WATCH: P&O gives a behind-the-scenes look at ‘biggest ship ever built’ for UK cruisers

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Cruise holidays may be on hold for now, but thanks to a new video from P&O Cruises, there are still plenty of ways to get excited for a future holiday at sea. The cruise line has been hard at work building its newest ship which is set to be the “largest ship ever built for the UK market”.

Weighing an impressive 185,000 tonnes, measuring 345 metres in length and standing 17 decks high is Iona.

The luxury cruise liner will carry up to 5,200 guests when at capacity and is expected to “break new ground for guests experiences” thanks to the modern offering onboard.

Amongst the amenities on offer is a glass-roofed SkyDome, an onboard gin distillery, 30 different eateries to choose from, infinity swimming pool and opulent spa.

The ship also boasts four different suite options for guests.

These include inside cabins, sea view cabins, balcony cabins and an elegant array of suites.

Iona is set to sail from Southampton, before embarking on a maiden season throughout northern Europe, Spain, Portugal and the Canary Islands.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, P&O has temporarily suspended operations until early 2021.

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However, passengers can gain a sneak peek into the ship thanks to a new video.

The time-lapse was filmed over two years, showing each detail of the ship coming together where it was built at Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg.

Guests who hope to sail with P&O will currently have to wait until Spring of next year, with Caribbean sailings further paused until Autumn/Winter 2021.

Some of the latest sailings to be put on hold for the time being include those on the Aurora, Azura, Britannia, Iona, Oceana, Ventura and Arcadia.

In a statement on its website, P&O Cruises explains: “Due to the continued and evolving restrictions on travel from the UK coupled with the current complexity of air travel to the region, unfortunately, we have taken the decision to cancel the remainder of Azura and Britannia’s spring 2021 Caribbean season, as well as two cruises in Arcadia and Aurora’s spring season.

“We are so sad we’re not able to take Azura and Britannia to this stunning region in early 2021 but we very much hope to be back in the autumn and winter of 2021/22.

“Our wonderful home port of Barbados and the wider islands of the Caribbean are a real favourite with our guests who love the culture and colour in the region and the vibrancy of each of the different islands.

“We know our guests and crew can’t wait to be back towards the end of 2021.

“This update is in addition to the 2021 cruises already cancelled by our most recent pause extension.”

The cruise line adds that it continues to work with relevant bodies in order to boost safety on its ship for when they are given the green light to return.

“We continue to work in partnership with public health agencies at the highest level as well as Department for Transport, EU Healthy Gateways and Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the industry governing body, and have recently announced our new health protocols,” it adds.

Amongst the new protocols, guests can expect a health screening and COVID-19 testing before they onboard, heightened cleaning throughout the ship, additional hand sanitising stations and the mandatory use of face masks.

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