A four-screen cinema as well as a ‘pleasure dome’ entertainment hub and a gastropub are among details of P&O Cruises new megaship Iona revealed today (Monday).

The 5,200-passenger ship, due to enter service in 2020, will see on board entertainment being the focus of the SkyDome, including a “hidden” night club and boutique cinema.

Located on decks 16 and 17, the all-weather SkyDome will feature a giant roof and a pool with retractable stage.

Award-winning British engineers Eckersley O’Callaghan, the firm behind glass structures such as London’s Embassy Gardens Sky Pool and Bulgari’s flagship New York boutique, has designed the glazed dome roof.

The 710 Club is being billed as Iona’s ‘secret spot’ with the decor and atmosphere of a Convent Garden nightspot for cocktails and live music.

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Ocean Studios will include four cinema screens showing a mixture of classics and recent blockbusters throughout the day using the latest surround sound technology.

The Keel and Cow, with views through three storey-high glass walls of the Grand Atrium, will offer gastropub dishes including steaks chosen from a glass-fronted dry aging fridge.

A range of self-service and takeaway venues will make up The Quays piazza, with offerings ranging from Asian street food to American diner classics.

With a choice of 30 different venues, many open from early morning until late at night, P&O Cruises claims Iona will offer the widest ever selection of places to eat and drink on a ship built exclusively for the British cruise holiday market.

Dining available on other ships in the fleet will be incorporated onto Iona including The Glass House wine and food bar, formal restaurant Epicurean; Sindhu serving speciality Indian cuisine and Brodie’s bar.

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Iona will offer freedom dining in all of its main restaurants, a first for P&O Cruises. The move is designed to give more flexibility to passengers who can choose where and when they want to eat for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Iona is currently being built at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg and is due to be launched in May 2020. Bookings will open in September although itineraries have yet to be revealed.

P&O Cruises senior vice president Paul Ludlow described SkyDome as a “magical venue with views of the ocean by day and starry skies at night”.

He added: “It will be an exciting home to aerial performers who will make the most of the amazing space as well as guest DJs and current performers setting the tone for memorable evenings of music and dancing under the sparkling glass dome.

“Iona will bring new innovations and choice for our guests, but will also celebrate the best of P&O Cruises dining and drinking traditions. From intimate meals for two, to gatherings of friends and family, each day of a holiday on Iona will deliver an exciting journey of discovery through our widest ever selection of restaurants.”

The ship’s grand atrium will have uninterrupted panoramic views of the sea, framed by glazed walls stretching three decks high.

Ludlow said: “We’ve set out to make sure the sea is the star on Iona, and the design of the grand atrium tells you so much about how special she is going to be.

“Balancing intimate spaces with larger social areas, guests will be wowed by the three storey high glass walls and the ever changing view they reveal.

“From the moment they step onto the staircase, I know guests will be swept away by the beautiful design.”

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