P&O Cruise’s new flagship Iona has set sail from Bremerhaven to embark on a series of technical tests.
In a recent press release Meyer Werft confirmed that following the sea trails Iona will then head to Rotterdam arriving on 2nd June where she will undergo a dry-dock inspection at the Damen Shipyard.
On board Iona, a hard-working team have been following the relevant German Coronavirus guidelines in order to help finish the outfitting of the ship since her River Ems conveyance.
The German shipbuilder confirmed that everyone is working hand in hand to complete the 50th cruise ship built by Meyer Werft. The work has been going on since the ship was transferred over the river Ems. Nevertheless, the corona crisis is causing considerable restrictions in the final fitting of Iona. However a plan drafted by the Port Medical Service (Hafenärztlicher Dienst, HÄD), the Bremerhaven Port Authority and Meyer Werft allowed for the continuation of outfitting working whilst following Coronavirus protection conditions.
The delay in the outfitting has meant the hand over to P&O Cruises was postponed and her maiden voyage cancelled. With outfitting now restarted both Meyer Werft and P&O Cruises are currently in close dialogue for a suitable delivery date.
Cruise Ship Profiles has been made aware that P&O Cruises are considering moving Iona to Norway for warm layup once she has officially been handed over.
Yesterday (2nd June) P&O announced that the suspension in cruise operations would be extended until October.
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On 20th March P&O Cruises new flagship Iona arrived in Bremerhaven having completed her conveyance from Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg and sea trials.
In a press release ahead of the conveyance, the shipyard advised that extensive preventive measures against the spread of the corona virus have been taken for the transfer and test-drives in close coordination with the authorities.
“Part of the preventative measure meant that the temperature of all people who board is measured. In addition, the processes on board are equalized, so that no large groups come together on board in a confined space.”
Following her arrival in Bremerhaven the shipyard announced that all interior fitting out work would be suspended indefinitely due to the continued corona virus threat:
A statement on the Meyer Werft website read:
In order to continue to ensure the health of the employees and due to increasing and changing restrictions and requirements of the authorities, the management of the shipyard has decided to reduce the number of people on board the Iona to a minimum. On board the new cruise ship, only a greatly reduced crew, which is necessary for the operation and safety of the ship, will be on site. The interior work and testing at sea will initially be suspended.
At the same time, MEYER WERFT tries to maintain the yard operations at the Papenburg location through numerous measures. So far, a chain reaction and the spread of the pandemic at the shipyard itself have been prevented.
“We have been working intensively on a variety of preventive measures at all locations for weeks and are constantly optimizing them in order to delay the spread of the corona virus. In addition, we are constantly in close coordination with the shipping companies, ”explains Thomas Weigend, Managing Director of MEYER WERFT.
I always like to bring you super cruise ship photos so take a look at these wonderful photos of Iona as she arrived in Bremerhaven taken by my good friend Christian Costa.
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AIDA’s second LNG cruise ship has been named AIDAcosma and will sail from Kiel to Norway and the Baltic Sea in summer 2021
On October 15, 2019, the first building-block for AIDA Cruises’ second LNG-powered cruise ship was put in place at the NeptunWerft shipyard in Rostock. The two trainees, Charleen Hoffmann (AIDA Cruises) and Kenny Schaft (Meyer Werft shipyard) placed the traditional lucky coin beneath the first of a total of 90 blocks.
On the occasion of the keel-laying, the name of the new ship and its first routing were announced: the ship will be named AIDAcosma,and will be cruising from Kiel to the Norwegian fjords and the Baltic Sea from summer 2021.
Together with the Managing Director of the Meyer Werft shipyard Tim Meyer and the head of the Neptun Werft shipyard in Rostock Manfred Ossevorth, AIDA President Felix Eichhorn welcomed numerous guests from the worlds of politics and business including Birgit Hesse, President of the Mecklenburg-Western Pomeraniastate parliament, Rostock’s Mayor Claus Ruhe Madsen,and the President of Rostock’s municipal assembly Regine Lück.In his speech Harry Glawe, the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Minister for Economics, Construction and Tourism emphasized the importance of this maritime location on the Warnow, and praised AIDA Cruises for its great commitment.
AIDA President Felix Eichhorn: “With AIDAcosma we are consistently continuing our sustainable growth. The keel-laying of our second LNG-powered cruise ship here in Rostock is also an expression of our company’s economic and innovative power in Rostock and throughout northern Germany.” In 2018 AIDA Cruises alone contributed over 1.6 billion Euros to northern Germany’s economic growth. The company’s economic performance in Rostock alone (exclusive of ship-building) amounted to around 160 million Euros according to a study carried out by Deloitte & Touchein conjunction with the Universities of Hamburg and Genoa. “AIDA stands for some 8,200 direct and indirect jobs with our suppliers here in the north. With our investments in the development and use of sustainable technologies, we are providing key momentum for research and science clusters throughout Germany,” Felix Eichhorn added. By making investments of over two billion Eurosin Germany by 2023 with the construction of AIDAcosma and a third LNG-powered cruise ship, the company will be contributing to further value creation and the creation of secure jobs in ship-building and the maritime supply industry.
