P&O Cruises will host a “festival at sea” featuring BBC radio DJs and Strictly Come Dancing stars to celebrate the naming of its newest ship, Iona, next year.

Grammy award-winners Clean Bandit, DJs Trevor Nelson, Jo Whiley and Sara Cox, and Blur’s Alex James will be among a host of famous names to appear at Ionafest in July.

The ship, which launches two months earlier in May, will depart from Southampton for a week-long christening cruise on July 4, sailing to the Norwegian Fjords.

Strictly Come Dancing judge Motsi Mabuse, professional dancers Amy Dowden and Ben Jones, and comedian Chris Ramsey, will also be among the famous faces providing entertainment on board.

The festival headliner and a final show line-up will be announced closer to the sailing date.

The festival cruise can be booked from 10am on December 9.

Trevor Nelson

Alex James

P&O Cruises president, Paul Ludlow, said: “This really is an experience of a lifetime, a complete one-off. When has there ever been the opportunity to see to these award-winning artists.

“We’re also so excited for our guests to be a part of the naming celebrations and we have made sure that there’s something for everyone to enjoy, all included in the price of a ticket to Ionafest 2020.”


The festival will start with Iona’s naming celebration on the first evening in Southampton which will feature headline acts.

“The naming celebrations on the first night, then the dramatic scenery, exclusive performances and special guests will elevate the holiday to an experience that will be remembered for years to come,” added Ludlow.

More: P&O Cruises’ Iona ship to be named in July 2020

Familes in focus as P&O Cruises outlines Iona features