P&O Cruises has held a steel-cutting ceremony to mark the start of construction for its latest ship Arvia.

The sister ship to Iona is being built at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany.

The cruise line’s second LNG-powered Excel class ship will join the P&O Cruises fleet in December 2022 and holidays on Arvia go on sale next month.

In a speech at the virtual ceremony P&O Cruises’ president, Paul Ludlow, said: “The steel-cutting marks an extraordinary milestone for the future of P&O Cruises.

“It is a future which will include two of the most environmentally innovative ships in the world today.

“Iona is poised to join our fleet this summer as we return to service and is eagerly anticipated by our employees, crew and certainly by our guests who cannot wait to sail on her during her maiden season from Southampton.”

The name Arvia, which means “from the seashore” in Latin, was unveiled earlier this month through a video reveal outlining the letters in coastal locations.

The shop has been designed to travel to the sunny destinations all year-round and to maximise views of the ocean and the seashore from everywhere on board.

Ludlow added: “Whilst Arvia may have a different look and feel to Iona, being built to sail in the sun, the inherent DNA is the same.

“Over the next two years we will see this DNA evolve into our vision as our new ship takes shape and Arvia will join the fleet in December 2022.

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