P&O Cruises has welcomed Iona to its fleet following an official handover ceremony with the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany on Friday.
The latest addition to its fleet is the largest cruise ship ever built for the UK market.
At 185,000 tonnes, 345m in length with 17 guest decks, Iona is also the first British cruise ship to be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG).
P&O Cruises president, Paul Ludlow, said: “Iona’s delivery is a very positive signal for the future of cruising. She is now officially part of the P&O Cruises fleet and we are focused on readying her to welcome guests during her new maiden season to Northern Europe, Spain, Portugal and the Canary Islands from our home port of Southampton.
“Already eagerly anticipated by our guests, crew and the communities we visit, events this year have increased the sense of anticipation even more.
“While our operations are currently paused until early 2021 Iona will not be sailing for the moment but we look forward to our guests experiencing this game-changing ship as we will continue to offer unparalleled holidays at sea while also upholding the latest approved travel protocols.”
Iona will be capable of holding 5,200 guests and 1,800 crew. The vessel will feature a number of firsts for P&O Cruises, including the SkyDome, a new venue on board that will be used both day and night.
It will have eight speciality restaurants including yet to be unveiled concepts, as well as 13 entertainment venues, four swimming pools including an infinity pool at the aft of the ship and 16 whirlpools.