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P&O Cruises praised for innovative use of cleaner fuels in Arvia

Posted inUK FlagbyYasmin Talbot

Chris D’Alcorn and Matt Mills standing in front of Arvia

Lead surveyor Chris D’Alcorn has praised P&O Cruises for their innovative use of cleaner fuels following Arvia joining the UK flag last month.

P&O Cruises’ vessel is the largest ever built for the UK market, and the seventh largest cruise ship in the world, but it is the propulsion system that has really excited Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) teams.

It follows the delivery of UK-flagged sister ship Iona in 2020, which also operates on Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) technology, which generates significantly less air pollution than conventional fuel – and, according to Chris, is a big step in investing in future technology.

“Sustainability in shipping has been a real focus of the maritime industry for quite some time, but it takes moments like this to change mindsets” Chris, technical manager in the survey and inspection team, said.

“P&O Cruises have taken a huge step in moving the technology forward, as we (the MCA) can set a target, but industry has to be the ones that create and invest in the technology.

“There is a bravery in being the first to try something, and it has been a delight to work with them on Iona first and now Arvia.

“It is ships like this that move the curve.”

Arvia joined the UK Flag on 15 December 2022, after being built to the requirements of the UK’s Ship Register at Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Germany. She is the largest ship on the UK Flag in terms of tonnage – that is 92GT larger than Iona – at 185,581 GT and has a passenger capacity of 6,685 (including crew).

Arvia being built at Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Germany

She will operate from Southampton in the summer months, and the Caribbean during the UK winter.

The luxury liner is structurally identical to Iona and both vessels feature the LNG drive system, currently the cleanest propulsion technology for ships of this size. It produces insignificant amounts of sulphur dioxide and no soot particles to significantly reduce pollution levels at sea and in the port.

The MCA has been involved with four vessels built at that yard over the last five years; with Arvia being the most recent. Saga’s newest cruise vessels Spirit of Discovery and Spirit of Adventure, alongside Iona, are the other three. They are all flagged to the UK.


Chris added that the strong relationships with P&O Cruises parent company Carnival Corporation and Meyer shipyard have been invaluable to the recent additions to the flag.

“We worked with them from the very start to ensure the Arvia was built to the UK flag, and that’s been a great experience,” he said. “It has been a special experience to see such a large vessel constructed, and the expertise of the yard invaluable.

“I am just delighted to see the Arvia now at sail.”

P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow added: “We are so proud to take delivery of Arvia and to see that she is flying the flag for the UK cruise industry, being registered here and homeporting from Southampton.

“Arvia, her sister ship Iona and our flagship Britannia, as well as the rest of our fleet, are very visible evidence of the significant contribution we make to UK maritime.”