Carnival UK has confirmed it will take delivery of its newbuild £950m cruise ship Iona in the coming months, despite delaying the return of its 2020 cruise season following UK government advice.
The 184,000 gt MS Iona will join the P&O Cruises fleet as its largest, and flagship, vessel and was designed to operate in the UK market. It has a capacity of 5,200 passengers and 1,760 crew and will be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG).
The Iona is the first of two identical ships being built by Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Germany. The yet unnamed sistership is expected to join the P&O Cruises fleet in December 2022.
Carnival UK president, Paul Ludlow, said: 'Whilst our operations are currently paused, we are delighted that we have more clarity on the arrival of these two new ships. Both are eagerly anticipated by our guests and we are seeing strong demand for the future.'
The company said 'watch this space' for information on Iona's cruise schedule.
Itineraries for Iona's sister ship are expected to go on sale in Spring 2021.
In mid-July Carnival UK delayed the return of its 2020 cruise season following UK government advice that cruise holidays are still too risky due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The company – which operates P&O Cruises and Cunard – has paused cruises with P&O until 15 October 2020, Cunard until 1 November 2020 and the Queen Elizabeth until 23 November 2020.
Headquartered in central Southampton, Carnival UK (CUK) is the UK operating division of Carnival Corporation & plc.