The NA61/SHINE at the CERN SPS is a new experiment to study hadron production in p+p, p+A, h+A and A+A interactions. The main goal of the NA61 ion program is to explore the phase diagram (T − µB) of strongly interacting matter. In particular, we plan to study the properties of the onset of deconfinement and to search for the signatures of the critical point. A two-dimensional scan of the phase diagram will be performed by varying the energy (13A–158A GeV) and system size (p+p, Be+Be, Ar+Ca, Xe+La) of collisions. This paper summarizes the status and plans of the NA61/SHINE ion program. In particular the detector upgrades, data taking schedule and the first results on spectra and correlations are discussed.