P&O Cruises newbuild to feature glass atrium and SkyDome venue

P&O Cruises newbuild to feature glass atrium and SkyDome venue
Iona's glazed Grand Atrium created by architecture and interior design practice Jestico + Whiles (Image: P&O Cruises)

P&O Cruises’ new LNG-powered cruise ship Iona is to feature the line’s first-ever three-deck-high glass Grand Atrium, its first British gastropub venue, a ‘foodie’ market and a top deck glass SkyDome entertainment venue when she launches in May 2020.

Currently under construction at Meyer Werft’s shipyard in Germany, Iona will be designed to meet the tastes of British guests and will offer multiple innovations and new venues.

One highlight will be the glazed Grand Atrium created by architecture and interior design practice Jestico + Whiles, the creators of London’s W Hotel, Aqua Shard restaurant in The Shard, and The Yas Hotel in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The atrium will feature a decorative staircase and an entertainment space for impromptu aerial and circus performances.

“The sea becomes the hero of the triple-height space; the sinuous curves are shaped around it, framing and complementing the views to outside,” said project architect Cecilia Vodret. “The staircase is a sculptural centrepiece with its sweeping arrival on each deck.”

The Grand Atrium is also home to Vistas Cafe Bar, nearby Emerald Bar and The Glass House, which will provide a wine list and food menu curated by award-winning wine expert Olly Smithand offer wine talks, tastings and wine-pairing dinners.

“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,” said Paul Ludlow, P&O Cruises’ senior vice president. “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.”

Iona will also boast 30 dining venues, including The Quays, a new ’foodie’ market that will offer various self-service and takeaway venues serving dishes from around the world. Guests will also be able to head to The Keel and Cow, the line’s first venue to serve British gastropub dishes. In addition, guests will be able to visit P&O Cruises’ signature venues, such as The Glass House, British-Mediterranean restaurant Epicurean, fine dining Indian restaurant Sindhu and Brodie.

As part of the cruise line’s reimagined approach to dining, Iona will exclusively offer Freedom Dining in all main restaurants, so guests can choose when and where they would like to eat.

Located on decks 16 and 17, the line’s SkyDome entertainment venue has been designed by British engineers Eckersley O’Callaghan, the team behind London’s Embassy Gardens Sky Pool. SkyDome will have a domed glass roof and a pool with a retractable stage, allowing it to be used for relaxation and informal dining during the day and aerialist performances and deck parties at night.

“The SkyDome will be a magical venue with views of the ocean by day and starry skies at night,” said Ludlow. “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."

Other onboard entertainment highlights will include Ocean Studios, a boutique cinema with four screens and surround sound technology, and 710 Club, a cocktail bar designed for live music performances that has been designed to reflect the bars in London’s Convent Garden.

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Rebecca Gibson
By Rebecca Gibson
11 July 2018

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