THE skies may have been grey and the wintry weather sending shivers down the spine but the forecast looks good for P&O Cruises’ newest ship Arvia, which arrived in her home port of Southampton this morning.
I’ve written before about some of the famous firsts on board but nothing beats seeing a new ship sailing in for the first time, especially when she’s welcomed by the traditional tugboat water jet salute that today meant: Arvia arrives.
Now, she’ll be readied for her much-anticipated maiden voyage to the Canary Islands on Friday.
At 185,000 tonnes, 345m in length with 16 guest decks, Arvia is P&O Cruises second ship to be powered by liquefied natural gas, the marine industry’s most advanced fuel technology to date.
The ship, which boasts a unique SkyDome with a retractable glass roof, will also feature the first high ropes experience at sea, the tropical-themed Altitude Minigolf, Splash Valley aquazone, a ‘submarine’ escape room, swim-up bar and infinity pool.
Read more: First look at Arvia’s high ropes walk at sea
It will also offer guests several new dining options such as Green & Co feat. Mizuhana, the Ocean Studios cinema, extensive shopping, and the Oasis Spa and Health Club.
P&O Cruises president, Paul Ludlow, who was on board for the arrival as Arvia sailed up Southampton Water this morning after the journey from the shipyard in Germany, was beaming.
“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,” he said.
“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 including the Caribbean and the Mediterranean.
Read more: TV chef Shivi adds spice to Arvia’s eateries
“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.
“We are seeing a new generation recognising the value for money and individuality of a holiday at sea.”
For more on the ship, including deck plans, visit www.pocruises.com. Southampton arrival images by James Robinson for Christopher Ison, and courtesy P&O Cruises.