurora to P&O Cruises exactly 20 years ago. Iona is an exceptional ship that marks a milestone in our long partnership with P&O Cruises. I would like to thank the entire team for their extraordinary commitment", said Managing Director Jan Meyer.

"The two project teams from the shipyard and the shipping company, the many suppliers as well as the classification society and the Bremen port authorities have done an excellent job under the difficult conditions," said Stephan Schmees, member of the Project Management Board.

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