Iona takes relaxation and restoration to a new level

P&O Cruises will take relaxation and restoration to a new level when Iona launches in May next year. With a salt steam room, destination themed treatments and infinity whirlpools the new flagship will feature the most luxurious wellness facility in the P&O fleet.


The addition of the salt steam room on board Iona marks a first for the P&O Cruises fleet, offering an exclusive space based on the classic steam room but with the added advantage of a salt brine solution. Salt therapy is a top spa trend and just a 45 minute treatment in the salt room offers enormous health and relaxation benefits. 

Also making its debut is the experiential retail boutique – a specialist spa shop dedicated to skin, body and hair care. It will be a haven for anyone looking for expert advice and a chance to explore and experiment with a wide range of products. 

Another new feature in Iona’s Spa will be a range of destination themed treatments. These locally-inspired therapies will bring the destination into the spa. Guests can choose from the Nordic Cleanse (a detoxifying treatment incorporating acupressure back massage and a warming body and face mask) or the Baltic & Ice Massage (a deep tissue massage using warm and cool stones). Both these treatments have been inspired by the Nordic heritage of hot and cold therapies.

Similar to other ships in the fleet, Iona will have a private open-air deck area, The Retreat, where cold flannels, chilled drinks, snacks and al fresco spa treatments are offered in the privacy of shaded cabanas. Iona’s Retreat will also have two infinity whirlpools.   

In Iona’s state of the art gym there will be a new range of classes to suit every interest and ability from meditation to high energy spinning. New classes will include:

  • Boxing group fitness – a fun, physical cardio workout that builds strength and stamina
  • TRX suspension – training to develop strength, balance, flexibility and core stability
  • Functional training/HIIT – a cardio workout to boost stamina and hone body conditioning
  • Mindful programming – connect mind, body and soul with meditation and breathing classes
  • Group Cycle Connect – the ultimate indoor cycling experience on high-tech fitness bikes
  • Skillrow classes – a group cardio workout that simulates a rowing crew


Glasgow born Captain Wesley Dunlop will command the new P&O Cruises flagship Iona. 

Captain Dunlop was born in Glasgow so like the name of his new ship, has his roots in Scotland. Starting his seafaring career 20 years ago as a cadet and progressing through the ranks, he first joined P&O Cruises as captain of Aurora in 2016, and then as captain of P&O Cruises flagship Britannia in 2017, his current command. When he joins Iona as captain he will be responsible for approximately 5,200 guests and 1,800 crew members.


Iona will set sail in May 2020 and will be sailing exclusively to the Norwegian Fjords during the inaugural summer season. In the winter Iona will sail south to Spain, Portugal and the Canary Islands for winter sun as well as visits to spectacular cities in northern Europe.

In addition to the most luxurious wellness facility in the P&O Cruises fleet, the new ship will offer innovative new Conservatory Mini-suite cabins, giving an additional stylish space. There will be over 17 places to dine including The Keel and Cow for perfectly cooked steaks and The Glass House with around 40 wines chosen by wine expert Olly Smith and Indian restaurant Sindhu.

The Grand Atrium will be the centrepiece of the new ship, spanning three decks with panoramic views of the sea while SkyDome, high on deck 16 and 17, will provide a place for relaxation, dining and contemporary entertainment from day to night. 

Iona will be the next generation of P&O Cruises ships as the first British cruise ship to be powered by LNG (liquefied natural gas), paving the way for the future of cruising. Iona is currently being built at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg and will be launched in May 2020.

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