During a ceremony in Germany last week, P&O Cruises took ownership of the latest addition to its fleet and the largest cruise ship ever built for the United Kingdom market, the Iona.

At 1,100 feet long and boasting 17 guest decks, Iona became the first British cruise ship to be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) when it was delivered by the Meyer Werft shipyard and accepted by P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow.

“Iona's delivery is a very positive signal for the future of cruising,” Ludlow said. “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,” Ludlow continued.

Iona was designed with many unique features, including a two-deck SkyDome that acts as a pool environment by day and a dining and entertainment venue by night. In addition, the ship will offer the first-ever gin distillery at sea.

P&O Cruises’ newest ship will also have eight specialty restaurants, 13 entertainment venues, four swimming pools, 16 whirlpools, the Oasis spa and 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,” Ludlow said.

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