Timelapse footage shows P&O's biggest-ever cruise ship being built

Watch P&O’s biggest-ever cruise ship being assembled in mere seconds thanks to mesmerising timelapse footage

  • Speeded-up footage shows the vessel, called Iona, coming together over two years
  • The huge ship weighs 185,000 tonnes, measures 1,131ft in length and boasts a total of 17 guest decks 
  • P&O says the ship will have ‘a cool gin distillery, exciting new dining and unseen entertainment concepts’

Cruise line P&O has released amazing timelapse video showing its biggest-ever cruise ship being built.

Viewers see the two-year build process for the $950million (£733million) vessel, Iona, speeded-up into footage that’s over in a few sips of tea.

The footage was captured at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, with sections of the ship slotted together at break-neck speed before being floated out on to the water.

Cruise line P&O has released amazing timelapse video showing its biggest-ever cruise ship – Iona – being built

Viewers see the two-year build process for Iona speeded-up into footage that’s over in a few sips of tea 

The vessel is described by P&O as its ‘greenest, largest and most innovative ship yet’

Iona will not set sail on her maiden season in Northern Europe, Spain, Portugal and the Canary Islands from Southampton until at least 2021

Iona, which is also the largest-ever ship built for the UK market, was officially handed over to P&O Cruises at a ceremony earlier this month.

It weighs 185,000 tonnes, measures 1,131ft (345m) in length and boasts 17 guest decks – with a maximum capacity for 5,200 holidaymakers before social distancing measures are taken into account.

Described by P&O as its ‘greenest, largest and most innovative ship yet’, it has a three-deck atrium at its heart and a glass-roofed ‘SkyDome’ designed by Martin Frances.

P&O said: ‘This will be a world-first at sea and offer a unique space for both relaxing in all weathers and providing entertainment, featuring aerial performers and a wealth of live acts.’

P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow said: ‘Iona’s delivery is a very positive signal for the future of cruising’ 

Iona is the largest ever ship built for the UK market. Pictured is the vessel’s keel 

The vessel weighs 185,000 tonnes, measures 1,131ft (345m) in length and boasts 17 guest decks – with a maximum capacity for 5,200 holidaymakers

A block of the vessel is floated out on the water during tests. The ship was officially handed over to P&O Cruises at a ceremony earlier this month

Iona is the first British liner powered by liquefied natural gas and has a much larger capacity than P&O’s now second-biggest vessel, the Britannia

Other features on the ship will include ‘a [world-first] gin distillery, exciting new dining, unseen entertainment concepts and unique wellbeing treats’.

It is the first British liner powered by liquefied natural gas and has a much larger capacity than P&O’s now second-biggest vessel, the Britannia, which can accommodate 5,000 passengers and staff.

Iona will not set sail on her maiden season in Northern Europe, Spain, Portugal and the Canary Islands from Southampton until at least 2021, as P&O Cruises has suspended its operations until early next year due to Covid-19 travel restrictions.

Speaking at a handover ceremony at the Meyer Werft shipyard earlier this month, P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow said: ‘Iona’s delivery is a very positive signal for the future of cruising.

One of Iona’s cabins. Features on the ship will include ‘a cool gin distillery, exciting new dining, unseen entertainment concepts and unique wellbeing treats’ 

Iona has a three-deck atrium at its heart as well as a glass-roofed SkyDome designed by Martin Frances (rendering shown)

‘She is now officially part of the P&O Cruises fleet and we are focused on readying her to welcome guests during her new maiden season to northern Europe, Spain, Portugal and the Canary Islands from our home port of Southampton.

‘Already eagerly anticipated by our guests, crew and the communities we visit, events this year have increased the sense of anticipation even more.

‘Whilst our operations are currently paused until early 2021 Iona will not be sailing for the moment. But we look forward to our guests experiencing this game-changing ship as we will continue to offer unparalleled holidays at sea whilst also upholding the latest approved travel protocols.’

Iona’s as-yet-unnamed sister ship will be delivered to P&O in December 2022.

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