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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.



    P&O Cruises' Iona: The Story Behind the Name

    clock 25th May 2018 | comment0 Comments

    P&O Cruises thrilled cruise fans everywhere on Thursday 24th May, by announcing the name of their next, 2020 cruise ship on Facebook with a live feed. Thousands of people tuned in to watch as British TV presenter Stephen Mulhern revealed the name; Iona.

    Stephen was aptly located in the beautiful Scottish Isle of Iona, and local resident Jane had the honour of choosing a winner from a group of people who had voted for the name; Mrs Gillian Crooks of Dundee was selected. She’ll receive two tickets for the ships naming ceremony, and gifts will be sent to everyone else who suggested ‘Iona’.

     

     

    The name itself has great significance for P&O Cruises, as senior vice-president Paul Ludlow explains, ‘it seems very fitting to highlight one of our most notable islands and celebrate the geographic diversity of the UK, especially as we can trace back our roots to the Scottish Isles’.

    Not only this, but the significance of the sea to Iona was a big consideration when deciding on the ship’s name. It’s possible to see the vast waters surrounding the island from most locations, and islanders have long depended on it for trade and tourism. Paul remarked that P&O Cruises had a similar outlook when designing the ship, wanting the world’s seas and oceans to always be in primary focus.

    Sign up to stay up to date with future news about Iona.

    To browse P&O Iona's itineraries and prices click here the cruise deals' page!



    The Royal Wedding and the Couple’s Infatuation with Africa

    clock 16th May 2018 | comment0 Comments

    Once again the country is buzzing with excitement and curiosity, not only about the Royal Wedding, but also the Royal Honeymoon. As more details are released about the big day itself, so far there is only speculation about the honeymoon destination, but a few African countries sit at the top of the bookie’s favourites. Read on to find out how you can celebrate the Royal Wedding on your cruise, and why you should follow in the couple’s footsteps to Africa.

     

     

    Celebrating the Royal Wedding on a Cruise

    A number of cruise lines are embracing the merriment and thrills of the big day, and will be screening the event onboard. Some will also be celebrating with a few fabulous extras;

    Princess Cruises – 17 of the fleet will be showing the wedding on poolside screens, as well as bars and lounges. There will also be some Royal-themed parties, menus, and quizzes to take part in.

    Cruise & Maritime – 3 ships will screen the wedding proceedings, and there will also be quintessential British afternoon tea parties, quizzes, a 60s British music dance party, and more.

     

     

    Cunard - the wedding will be screened across the fleet, and guests can partake in a Royal Wedding afternoon tea, bespoke celebration cocktails and champagne, a themed dinner and keepsake menu, and a slice of cake which has been modelled on Harry and Meghan’s.

    P&O Cruises – in addition to screenings of the wedding, all ships will be decorated with flags and official bunting, and guests will have a glass of champagne to toast, as well as extra American and English foods with afternoon tea, and a Meghan Sparkle cocktail.

     

    From the Wedding to the Honeymoon

     

    It is thought that the newlyweds won’t embark on their honeymoon straight after the big day, however as clues come out about where they intend to go, we can’t help but feel inspired. Due to the love that both Harry and Meghan are known to have for Africa, there are several destinations in the continent that are thought to be in the running for the honeymoon, with Namibia taking the top spot.

     

     

    Why visit Namibia?

    The country gets its name from the vast Namib dessert, which is one of the oldest on earth. It stretches inland from the Atlantic coastline along the entire length of the country, and provides some truly incredible scenery. As well as this awe-inspiring attraction, Namibia offers some great wildlife-watching opportunities in the north. Etosha National Park, Damaraland, and the Caprivi Strip are all fantastic regions where visitors can see lions, elephants, and rhinos to name a few. As well as scenery and wildlife, in Namibia you’ll find friendly and welcoming locals, and some incredible new cuisine to try. Take a look at this fantastic chance to see Namibia on a cruise with Voyages to Antiquity.

    Where else in Africa could the Royal Couple be honeymooning?

    While Namibia is a firm favourite, both Harry and Meghan are known to have a fondness for many African nations. They’re both passionate about charity work, which has taken Meghan to Rwanda in the past, while supporting a clean water campaign, and has taken Harry to countries including Botswana, which is thought to be his home away from home. Here he’s worked with animal protection charities, as well as HIV/Aids projects.

