P&O Cruises has revealed that its new ship will be called Iona.

The name was officially launched at this year’s Cruise Lines International Association Conference and on P&O’s Facebook page in a video presented by Stephen Mulhern.

Over 30,000 people entered a competition to name the new ship, which joins the P&O fleet in May 2020.

The cruise line held the steel cutting ceremony for the 5,200-passenger Iona on 25 April 2018, at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany.

P&O Cruises senior vice president Paul Ludlow said: “We couldn’t think of a more fitting name than after an island that is one of the UK’s most beautiful places, Iona. It is such a perfect name for our ship. She will be the next stage of the future for P&O Cruises.

“Iona played a significant part in shaping the history of our nation and we hope that with this very special name our new ship will shape the future of holidays at sea for generations.

“Throughout the design process we were mindful that we were building a ship, not a hotel, and the intrinsic beauty of the sea, the vistas of the coastlines and ports of call should be at the fore and visible as much as possible from all areas of the ship.”

Cruises on Iona, a small island off the southwest coast of Mull in the Inner Hebrides, go on sale in September. Further details of the ship, its design and itineraries will be released over the coming months.