The coin-laying ceremony is a long-held shipbuilding tradition intended to bring good luck to the ship and its crew throughout construction and its career at sea.
In recognition of the ship’s future cruise destinations, specially selected Barbados coins were placed under the first block before it was lowered into position.
The keel laying block weighs 570 tonnes, is 11.3 meters long, 42.10 meters wide and 11.81 meters high and had to be lifted by an 800-tonne crane.
The next steps are the completion of the block assembly for the aft part of the ship in the dock as well as the further outfitting of the ship.
“This is yet another landmark in P&O Cruises’ new build history,” said Paul Ludlow, President, P&O Cruises. “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.”
“Our guests will enjoy holidays on the Arvia, as they have done and continue to do on the Iona and on the other ships in the P&O Cruises fleet,” he added, referring to Arvia’s sister ship.
Arvia is intended to be P&O Cruises’ “sunshine ship” offering winter cruise itineraries in temperate destinations, such as the Mediterranean and Caribbean.
“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 that has had a special place in our heart for over 20 years,” said Ludlow.
Arvia is due to be delivered in December, 2022 and will sail her maiden voyage to the Canary Islands followed by a winter season in the Caribbean.
She has 16 decks and will feature Altitude Skywalk, a unique high ropes experience, a swim-up bar and infinity pool, new Mission Control, a multi-sensory escape room, a new restaurant called Green & Co featuring Mizuhana serving a plant and fish-led menu, Ocean Studios cinema, 1,300 sq. meters of shopping and the Oasis Spa and Health Club.