P&O Cruises has reached a significant milestone in the construction of its newest cruise ship, Arvia, as the official coin-laying ceremony took place. The long-held tradition was held at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, and saw a number of coins placed under the keel laying block before it was lowered.

Specially selected Barbados coins were chosen for the ceremony, which is believed to bring good luck to the ship and crew during the construction phase and its future at sea. The keel laying block measures 11.3 metres long, 42.1 metres wide and 11.81 metres tall, weighing 570 tons.

Hailed as Britain’s most environmentally friendly cruise ship, Arvia will be powered by liquefied natural gas like her sister ship Iona. The 184,000-tonne ship marks P&O Cruises ongoing commitment to sustainable travel.

Speaking at the ceremony, P&O Cruises President Paul Ludlow said: “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 which has had a special place in our heart for over 20 years.

“These coins, with the workmanship and skill of everyone gathered today – and so many more – will keep and protect all on board this spectacular ship.”

Arvia has been designed to make the most of the sunny destinations she visits. She will join the P&O Cruises fleet in December 2022 and will sail her first cruise to the Canary Islands followed by a winter season in the Caribbean.