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P&O Cruises claims its new ship - Iona - is attracting a younger market, with 49% of bookings from those who are new to the cruise line coming from the under 45s. The ship, which will launch next year, will be the biggest built for the British market. Almost half of bookings for next August are from families, many of whom are new to P&O, it said. One in three guests on Iona in 2020 will be part of a family group.

The cruise line has been specifically targeting younger travellers and families in a new cinema and TV advert starring comedian Rob Brydon, which shows the 'Gavin and Stacey' star and his 'son' getting to grips with a range of experiences on a Norwegian fjords cruise. The strength of bookings in younger age segments is seen across the fleet, but especially on larger ships, said P&O. During the 2019 ‘Wave’ sales period, 53% of all newcomers to P&O Cruises were under 55. There has been a marked rise in the number of those under 45 taking their first holiday with P&O Cruises. A third of new guest bookings during the ‘Wave’ sales period were in this younger age group.


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 a cruise holiday 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 10 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 for her maiden season."


Iona will have abundance of balcony and outside cabins ensuring that a sea view is never far away. Accommodations, from inside cabins to lavish suites, cater to a wide cross-section of budgets and tastes.

  • 8th April 2019

Gary Buchanan


Edinburgh-born Gary Buchanan has been a travel writer for over 30 years. He has been a specialist cruise writer for 25 years contributing to leading British publications including national newspapers and consumer magazines. He is the author of five books about cruising and spends over seven months every year at sea sailing the world’s oceans.