10 MAY 2021
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Sunday 16 May will see P&O stealing a march on its competitors in the cruise market.
With the current regulations allowing for cruise ships to go to sea with passengers from Monday 17 May, and MSC launching the season on the Thursday (20 May), P&O has chosen the previous Sunday for Dame Irene Hays to name their new flagship Iona.
The ceremony will include a short performance from Gary Barlow, music director of the ship’s 710 Club.
Built by Meyer Werft in Papenburg (Germany), she was delivered in October 2020, becoming the line's new flagship. At 184,089 GT, the ship is the largest to ever operate for P&O Cruises, and designed specifically for the British market.
Iona has 17 different eateries, including eight restaurants designated as 'select dining', and 12 different bars. She also has 16 whirlpools and four swimming pools, one of which will be part of SkyDome, an entertainment venue blanketed by a 105-ton, 340-pane, 970sqm glass dome that also features a retractable stage for shows. SkyDome is one of 13 entertainment venues onboard. In the centre of the ship there is a three-deck atrium acting as the hub for entertainment activity, while also featuring triple-deck glass panels projecting outwards for views of the outside.
Powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), Iona is designed to not emit sulphur dioxide emissions and soot particles. Iona will have a passenger capacity of 5,206 guests and 1,762 crew.
On 7 August Iona is bound for the Scottish islands after which she is named, with the promise of a special party into the sunset.
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