Britain's most environmentally friendly cruise ship left Southampton on her maiden voyage.

P&O Cruises Iona set sail around 9pm on Saturday on her first voyage.

Built at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, Iona is the first British liner fuelled by liquefied natural gas, which P&O president Paul Ludlow claimed makes it “Britain’s most environmentally-friendly cruise ship”.

The ship’s stunning design features a two-deck glass SkyDome.

Throughout Saturday, passengers were sharing their excitement of getting on board the ship - for many the first holiday in months since the pandemic began.

Iona’s maiden voyage will depart Southampton, cruise past Cornwall before anchoring at the ship’s namesake island for the spectacular kaleidoscopic firework display.

This will be followed by three days of Scottish scenic cruising encompassing the Isle of Colonsay, Lochbuie, Duart Castle, Tobermoay, Bac Mòr, Fingal’s Cave, Sound of Jura, Claggain Bay, Mull of Kintyre and Sanda Island.

Iona's Facts and figures

  • Tonnage - 185,000
  • Length - 345 metres
  • Breadth - 42 metres
  • Speed - 17 knots
  • Guest capacity - 5,200
  • Crew - 1,800
  • Guest cabins - 2,614
  • Largest ship ever to fly the UK flag
  • Built at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany
  • The largest ship built to serve the UK market
  • More than 30 places to eat and drink
  • Four swimming pools including an infinity pool and 18 whirlpool spas
  • The first gin distillery at sea in partnership with Salcombe Gin
  • 26 suites, 95 conservatory mini-suites, 1,486 balcony cabins, 174 sea view cabins, 811 inside cabins and 22 single occupancy cabins