P&O Cruises has unveiled details of Iona’s centrepiece, which the cruise line said is stunning Grand Atrium with uninterrupted panoramic views of the sea, framed by glazed walls stretching three decks high.
The Grand Atrium is at the heart of Iona, a lively focal point that encapsulates the spirit of the ship, the company said.
The ship debuts from Southampton in May 2020.
P&O Cruises senior vice president, Paul Ludlow said: “We’ve set out to make sure the sea is the star on Iona, and the design of the Grand Atrium tells you so much about how special she is going to be. Balancing intimate spaces with larger social areas, guests will be wowed by the three storey high glass walls and the ever-changing view they reveal. From the moment they step onto the staircase, I know guests will be swept away by the beautiful design.”
Spanning three decks each level of the Grand Atrium offers a different destination for guests but with the same views and natural light.
Iona’s Grand Atrium is a new development for P&O Cruises, created by architecture and interior design practice Jestico + Whiles, the creators of W Hotel (London), Aqua Shard (restaurant in the Shard) and The Yas Hotel (Abu Dhabi).
A staircase will take guests through the open area, designed to complement and reflect the outdoor views.
Describing the vision, which guests will experience when the ship launches in 2020, the project architect Cecilia Vodret said; “The sea becomes the hero of the triple-height space; the sinuous curves are shaped around it, framing and complementing the views to outside. The staircase is a sculptural centrepiece with its sweeping arrival on each deck.”
The Grand Atrium is a key entertainment space onboard Iona and the sea will provide an ever-changing backdrop to a wide variety of experiences.
As day moves into night there will be a seamless transition as the designers employ the most modern lighting techniques to create a warm and intimate atmosphere.
The Grand Atrium will be home to The Glass House (Deck 7). With a wine list and menu curated by award-winning wine expert Olly Smith, wines from around the world are served by the glass. Wine connoisseurs will be well taken care of with a new experience, Cellar Door at the Glass House will offer wine talks, tastings and wine-pairing dinners.
P&O also announced The Keel and Cow, a gastropub located on Deck 8 with views over the Grand Atrium.
Among the new food and beverage options on P&O Cruises new Iona will be a “foodie” market, a gastropub as well as laid-back cocktail lounge when the ship launches in Spring of 2020 in Southampton.
The Keel and Cow will be a brand new concept for P&O Cruises, serving perfectly cooked steaks chosen from a glass-fronted dry ageing fridge and British gastropub dishes, the company said.
P&O Cruises senior vice president Paul Ludlow said: “Iona will bring new innovations and choice for our guests, but will also celebrate the best of P&O Cruises dining and drinking traditions. From intimate meals for two to gatherings of friends and family, each day of a holiday on Iona will deliver an exciting journey of discovery through our widest ever selection of restaurants.”
“The clean lines of the design will offer incredible views through the three storey high glass walls of the Grand Atrium and will also be open for quick and convenient breakfasts,” P&O announced.
There is also a new “foodie market” as The Quays piazza will be home to a wide range of self-service and “takeaway” venues, with a lively atmosphere for sociable dining.
P&O said the ship will offer 30 food and beverage venues.
Other highlights include the The Glass House with small plates, charcuterie and cheese as well as around 40 wines by the glass chosen by wine expert Olly Smith; the British-Med specialities in Epicurean; contemporary fine dining Indian in Sindhu and the best of British in Brodie’s among a long list of restaurants, self-service choices, cafes and bars.
As part of a new approach to dining, Iona will exclusively offer Freedom Dining in all of its main restaurants, a first for P&O Cruises. The move is designed to give more flexibility to each and every guest. They can choose just where and with whom they want to eat, and when they will sit down for breakfast, lunch or dinner, the company said.