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A key stage in the construction of Britain’s newest and most contemporary cruise ship has been marked at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg.
The team building P&O Cruises 180,000-ton ship, Iona, which will be powered by liquefied natural gas, making it the UK’s greenest ship, celebrated the milestone with the traditional coin-laying ceremony.
A bronze coin from the historic Iona Abbey and a slice of precious green Iona marble from the island were placed under the block housing the bow thrusters before the block was then lowered onto these items.
P&O Cruises president, Paul Ludlow, who attended the event, said “This was an auspicious occasion in Iona’s build.
“The coin-laying is a long-held ship-building tradition which is to bring good luck to the ship and its crew through from construction to the future at sea.
“It is very special to think that a small part of the island of Iona will live within our own Iona.
“We hope that the qualities of beauty, heritage, pride, camaraderie, mutual support and loyalty from the island which attracted us to the name will be inherent in our ship, its crew and guests.”
As part of the ceremony the ship’s central steel block, the “mega block,” which has already been constructed was “floated out” on to the water.
The 21.5-metre long block weighs 461 tons, is 19.4 metres wide and 9.8 metres high and had to be lifted by a 600-ton crane.
The next steps are the block assembly of the bow and forward part of the ship in the dock as well as the further outfitting of the block in the harbour basin.
In August, the block will be brought inside to the building dock and welded to the forward part.
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