Giant New P&O Cruise Ship Arrives in the UK for Inaugural Sailing

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P&O Cruises’ newest vessel, Arvia, has arrived in Southampton in preparation for her inaugural sailing, now just days away. The vessel was greeted with appropriate fanfare to mark the auspicious occasion, bringing new and elevated cruising to the European market before the ship will head to the Caribbean for the winter season.

Arvia Arrives in Southampton

Arvia arrived in Southampton on Sunday, December 18, 2022, just a few days before her much-anticipated 14-night inaugural sailing, a roundtrip voyage to the Canary Islands with calls in Spain and Portugal as well.

“It was a truly remarkable moment as, after the years of design and build, Arvia arrived into Southampton ahead of the maiden voyage and then departure for the Caribbean season,” said Paul Ludlow, P&O Cruises president.

P&O Arvia Cruise Ship
Photo Courtesy: P&O Cruises / James Robinson for Christopher Ison

The 185,200-gross-ton vessel was accompanied by fireboats for her arrival, a traditional salute for a new ship’s first visit.

Arvia was just officially delivered to P&O Cruises on Thursday, December 15, in Bremerhaven, Germany. Now, the ship will remain in Southampton as the rest of the crew members arrive and final supplies are loaded ahead of her inaugural voyage.

“We cannot wait for our first guests to be on board this week to see the extraordinary attention to detail, design of the restaurants and bars, scale of the theatre, the layout and new brands in the retail area and the exhilarating top deck activities,” Ludlow said. “We are seeing a new generation recognising the value for money and individuality of a holiday at sea.”

Upcoming Itineraries

Arvia will offer a wide assortment of sailings, beginning with her two week inaugural cruise departing on December 23, 2022. After that, she will depart on a 15-night transatlantic crossing from Southampton to Bridgetown, Barbados, which will be one of the ship’s winter homeports.

On that 22-night crossing, Arvia will tour a variety of popular Eastern Caribbean ports, including St. Maarten, St. Lucia, and Grenada, before arriving in Barbados in January 20, 2023.

P&O Arvia Cruise Ship
Photo Courtesy: P&O Cruises / James Robinson for Christopher Ison

During the winter sailing season, the new ship will offer departures from both Barbados and Antigua, giving travelers great variety in their vacation plans. Depending on the itinerary and sailing date, the ship will visit popular and luxurious tropical destinations such as the Dominican Republic, St. Kitts, Martinique, and the British Virgin Islands.

The new ship will also be officially christened in the Caribbean in a first-of-its-kind beachside extravaganza naming ceremony in March.

Arvia will remain in the Caribbean until mid-March 2023, at which time she will re-cross the Atlantic to return to Southampton for a summer season of 14-day roundtrip Mediterranean sailings that will visit top ports of call in Spain, France, and Italy.

Amazing Onboard Features

In addition to spectacular itineraries, one of the largest vessels ever built for the UK market will also offer outstanding onboard features for guests to enjoy that are thoughtfully reminiscent of the remarkable destinations the ship will visit, providing a seamless and relaxing atmosphere for travelers.

“As the latest evolution in the P&O Cruises experience, [Arvia] embodies the newest trends in travel, dining and entertainment and is the epitome of a sunshine resort sailing year-round to the warmest climates,” Ludlow said.

“It takes its sister ship Iona’s design aesthetic and general arrangement but provides new and exciting outside and inside spaces which make the most of Arvia’s deployment to the Caribbean and the Mediterranean.”

P&O Arvia Cruise Ship Delivery
Photo Courtesy: Meyer Werft Shipyard

Among the top new features onboard Arvia is the retractable roof SkyDome, which encloses a relaxed poolside environment suitable for use in all weather conditions and season. The space can also transition to an entertainment venue for shows, live music, aerialist performances, movie showings, and more.

The ship features more than 30 restaurants, eateries, and bars, including the innovative Green & Co, which offers exquisitely crafted fish and plant-based dishes, as well as the new 6th Street Diner with its all-American menus for breakfast, brunch, dinner, and desserts. Other onboard restaurants also have exclusive menu offerings.

New retail options, entertainment, wellness offerings, and immersive adventurous experiences are also part of Arvia‘s lineup, sure to impress the up to 5,200 guests the ship can welcome at each sailing.

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