Just a couple of months ago, P&O revealed to us that Iona would be the name of their 2020 ship, chosen from 30,000 unique name suggestions from the public.
Since then, the cruising world has been on tenterhooks waiting for the most exclusive details to arrive of the largest ship ever built for the British market (and we have just received them!)
Let’s start with the never-before-seen images and ease into the juicy details…
Let’s start with the P&O firsts at sea
–The 710 Club (Deck 6)
This is the venue all about the music, a secret haven exclusively for adults where relaxing in a musical atmosphere is the priority (day or night).
For guests who prefer this vibe during the day, what you will find is a retreat from the hustle and bustle, offering something a little different.
At night though, the spot transforms into somewhere oozing sophistication with a diverse range of top-class singers and bands tailored to British tastes.
This can include acoustic covers, ‘impromptu’ performances, classic and modern jazz, swing, Rat Pack, modern and acoustic rock music.
–SkyDome (Decks 16 and 17)
A brand new entertainment done will be the SkyDome and guests can expect it to be one of Iona’s star attractions.
The roof will be one of the most impressive features along with a pool with a retractable stage, offering a unique space whatever the weather and the time of day.
During the day, SkyDome is the ideal place for relaxation and informal dining with a swimming pool, Jacuzzi and poolside features, and shaded seating areas.
But by night, it comes alive with aerial performances, immersive shows and deck parties and above it all, it is a glazed dome roof designed by award-winning British engineers Eckersley O’Callaghan, the team behind glass masterpieces such as Bulgari’s flagship New York boutique.
-Ocean Studios (Deck 6)
This is one for the film fanatics where you’re greeted with a warm welcome, comfortable seating and a relaxing environment for that premium cinema experience!
Four cinema screens will host everything from classics to recent blockbusters in surround sound with screenings throughout the day, popcorn and snacks for plush boutique surroundings.
Onto P&O signatures:
–The Club House (Deck 8)
The non-stop upbeat atmosphere entertains both day and night where daytime sees the space function as a vibrant multi-purpose space that’s perfect for families to play games and enjoy afternoon entertainment including game shows!
Once the sun goes down, The Club House becomes Iona’s late-night venue, offering dancing in a modern ‘live lounge’ environment.
P&O guests can also enjoy the sounds of Iona’s talented house band, Pulse, at night with an indoor/outdoor space, boasting bar areas leading to the outdoor aft end of the Promenade Deck.
-The Limelight Club (Deck 6)
A feast for the senses, this venue blesses you with fantastic food, great company and top-notch entertainment.
The venue showcases established and emerging entertainers and is the dedicated space for resident performers, all accompanied by a gregarious compère and Iona’s house band.
Exclusively for adults, it’s also a hotspot for dancing, with daytime classes and hosted dancing events; guests can enjoy a drink on arrival before tucking into a menu full of unique, innovative dishes.
To heighten the sense of occasion, P&O have made sure the menus have a ‘show business’ theme where after each night’s show, the club transforms into a late-night venue for post-show drinks and revelry.
-Headliners Theatre (Decks 6 and 7)
This is perfect for a classic yet contemporary night with a sleek and sophisticated theatre experience: plush, comfortable seating and the latest LED technology deliver the ‘wow’ factor.
The two-deck-high auditorium on decks 6 and 7 ensures everyone has the best view in the house and during the day, guests can enjoy matinee performances and activities such as talks, films and Q&As.
But once night falls, full-scale production shows hit the stage– think dazzling West End style performances, cabaret, comedy and more!
-The Ivory Suite (Deck 17)
Love is in the air in The Ivory Suite as the primary venue for weddings and renewals of vows, it’s perfect for intimate and mid-sized ceremonies, all tailored to guests’ requests.
The premium location next to the Crow’s Nest and The Epicurean is light, airy whilst the elegant surroundings and ocean views provide a romantic backdrop for photographs.
The Reef (Deck 17)
This free on-board activity programme for children is a place to keep them safe and entertained throughout their entire cruise as and when they need, a place they can forge friendships with other children their own age.
