P&O Cruises has taken delivery from Fincantieri SpA of its latest ship, the liner Arcadia.
The largest superliner to be constructed exclusively for the British cruise market, the ship was transferred from the Fincantieri shipyard to P&O's ownership on 24 March. She will sail from Venice for her home port of Southampton on 30 March, arriving in the UK for the first time on 6 April.
Arcadia will be officially named by Olympic gold medallist Dame Kelly Holmes at an evening ceremony in Southampton on 12 April, and leaves for her maiden voyage to the Mediterranean two days later.
A child-free ship, the 83,000-ton, £200 million vessel has an overall length of 285m, a maximum speed of 22 knots, 11 passenger decks with a capacity of 1952 and a crew of 880.
She features a spa with thermal suite and hydrotherapy pool, three-tier theatre, a 3,000 piece multi-million pound modern British art collection, 14 bars and six restaurants. One of the latter is called Arcadian Rhodes, developed especially for P&O by celebrity chef Gary Rhodes.
Should Dame Kelly choose to travel aboard the ship, there are 540m of promenade deck available which - says the company - she should be able to cover in 1min 18secs based on her 800m gold winning time in Athens.
Arcadia - the second P&O liner to have borne the name - will be sailing to destinations in the Mediterranean, Atlantic islands, Baltic, Norwegian fjords, USA, Caribbean and Central America.
Her builder, Trieste-based Fincantieri, is one of the world's largest shipbuilding groups and designs, builds and markets - apart from cruise ships - ferries, surface combatants, auxiliary ships and submarines.
leisure-kit keyword: Fincantieri