P&O Cruises has introduced family zones on five of the line’s family-oriented ships this summer, with two vessels featuring new children’s brands, including the iconic Barbie.

P&O Cruises has unveiled exclusive family zones on all five of its family-oriented vessels during the entire 2023 summer sailing season. 

And to give this playful initiative an extra boost, two of the company’s ships will introduce a delightful assortment of children’s toy brands — including the popular Mattel doll, Barbie.

The vessels featuring Barbie during the 2023 season are the 184,700-ton Arvia, and its sister ship, Iona. Both ships were built by Meyer Werft at its shipyard in Papenburg, Germany.

Arvia and Iona’s retail spaces will introduce new children’s brands, in collaboration with Harding+, including the aforementioned Barbie. The Barbie universe (don’t forget Ken) has seen its popularity skyrocket in 2023 thanks to the well-received feature film directed by Greta Gerwig, which stars actors Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling in the lead roles.

Barbie at Dedicated Family Zone on P&O Cruises

These two ships will even have a life-sized Barbie box for fun photos, plus fancy-dress costumes to try on, provided by Rubies Masquerade UK. Other notable toy brands that will be featured onboard include Hot Wheels Cars, Lego, Keycraft Pocket Money Toys, Jellycat, and TY Plush Toys. 

During the summer 2023 season, Arvia, which also has a very cool skydome, will be visiting different ports in the Mediterranean and along Europe’s Atlantic coast. Some of the main stops include La Coruna, Valencia, Barcelona, and Alicante in Spain, plus Marseille in France, and La Spezia in Italy.

Iona will spend most of its summer in Northern Europe, calling on different destinations in Norway, and cruising into different fjords, with stops in Stavanger, Hellesylt, Geiranger, and more. Come autumn 2023, Iona will also be traveling to Spain and Portugal.

In addition to its exciting Barbie news, P&O Cruises has revealed that five of its family-friendly vessels will have dedicated family zones. The other three vessels are AzuraBritannia, and the 116,000-ton Ventura, constructed at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy in 2008.

These designated family zones will offer tons of fun and plenty of chances for children and adults (who are children at heart) to explore their artistic inclinations through vibrant coloring competitions.

Photo Courtesy: P&O Cruises / James Robinson for Christopher Ison

Furthermore, the company’s latest vessel, the LNG-powered Excellence-class Arvia, launched in December 2022, will serve up literal boatloads of family-oriented amenities and activities, including a fun tropical-island-themed mini-golf course, a thrilling high-ropes adventure, and a children’s splash pad. 

Arvia will also feature the Mission Control escape room, which is an experience the entire family is bound to enjoy. This particular escape room will offer captivating one-hour escape adventures aboard a fictional submarine, named the Arvia II.

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Guests and fellow adventurers will unite as a team of marine explorers and underwater detectives to navigate through perilous challenges, tackle intricate puzzles, and confront obstacles while immersed in vivid, lifelike 3D submarine surroundings.

P&O Cruises will also partner with the British animation studio Aardman to offer character-based experiences for all ages on their family-friendly ships, including the first at-sea Wallace & Gromit show, “All Hands on Deck!” on the Arvia.

For travelers, both young and old, who love childhood play, P&O Cruises’ family zones, and of course, Barbie, should provide all of the entertainment options they could ever hope for.




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