The LNG-powered ship’s maiden voyage to the port followed the handover ceremony of the vessel from Meyer Werft in Bremerhaven last week.
'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...' said P&O Cruises' president Paul Ludlow, who was on board as Arvia sailed up Southampton Water on December 18.
'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.'
Arvia will homeport at Southampton’s Ocean Cruise Terminal like sister ship Iona.
Connections between cruise line and port
‘We are thrilled to be honouring Arvia’s arrival here at the port with a plaque and key ceremony and blessing,’ explained Rebekah Keeler, head of cruise, Associated British Ports (ABP) Southampton.
‘P&O Cruises ships are synonymous with the Port of Southampton and we’re delighted to be such a significant part of her journey into full service.’
Southampton typically receives 500 cruise calls annually and over 50 cruise calls a month in peak season.
The plaque and key ceremony is customary for all vessels calling at the port for the first time, originating in mediaeval England when arriving ships bringing business were given the keys to the city walls.