Iona to sail in Norwegian fjords for her first season - August 2018
GoCruise – P&O Cruises - 13/08/18
Much hype has surrounded P&O Cruises in recent weeks following the announcement of their newest vessel, Iona. Set to join the fleet in May 2020, the new ship will offer a range of new and exciting amenities – of which, up to 5,200 passengers will be able to enjoy at any one time. Examples of some of the amenities set to be on board the ship include a three-deck atrium with a grand staircase, a total of 17 restaurants, 16 whirlpools and four swimming pools, and a vast entertainment venue which will be known as the Skydome.
Although 2020 may seem a while off at the moment, details of her first itineraries have already been released. She will be positioned in Southampton and operate a series of seven-day sailings to the Norwegian fjords. This is in fitting with the story behind the ship’s name – for which a competition was held enabling the British public to submit their suggestion. Iona was chosen because of a link with an Inner Hebrides island of the same name. On the island of Iona, it is possible to see the sea from almost everywhere and the sea will be the star on board this majestic vessel.
This will be the ultimate goal for Iona, making the sea and the surrounding scenery the star – and what better destination to head to than the Norwegian fjords. The three-storey glass windows of the atrium will offer mesmerising views out to sea while providing a comfortable and homely setting. Destinations featured on selected itineraries will include Olden, Bergen, Hellesylt, Geiranger, Stavanger, Alesund and Hardangerfjord.
In addition to this, there will be a number of fantastic opportunities available off the ship that enable passengers to get closer to each destination. Excursions will include high-speed RIB rides to some of the more obscure and hidden landmarks within the region. There will be opportunities to enjoy a glacier tour by helicopter, light aircraft flights along Norway’s second largest fjord and a spot of fishing for crayfish.
While a cruise offers a fantastic way in which to see some of the world’s most beautiful and scenic destinations, it is also important to consider the environmental impact. With this in mind, Iona will lead the way in terms of a new and innovative method of energy consumption. The ship will be powered by liquefied natural gas, which will produce far less emissions than other vessels within the P&O Cruises fleet.
The eagerly anticipated Iona will join the P&O Cruises fleet in 2020 before being joined by an identical sister ship in 2022. It is safe to say she is the most ambitious project the fleet has undertaken, offering a range of new and exciting amenities.