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Gary Barlow to perform at P&O Cruises’ Iona naming, Dame Irene Hays is godmother

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Dame Irene Hays DBE DL and Gary Barlow will be centre stage at the naming ceremony
Singer and musician Gary Barlow will perform a short set during the naming of P&O Cruises’ Iona in Southampton on May 16, for broadcast to an online VIP audience.

Named godmother to the ship, owner and chair of Hays Travel Group, Dame Irene Hays DBE DL, will preside at the ceremony.

Gratitude towards travel agents

Barlow is music director for the cruise line, which involves overseeing the ship’s 710 Club music venue and curating new talent to perform on board.

Referring to Hays, president of P&O Cruises, Paul Ludlow, said: ‘Since the inception of Hays Travel there is no one who has been more supportive of cruising or more of an ambassador for the travel industry. As such there is no one more appropriate to name Iona in this prestigious event than Dame Irene as we celebrate her achievements.

‘We are so immensely grateful for the support we have received from travel agents across the UK, all of whom have faced commercial challenges none of us could have imagined.’

P&O Cruises also supports the Hays Travel Charitable Foundation.

Maiden voyage

LNG-powered Iona, the cruise line’s first Excel class ship, will sail its seven-night maiden voyage around the coast of the island of Iona and the Scottish Isles from Southampton on August 7.