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Introducing Iona – P&O Cruises’ new flagship

P&O Cruises is one of the most established lines within the cruise industry, offering passengers a taste of the British Isles as they travel to some of the most exotic destinations in the world. With a legacy that extends more than 175 years, the line has provided UK residents with journeys across the seas and has become a familiar name with holiday-makers.

In 2015, the line launched their largest ship to date with the unveiling of Britannia – a 3,647 passenger vessel equipped with a range of contemporary features. She was christened by HM the Queen in Southampton and has embarked on a number of memorable itineraries.

Last year, the line announced plans to launch two brand new ships, with the first of these set to debut in 2020. A competition was held to name the new ship, with the winning name finally being announced on Thursday last week. It was confirmed in a video filmed within the Inner Hebrides that the new vessel will be named Iona.

The Scottish island, which shares the same name as the new build, has become a popular destination among UK passengers. Although Iona is home to just 177 permanent residents, the island welcomes up to half a million tourists and visitors every year – all of whom come in search of the pristine environment, charming settlements and historic landmarks. However, one of the deciding factors in naming the ship after Iona is the fact that the sea can be seen from anywhere on the Scottish island.

Full details of the new build are yet to be revealed, although we do know that she will be the first P&O Cruises vessel to be built at the Meyer Werft in 20 years. She will offer more than 15 dining venues including eight speciality restaurants, more than 10 places to enjoy a drink or two, three outdoor pools and one indoor pool, a total of 18 whirlpools, and a number of entertainment venues.

Iona will accommodate a maximum of 5,200 guests at any one time and she will be one of the most environmentally-efficient ships on the seas, being powered by liquefied natural gas. Details of itineraries and destinations will be announced in the coming months, with tickets scheduled to go on sale in September this year.

P&O Cruises is also working on another new ship, which will become the second addition to the fleet’s Excellence class. She will follow a similar mould to Iona, although, as is the case with Iona, full details are yet to be released.

Many of the fleet’s ships operate sailings out of Southampton throughout the year, while some of these vessels are positioned in regions around the world to operate fly cruise sailings. For more information about the full range of sailings with P&O Cruises or to make a booking, contact our friendly Cruises from the UK sales team via the freephone number above or complete the online enquiry form.