AIDA Cruises fleet
Review of AIDA Cruises
AIDA Cruises is a German cruise line, British-American owned, based in Rostock (Germany). Founded originally as Deutsche Seereederei, in the 1960s the company entered cruise industry. In 2000, AIDA Cruises was purchased by P&O Princess Cruises. After in 2003 Carnival Corporation and P&O Princess formed Carnival Corporation & plc, the executive control of AIDA was transferred to Costa Cruises, responsible for Carnival Group European brands.
AIDA Cruises continues its long-standing partnership with the shipbuilder Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Germany with an order for two new ships of the next AIDA generation. The vessels, each exceeding 180,000 GT and featuring a capacity of over 2,500 staterooms, will join AIDA Cruises fleet in 2019 and 2020.
As a pioneer in cruise industry, AIDA also sets an example for environmental protection through its revolutionary design. By initiating the “Green Cruising” concept, the line will be the first in the world to operate its new generation of ships to 100% with LNG (liquefied natural gas), thus eliminating emissions of sulfur oxides and soot particles.
Currently, AIDA Cruises has its own executive team. AIDA ships cater to German-speaking cruisers and are renowned for their casual service and youthful style. German is the language that is spoken onboard AIDA cruise ships, so company’s passengers consist mainly of Germans and German-speaking Europeans (Swiss and Austrians). AIDA passengers tend to be young and active, as the seagoing AIDA “club resorts” offer many amenities and facilities attracting younger vacationers.
AIDA Cruises dining is entirely open-seating. It takes place in two or three self-service restaurants. There is no main dining room onboard, so the buffets are executed with remarkable finesse for such mass-market ships. Those passengers who get tired of all buffet meals are free to try the la carte restaurant which pampers with high-quality cuisine in elegant atmosphere.
AIDA puts the emphasis on the ultra-casual cruise experience. Unlike other cruise ships, the crew off-duty are allowed to mingle with passengers. The AIDA Cruises company aims also on fitness and wellness activities in the popular AIDA Fit & Fun and Spa, and on the expansive decks. There is lively entertainment at night in the theatre. The well-patronized lounges and bars create an easygoing, festive atmosphere.
AIDA cruise ship robots
An innovative AIDA and Costa Cruises program implemented latest cyborg technology fleetwide. Humanoid robots greet and guide passengers upon embarkation. They also assist them throughout the cruise by providing information and tips on dining (restaurants, bars), entertainment (lounges, scheduled events, presentations, promotions) and Costa Cruises shore excursions and tours (offered in ports of call along the Deliziosa cruise ship itinerary).
These robots (named “Pepper”) are able to communicate in 3 different languages (English, German, Italian), to move fluidly and even to interpret human emotions by analyzing voice tones and face expressions.
Designed by the companies ALDEBARAN and SoftBank, the Pepper robot was launched in Japan (June 2014) as the world’s first “emotional” robot. The machine's main statistics are:
- height 120 cm / 4 ft
- weight 28 kg / 62 pounds
- 3x wheels (omnidirectional)
- 17x joints
- 1x 3D depth sensor
- 2x HD cameras
- 4x microphones
- touch sensors (in its head and hands)
- a 10-inch (25 cm) touch screen
The new technology was first tested on the AIDAstella ship where Pepper learned to engage with passengers and crew. The first set of robots were introduced on Costa Diadema and AIDAprima in April 2016. By the end of summer 2016, Pepper robots were added on all AIDA and Costa ships.
Itinerary of AIDA Cruises
For the first time for AIDA 2016-2017 cruise season, Canary Islands voyages can be booked in summer months. The new routes combine the Azores and the Canary Islands.
Cruise highlights in 2016 summer include new Mediterranean destinations, such as Ibiza, Nice, La Spezia, Souda Bay in Crete and Propriano in Corsica. Five AIDA ships offer 11 routes from the Canaries to Balearic Islands, Adriatic and Aegean Sea.
For winter 2016-2017, AIDA Cruises will head to northern Norway, sailing on 14-day cruises from Hamburg. Warmer voyages can be found in the Orient, India and Canary Islands. These sailings can booked in combination.
El Hierro will be the new destination in the Canary Islands itineraries for AIDA Cruises, while Saint Thomas will be the new port of call in the Caribbean, and Costa Maya in Mexico.
In August 2016, Fishguard (Wales) and Newcastle (England) will be added to “Great Britain and Ireland” itinerary. The Baltic Sea cruises will add Bornholm.
