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I imagine that everyone has heard this by now – I’ve received about half-a-dozen emails about it this morning – but here goes anyway. P&O have announced that Iona will spend her first season cruising in the fjords. That will be from May 2020, and will continue through the summer.

The information we’ve got is still sketchy, and there’s no real information about the actual dates, or the amount of variety in the itineraries of different cruises, but I’m sure this will come. We can perhaps glean some things from the information on the website. There are information headings for the following places: Bergen, Stavanger, Alesund, Geiranger and Olden, which looks pretty much like the current itineraries. (No mention of Flam, however, unless I’ve missed it or misunderstood the information.) And no mention of longer itineraries, e.g. 14-night cruises to Iceland as well as Norway. So it looks like the initial season might be a succession of repeated very similar voyages. I wonder if this is because there are only a limited number of ports that can physically take a ship that large? And I wonder if this will ‘freeze out’ fjords voyages by other ships in the P&O fleet in 2020? I imagine there will be a significant number of passengers who would enjoy a fjords cruise on, say, Aurora but not on Iona. [Update: Neil Ringan has suggested (in the comment below) that the Norwegians will be introducing new environmental legislation that only Iona will be able to meet (she will be LNG-powered). So it might be that by 2020 none of the other ships in the P&O fleet will be able to enter the fjords anyway.]

I think all will become clearer on the 3rd of September. That’s the day when the itineraries and prices for summer 2020 for the whole of the P&O fleet will be made available, and when ‘pre-registration’ will open. Then cruises on Iona will be bookable from 10 September for Peninsular Club Caribbean, Baltic and Ligurian tier members, and from 12 September for everyone else. For the rest of the fleet the equivalent dates will be 17 September for the high-tier members, then 19 September for general sales for cruises between March and June 2020, and 20 September for cruises between July and October 2020.

Finally, there are still no detailed deck plans for Iona. However, I expect that these will be available soon, and in any case by 3 September.

2 Responses to “P&O Iona’s initial itinerary; and general summer 2020 itineraries”

  1. Neil Ringan says:

    Hi Tom

    Hope you’re both well

    Whilst the attached link does not include deck plans, it is the most detailed and comprehensive list of dining and entertainment spaces on Iona which I’ve seen, including many details which do not yet appear to be in the wider public domain, but the level of detail would tend to indicate a high degree of certainty. It also confirms some information we were given earlier this year by a senior F&B staff member about the main dining rooms, so in that respect it is correct. http://www.cruisemapper.com/ships/Iona-1858

    When we were on Aurora earlier this year, we were told by one of the senior engine room officers that new environmental legislation being introduced by Norway in (or from) 2019 meant that Iona would be the only P&O ship able to sail to the fjords, so I suspect your assumption that no other ships will do the fjords in 2020 is correct (which obviously rules out many of the smaller ports which Aurora/Arcadia could get in to).


    • Tom Burke says:


      Many thanks for the comment. That cruisemapper site is very good. I’ve been using cruisedeckplans.com but they’re very american so I might use cruise mapper more in future.

      That information about new emissions regulations for Norway isn’t surprising – I’ve been aware that the Norwegians have very, very strict rules. Iona will be LNG-powered, and will thus be ‘cleaner’ than any diesel-powered ship, of course.

      And thanks for your good wishes!

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