P&O Cruises has taken delivery of Britain’s first cruise ship to be powered by LNG.

Also the largest cruise liner ever built for the UK market, boasting 17 guest desks, 13 entertainment venues, a gin distillery and 16 whirlpool, Ioana weighs 185,000 tonnes and is the length of four football pitches (345m).

Powered by LNG, Iona’s eco-friendly drive system prevents the emission of sulfur dioxides and soot particles.

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Source: Meyer Werft

As gasworld highlighted in its recent feature, IMO 2020 – A new wave in LNG, 2020 is a key year for the LNG business. IMO 2020 takes effect and the maritime industry implements a new sulfur cap on its fuels. LNG is regarded as key to compliance with these new regulations.

Under the new global cap, in force from 1st January 2020 by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), ships have to use marine fuels with a sulfur content of no more than 0.50% against the current limit of 3.50%, in an effort to reduce the amount of sulfur oxide.

“Iona’s delivery is a very positive signal for the future of cruising. She is now officially part of the P&O Cruises fleet and we are focused on readying her to welcome guests during her new maiden season to Northern Europe, Spain, Portugal and the Canary Islands from our home port of Southampton,” said P&O Cruises President Paul Ludlow.

“Already eagerly anticipated by our guests, crew and the communities we visit, events this year have increased the sense of anticipation even more.”

“Whilst our operations are currently paused until early 2021 Iona will not be sailing for the moment but we look forward to our guests experiencing this gamechanging ship as we will continue to offer unparalleled holidays at sea whilst also upholding the latest approved travel protocols.”