A blissful tropical climate softened by Atlantic trade winds, pinkish-white, sugar-soft beaches, fabulous scuba diving, and laid-back catamaran cruises… These are just some of the fabulous experiences to be savoured in one of the Caribbean’s most popular and welcoming destinations - Barbados.
Introducing P&O's new ship Arvia
Summer 2023 will be the first full season for P&O’s second XL class vessel, Arvia, which has launched in December 2022 in time for a Christmas cruise to the Canary Islands and will then be christened in Barbados in March 2023. The world-first, globally broadcast beachside ceremony will allow spectators and audiences to see both the ship’s innovative interior design and the shore performances and events involving famous British performers and presenters.
Among the treats and surprises onboard for passages are Greatest Days by Tim Firth, The Official Take That Musical (the latest addition to her line-up of show-stopping entertainment), the first rum distillery at sea (producing a unique blend that will be created onboard while Arvia sails in the Caribbean), the retractable-roofed SkyDome with its dining, entertainment venues and swimming pool, a multi-sensory escape room experience aboard a fictional submarine, and the Infinity and Panorama Pool & Bar with its whirlpools, swim-up bar, and evening live music and silent discos.
Also new will be cuisine by contemporary Caribbean cooking star Shivi Ramoutar, with an exclusive collection of dishes at Taste 360 and The Beach House. These are among the 30-plus tempting eateries aboard this ship, combining to offer everything from sushi to American diner classics, from poolside pizzas to decadent afternoon tea.
The 5,200-passenger vessel will spend her first partial season sailing the tropical waters of the Caribbean, before heading back to Europe to operate a programme of 14-night Western Mediterranean itineraries: Italy, Spain and France, and Spain & France.
In winter 2023-24 she will operate her first full winter season in the Caribbean, supporting Iona, Britannia, Azura, Ventura, Arcadia and Aurora in delivering classic winter sun holidays (both ex-UK and fly-cruise) and more far-flung destinations based on new discoveries.
These are our top picks from each region:
14 Nights Caribbean, 3 March 2023
This round-trip from Bridgetown, Barbados – which includes the christening ceremony – is a glorious tour of the region taking in Tortola in the British Virgin Islands, the Dominican Republic, Saint Maarten, Antigua, St Kitts & Nevis, Martinique and Saint Lucia, with several days at sea as well, allowing you to make the very most of Arvia’s fantastic facilities. Among the highlights are the chance to stroll through the rainforest at Mount Sage National Park on Tortola, and checking out the Dominican Republic’s Bayahibe with its idyllic beaches and easy escapes to Saona Island (for mangrove forests, turtle sanctuaries and white-sand beaches) and the scuba mecca of Catalina Island. In Saint Lucia meanwhile, you might visit the dramatic Soufrière volcano, take a boat trip to spot dolphins and whales, or sign up for a biking, Jeep or hiking tour of the rainforest.
14 Nights Mediterranean, 14 May 2023
An ex-UK cruise from Southampton, this two-week getaway combines fine French wine, fabulous Italian food and spectacular Spanish beaches in a judicious blend of relaxation and discovery. Again featuring several days at sea so you can fully appreciate this remarkable vessel, it heads first to La Coruña on Spain’s Atlantic coast, home to no less than the oldest lighthouse in the world, the Roman Tower of Hercules, which has been in continuous operation since the 2nd century. You’ll proceed from there to charming Mallorca, Italy’s La Spezia (gateway to the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Cinque Terre), vibrant Marseille, captivating Barcelona and compact Cadiz – the oldest continuously inhabited city in the Western world, filled with stunning architecture and authentic flamenco clubs.
To book your Arvia cruise with full financial protection, call your Travel Counsellor today.
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