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Iona attracts newcomers and younger passengers - P&O Cruises

P&O Cruises’ Iona that will enter service in the summer of 2020  is already proving popular with younger guests, more than a year before she sets sail on her maiden voyage.

“Advance bookings for the biggest cruise ship built for the British market show that 49% of Iona’s guests who are new to P&O Cruises are under the age of 45,” P&O Cruises said.

By comparison, the average age of UK cruise passengers was 57 years in 2017.

Iona’s first summer season is certainly proving popular with families. Nearly half (49%) of all guests who’ve already booked an August holiday next year on Iona will be travelling in a family group.

The new ship is also attracting large numbers of family newcomers to P&O Cruises. One in three guests who are choosing Iona for their cruise in 2020 are doing so for a family holiday. The figures are even more pronounced in the peak Summer period, which shows 52% of newcomers to P&O Cruises booking to travel on Iona in August are families.

 P&O Cruises, which is UK based unit of Carnival Corporation & plc, said Iona has been specifically targeting younger travelers and families in a new cinema and TV advert starring Rob Brydon. The commercial shows Rob and his ‘son’ getting to grips with a wide range of exhilarating experiences and adventures on a Norwegian Fjord cruise. Zip lines, high speed boat rides and mountain biking are new additions to the shore excursion schedule, along with land based food adventures hosted by P&O Cruises celebrity food heroes. 

The strength of bookings in younger age segments is seen across the fleet, but especially on the larger ships. During the 2019 Wave sales period, 53% of all newcomers to P&O Cruises were under 55 years of age.

There has been a marked two percent rise in the number of those under 45 taking their first holiday with P&O Cruises. A third (34%) of new guest bookings during the Wave sales period are in this younger age group.

Reflecting on the analysis of latest sales statistics, P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow said:  “We’ve always provided families and younger guests with memorable and magical holidays, and it’s clear from this research that even more are now being attracted to our ships and the incredible experiences we can deliver. We really believe that we are changing perceptions, making cruising a cool choice for younger generations by offering unbeatable onboard value alongside enjoyable and exhilarating shore based activities.” 


“This August one in three guests taking a P&O Cruises holiday will be a family, a statistic that is even more pronounced on our bigger ships in the peak period when four out of ten guests travelling this summer on Britannia, Azura and Ventura will be families. What’s even more exciting is that our sales figures show that Iona will continue to reshape the market, with new younger cruise guests already booking to join us during her maiden season.”


CBM 2018/2019 Winter