HERE she comes …. P&O’s new super ship Iona sails in to her home port of Southampton this morning ahead of tonight’s star-studded official naming ceremony.
The ship will be named this evening in a glittering quayside ceremony hosted by Jo Whiley and broadcast to a virtual audience, with highlights including a live performance by Take That star Gary Barlow.
Dame Irene Hays, chair of Hays Travel, Britain’s largest independent travel agency, will name the ship and a specially produced Nebuchadnezzar of Alex James’ Britpop cider will smash against the hull of the ship to bring it good fortune in the future.
There’ll also be appearances by food heroes Marco Pierre White, Eric Lanlard and Olly Smith, plus music by the Commonwealth Youth Orchestra. Read more about it here… New P&O cruise ship Iona to be named with Alex James’ smashing Britpop cider
Iona will have 30 bars and restaurants with many new speciality dining options including tapas from award-winning Spanish chef Jose Pizarro, paired with wines selected by Olly Smith.
Entertainment venues include the first Sky Dome, an extraordinary glass structure which will be a relaxed poolside environment by day and then transform at night into a spectacular venue with DJs, stage and aerial acrobatic shows.
There will also be the first gin still on a cruise ship, created in association with Salcombe Gin, distilling tailor-made spirit on board. The gin’s maiden production will take place in Iona’s custom-made still named Columba and will be distilled, bottled and labelled on board.
Iona is powered by liquefied natural gas, ground-breaking for the UK cruise industry and one of the cleanest fuels in the world.