The 180,000-gross ton cruise ship was built over the course of 30 months at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany, with the video revealing the process of how her many hundreds of blocks were brought together.
P&O took delivery of Iona in October, 2020, in the midst of the ongoing global disruption to the cruise industry, so the brand new cruise ship has not yet sailed a revenue-generating cruise for the brand, which is part of Carnival Corporation, the largest cruise company in the world.
She is the first of two sister ships ordered by P&O Cruises, both of which are themselves among 11 ships ordered by Carnival for several of its cruise brands, all built to a similar design platform, but with custom modifications to suit the needs of each cruise line.
Costa Cruises, AIDA Cruises, and Carnival Cruise Line have all either taken delivery of their first LNG-powered mega ships, known as the Excel-class, or have them under construction.
AIDA Cruises operates AIDAnova, for example, while Costa Cruises has Costa Smeralda, and both have sister ships coming in the form of AIDAcosma and Costa Toscana, while Carnival Cruise Line has Mardi Gras under construction.
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 introduce the first-to-P&O entertainment venue The 710 Club. It is envisioned that the atmospheric late-night music venue aboard the massive new cruise ship will offer an opportunity for up-and-coming musicians to get their break and will feature UK pop star Gary Barlow as its musical director.
For film buffs there will be Ocean Studios, which is another first for P&O Cruises. The boutique cinema has comfortable seating in a premium-style setting, with four screen that will run throughout the day. Movies screened will be a mixture of classics and recent blockbusters, with the latest surround sound technology.