     

     

    Africa is an incredibly rich continent with so much to offer. See the exciting wildlife on safari in Kruger or the Serengeti, try some delicious bottles in the wine regions of South Africa, and relax in the gorgeous tropical atmosphere of Madagascar. Explore this stunning part of the world on a cruise to Africa with MSC Cruises, or be transported on an African adventure with Princess Cruises.



    Mother's Day Gift Guide

    clock 3rd March 2016 | comment0 Comments

    Updated March 2018

     

    Give your mum the best she deserves with an extra special gift this year, one she can treasure not just for Mother’s Day but for years to come. Whether it’s the gift of an upcoming holiday or you’re both already onboard and need a little inspiration, we have the gift guide you need.

     

     

    Something to look forward to

     

    Cruise with celebrity chefs


    For the love of food! Popular British cruise line P&O Cruises have their very own team of Food Hero’s onboard, ready and willing to welcome you to foodie heaven. Featuring the famous faces of Britain’s incredible culinary scene, P&O Cruises Food Hero cruises invite guests to join cookery masterclasses, exclusive chef’s tables, and expert Q&A sessions onboard. Treat mum to a Mediterranean cruise on the beautiful Britannia alongside famous faces Marco Pierre White and Eric Lanlard. *Food Hero activities may need to be booked in advance.

     


    Sail with Strictly Come Dancing


    Tell mum to grab her dancing shoes for a dazzling Strictly Come Dancing cruise. The music, the costumes, and the dances all come to life and light up the atmosphere onboard this spectacular and unique cruise. Fans of the show will love the live experience, with special guests such as Craig Revel Horwood and celebrity dancers Kevin Clifton, Aljaz Skorjanec, and Janette Manrara. Those who fancy it can even enter onboard dance competitions.


     

    Wine tasting with Celebrity Wine Experts


    Celebrity Cruises have one of the largest and rarest wine collections at sea. Their new partnership with ITV's international hit, The Wine Show - which will see Joe Fattorini and Amelia Singer onboar -elevates the guest experience even further. Joe Fattorini uses his 25 years of experience providing captivating expert talks at conferences, writing for leading magazines, and hosting unforgettable wine dinners. Amelia Singer has her own business in the wine market and has worked with well known importers, retailers, and fine wine merchants. She hosts interactive wine tastings, dinners, and events.

    If your Mother has a taste for wine, see our advice on the best cruises for wine lovers.

     

    A taster cruise or a mini break


    From weekend breaks to Dublin to short Christmas market cruises, there are plenty of mini breaks that any mum would love. We think mini breaks are a fantastic option for anyone who is new to cruise, or simply can't always commit to longer length holidays.

    If your mother or even you are in need of a spa break, AquaClass Balcony staterooms with Celebrity Cruises have complimentary access to the Persian Gardens Spa. These staterooms are also available on taster cruises. 

     

    Onboard and Ashore

     

    A spa fit for a princess

     
    Spa treatments have long been well received gifts for Mother’s Day, giving mum the opportunity to relax completely, put her feet up and enjoy some quality ‘me’ time. If you know that a spa treatment or even an indulgent day-trip to the spa is guaranteed to make her smile, make sure she gets her gift even if away on holiday. Most cruise lines feature excellent spa facilities; Princess Cruises boast one of the best spas at sea with an attractive range of treatments on offer and Celebrity Cruises host the award winning Canyon Ranch SpaClub. If you already have a cruise to look forward to, our Concierge Team can help you pre-book and save money.

     


    Wine and dine with speciality venues

     
    Make Mother’s Day dinner extra-special and reserve a table in one of many speciality restaurants at sea. Cruise and cuisine go hand in hand with many cruise lines collaborating with culinary experts, celebrity chefs, and leading restaurateurs. Treat your mum to an afternoon tea like no other onboard Britannia, delicately designed by Master Patissier Eric Lanlard. Savour the authentic Italian flavours with Princess Cruises Sabatini’s, or enjoy the expertise of Nobu-trained chef’s in Crystal Cruises Silk Road and The Sushi Bar.



    Something completely different

     
    Destination rich itineraries give cruisers the opportunity to experience new cultures and local life in an array of exciting ports of call. Cruise lines are answering the demand for shore excursions with programmes for Destination ImmersionR (Azamara) and exclusive experiences (Celebrity ExclusivesSM). Make mum’s cruise even more memorable by booking a unique shore excursion like Celebrity Cruises Slovenian Truffle Hunt, or a Caribbean rail and sail trip.



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