P&O Announces Fireworks and Festivities To Celebrate Iona’s Aug. 7 Maiden Voyage

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P&O Cruises has announced that it will launch a “spectacular kaleidoscopic firework display” from Iona Island to celebrate the new ship Iona’s maiden voyage on Aug. 7, 2021.

The display will be “the pinnacle of a host of dazzling entertainment” celebrating the sailing from Southampton, the cruise line wrote in a press release.

Entertainment onboard the seven-night cruise will include English singer-songwriter Tony Hadley. A host of aerial shows have also been devised for the Iona, the brainchild of Canadian entertainment company Creativiva. The ship’s design, featuring a two-deck glass SkyDome, has been the inspiration for one of the shows, Rise, created to reflect its performance environment.

P&O Cruises food and beverage experts Marco Pierre White and Olly Smith will be hosting masterclass talks onboard sharing their knowledge. They have also collaborated to create The Chef’s Table, with menus designed by Pierre complemented with wine recommendations by Smith – a new concept specially developed for Iona’s celebration nights.

Food served will be celebrating the flavors of Scotland with Highland smoked salmon, single malt whisky Cranachan Verrine, a regional cheese selection and Iona whisky fudge petit fours just some of the food that guests can experience.

“The Iona’s maiden voyage is a momentous milestone for travel. The ship sets a precedent for a new type of holiday packed full of firsts – we have Gary Barlow as music director of The 710 Club, the Iona is Britain’s most environmentally-friendly cruise ship powered by liquefied natural gas, and we have the first gin distillery at sea,” said P&O Cruises President Paul Ludlow.

“It is apt that Iona’s maiden voyage is to the ship’s namesake island which has been the inspiration for many elements onboard – the sense of space in the SkyDome through to the heather in our Marabelle gin distilled onboard. Booking demand is strong so we know how eager our guests are to holiday on the Iona. We are immensely proud of this ship and are excited for guests to experience it for themselves,” he added.

The Iona’s maiden voyage Aug. 7-14, 2021 will depart Southampton, cruise past Cornwall before anchoring at the ship’s namesake island for the kaleidoscopic firework display. This will be followed by three days of Scottish scenic cruising encompassing the Isle of Colonsay, Lochbuie, Duart Castle, Tobermory, Bac Mòr, Fingal’s Cave, Sound of Jura, Claggain Bay, Mull of Kintyre and Sanda Island.

After an inaugural season of UK coastal cruises, the Iona will offer holidays to Spain and the Canary Islands from September 2021. Fourteen-night Iona holidays to Spain and the Canary Islands are available from £1,299 per person, the cruise line said.

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