P&O Cruises has delayed the delivery of its new LNG mega-ship Iona until later this year, while the launch of her sister ship has been delayed until 2022, according to a statement from the cruise line.
Iona will now join the P&O fleet before the autumn while her as yet unnamed sister ship will be delivered in December, 2022.
“Whilst our operations as currently paused, we are delighted that we have more clarity on the arrival of these two new ships,” said Paul Ludlow, President, P&O Cruises. “The final outfitting of Iona is almost complete and is looking stunning and we will take delivery of her before the autumn.”
“We also now know that her sister ship will join the fleet at the end of 2022,” he added.
Iona and her sister ship are being built by the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg Germany, part of a planned class of nine cruise ship for parent company Carnival Corporation.
Ludlow added that P&O Cruises, although currently in lockdown like the rest of the global cruise industry, is seeing strong demand for 2021 itineraries, with guests especially excited about Iona.
“Both ships are eagerly anticipated by our guests and we are seeing strong demand for the future,” he said. “The space on these two ships will allow for extraordinary experiences; visual entertainment displays; new dining concepts and many new areas for relaxation and indulgence.”
Iona will have a three-deck-high atrium with a grand staircase, 17 restaurants, including 8 specialty restaurants, and 12 bars, an entertainment venue called The Skydome, featuring a retractable stage for shows, as well as a half-mile-long lanai deck with a covered promenade, with outdoor restaurants.
The ship will also feature 16 whirlpools and 4 swimming pools, one of which will be inside The Skydome entertainment centre, which will become a major party venue during the evenings and will host key events, such as the Sailaway Party.
Itineraries for the second ship will go on sale in Spring 2021, according to P&O Cruises.