P&O Cruises new ship Iona will sail from Southampton to mainland Spain, Portugal, the Canary Islands and cities in northern Europe in its first winter season.

Overnight stays and late departures have been scheduled for the line’s largest vessel as part of itineraries released today for the period between October 2020 and March 2021.

A series of ‘day into night’ visits will enable passengers to take in nightlife due to late departures from destinations such as Barcelona, Valencia, Tenerife and Fuerteventura.

Overnight stays are planned for Barcelona, Lisbon, Cadiz and Rotterdam as part of the range of seven and 14-night cruises.

The ship makes its debut next summer on itineraries to the Norwegian fjords.

Pre-registration for the winter cruises on 5,200-passenger Iona opens on March 18.

Shore adventures being developed range from waterfall canyoning in Madeira and river rafting in Vigo to tuk tuk tours of Lisbon and star-gazing from Mount Teide, Spain’s highest peak, in Tenerife.

Traditional shrimp fishing by horseback in Bruges and cruising canals in Amsterdam on a vintage boat are among other new city-based shore experiences.

Ports of call in Spain, Portugal and the Canaries include Cadiz, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Lisbon, Madeira, Tenerife, Alicante, Barcelona, Gibraltar, Malaga, Valencia and Vigo.

Rotterdam (for Amsterdam), Zeebrugge (for Bruges), and Hamburg are among the northern European cities featured.

P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow said: “P&O Cruises is promising to deliver opportunities for guests to discover hidden secrets in these wonderful ports.

“We’ve used insider knowledge to develop shore visits and adventures that will be off the beaten track and give once-in-a-lifetime local experiences.

“P&O Cruises has a strong tradition of taking guests to enjoy winter sun and vibrant northern European cities, and now we’re helping them discover a new side of well-known destinations.

“By scheduling late departures for Iona from ports our guests will be able to make the most of days and evenings on shore, with an enviable selection of experiences that will showcase the very best of hidden Spain, Portugal and the Canary Islands and northern European cities.”

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