Arvia sails into Southampton ahead of maiden voyage

THE latest luxury vessel to be built for P&O Cruises has arrived in Southampton ahead of her maiden voyage to the Canary Islands.

Dubbed the biggest cruise ship ever designed for the UK market, the 185,000-tonne Arvia can carry 5,500 passengers as well as 1,500 crew.

She is the second P&O Cruises vessel to be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), the marine industry’s most advanced fuel technology.

Arvia will be based in Southampton, although the official naming ceremony will take place in Barbados next year.

Company president Paul Ludlow was on board the 345m long vessel as she sailed up Southampton Water following her journey from a German shipyard.

He said: “It was a truly remarkable moment as, after the years of design and construction, Arvia arrived in Southampton.”

Mr Ludlow said Arvia “embodies the newest trends in travel, dining and entertainment. He described her as “the epitome of a sunshine resort sailing year-round to the warmest climates.”

Arvia’s “new and exciting” inside and outside spaces “make the most of her deployment to the Caribbean and the Mediterranean”.

Mr Ludlow added: “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, layout and new brands in the retail area, and the exhilarating top deck activities.”

Arvia’s SkyDome, which features a retractable glass roof, creates a relaxed poolside environment with dining and drinking options for guests.

In the evening, it turns into an entertainment venue featuring shows, live music, guest acts and aerialist performances.

Guests will also be able to enjoy blockbuster movies under the stars on the huge SeaScreen.

Arvia, which has 16 passenger decks, also boasts a mouth-watering variety of restaurants.

One offers exquisitely crafted fish and plant-based dishes while another is an all-American diner serving breakfast, brunch, dinner and sweet treats, accompanied by music and ice-cold cocktails.

Food served on board will include Caribbean dishes designed by Local Food Hero Shivi Ramoutar as well as a Mediterranean-inspired menu from José Pizarro.

Retail areas include an area showcasing the latest in tech at sea, a ‘design your own’ jewelery bar, and the first-at-sea Swarovski ‘Wonder Lab’ Concept Store featuring the latest crystal collections from Swarovski’s new creative director, Giovanna Engelbert. Passengers will also be able to view a collection of “pre-loved” handbags and watches. New entertainment options include Altitude, an outdoor adventure zone which features Altitude Skywalk, P&O Cruises first ever high-ropes experience, Altitude Minigolf and the new aqua zone.

Mission Control is a unique immersive experience combining an escape game with multimedia simulation and a live-action story to create a thrilling underwater challenge. Greatest Days is an adaptation of the acclaimed West End musical The Band, which features the songs of Take That and is a story by Olivier Award-winning writer Tim Firth. Arvia will also feature WaveLength, a new interactive game show, virtually starring presenter and game show host Ben Shephard.

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