P&O Cruises presents Ionafest 2020

Some of today’s biggest music artists. An astonishing naming celebration. Street-food-style pop-ups and bars inspired by foodie fantasies. And to crown it all, Norway’s awe-inspiring fjords as the breathtaking backdrop. Introducing Ionafest 2020: the extraordinary festival experience on our new ship, Iona.

An extraordinary experience and naming celebration

With a special guest performance from P&O Cruises new brand ambassador Gary Barlow, the famous bottle smash and a vibrant after-party, Ionafest is kick-starting with a naming celebration like no other. Get ready to swap a sea of tents for sublime mountain peaks and shimmering blue waters. Savour panoramic views and luxurious accommodation after full days exploring out-of-this world destinations.

Flights included

An astonishing naming celebration. And to crown it all, Norway's awe-inspiring fjords as the breathtaking backdrop.

Flights included

Iona's naming celebration

We’re kick-starting Ionafest with a naming celebration like no other. With a special guest performance from our new brand ambassador Gary Barlow, feel day one build to the famous bottle smash while enjoying incredible music, pop-up food and drink and entertainment. And for those who don’t want the night to end, an after-party promises to keep the celebrations in full force.

Celebration in the fjords

Following Iona’s naming celebration, our new flagship will sail to Norway’s dramatic landscape. Dance in the Main Sky Stage as sheer cliffs and tumbling waterfalls drift by. Feast your senses on everything from luminous glaciers to drool-worthy pop-up restaurants. And discover entertainment at every twist and turn; think unmissable dance performances from Diversity, live DJ sets by Alex James and breathtaking aerial shows produced exclusively for Iona by Creativiva.

What’s more, all guest performances at Ionafest are included in the price of the holiday⬫

As many events are taking place simultaneously across the entire ship, you’ll need to decide which performances and celebrations you wish to attend. Entry will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Yet, while we cannot guarantee you will see every chosen act and event, we can promise a once-in-a-lifetime festival experience.

We’re thrilled to reveal the latest artists performing at Ionafest 2020

The Script

On day one, the Irish alt-pop trio and arena-filling band are bringing their inclusive, uplifting sound to Ionafest’s Main Sky Stage.

Pixie Lott

The four-time BRIT Award nominee is performing on Ionafest’s Main Stage on day one before a special guest performance from our new brand ambassador, Gary Barlow.


As Iona sails to Norway’s awe-inspiring fjords, the innovative dance group will perform six unmissable shows on the Main Stage for even more spectacular sights.

Tim Vine

Enjoy brilliant comedy with three performances on the Main Stage.

These new artists add to Ionafest’s incredible lineup, including:

Special guest performance from Gary Barlow

P&O Cruises is delighted to announce that our new brand ambassador, Gary Barlow, will be performing as special guest at Iona’s naming celebration – kick-starting Ionafest 2020 in style.

Clean Bandit

Clean Bandit have continually proved themselves to be one of the most successful and in-demand British acts of this century with their matchless blend of pop, classical and electronica.

Trevor Nelson, MBE

Renowned DJ and broadcaster, Trevor Nelson, is bringing true rhythm and soul to Ionafest. His world-class DJ sets are ready to get you in the mood with his favourite R&B and club classics from over the decades.

Sara Cox

One of the UK’s most established DJs and presenters, Sara Cox plays sets that reflect her 20 years in this crazy biz we call show. From her 80s radio show, through Britpop to big beat, she’ll play it all.

Jo Whiley

Presenter Jo Whiley has graced our TV screens and radio with pretty much every big name in music. Hosting in the Heartbeat, Jo Whiley brings a wealth of musical knowledge and talent to Ionafest 2020.

Chris Ramsey

With his high-energy delivery and off-the-cuff style, Chris Ramsey is one of the most exciting comedy acts today. Get ready for brilliant banter and huge laughs at Ionafest 2020!

Alex James

Dance into the night with Alex James’ DJ sets at the Main Sky Stage. The Blur bassist and food and music festival host certainly knows a thing or two about bringing the party.


Badness is regarded as the ultimate tribute band to Madness and the Ska era. Formed in 1994, they bring to life Madness, Bad Manners and Buster Bloodvessel in a spectacularly authentic and fun-filled production.

Acts performing at Ionafest 2020 may be subject to change without notice. Performance times to be advised once on board. 


