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5 Worst Mistakes to Make When Packing for a Cruise

clock 18th March 2019 | comment0 Comments
While there will be some exceptions, there are cruise essentials that you will need no matter which cruise line you sail with. Read on for the five worst mistakes you can make when packing for your cruise, and avoid a packing faux pas! [More]


P&O Iona in the Norwegian Fjords

clock 10th August 2018 | comment0 Comments

It has recently been revealed that P&O Cruises’ latest ship, Iona, will enjoy her inaugural sailing season in the magnificent destination of the Norwegian Fjords. This stunning part of the world has such a fantastic variety of things to see and do, making it a great choice for a family-friendly line like P&O Cruises. Discover more about what makes a cruise in this region so special (here you can find our Iona cruise deals, with itinerary and prices).

 

 

The Scenery

 

When sailing on a Norwegian Fjords itinerary, guests will be blessed with vision after vision of beautiful surroundings. Whether it’s the view of otherworldly Geirangerfjord from the ship or sweeping sights of Bergen from the funicular that climbs up Mount Fløyen, there is seemingly no end of amazing scenery. Just be sure to pack your charger or plenty of batteries for your camera!

 

The Food

 

Norway is considered by many to be an up and coming foodie haven, with its simplistic but beautifully designed dishes. While cruising here be sure to indulge in a few delicacies, from coffee and skillingsbolle (like a cinnamon bun) to brunost (a sweet-flavoured cheese made with goat’s and cow’s milk). And of course, those who enjoy a tipple will want to sample Scandinavia’s favourite spirit – aquavit – and visit a local brewery for a refreshing beer.

 

 

 

The Adventures

 

Cruisers looking to channel their inner explorer will revel in the vast amount of active excursions on offer in this part of the world. Norway is a natural playground, and offers the perfect environment for some exhilarating activities;

 

  • Zip-lining. With P&O Cruises it’s possible to have a go on the 300-metre zipline between Mount Ulriken and Mount Fløyen, enjoying views from a 643-metre vantage point on the way!
  • Kayaking. The waters in and around the fjords are ideal for kayaking as the lack of wind means you should stay steady and able to paddle around easily and comfortably.
  • Rafting. Rivers such as the Valldøla in Valldalen offer the chance to go rafting on some fast-paced rapids, so jump in and get the blood pumping!
  • Hiking and Climbing. With ample mountainous land waiting to be explored, Norway is a brilliant spot for those who enjoy climbing, hiking, and Nordic walking.
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    The History

     

    When we think of Nordic history, our minds tend to go straight to the Vikings. These fearsome people ruled for around 250 years, conquering lands all over the world along the way. Today you can see remnants of their existence dating back to 872, especially in towns such as Stavanger, also known as the ‘Cradle of the Vikings’.

    As well as exploring this aspect, a visit to Bryggen in Bergen is another must for history-lovers. Here you can explore the wharf that was one integral to the German confederation of merchant communities – the Hanseatic League – from around 1350 to 1750. See fascinating exhibits at the Hanseatic Museum to learn more about this period of history in Norway.

     

    Why sail to the Norwegian Fjords onboard Iona?

     

    Iona is an ideal ship for your visit to the Norwegian Fjords for a few reasons. Like the destination, the ship truly offers something for everyone, with plenty of choices when it comes to dining and activities. In addition, the design of the ship and its focus on the surrounding ocean and natural views is perfect for the fjords. Imagine sipping on your morning coffee in the glass-walled atrium, whilst drinking in the gorgeous views of fjords, glaciers, and waterfalls? Find out more about life onboard P&O Cruises' Iona.

    Cruises onboard P&O’s Iona will go on sale to past passengers on Monday 10th September, and on general sale on Wednesday 12th September. It is possible to pre-register on Monday 3rd September.

    Pre-register your interest with us to be among the first to get more information.



    A Sneak Peek into what's in store onboard P&O Iona

    clock 9th July 2018 | comment0 Comments

    As the construction of the highly-anticipated Iona continues, we’re eager to get our hands on all the information we can about what she’ll be like. How will the cabins be decorated? What restaurants will there be? How many pools will she have? Well as time goes on, we’ll be hearing more and more, so register your interest with us to make sure you get all the latest updates. You can find Iona's deals here. But for now, read on for a sneak peek into what’s in store onboard P&O’s Iona.

     

     

    With an absolute commitment to bringing guests’ attention to the sea, P&O Cruises informed their esteemed designers – Richmond International and Jestico + Whiles – to ensure they well and truly stuck to this theme. And the result is idyllic.

     

    What we know About the Cabins on Iona

     

    Cabins have been adorned in a gorgeous array of gentle colours, with soft furnishings and extra little details only complimenting the overall design. Guests can expect a palette of creams, golds, and whites, with a peppering of different tones of brown. Against this calm and warm backdrop there will be a range of blue tones, focussing of course on the classic, nautical navy blue.

