The UK’s biggest cruise line, P&O Cruises, celebrated a major milestone in the construction of its second Excellence-class cruise ship, Arvia, at the shipyard in Papenburg, Germany. Once the keel is laid down in the shipyard, it means construction is starting in earnest. This moment is traditionally celebrated with the coin-laying ceremony.
During the coin-laying ceremony, the shipbuilders and the future owners place a coin under the keel block, a way of blessing the ship and as a symbol of good fortune. Arvia‘s construction is due to be completed in time for her maiden voyage in December of this year.
Key Stage in Construction
P&O Cruises reached a significant milestone and a key stage in constructing its newest vessel, Arvia, this week. During a ceremony at the Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Germany, the laying down of the keel was marked with the traditional coin-laying ceremony. This is a nautical tradition intended to bring the crew and ship good luck.
Speaking at the ceremony, P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow said:
“This is yet another landmark in P&O Cruises’ new build history. Arvia will be our second ship to be powered by liquefied natural gas as part of P&O Cruises’ ongoing commitment to sustainable travel. Other world-class environmentally-friendly innovations include shore power connectivity and the latest technology for its four main engines.”
Specially selected Barbados coins were placed underneath the 570 tons block, which is 11.3 meters long, 42.10 meters wide, and 11.81 meters high and had to be lifted by an 800-ton crane.
Paul Ludlow continued: “The coins that are laid under Arvia’s keel today will be the embodiment of that warmth and sun as they are currency from our winter homeport of Barbados, an island which has had a special place in our heart for over 20 years. These coins, with the workmanship and skill of everyone gathered today – and so many more – will keep and protect all on board this spectacular ship.”
Arvia Destined For Sunny Destinations
The second LNG-powered cruise ship in the P&O fleet, and the eighth for Carnival Corporation, Arvia will be amongst the world’s greenest ships. She is scheduled for delivery in December 2022; her maiden voyage will sail to the Canary Islands, followed by a winter season in the Caribbean.
Sailing from Southampton in the UK on December 9, 2022, the ship will visit Madeira, Tenerife, Lanzarote, Gran Canaria, Cadiz, and Lisbon before heading back to Southampton.
Paul Ludlow: “Our guests will enjoy holidays on Arvia, as they have done and continue to do on Iona and on the other ships in the P&O Cruises fleet. They will holiday in the Mediterranean in the summer and in the warmth of the Caribbean throughout the winter as Arvia will be our “sunshine” ship.”
On January 6, the cruise ship will reposition to Barbados, with calls in Tenerife, St. Maarten, St. Kitts, and St. Lucia. The 5,200 guests will enjoy a vast variety of activities onboard the 184,000-gross-tons cruise ship.
The ship’s features include Altitude Skywalk, a unique high ropes experience, a swim-up bar and stunning infinity pool, a multi-sensory escape room, a new restaurant serving a plant and fish-led menu, a cinema, and 1,300sqm of shopping. Arvia will sail the Caribbean through March 18, at which point she will reposition to start her summer 2023 cruises from Southampton to the Mediterranean.