P&O Cruises has officially taken delivery of its newest ship, Arvia, one of the largest passenger cruise ships ever built for the UK market. The handover ceremony took place on Thursday, December 15, 2022, with appropriate officials and dignitaries on hand for the momentous occasion.
Arvia Officially Delivered to P&O Cruises
The newest vessel for P&O Cruises, Arvia, has been delivered to the cruise line in a traditional ceremony Bremerhaven, Germany. This handover changes ownership of the vessel from the Meyer Werft shipyard to P&O Cruises, making the ship the seventh active ship in their fleet.
The 185,000-gross-ton vessel, with 16 passenger decks and measuring 1,132 feet in length (345 meters), is a sister ship to the cruise line’s Iona, which first joined the fleet in August 2021.
Both P&O vessels are Excel-class, the same as Carnival Cruise Line’s Mardi Gras, Carnival Celebration, and upcoming Carnival Jubilee, as well as other ships that are part of Carnival Corporation & plc for Costa Cruises and AIDA Cruises.
Arvia, however, brings new and innovative features to the design, ensuring that she will provide memorable expereinces for all guests who sail on her.
“Arvia, as the latest evolution in the P&O Cruises experience, embodies the newest trends in travel, dining and entertainment and is the epitome of a sunshine resort sailing year-round to the warmest climates,” said Paul Ludlow, president of P&O Cruises.
“I would like to thank the vast teams of skilled engineers, designers, architects and so many more who worked on Arvia from the concept and design through to the build and finished feat of innovation and technical excellence we see here today.”
While Arvia was slightly delayed in her delivery to the cruise line, the fact that she has not been significantly delayed is a major accomplishment for such a detailed and demanding project.
“The current tense global situation, with supply bottlenecks and material shortages, poses challenges for the construction of such complex cruise ships,” said Jan Meyer, managing director of Meyer Werft.
“But thanks to the team’s performance we were able to overcome these hurdles and today once again hand over a ship that meets the high MEYER-standards. For this I would like to thank all those involved for their great commitment.”
New Features on a New Ship
While Arvia is the second ship of her class to join P&O Cruises, the new ship brings many new features to eager guests.
“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,” said Ludlow.
Highlights include the retractable roof SkyDome on deck 16, enclosing a leisurely pool space that can transform for evening entertainment with spectacular production shows, live music, blockbuster movies on the SeaScreen, and thrilling aerialist performances.
A variety of new restaurants can be found on Arvia, including the 6th Street Diner with all-American cuisine; Taste 360 with an array of exclusive Caribbean dishes; and a Mediterranean-inspired menu in The Glass House and Cellar Door. In total, the ship features more than 30 dining venues and bars.
Arvia will also feature exclusive retail and wellness options, such as a men’s grooming salon and a design-your-own-fine-jewelry bar for the ultimate luxury souvenir for a phenomenal cruise vacation.
For adventurous guests, Arvia has the first ever high ropes-course experience for P&O Cruises, Altitude Skywalk, as well as guest favorites mini golf and a splash zone for younger cruisers. The ship will also have an immersive, underwater-themed escape room, interactive game shows, and other high-tech entertainment and activities.
Maiden Voyage Just Days Away
Now that Arvia has been officially delivered, she is just about ready for her inaugural sailing – a 14-night round-trip holiday cruise from Southampton to the Canary Islands, with additional port calls in Spain and Portugal.
Arvia‘s maiden voyage departs on December 23, 2022, which is a brief delay from the initially planned December 9 inaugural cruise. That first sailing was canceled in October in order to ensure the ship was up to the cruise line’s quality standards before welcoming guests. Now, however, it is full steam ahead to ready Arvia for guests.
“The ship is now officially part of the P&O Cruises fleet and we are focused on readying her to welcome guests for the maiden cruise on December 23 before departure to the Caribbean on January 6, 2023 for a winter season from Barbados,” said Ludlow.
Arvia can welcome approximately 5,200 guests for each sailing. After her maiden voyage to the Canary Islands, she will sail a short series of cruises from Southampton before moving to the Caribbean for the winter and offering departures from Barbados and Antigua.
The new ship will be officially named in Barbados in March 2023, and in April, will return to Southampton for the summer.