     

     

    Richmond International have remarked that the guidelines for Iona included that it should be British contemporary luxury, meaning P&O’s well-loved British theming will be evident throughout but with a few added and opulent extras. In cabins and suites, furniture will be of an excellent standard, showcasing high quality natural wood materials, which again echo the essence of the ocean and all things natural. The porthole style mirrors are a fabulous example of this.

    Ever-wanting to increase choice and comfortability for guests, P&O Cruises have introduced a new style of accommodation with Iona; the Conservatory Mini-suite. This brings the total of cabin types to an impressive seven; an abundance of choice to suit all passengers. These new cabins boast a new cool and shaded space which can open out fully onto the balcony. It’s a great area for relaxing, socialising, or enjoying that morning coffee while gazing at the surrounding views.

    What we know About the Atrium on Iona

     

    The glorious atrium – the focal area of the ship – will span three decks: 6, 7, and 8. The surrounding ocean will always be in a prime position with floor to ceiling, panoramic windows on all three floors, enabling guests to gaze out at the horizon at any time. The staircase itself will be reminiscent of cruise ships of the past, having been designed in a commanding and highly impressive fashion.

     

     

    The atrium will be one of four popular entertainment spaces onboard, and throughout the day guests will be treated to some unexpected performances including aerial circus-style shows. These will be visible from the various cafes and restaurants located in the atrium as well;

     

  • The Keel & Cow – a first for P&O Cruises, this down to earth, gastronomic pub will serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Expect favourite British dishes like fish and chips at lunch, and a variety of hearty meals in the evening. You’ll even be able to choose from some fabulous cuts of steak from the dry-aging fridge.
  • The Glass House – this venue offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner along with a fantastic selection of wines from a list curated by wine expert and P&O Food Hero Olly Smith. Each bottle has been specifically chosen, and the venue hosts regular wine talks, tastings, and wine-pairing dinners for guests to attend.
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  • Emerald Bar – a wonderfully sophisticated area to enjoy drinks before dinner, or a tasty cocktail afterwards. Guests can socialise with new friends or relish in an intimate evening with loved ones while sipping a drink and gazing at the sea.
  • Vistas Café Bar – this casual area is perfect for a treat during the day should you need to recharge! Order a tea or coffee and choose from a selection of snacks including cakes and desserts curated by P&O Cruises Food Hero and highly-esteemed patissier, Eric Lanlard.
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    What we know About the Other Facilities on Iona

    P&O's new vessel will introduce some fantastic firsts for the cruise line, not only eateries but also entertainment and activities. Here are a few of the onboard opportunities you can look forward to:


  • 710 Club – this adult only club is perfect for an evening of fun and socialising. Think Covent Garden-style ambience, with live music ranging from acoustic covers, classic and modern Jazz, rock classics, Rat Pack, and all sorts in between.
  • Sky Dome – we are particularly excited about this new feature; a high-roofed pool with retractable stage which will live on decks 16 and 17. During the day this is the spot to grab your morning coffee from 7am, while watching the sea views glide by, then on to poolside fun, informal dining, and impromptu entertainment. Then into the evening you’ll be treated to stunning aerial performances and all sorts of audio-visual effects, as well as DJ led parties and live music.



  • Ocean Studios - here guests have a choice of four, boutique-style cinema screens where they can watch both recent blockbusters and some fantastic classic cinema.
  • Offering such a wealth of choice when it comes to how to spend time on Iona, another fantastic comfort to the adults is the onboard children's clubs. Separated into five different age groups (6mnths - 2yrs, 2-4yrs, 5-8yrs, 9-12yrs, and 13-17yrs), all younger cruisers will find plenty to keep occupied with. There's even a night nursery at which little ones from 6 months to 4 years can be left during the hours of 6pm to 2am; rest assured parents are given a pager so they will be alerted straight away if their child wakes or there are any problems.

     

    What we know about Iona’s destinations

     

    When she first hits the waves in 2020, Iona will spend her first spring/summer season traversing the Norwegian Fjords. This incredible part of the world has plenty to offer all its visitors, whether you’re looking for family fun, serenity, culture, or an action-packed trip. Here’s a snippet of what you can expect to see and do:

     

     

  • Kayaking in and around the beautiful scenery at areas such as Nordfjord and Geirangerfjord
  • Trying local treats such as brunost (brown cheese) and skillingsbolle (cinnamon bun)
  • Exploring history in towns such as Stavanger, known as the ‘Cradle of the Vikings’
  • Gasping at stunning views from mountain cable cars and funicular railway
  • Iona is a fantastic ship for this destination, in part due to the fact that the views of the fjords and general surroundings can be admired from her brilliant glass-walled atrium. This means that you can sip on your morning coffee or enjoy some live music as you sail past the gorgeous vistas of Innvikfjorden and Storfjorden for example.

    Cruises onboard P&O Iona will go on sale to past passengers on Monday 10th September and on general sale on Wednesday 12th September. You can pre-register from Monday 3rd September.

    Be sure to sign up to our mailing list, and register your interest in P&O’s Iona with us.



    Oriana retires- but what does the future hold for the P&O fleet

    clock 4th July 2018 | comment0 Comments

    It came as a surprise to many when P&O announced the retirement of another of their much loved, intimate adult-only cruise ships; with Oriana’s service scheduled to come to an end in August 2019.

