July 30, 2019
(10 a.m. BST) -- An Italian gelateria and pop-up circus acts are among the family-friendly attractions on P&O Cruises' next new ship Iona, the line announced today.
The 5,200-passenger ship, launching in May 2020, is being designed with parents and children in mind. Iona will debut several new eateries, including The Boardwalk Diner, serving burgers, hot dogs, fried chicken and Southern soul food; the Asian takeaway Fusion; Hook Line and Vinegar for traditional British fish and chips, and The Olive Grove, for Mediterranean dishes and sharing plates.
With access to the Promenade Deck, al fresco dining will also be available with outlets including the new-to-the-line Taste 360, offering global street food, and Ripples, for Italian-style gelato, milkshakes and a novel three-tiered gelato afternoon tea.
Iona, which will homeport in Southampton for its inaugural summer season, will also offer a full programme of entertainment for toddlers through to teens, plus the all-new Ocean Studios four-screen cinema with screenings throughout the day, complete with popcorn, ice cream and snacks. There will be family shows in the Headliners Theatre plus pop-up acts, including aerial and circus performances, in the Grand Atrium and SkyDome.
Fun Shore Tours
Off the ship, Iona will have shore excursions aimed specifically at families. These include trips to Barcelona's Camp Nou, Europe's largest football stadium, and Between the Branches, a zip-wire and high adventure park in Cadiz. In Norway there will be guided kayaking expeditions into the Geirangerfjord and visits to Alesund's Atlantic Sea-Park, one of Europe's largest seawater aquariums with penguins and seals.
P&O Cruises' president Paul Ludlow said: "It's not easy finding a holiday that caters to everyone's needs and when you're travelling with children, your happiness depends on theirs. We believe we've come up with the perfect solution -- unprecedented choice and flexibility when it comes to dining as well as a fun and welcoming environment so parents can relax and recharge while the kids have the time of their lives. Iona really is the ultimate family holiday."
Iona is under construction at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, and will sail on seven-night cruises to the Norwegian Fjords cruises in July and August 2020, before sailing on Spain, Portugal and Canary Islands itineraries during its first winter season.