P&O Cruises names new ship Iona

25 May 2018

P&O Cruises has announced that the largest ship ever built for the UK cruise market will be named Iona. Launching in 2020, Iona will be designed for a new generation of cruising. The 180,000 ton ship will offer more choices of accommodation, more places to dine in style, more spaces to relax, more entertainment, and more freedom for the 5,200 guests onboard.

The announcement was first made to a room full of travel agents and industry leaders at the annual CLIA Cruise Conference in Southampton.

Speaking of the new name, Paul Ludlow, Senior Vice President of P&O Cruises, said: “Last year we announced that we were going to take suggestions for the name of the new ship for P&O Cruises, and we were just overwhelmed by the response that we had. Over 30,000 people sent in suggestions of what we should call our new ship.”

“There was around 5 or 6 people that called this name. A lady called Gillian from Dundee was the person that was picked out by Stephen [Mulhern] to be the person to officially name our new ship.”

“Iona is a island in the inner Hebrides off the north west coast of Scotland. About 150 people live in Iona, but it’s beautiful. Everywhere you stand on the island you can see the sea, which was part of our thinking when we designed our new ship. One of the things we wanted to do when we designed our ship was to really make the sea the star, whether it be in our atrium or the giant dome on the upper decks of our ship. The sea will be visible from all points of the ship and really gives you a connection. So that was part of our thinking, but of course Iona is part of the UK. P&O Cruises is Britain’s favourite cruise line. We couldn’t think of a better [way] to name our ship after a part of the UK. It’s a celebration of the sea.”

The Dome is a major new entertainment hub that will be one of the star attractions on the new ship. Featuring an impressive glass roof, pool and a retractable stage. The Dome will be the perfect place for entertainment, relaxation and informal dining. At night, the area will come alive with aerial performances and immersive shows. The atrium is set to be P&O Cruises boldest and brightest yet. It will be the signature heart of the ship, spanning three decks and glass walls letting natural light flood in while a grand staircase, gallery, and overhead walkways will provide dramatic focal points. P&O Cruises new ship will certainly deliver the WOW factor. Offering new levels of entertainment, dining, and relaxation. The ship will also feature a host of innovative features and cutting-edge technology.

Ludlow, continued: “This ship is really going to give our guests more choice than they’ve ever experienced before, so whether it be bars or restaurants, or entertainment venues. Really what we wanted to do when we designed this ship was to think about creating a holiday experience for everybody. So whether you’re on a couples holiday, or with your family, multi-generational holiday, we want to make sure that this is a destination that everyone’s going to enjoy. So we needed to make sure we’ve got lots of choice for people when they come onboard.

“We will reveal all of the details of the ship over the next couple of years before she comes into Southampton.”

Iona’s maiden cruise season will go on sale in September. Sign up to our email updates here to be the first to know details on the new sailings