British cruise ship operator, P&O Cruises, has launched the latest addition to its fleet, Iona, with interiors designed by hospitality experts Jestico + Whiles.
Powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) the ship will accommodate up to 5,200 guests.
Jestico + Whiles has designed most of the food and beverage spaces throughout the ship including the triple-height Grand Atrium which captures panoramic seascape views.
The Grand Atrium is designed to ‘draw the outside in’ and, accordingly, Jestico + Whiles has aimed to make the sea the hero of the space, allowing guests to connect with the seascape around them.
An elegant staircase of Italian marble with a filigree, bright silver serpentine balustrade serves as the centre piece to the space, aiming to evoke the ‘glamour’ of the iconic cruise ships of the early 20th century.
Jestico + Whiles has also designed P&O Cruises first ever ‘gastro pub’ – The Keel and Cow – on Deck 8, with views over the Grand Atrium and the ocean. The Glass House on Deck 7 will include an extensive wine list and menu curated by wine expert Olly Smith, with wines from around the world served by the glass. Wine connoisseurs will be well taken care of with a new experience, Cellar Door at the Glass House, which will offer wine talks, tastings and wine-pairing dinners.
Jestico + Whiles’ associate director, Jennifer de Vere-Hopkins said: “Despite the challenge of such a large space, we have worked closely with P&O Cruises to create a unique Grand Atrium that is harmonious with the separate venues, making the space both open and intimate. The refocusing of the guest experiences on the sea is the heart of an entirely new brief. The sea becomes the focus of the triple-height space; the sinuous curves are shaped around it, framing and complementing the views to the outside.”
P&O Cruises senior vice president, Paul Ludlow said: “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. 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.”