17 MAY 2021
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With the restrictions regarding cruising still in place Dame Irene Hays named P&O’s new flagship Iona at Southampton yesterday. Chosen for the customary ship’s christening was Alex James' celebratory cider. No mention of the traditional Scots brew! On her maiden cruise the ship will moor off the Hebridean island after which she is named with a promised party at the late dusk.
A glittering quayside ceremony took place last night hosted by radio and TV personality Jo Whiley and broadcast to a “virtual” audience, the highlight of which was Iona’s music director Gary Barlow performing a short set.
Due to leave her home port for the first time 7 August the 187,000 ton vessel has a passenger capacity of over 5,000. Due to government restrictions, which are still in place until 21 June, she is limited to 1,000 guests, and not permitted to visit overseas ports. Hygiene has always been a high priority with cruise ships and with Covid-19 special protocols are being put in place.
Powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), Iona is designed to not emit sulphur dioxide emissions and soot particles.
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