Arcadia

One of my favourite places to watch ships sailing from Bergen is from the Askøy bridge. From here you can see these enormous vessels sailing directly beneath you as they make their way out of the city through Byfjorden. The following photos of P&O's Arcadia were taken on 14/05/2014.

P&O Cruise Ship Arcadia departs Bergen, Norway
Arcadia approaches the Askøy bridge, with Bergen centre and Sandviken behind.
Built in Italy in 2004, Arcadia was intended to enter service as Queen Victoria for Cunard line. However, shortly before her launch parent company Carnival made the decision to transfer the new ship. It was felt that further modifications to the design were needed to make the new Queen Victoria suitable for regular transatlantic service, and so the opportunity was taken to add capacity to the popular P&O brand.

P&O's Arcadia and Cunard's Queen Victoria - comparison
Arcadia vs Queen Victoria - a comparison of the two ships, both seen from the Askøy Bridge
As such, Arcadia has retained many of the interior design components more familiar to Cunard passengers (notably the art deco carpets and extensive wooden panelling throughout) as well as inheriting the modified QE2 style funnel intended for the Queen Victoria

The side-by-side comparison above shows the two ships remained very similar (being of the same design class), but also illustrates the eventual differences in their designs.

P&O Cruise Ship Arcadia sails under the Askøy bridge in Bergen, Norway
Surprisingly few passengers have ventured outside to watch the sailaway
Arcadia has a length of 289m and a gross tonnage of 84,300, increased from her as-built tonnage of 83,800 during an extensive 2008 refit. During this, the addition of new cabins lengthened the aft end of her superstructure, which in my opinion did some damage to what was (and remains to an extent) a well-balanced and handsome profile.

A crew of 976 take care of the roughly 2000 passengers who sail on any one voyage.

P&O Cruise Ship Arcadia sails under the Askøy bridge in Bergen, Norway
Arcadia passes beneath the bridge, with the retractable glass roof of the Neptune Pool clearly visible
Arcadia has found a loyal following in her service with P&O cruises, and has ultimately proved to be a popular ship. Built to Panamax dimensions, she is able (just) to transit the Panama canal, thus making her suitable for the 3-month world cruises she sails each January.

P&O Cruise Ship Arcadia sails under the Askøy bridge in Bergen, Norway
Arcadia's aft deck areas (extended in 2008) look out over her wake
After passing under the Askøy bridge, Arcadia made her way out of the waters around Bergen to continue her cruise. She is scheduled to call into Bergen twice during 2015, when I hope to take a few photos of her from a little closer to sea-level!

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