AIDA 2017 summer program includes “Highlights in the Arctic Circle” cruise, “Norways fjords” and “Norway with Lofoten and North Cape”.
- AIDAaura – Caribbean, Mediterranean, Canada, Black Sea & Greece, Southeast Asia, Transatlantic. In 2016 is re-deployed to Northern Europe and sailing from a German homeport. AIDA Cruises re-shuffled its 2016 summer deployment for AIDAstella and AIDAaura. AIDAaura adds ex-German itineraries instead of weekly voyages from Palma de Mallorca as orginally planned. The ship will be based on a variety of North Europe sailings mainly departing from Kiel, Germany. Cruise durations vary between 2 and 21 days. A 21-day itinerary, departing from Kiel to Greenland on June 30, includes maiden calls at Nuuk and Sisimiut, as well as a Prins Christian Sund passage. AIDAaura will embark on her North Europe season with a transfer sailing from Palma to Hamburg on April 30. On May 7 the ship will arrive in Germany, which coincides with Hamburg's anniversary festivities, and begins operating to Svalbard, Norway, Shetland and Iceland as well as to the Baltic until late in September - the end of the North Europe season. AIDA Cruises will also offer AIDAaura mini-cruises as appetizers to appeal to new guests. 2-day cruises to Copenhagen from Kiel and 4-day itineraries to Oslo, Gothenburg and Copenhagen, will be available in May, June and September. The unexpected arrival of AIDAaura is boosting volumes at Kiel, which had expected the number of cruise calls to drop this year. Currently, the port of Kiel is facing a record season, with the number of calls scheduled up to 139.
- AIDAbella – Caribbean, Western Mediterranean and North Africa, Northern Europe, Canary Islands, New York to Canada, Transatlantic; In 2017 AIDAbella will head for China to offer year-round cruises from Shanghai
- AIDAblu – Western Mediterranean, Northern Europe, Red Sea, Asia, Canary Islands
- AIDAcara – Northern Europe, Canary Islands, South America, New York, the Dominican Republic, Transatlantic
- AIDAdiva – Southeast Asia, Eastern Mediterranean – Greece, Turkey, Egypt
- AIDAluna – Bermuda & Bahamas, USA West Coast, Southern Caribbean, Northern Europe & Iceland, Transatlantic
- AIDAmar – Western Mediterranean, Western & Northern Europe, Red Sea, Asia
- AIDAperla – 7-day Western Mediterranean cruises from Palma de Malorca
- AIDAprima – departures from Hamburg weekly on “metropolitan” voyages. She is the first ship to offer cruises from Germany year round.
- AIDAsol – Northern Europe & UK, Western Mediterranean, Canary Islands
- AIDAstella – UK, Western & Northern Europe, Canary Islands; In January 2016 AIDA Cruises adjusted its 2016 Europe deployment, opting to pull the ship from the Eastern Med, citing terrorist acts in Turkey. AIDAstella will be re-deployed to the Western Med, and will take over the routes of AIDAaura and offer sailings from Palma de Mallorca, Spain. The ship will make an overnight in Barcelona and will visit Ibiza, Corisca and Cannes. AIDAstella was originally scheduled on a 7-day cruise program for the summer 2016, turning around in Antalya with calls in Limassol, Haifa, Santorini, Marmaris.
- AIDAvita – Caribbean and South America, Western Mediterranean, Transatlantic. On her new itinerary in 2016 “Norway with Lofoten and North Cape”, AIDAvita guests will explore three new destinations: north of the Arctic Circle (Bodø), Norway (Haugesund), and Denmark (Århus).
In mid-July 2016, AIDA became one of the three cruise ship companies (together with Disney Cruise Line and Hapag-Lloyd Cruises) that have banned Faroe Islands (a Danish territory) as destination part of their North European itineraries. The boycott is due to the island nation's traditional mass slaughter of pilot whales each year. The protected by Denmark gruesome practice of killing whales is called “Grindadrap Grind". Locals use motor boats to drive a pod of whales into a harbor. The defenseless animals are dragged to the shallow water and brutally slaughtered by locals armed with knives (16-19 cm / 6 8 inch long) while their families cheer them on. The killing party even rip out baby whales from their mothers. Faroe Islands have population of about 50,000 and kill each year over 1,000 pilot whales. You can see the cruise ship schedule of Torshavn - Faroe Islands' most visited port.