Southampton: New cruise ship docks ahead of maiden voyage

  • Published 19 December 2022


A new cruise ship has arrived in UK waters to collect its first passengers ahead of its maiden voyage.

P&O's Arvia docked in Southampton on Sunday and will spend its first season sailing in the Caribbean where it will be officially named .

At 345m-long and with 16 decks, the ship can accommodate 5,200 guests and 1,800 crew.

It departs "pretty much full" for the Canary Islands on Friday, a P&O spokeswoman said.

The ship is the operator's second to be powered by liquified natural gas and was built at Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany.

Throughout the summer it will sail from Southampton to the Mediterranean.


Few travel sectors were worse hit by the coronavirus pandemic than the global cruise line industry.

In 2019, it contributed more than $154bn (£110bn) to the global economy, the trade body Cruise Lines International Association said.

But during lockdown the world's cruise ships were anchored off Weymouth in Dorset.

P&O Cruises president, Paul Ludlow, who was on board the Arvia as it arrived in Southampton, said it was a "truly remarkable moment".

It will depart for the Caribbean on 6 January, where it will be officially named in Barbados.

Cruise ships off the coast of Weymouth

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Luxurious new cruise ship to sail from the UK in 2023 - and it may look familiar

Ambassador Cruise Line has announced plans for a second cruise ship Ambition to sail from the UK in 2023 as it prepares to welcome its first ship Ambiance to the fleet

A rendering of the cruise ship Ambition at sea

  • 10:02, 28 Jan 2022
  • Updated 10:08, 28 Jan 2022

Ambassador Cruise Line is set to make its debut this year with one of the top highly-anticipated new cruise ships for 2022 , Ambience.

Now the brand new cruise line - the first British one to be launch since 2010 - has announced plans for a second ship to join its fleet next year.

Ambition will enter service in 2023, and like Ambience she will offer plenty of luxurious amenities for guests including a wellness centre, casino, theatre, gym, shops, and highlights such as a card room, craft studio and library.

As for dining, passengers will have a choice of two main restaurants and speciality dining, a casual bistro, four bars, lounges and even a pub!

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Eagle-eyed cruise fans may actually recognise the cruise ship already, as she was bought from Costa Crociere, where she had been operating as AIDAMira. The ship has also previously sailed under names including Mistral, Grand Mistral and Costa neoRiviera.

Of course under Ambassador Cruise Line she will be receiving an extensive refurbishment - so passengers can expect a completely new look and experience!

The new ship boasts a gross tonnage of 48,123 and will offer 714 cabins and suites, 66% of which will include a balcony view for passengers.

The cruise line has said it will reveal details of her maiden voyage later this year, although we know that like Ambiance she will offer a series of no-fly sailings from the UK including departures from ports such as London Tilbury, Newcastle, Dundee, Belfast, Liverpool, Bristol and Falmouth.

For those who can't wait to start enjoying cruise holidays again, Ambience is due to make her debut in April, on a maiden voyage to Hamburg from London Tilbury.

Boasting a gross tonnage of 70,285 and 789 cabins, the ship is larger than Ambition although both offer similar experiences such as a theatre, casino, shops, restaurants and a craft studio - and Ambience will also have a pub, the Purple Turtle.

You can find out more about both ships on .

Best cruise deals for 2022/2023

There are plenty of tempting cruise holiday deals out there - we've flagged some of the best ones below.

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You can also find heaps of updates and offers in our cruise holidays page .

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Speaking about new ship Ambition Christian Verhounig, the line's CEO, said: "We are delighted with the warm reception given to the introduction of Ambassador to the market – a new brand, proposition and our first ship. This announcement of the addition of Ambition to the fleet reflects our confidence and willingness to invest in the future of Ambassador and the cruise sector.

"We are particularly excited to be offering regional departure options for Ambition in 2023, whilst also offering guests who travel from London Tilbury a greater choice of sailings and ships on which to enjoy them.

"Clearly, we are all focused on the success of Ambience’s maiden season which commences in April this year, but we believe existing and new guests, as well as our trade partners, will be thrilled to hear about Ambassador’s growth plans."

What do you think about the new ships? Let us know in the comments below.

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Arvia has arrived: Biggest cruise ship built for Britain arrives home to Southampton

  • Cruise ship
  • Tuesday 20 December 2022 at 8:33am

new cruise ship uk

ITV Meridian's Richard Slee reports from Southampton

The biggest cruise ship ever built for the British market arrived in her home port of Southampton for the first time this lunchtime. 

Arvia is able to carry 5,500 passengers with 1,500 crew. The ship is the latest on the P&O Cruises fleet. 

Hundreds braved the poor weather this morning to watch her arrive as she sailed down the Solent. 

The company say it’s a much needs boost to the south’s economy. 

At 185,000 tonnes, 345m in length with 16 guest decks and breaking new ground for guest experiences, Arvia is P&O Cruises' second ship to be powered by liquefied natural gas, the marine industry’s most advanced fuel technology to date.

Arvia, meaning “from the seashore,” is an innovative and future-focused ship and the latest evolution in the P&O Cruises experience, embodying the newest trends in travel, dining and entertainment to offer varied and contemporary holidays.


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