Staffed by a crew of enthusiastic and qualified Reef rangers, it offers clubs with a wide range of age-specific entertainment:
-Nursery (6 months-2 years)
-Splashers (2-4 years)
-Surfers (5-8 years)
-Scubas (9-12 years)
There is also a secure outdoor play area and a designated splash park for these age groups whilst parents can make use of then complimentary Night Nursery available for ages six months to four years, open from 6pm to 2am each night.
A quiet area is created for the perfect surroundings for an infant to sleep; parents are contacted via a pager if their child wakes up.
Scene (Deck 6)
Scene is a secret on-board hang-out for teens aged 13 to 17 and is separated from the rest of the children’s club, giving teens a chance to have their own space and allowing them to dip in and out of planned events.
It operates during high peak cruising season and in the low season, it becomes an entertainment space for adults.
Guests should note that in all children’s clubs, including the night nursery, allocation is on a first come, first served basis due to limited spaces available.
The Grand Atrium (Decks 6, 7 and 8)
Iona’s Grand Atrium will boast three-deck-high glazed walls and a contemporary design that brings unbelievable panoramic sea views and natural light into the space.
“The sea becomes the hero of the triple-height space; the sinuous curves of the architecture are shaped around it, framing and complementing the views outside,” says Cecilia Vodret, project architect at Jestico + Whiles.
A showstopping staircase will wow you as soon as you step into the Grand Atrium: “The stair, although designed as a fine piece of architecture, is also designed to complement and reflect the outdoor views.
It harks back to the glory days of cruising: a sculptural centrepiece with its sweeping arrival at each deck,” says Cecilia.
As one of four primary entertainment spaces on board, the Grand Atrium offers all sorts to do around the clock. By day, it’s a place to meet, dine, relax, be entertained or simply watch the scenery float past.
By night, it’s an immersive destination venue, balancing intimate spaces with larger social areas. The space seamlessly transitions between day and night through lighting and sound.
The Grand Atrium offers a different experience on each level- from morning coffee to a lunchtime bite to evening drinks, a world of choice can be found at the heart of the ship.
Vistas Cafe Bar (Deck 6)
Start the day right with a visit to the welcoming onboard café with a buzzing atmosphere. Serving premium tea, coffee and snacks all day long, as well as a selection of tempting treats from P&O Cruises Food Hero and master pâtissier Eric Lanlard.
For a light bite or post-dinner coffee; from mid-morning to early evening, guests will be delighted with pop-up entertainment and impromptu aerial circus performances. Grab a drink, browse the bookshop, sit back and enjoy the unending sea and coastal views.
Emerald Bar (Deck 6)
For evening glamour, the stylish Emerald Bar offers a relaxed living-room feel with a Covent Garden-style buzz and large menu of premium cocktails, the ideal location for pre-dinner drinks or as a late-night bar.
The Glass House (Deck 7)
The venue as dedicated to the love of fine wine and great food as you are on holiday. This premium wine bar has an impressive wine list curated by award-winning wine expert and P&O Cruises Food Hero Olly Smith.
Wine connoisseurs are well taken care of and Cellar Door at The Glass House offers wine talks, tastings and wine-pairing dinners.
The venue is light and airy with modern design features including floor-to-ceiling wine display cases and mixed furnishings to create a sense of intimacy in a sociable setting. Guests can also enjoy the Grand Atrium’s impromptu aerial circus performances, as well as views out to the horizon.
The Keel And Cow (Deck 8)
A P&O Cruises first, The Keel and Cow is an unpretentious gastropub where food and drink have been crafted into something truly special.
Perfect for a quick and convenient breakfast for anyone going ashore or lunchtimes for absolute top-quality, authentic gastropub fare to the fore, with dishes such as a signature beef and stout burger, beer-battered fish and triple-cooked chips, black-pudding scotch eggs.
At night, guests can gather for a range of steaks from the dry-ageing fridge and views over the Grand Atrium or out to sea, or even to the chefs at work in the open galley, The Keel and Cow is the perfect place to bring people together in a relaxed, informal environment.
What do you think of the first look at Iona? Are you excited by the newly-released images? What part of the ship are you most excited for? Leave us your comments below!
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