The Limelight Club

For a little extra, you can enjoy fabulous nights of live music, comedy and entertainment in this chic spot, including evenings with Denise Van Outen and La Voix; and a Strictly Special Guest Night with Strictly judge Motsi Mabuse, Strictly pro dancer Amy Dowden and her dance partner Ben Jones, and Tommy Blaize, vocalist in the Strictly Come Dancing Band.

Experiences at an additional charge:

Strictly Special Guest Night

Shimmy your way to The Limelight Club for a unique evening extravaganza with special guests from Strictly Come Dancing.

We’re welcoming Strictly judge, Motsi Mabuse; Strictly pro dancer, Amy Dowden, and her dance partner, Ben Jones; and Tommy Blaize, vocalist in the Strictly Come Dancing Band. Where else can you experience a 10 out of 10 evening like this without a Strictly backstage pass?

Denise Van Outen

Since landing her big break as a presenter for Channel 4’s The Big Breakfast, Denise Van Outen enjoyed starring roles on stage and screen. Having featured in many Broadway and West End productions like Chicago, Legally Blonde, Rent and West End, Denise also appeared in popular sitcom Babes in the Wood as Leigh Jackson. Having hosted Hairspray: The School Musical, you might also recognise Denise as the lead judge on ITV’s talent show Born To Shine, or perhaps as a Strictly Come Dancing finalist?

La Voix

As a Britain’s Got Talent semifinalist and larger than life star from Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie, La Voix brings a number of divas to life with an elastic voice that encompasses the likes of Cher, Judy Garland and Shirley Bassey. La Voix has performed for the royal family and toured the world with her hit one-woman show, working with everyone from Cilla Black to Pamela Anderson (and has she got some stories to tell!).

The above Limelight Club shows include a three-course meal. Tickets available to buy at My P&O Cruises from the end of February

Sunset Bar

Settle in at the Sunset Bar for drinks, delicious views and laid-back vibes.

Guilty Pleasures Lounge (The Club House)

Discover fantastic tribute show by Badness, an 80s DJ set with Sara Cox and nights filled with brilliant throwback hits.

Open Air Screenings (aft decks)

Screenings on deck allow you to enjoy live entertainment under the stars or amidst the phenomenal landscape of the Norwegian Fjords.

Heartbeat (Grand Atrium)

With Jo Whiley as host, the Heartbeat is home to exciting entertainment and live highlights streamed from across the ship.

Main Stage (Headliners Theatre)

The place to be for world-class music, including a special guest performance from P&O Cruises new brand ambassador Gary Barlow.

Main Sky Stage (SkyDome)

Spanning two decks with its impressive glass roof, you can dance ‘til the sun sets with performances from The Script and Clean Bandit, DJ sets by Trevor Nelson and mesmerising aerial shows produced exclusively for Iona by Creativiva.

Food and drink

Pop-up food and bars

Takeaway take-overs drizzled in dreams…think pizza, halloumi fries, sweet treats and pre-made mixers ready to make your street-food fantasies a reality. Selected food and drink may be chargeable.

Food Heroes

Marco Pierre White

Meet the godfather of British cooking as he steps on board for exciting events during Ionafest. As well as tasting his innovative Gala Evening menu on your holiday (a treat for all), Marco will be hosting an interactive cooking show and Q&A session, serving up answers to all of your culinary qualms.

Eric Lanlard

(additional charge for hosted dining events)

Eric Lanlard’s exceptional Afternoon Tea is not to be missed. And never more so than when the master pâtissier himself is hosting! You can also relish Eric’s decadent delights in Vistas Café Bar with an exquisite cake range designed especially for Ionafest.

Olly Smith

(additional charge for hosted dining events)

The irrepressible, award-winning wine expert and passionate foodie, Olly Smith, is joining Ionafest for exclusive events. On Iona, Olly brings the world of wine to you in The Glass House – by the glass, by the bottle and, if you fancy, by a plate of fabulous food.

Local Food Heroes

Kjartan Skjelde

(additional charge for hosted dining events)

Award-winning chef, Kjartan Skjelde, is hosting a Norwegian Tasting menu at The Epicurean, so you can enjoy an abundance of fresh fjordic flavours with the Local Food Hero himself.

José Pizarro

(additional charge for hosted dining events)

We’re collaborating with renowned chef, José Pizarro, to create a bespoke tapas menu for The Glass House. Taste authentic Spanish flavours and seize the chance to meet José as he steps on board during Ionafest.

Chargeable events will be available to book before your holiday at my.pocruises.com

Your Ionafest questions answered here