NEWS + 24 PHOTOS: Britain’s largest and most environmentally-friendly cruise ship, P&O Cruises Iona, arrived into her home port of Southampton for her official naming ceremony.
P&O Cruises Iona is powered by liquefied natural gas, ground-breaking for the UK cruise industry and one of the cleanest fuels in the world.
The ship naming ceremony is hosted by Jo Whiley and broadcast to a “virtual” audience, the highlight of which will be Iona’s music director Gary Barlow performing a short set.
Dame Irene Hays, chair of Hays Travel, Britain’s largest independent travel agency, will name P&O Cruises Iona and a specially produced Nebuchadnezzar (equivalent to 20x 750ml bottles) of Alex James’s Britpop cider will smash against the hull of the ship to bring it good fortune in the future.
P&O Cruises Iona will have 30 bars and restaurants with many new speciality dining options including tapas from award-winning Spanish chef José Pizarro paired with wines selected by Olly Smith and a new Chef’s Table menu from Marco Pierre White.
Entertainment venues include the first “SkyDome” – an extraordinary glass structure which will be a relaxed poolside environment by day and then transform at night into a spectacular venue with DJs, stage and aerial acrobatic shows.
There will also be the first gin still on a cruise ship, created in association with Salcombe Gin, distilling tailor made spirit on board. The gin’s maiden production will take place in Iona’s custom-made still named “Columba” and will be distilled, bottled and labelled on board.
P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow said “It is a landmark day for both P&O Cruises and for the travel industry as a whole. We are on the cusp of a bright new beginning and Iona’s arrival into Southampton this morning is very visible evidence of this much anticipated future.
“Our guests are longing to get back to sea and P&O Cruises Iona’s summer season of UK coastal cruises, including her maiden voyage on August 7 up to her namesake island of Iona, have seen overwhelming demand.”
P&O Cruises Iona statistics
· Tonnage – 185,000 GT
· Length – 345m
· Breadth moulded – 42m
· Total engine power – 61.7 MW
· Propulsion power – 37MW
· Speed – 17kn
· Guest capacity– 5,200 Crew – 1,800
· Guest cabins – 2,614
· Largest ship ever to fly the UK flag
· Built at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany
· The largest ship built to serve the UK market, with a 5,200-guest capacity
· More than 30 places to eat and drink
· Four swimming pools including an infinity pool and 18 whirlpool spas (six infinity whirlpool spas and 12 whirlpool spas)
· The first gin distillery at sea in partnership with Salcombe Gin
· Gary Barlow is music director of The 710 Club
· Powered by liquefied natural gas – no sulphur/nitrogen emissions & a 20% reduction in carbon
· 26 suites, 95 conservatory mini-suites, 1,486 balcony cabins, 174 sea view cabins, 811 inside cabins and 22 single occupancy cabins
You might also like to read P&O welcomes new ship Iona
and What to pack for a cruise to the UK and FREE Packing Checklist
Source: P&O Cruises
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