P&O Cruises Names Next Excel-Class Mega-Ship

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UK-based cruise line P&O Cruises announced the name of the next Excel-class vessel today in a video launched on YouTube. The company’s second LNG-powered vessel will be called Arvia, which translates to “From The Seashore.”

Arvia Will Be Sister Ship to Iona

The vessel, which will be built at the Meyer Werft in Germany, will be P&O Cruises’ newest ship to launch since the arrival of P&O Iona just last year. The ships are part of a strong drive from Carnival Corporation to transition to larger, 180,000+ gross ton LNG-powered ships.

P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow had this to say about the company’s second Excel class vessel:

“Arvia will join Iona as an innovative and future-focused ship offering an outstanding, varied, and contemporary holiday. Arvia has been designed to travel to the sun year-round and to maximise views of the ocean and the seashore from everywhere on board, so it seemed a very fitting name and one which will reflect the experience for guests on board.”

The new ship will be a total of 184,700 gross tons and she will have an identical design to her sister ship. There will be enhancements to already successful concepts across the fleet along with features already found on P&O Iona.

She will join the fleet in December 2022 and bookings will go on sale in March. The cruise line will be releasing further specific details on Arvia in the coming weeks and months.

The name is indeed fitting; the company aims to create a relaxing and rejuvenating spirit on board the vessel:

“The seashore is known for its relaxing properties and tranquillity and a holiday on Arvia will, indeed, celebrate this and have relaxation at its heart. The rejuvenating and restorative qualities of a walk on the beach and invigorating sea air will be reflected in the experiences both on board and on shore as well as the vast space on board which has enabled us to include a number of new and extraordinary features.”

Major Fleet Expansion

The launch of both Iona and Arvia means a massive expansion of 33% for the P&O UK fleet. With the UK cruise market on the rise in recent years, this will not be a surprise for many.

The P&O fleet will now consist of no less than seven vessels once the Arvia launches at the end of 2022, although it is still one of the smaller brands under the Carnival Corporation umbrella.

The ships in the P&O fleet are:

  • Arcadia– 1952 passengers- 83,781 GT
  • Aurora– 1878 passenger- 76,152 GT
  • Azura– 3096 passengers- 115,000 GT
  • Brittania– 3647 passengers- 143,730 GT
  • Ventura– 3192 passenger- 116,017 GT
  • Iona & Arvia– 5200 passengers- Over 180,000 GT
P&O Cruise Ships
Photo Credit: SeregaSibTravel / Shutterstock.com

When Will They Sail

Having the ships is great for the cruise line. However, the question remains when the ships will be able to sail once again. P&O Cruises plans to sail with five vessels towards the end of April and the beginning of May 2021.

Whether this will happen remains to be seen as the UK Transport Secretary recently said travel abroad should be off-limits until all UK adults have been vaccinated and people should not be booking holidays.

The schedule for the ships currently looks as follows:

  • Arcadia will sail 20 May 2021 to the Mediterranean on an 18-nights voyage
  • Aurora will sail 24 Apr 2021 to Western Europe on a 7-night voyage
  • Azura will sail 29 Apr 2021 to the Mediterranean on a 7-night voyage
  • Brittania will sail 25 Apr 2021, on a 13-night voyage to Spain and Portugal
  • Ventura will sail 30 Apr 2021, on a 1-night voyage, after which she will sail towards the baltic for longer voyages.
  • Iona will sail on her maiden voyage on 24 Apr 2021, on a 7-night voyage towards the Norwegian Fjords

Hopefully, P&O Cruises will be able to successfully make these trips in what should be a return to cruising from the UK. As we all know, the situation remains fluid, yet with new, beautiful ships on the horizon, the future looks great, no matter what.

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