With gross tonnage of 183,900and a length of 337 meters, AIDAcosma will have 20 decks, and space for 2,600 staterooms. A new feature on this ship is the Fun Park at the stern of the ship with a children’s pool, a twin water chute and the Water Slide.
For the first time, the outdoor Sport Deck will have a boulder wall. The Pool Deck in the stern extends across the entire width of the ship. The crowning touch is the breathtaking infinity pool. The ship has more spaces in the sun on the three tiered Sun Decks above. Guests will be pampered in culinary terms at 17 restaurants and 23bars. The diverse range of gastronomic choices is being enhanced with a new restaurant: The Beach House Restaurant will be serving deliciously summery and light dishes. The interior, in soft cream and sand shades, conjures up a pure vacation feel. The specialty restaurant Mamma Mia is also new, offering home-made pasta and fresh Italian cuisine with table service.
The many public amenities include the Theatrium, shops, a disco, a gym area, the lavish Body & Soul Organic Spa, and the clubs for tiny tots, kids and teens.
AIDAcosma will begin her maiden season in summer 2021: From May to October she will be sailing from Kiel on two beautiful northern routes. On alternating weeks,the ship will travel to the Norwegian fjords and to some of the most beautiful cities on the Baltic Sea. Depending on the travel date, AIDAcosma will stay overnight in St. Petersburg, Tallinn or Helsinki. Those who wish to secure their places immediately can pre-book a cruise now. Booking officially opens on November 21, 2019.
With the keel-laying for AIDAcosma, the company is continuing on its current course, making a further contribution to reducing emissions in cruising.
In 2023 the third of AIDA Cruises’ LNG-powered cruise ships “Made in Germany” will be put into service. Thanks to the use of LNG, emissions of particulates and sulfur oxides are almost totally avoided, while emissions of nitric oxides and CO2are long-lastingly reduced.
IMO No.: TBC
Shipyard: Meyer Werft (Papenburg, Germany)
Building Cost: EUR 700 million (USD $950 million)
Hull No.: TBC
Class: Excellence / Helios Class
Sister Ships: AIDAnova, Costa Smeralda, P&O Iona, Carnival Mardi Gras, Costa Toscana,
Length: 337 m
Width: 42 m
Gross tonnage: 183,900 GT
Staterooms & Cabins: 2,600
Cabin Decks: 11
Cruising speed: 23 knots
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The first phase of a multi-million-pound upgrade to the Ocean Cruise Terminal in the Port of Southampton has now been completed. The XL-ready programme will see the terminal transformed to become the UK’s first dedicated LNG cruise terminal.
The terminal re-opened on 22nd March with the arrival of P&O Cruises Azura. Her arrival marked the start of Southampton’s busy cruise season.
The newly refurbished terminal now boasts a specious lobby area, a new escalator and stairs to allow for the increased guest flow to the upper level. The mezzanine floor has been extended to provide additional seating ready to accommodate an increase in passenger capacity.
This first phase has also included quayside infrastructure upgrades with 18 new 150 tonne bollards replacing the old 50 tonne bollards together with a new stores receiving area.
Phase 2 will see the installation of two new air bridges together with a further 2,000 roof-mounted solar panels. The project is due for completion early in 2020, in readiness for the arrival of P&O Cruise’s new 5,200-Guest flagship Iona due in May.
This £12 million project is in partnership with P&O Cruises and began in October last year.
Alastair Welch, Director at the Port of Southampton, said: “Cruise is a growing industry and we continue to make these significant investments which are crucial to ensuring we are in a good position to welcome the larger ships and the increase in passenger numbers.”
P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow said: Azura is be the first ship to berth at the newly renovated Ocean Cruise Terminal, which, when all the work is complete, will give our guests a much smoother, faster and more efficient boarding experience and will also prepare us for the arrival of our two LNG-powered ships.”
The Port of Southampton is Europe’s leading cruise turnaround port and currently welcomes over 2 million passengers each year. Each ship visit to the port generates around £2 million for the local economy.
Iona, which will homeport in Southampton, is the first of two new ships of the XL-class for P&O Cruises, with the next ship on order to be delivered in 2022. She is the first British cruise ship to be powered by LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas).
LNG is steadily becoming the fuel of choice for the cruise industry with a number of cruise lines including AIDA, Carnival, Costa, P&O, MSC, all choosing LNG power for future ships.
Carnival Corps current LNG order book:
Costa Cruises (Costa Smeralda); delivery October 2019.