Five great ways to get holiday ready on Iona

A holiday is the perfect antidote to the daily grind. But the added stress of limited luggage, dark early-morning departures and draining hours in airports can sometimes be a pain. We fly, we flop... Little wonder it’s hard to venture beyond the lounger when we finally flake out in the sun.

There is another way. With a holiday on Iona, you arrive at your destination relaxed, energised and ready to explore. Departing from Southampton, you can ease your way into your holiday with lazy or action-packed sea days (the decision is yours) and fun-filled nights, taking time to reconnect with things you love and the people you love to do them with. And once you’ve rediscovered your mojo, it’s time to discover destinations that offer so much more than sun, sea and sand.

We’ve picked five of Iona’s best features to reveal why days and nights on board are the perfect way to start your holiday.

1. Explore amazing spaces and special places

Iona’s facilities are nothing short of amazing, and with so much to choose from, you’ll need a little time to find your feet. The ship is designed to let the outdoors in and create an atmosphere of space, light and calm, most notably in the stunning public areas. From the showstopping Grand Atrium, with its triple-deck windows and dramatic spiral staircase, to the groundbreaking glass roof of SkyDome, there’s a sense of being at one with the ever-changing elements and ocean. Iona’s elegant interiors and distinctive flow from zone to zone enhance the range of moods. Enjoy watching the world go by and the buzz of activity and entertainment. Or find your place to relax and unwind, from cosy corners to spa treatment tables.

2. Enjoy incredible wining and dining

On Iona, good food and drink is an art form. With 30 different venues to choose from, there’s something for everyone, whatever the mood, by day and night. Plus, in a fleet first, Freedom Dining is standard in all main restaurants. 

In addition to favourites such as Brodie’s, The Glass House, The Crow’s Nest, Epicurean, The Beach House and Sindhu, there’s a host of exciting new dining and drinking concepts. The Quays is an exciting foodie piazza offering a great range of self-service and takeaway venues and a lively atmosphere. Taste your way around the globe – tuck into American diner fare or Mediterranean classics one day, then take your pick from Asian fast-food favourites or old-school fish and chips the next. 

Make space for lunch or dinner at The Keel & Cow, a fabulous British gastropub serving aged steaks, chunky chips and so much more. If you want a lighter bite, check out the global dishes whipped up before your eyes at Taste 360, an exciting new on-deck dining experience. 

Vistas Café Bar in the Grand Atrium is the go-to place for daytime pick-me-ups (think speciality coffee or tea with tasty cakes and pastries). For night owls, The 710 Club serves up live music and stylish cocktails, while The Limelight Club offers a supper-club combo of live music and great food. Both venues let the good times roll long into the night.

3. See extraordinary entertainment

Once you’ve done your own thing, head for entertainment hub SkyDome. With its retractable stage, it’s home to dramatic aerial performances, live shows and late-night dancing and entertainment. In the Grand Atrium, aerialists and pop-up performances will add more drama to your days and nights, while Headliners theatre is the home of exciting shows for all the family, mixing song, dance and showbiz glamour. There’s also a four-screen cinema with a range of films to choose from by day and night. Snuggle up with your popcorn to catch up on the latest releases and classic favourites.

Cool cats who love music will love The 710 Club. It’s the hip place to catch live sets from renowned and emerging music and singing talent, with a perfectly crafted cocktail or two.

4. Feel good with spa and salon services

The Oasis Spa is a focal point for rest and rejuvenation. Soothe away life’s stresses and strains in a hydrotherapy suite that boasts heated loungers, therapeutic saunas, steam grottos and tropical showers. Other features include waterbeds, a saline caldarium (salt room) and a hydrotherapy pool with reflexology, massaging jets and air recliners. Feel good from top to toe with a range of premium therapies: book a stress-busting massage (will it be Swedish or Himalayan salt stone?) or rejuvenate with beauty treatments including superfood facials, manicures and pedicures. 

You may want to use your time to spruce up or go for a completely new look. Iona’s team of stylists, beauticians, and colour and make-up specialists are ready to help you shine. And gentlemen are welcome to buff up at The Barber Shop. The stylish men’s grooming club offers a menu of traditional services, such as haircuts and deep cleansing shaves, together with more contemporary grooming treatments. 

5. Get active: on your own or with the family

Pick up on hobbies and interests you love but don’t usually have time to do. Or perhaps now is the time to try something new? Find your dancing feet at a range of dance classes, join an art club, sing your socks off with the ship’s choir, stretch it out with yoga and Pilates or up the ante at the gym or with fitness classes. Form a quiz team, be lucky at bingo or sit back and listen to fascinating guest speakers. With so many stimulating activities to choose from, no two days on ship will ever be the same.

There’s no end of sporting activities to enjoy too. Swim al fresco or under SkyDome’s glass roof; relax and take in the ocean from an infinity pool or whirlpool; play table tennis, football and basketball, among other sporting pursuits. There are endless ways to fill your days with friends and family. And, of course, there’s never a dull moment for youngsters. Iona’s Children’s Clubs for all ages run lively programmes to keep them entertained and happy all day long. Plus make full use of the free night nursery for little ones: it’s your time to enjoy a relaxing evening of sparkling attractions.