The new 5,200-guest Iona has joined the P&O Cruises fleet following her delivery from Meyer Werft.
The official handover ceremony took place on October 9 in Papenburg, Germany, where she was built.
The Iona is the first-ever LNG-powered British cruise ship and the largest cruise ship built for the UK market. The ship has 17 guest decks and is 185,000 tons, according to a press release.
The President of P&O Cruises, Paul Ludlow, called Iona’s delivery a “positive signal for the future of cruising.”
“We are focused on readying her to welcome guests during her new maiden season to Northern Europe, Spain, Portugal, and the Canary Islands from our home port of Southampton,” he said during the ceremony in Papenburg. “Already eagerly anticipated by our guests, crew, and the communities we visit, events this year have increased the sense of anticipation even more.”
According to a press release detailing the handover, the Iona will have eight specialty restaurants, 13 entertainment venues, four swimming pools (including an infinity one at the aft of the ship), and 16 whirlpools.
In his ceremony speech, Ludlow also reminded that P&O Cruises’ operations are still on pause until early 2021.