P&O Cruises has announced that they are to name their new ship Iona in a “celebration of the sea and our island nation”.

Over 30,000 people entered a competition to name the new ship, set to join the fleet in May 2020. P&O’s panel then whittled the list down to one, Iona, which was revealed by magician Stephen Mulhernon on Iona, where he was joined by several of the islanders.

P&O Cruises senior vice-president Paul Ludlow said: “We are an island nation and as Britain’s favourite cruise line 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.

Iona played a significant part in shaping the history of our nation and we hope that with this very special name our new ship will shape the future of holidays at sea for generations.

“Iona is known for its peace and tranquillity, stunning landscape and, most importantly, the view of the ocean from almost every point on the island. This mirrors our primary intention when building the ship, which was to make the sea the star.

“Throughout the design process we were mindful that we were building a ship, not a hotel, and the intrinsic beauty of the sea, the vistas of the coastlines and ports of call should be at the fore and visible as much as possible from all areas of the ship.“

Tickets for Iona are set to go on sale in September 2018 and many more exciting details of the ship, its design and itineraries will be released over the coming months.

Watch the full reveal here

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