     

     

    Given that she was only refurbished as recently as 2016, the news sent ripples throughout the cruise world. Possibly, Oriana will follow her sister ship Adonia who was sold to Azamara Cruises and now sails under the name Azamara Pursuit. However, these two departures do not mark the downsizing of the P&O fleet. In fact, exactly the opposite is the case. Not only are there two new ships replacing this pair, but these new additions are bigger and better than any P&O - and many other cruise lines - have ever seen before.

     

     

    The two new ships take P&O up to another level when it comes to onboard cruising experiences. Already proudly hosting shows such as Stephen Mulhern’s magic show “Astonishing”, Strictly Come Dancing themed cruises and P&O Food Heroes with your favourite celebrity chefs , as well as once hosting Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway Live onboard Britannia , P&O have always strived to bring the best of British entertainment onboard their shops. This charming British feel is built on more than everyone enjoying getting dressed up, bingo, karaoke and Afternoon Tea. On the contrary, on Iona you can wine and dine al-fresco enjoying the view, or take in a show in the fantastic Skydome, with the feel of the best bank holiday weekend imaginable while at sea. In addition, the future - unnamed ship - will roll out in 2022 to bring even more choice to the P&O fleet, and give them two vessels capable of hosting 5,200 passengers each.

    Take a look at our cruise deals for P&O Iona and see what adventures she could take you on. Meanwhile, if you were a fan of Oriana and Adonia’s intimate adult-only atmosphere and sailings, never fear as Aurora will be converted to an adult-only vessel alongside Arcadia. This means P&O cruisers have the best of both worlds, whatever your cruise holiday tastes and group size or situations. From mighty cruise ships hosting whole floating cities, jam-packed with fun and facilities to cosier cruise itineraries where one can truly unwind, it’s never been more true that there’s a cruise and ship for everyone onboard P&O.



    Everything you need to Know about P&O Iona’s Construction

    clock 18th June 2018 | comment0 Comments

    More information about P&O Cruises’ new ship, Iona, is being released all the time, and as the largest ship to ever have been built for the UK market, cruise fans everywhere are eager for every little detail. So with this in mind, why not read on for all you need to know about the P&O Iona’s construction?

     

     

    First of all, how has Iona been designed?

     

    P&O Cruises intend to make Iona the largest ship for the UK cruise market, accommodating an incredible 5,200 guests. This means that utilising space in the best way has been a big priority, as was avoiding a congested, city atmosphere. Because of this, much attention has been given to ensuring the sea itself is a big focus, to ensure that guests don’t lose sight of the fact that they’re on a cruise holiday exploring the world’s magnificent oceans.

    With guest experience at the height of concern, modern technology has also been greatly considered throughout the design of Iona. Much thought has been given to the best ways to make the most of today’s fast-paced technological developments, which has led to the addition of a number of exciting features; one of which being The Dome. This venue is a pool area with retractable stage and roof, which will be used for poolside fun, entertainment, dining, and even aerial performances.

    With an eye on environmental responsibility, P&O Cruises have ensured that Iona is designed to have a minimal impact in this respect. Using liquefied natural gas, she will be the cruise line’s most environmentally-friendly ship, giving fewer exhaust emissions than the rest of the fleet.

     

    Who has been involved in the design of P&O’s Iona?

     

    To help develop Iona into the ship that P&O Cruises’ visualise, the nation’s favourite cruise line has collaborated with some of the most highly-esteemed experts in the world;

     

  • Meyer Werft – a German ship-building company with ample respect in the industry, they are known for working on luxury ships for Disney Cruise Line, Saga, Celebrity Cruises, and more.
  • Partner Ship Design – also based in Germany, this company offer expertise in maritime architecture as well as developing the guest experience. Previous clients include Costa Cruises and Carnival Cruises.
  • Richmond International – this London-based firm are well-known for their interior design and architectural work for leading hotels, including Sandy Lane Hotel in Barbados, and The Four Seasons in Moscow.
  • Jestico + Whiles – also located in London, this company has been involved in the design of prestigious locations such as the Yas Hotel in Abu Dhabi, and London’s The Shard, Aqua Shard restaurant.
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    Where are we now, in the construction process?

     

    The first piece of steel was cut to mark the beginning of construction on April 25th, 2018. This glamourous occasion took place in Papenburg, Germany, at the aforementioned ship builder’s yard – Meyer Werft. Iona will be the first ship Meyer Werft have built for P&O Cruises in 20 years.

    To mark the occasion, the steel-cutting ceremony was attended by Paul Ludlow- P&O Cruises’ senior vice president, Josh Weinstein – Carnival UK’s president, and Tim Meyer – Meyer Werft’s managing director. With construction underway, P&O Cruises’ Iona is expected to set sail in 2020, with cruises going on sale later this year, in September 2018.

    Stay up to date with more news about Iona but registering your interest with us, or to receive all sorts of cruise gossip straight to your inbox, sign up to our mailing list.



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