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P&O Cruises Marks Latest Milestone in Build of New Ship Iona
P&O Cruises' New Ship Iona Floats Out For First Time
Iona (Image: P&O Cruises)

P&O Cruises' New Ship Iona Floats Out For First Time

P&O Cruises' New Ship Iona Floats Out For First Time
Iona (Image: P&O Cruises)

February 14, 2020

Adam Coulter
UK Managing Editor
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(1.45 p.m. GMT) -- P&O Cruises’ new ship, Iona, “floated out” at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, for the first time today.

The float out -- when the ship first touches water -- is a key milestone in the construction of a cruise ship and in keeping with maritime tradition is the point at which the ship officially has a name.

The 5,200-passenger ship -- the largest-ever purpose built for the UK -- will launch in May.

Iona's interior will now be fully fitted out, before the ship makes its way along the River Ems (Papenburg is inland) at the end of March. Iona will then undergo sea trials to assess its seaworthiness.

Iona will become P&O Cruises' flagship, and also marks a milestone as the line’s first Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)-powered ship in the fleet.

An official naming ceremony takes place on July 4, followed by a week-long celebration called Ionafest which will include a special performance from the ship's Musical Director, Gary Barlow.

Iona will be joined by a sister in 2022.

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