P&O Celebrates Newbuild Milestone for New Iona

Iona Keel

A key stage in the construction of the P&O Iona has been marked at Meyer Werft as the P&O newbuild and yard team celebrated the milestone with the traditional coin-laying ceremony for the 180,000-ton LNG-fueled vessel.

A bronze coin from the historic Iona Abbey and a slice of precious green Iona marble from the island were placed under the block housing the bow thrusters before the block was then lowered onto these items.

P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow said: “This was an auspicious occasion in Iona’s build. The coin-laying is a long-held ship-building tradition which is to bring good luck to the ship and its crew through from construction to the future at sea.

“It is very special to think that a small part of the island of Iona will live within our own Iona. We hope that the qualities of beauty, heritage, pride, camaraderie, mutual support and loyalty from the island which attracted us to the name will be inherent in our ship, its crew and guests.

“The build of any ship is an incredible achievement but to see one of this size and scope is an extraordinary feat of skilled design and engineering. To view Iona’s SkyDome take shape was literally breath-taking – no other ship in the world has a glass dome of this quality of construction and scale. The extent of the space on Iona has allowed us to create not only spectacular spaces for shows, entertainment, dining and wellness but also many more intimate spaces for tranquillity and relaxation as well as exclusive performances. Iona will be game-changer for holidays.”

As part of the ceremony the ship’s central steel block, the mega block, which has already been constructed was floated out on to the water, according to a press release.

The 21.5-metre long block weighs 461 tons, is 19.4 metres wide and 9.8 metres high and had to be lifted by a 600-ton crane.

P&O Cruises launches 3D augmented reality campaign for new ship Iona

Image result for P&O Iona

P&O Cruises has launched an augmented reality campaign to promote its latest new ship, Iona, in what it claims is a cruise industry first.

The campaign aims to bring to life the ship’s onboard experiences in interactive 3D ahead of its completion and launch in 18 months time.

Powered by augmented reality pioneer, Blippar, the campaign was created to allow travel agents and consumers to experience Iona.

Christopher Edgington, P&O Cruises vice president marketing, said: “Iona’s scale and breadth of experiences will offer holidays like never before and this demands marketing like never before.

“With Iona going on sale two years before its launch, we realised that we needed to create new and innovative ways to reach and engage both existing and potential guests. The obvious solution to this was our first ever augmented reality campaign.”

The initial 3D renders for Iona were produced by content agency Sunday from which the augmented reality experiences were crafted by creative agency Founded with technology from Blippar.

Almost 300,000 pieces of direct mail have been sent to travel agents and past guests with details of how to download the Blippar app, which will provide them with the ability to experience Iona in augmented reality.

Once the Blippar app is opened and a phone is held over the image of Iona, the ship will come to life and may be explored from bow to stern.

Included in the AR are images of the SkyDome, a large glass domed entertainment and relaxation area on the top deck, cabins and the Grand Atrium.

As more Iona images and designs become available, new augmented reality experiences will be added. Anyone ‘blipping’ the ship before November 1 will have a chance to win a one-week cruise on Iona.

Edgington continued: “A week after launch we have beaten our targets for a number of blips and dwell time which proves that interactive marketing and the ability to get a much more intimate and inspiring view of the ship is a hit with our guests.”

P&O Cruises’ Iona: Welcome to the Pleasure Dome

Image result for P&O Iona
P&O Iona Impression.
Guests onboard P&O Cruises new ship Iona will head to a new glass ‘pleasure’ dome on the top deck for all the onboard entertainment.
The SkyDome on decks 16 and 17 will have a ‘hidden’ nightclub, the 710 Club, boutique four-screen cinema, and pool with a retractable stage. There will also be nightly aerial performances, immersive shows and deck parties.
The glass dome, which has been designed by award-winning British engineers Eckersley O’Callaghan, the team behind London’s Embassy Gardens Sky Pool and Bulgari’s flagship New York boutique, means the show can always go on whatever the weather.
P&O Cruises senior vice president, Paul Ludlow said: ‘The SkyDome will be a magical venue with views of the ocean by day and starry skies at night. It will be an exciting home to aerial performers who will make the most of the amazing space as well as guest DJs and current performers setting the tone for memorable evenings of music and dancing under the sparkling glass dome.’
There will also be a foodie market, gastropub and cocktail lounge. They are among the 30 venues to eat or drink on Iona, the ship being built exclusively for the British cruise market.
Iona, new ship, the glass house
Iona, new ship, the glass houseP&O favourites The Glass House, Sindhu and Brodie’s are onboard too.
Iona is being built at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg and will be launched in May 2020. Holidays on Iona will go on sale in September 2018.