P&O Cruises have released further details about its new flagship which is currently under construction at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany.
Iona will be the largest cruise ship ever designed for the British cruise market and will be powered by LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) to help reduce emissions. The new ship is due to launch in May 2020, whilst a sister ship which is yet unnamed is expected to launch in 2022.
The centrepiece on board the new ship will be the stunning three-deck Grand Atrium, which will feature impressive glass walls on each side spanning the three decks offering incredible vistas of the ocean and ports of call.
Paul Ludlow, Senior Vice President, P&O Cruises, said: “We’ve set out to make sure the sea is the star on Iona, and the design of the Grand Atrium tells you so much about how special she is going to be. Balancing intimate spaces with larger social areas, guests will be wowed by the three storey high glass walls and the ever changing view they reveal. From the moment they step onto the staircase, I know guests will be swept away by the beautiful design.”
The Grand Atrium is a brand new development for P&O Cruises and is being created by Jestico + Whiles, who are also the architects and designers for the Aqua Shard restaurant in the iconic skyscraper in London as well as The Yas Hotel in Abu Dhabi.
Cecilia Vodret, Project Architect, said: “The sea becomes the hero of the triple-height space; the sinuous curves are shaped around it, framing and complementing the views to outside. The staircase is a sculptural centrepiece with its sweeping arrival on each deck.”
The Grand Atrium will also house the popular P&O Cruises feature, The Glass House, which will be located on Deck 7. The venues will feature a wine list and menu created especially by award-winning wine expert Olly Smith. The Glass House on Iona will feature an experience to be known as the Cellar Door, where guests will be able to listing to lectures about wines and take part in wine tastings.
A new gastro pub will also be located on Deck 8 in the Grand Atrium on board which is named The Keel and Cow. Another new venue will be located on Deck 6, the Vistas Café Bar, which will offer treats from P&O Cruises Food Hero and master pâtissier Eric Lanlard. Nearby to the Grand Atrium will be the Emerald Bar, another new venue for P&O Cruises. The bar will offer a stylish living-room feel, with premium cocktails.
The SkyDome on Decks 16 & 17 is a contemporary entertainment venue and will be the star attraction on board Iona, featuring an impressive roof and pool with retractable stage.
710 Club is being billed as the ‘secret spot’ on board Iona and will be the perfect spot for music and cocktail lovers, with a similar décor and atmosphere of a Covent Garden nightspot. Yet another first for P&O Cruises will be the Ocean Studios, a boutique cinema proving comfortable seating in a premium styled setting, with four screens running throughout the day with the latest state-of-the-art sound technology.
The Quays Piazza will be home to a selection of self-service takeaway venues, with a lively sociable dining atmosphere. The various venues located here will offer cuisine from around the world, including Asian street food and American diner classics.
In total there will be 30 venues to choose from, the widest selection of places to eat and drink on any ship built specially for the British cruise market. Iona will also offer more flexible dining, with Freedom Dining offering in all of the main restaurants on board.
Cruises on board Iona are expected to be announced and go on sale in September 2018.