(3:45 p.m. BST) -- P&O Cruises has updated two major dates for its fleet, announcing that Iona will be arriving before autumn and its sister ship will be delivered in December 2022.
The 5,200-passener Iona, which will be the largest ship custom-built for the U.K. cruise market, was originally set to debut in May 2020. It is also the first British ship to be powered by liquified natural gas. Delivery from the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, has been delayed because of the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
The sister ship is yet unnamed and will also be built at Meyer Werft. Itineraries will go on sale in spring 2021.
P&O Cruises has voluntarily suspended operations through October 15 because of the pandemic.
"Whilst our operations as currently paused, we are delighted that we have more clarity on the arrival of these two new ships," P&O Cruises President Paul Ludlow said in a release.
"The final outfitting of Iona is almost complete and is looking stunning, and we will take delivery of her before the autumn. We also now know that her sister ship will join the fleet at the end of 2022.
"Both ships are eagerly anticipated by our guests, and we are seeing strong demand for the future. The space on these two ships will allow for extraordinary experiences; visual entertainment displays; new dining concepts and many new areas for relaxation and indulgence."