A key stage in the construction of the P&O Cruise Iona was held at Meyer Werft shipyard earlier today.
P&O new build 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.
Watch the keel laying ceremony here:
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 tranquility 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.
Take a look at the build so far:
Iona which will be P&O Cruises first LNG powered ship is due to be launched in May 2020 and will spend its inaugural season sailing with 7 night itineraries from Southampton to the Norwegian Fjords, followed by a winter in the Canaries, Spain and Portugal.
Shipyard: Meyer Werft, Papenburg
Hull No.: S710
Ship Class: Excellence Class
Sister Ships: AIDAnova, Costa Smeralda, Costa 2021, Carnival Mardi Gras
Cost: USD950 million
Steel cutting: April 2018
Launch: May 2020
Service Speed: 23 Knots
Max Capacity: 6,600
Cabin Decks: 11
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