New P&O Cruises ship to be called Iona


The new P&O Cruises ship to be launched in 2020 will be called Iona, it has been revealed.

TV presenter Stephen Mulhern was joined by residents of the Scottish island as he made the announcement on the cruise line’s Facebook page at 4pm.

The name for the 180,000-ton ship was chosen from 30,000 entries in a competition. Out of those who suggested Iona, Mrs Gillian Crooks from Dundee was picked as the winner. She will be invited to the naming ceremony of the ship.

Explaining the choice, P&O Cruises senior vice-president Paul Ludlow said: ‘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 played a significant part in shaping the history of our nation and we hope that with this very special name our new ship will shape the future of holidays at sea for generations.’

A P&O Cruises video on Iona

Tourists travelling from the Scottish mainland have to take two sea crossings to reach Iona, in the Inner Hebrides.

Mr Ludlow said: ‘Iona is known for its peace and tranquillity, stunning landscape 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.

‘Throughout the design process we were mindful that we were building a ship, not a hotel, and the intrinsic beauty of the sea, the vistas of the coastlines and ports of call should be at the fore and visible as much as possible from all areas of the ship.’

Iona will feature an all-weather entertainment hub called The Dome. The area, based around a pool with a retractable stage, will be the scene for aerial performances, roof projections and ‘immersive’ shows.

An uninterrupted half-mile promenade will encircle deck 8, giving easy access to al fresco dining at a range of restaurants under shaded awnings.

The atrium, with a grand staircase, gallery and overhead walkways, will have glass walls spanning three decks to allow natural light into the centre of the 5,200-guest ship.

Here are some of the statistics about the vessel. It will feature:

  • 15 places to eat
  • 8 speciality restaurants
  • 10 places to enjoy a drink and see the sea
  • 18 whirlpools
  • 4 swimming pools (three outside, one inside)
  • 6 places to have breakfast

Holidays on Iona will go on sale in September.

A sister ship will be launched in 2022.

Dave Monk (Shipmonk) has been nominated as best blogger in the British Cruise Awards 2018. To vote, please click here

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