P&O Cruises to take delivery of first LNG-powered newbuild

Carnival Corporation’s P&O Cruises plans to take delivery of its first LNG-powered ship before autumn following delays due to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.

The Iona, claimed to be first British cruise ship to run on LNG, was originally expected to embark on her maiden voyage in May.

But the Covid-19 pandemic has hit the entire maritime industry and the vessels’ builder, Meyer Werft.

The German shipbuilder said in late March it resumed works on the 344.5 meter long vessel following a week-long stoppage.

The works resumed on March 26 at a reduced pace due to the reduction in crew and resources.

In the meantime the ship traveled from Bremerhaven to Rotterdam for inspection works and also completed sea trials.

The luxury liner will accommodate up to 5,200 passengers making it on one of the largest cruise ships in the world.

P&O Cruises President Paul Ludlow said in a statement on Tuesday that the company plans to take delivery of Iona before autumn but also confirmed the delivery date for its sister ship following talks with Meyer Werft.

“We can confirm that Iona’s sister ship will join the fleet in December 2022,” he said.

P&O Cruises has previously suspended operations through October 15 because of the pandemic but Ludlow sees a big interest for the two upcoming newbuilds.

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