AIDA Cruises

History, Review, Itineraries, Ships, Deck Plans, News

AIDA Cruises cruise line logo

AIDA Cruises fleet

Review of AIDA Cruises

AIDA Cruises ( is a German cruise line brand, British-American owned and based in Rostock Germany. Founded originally as Deutsche Seereederei, in the 1960s the company entered the cruise industry.

Note: In January 2022 was sold AIDAmira to Ambassador Cruise Line. In June 2022 was sold AIDAvita. In January 2023 was sold AIDAaura (left the fleet in October 2023).

Company History and Changes

In 2000, AIDA Kreuzfahrten was purchased by "P&O Princess Cruises". After 2003's merger of Carnival Corporation and P&O Princess (forming Carnival Corporation), AIDA's executive control was transferred to Costa Group (responsible for Carnival Group's European brands). On June 7, 2015 (AIDAcara's birthday), AIDA celebrated the company's 20th anniversary. AIDA was the first to offer year-round cruises leaving from Germany.

The company's current President is Felix Eichhorn.

Until 2023, Costa Group's and Carnival Asia's CEO was Michael Thamm. As his position was not filled, AIDA's and Costa's presidents now report directly to Josh Weinstein (Carnival Corporation's CEO).

AIDA Cruises logo

AIDA continued its long-standing partnership with the shipbuilder Meyer Werft (Papenburg Germany) and ordered two new large-sized vessels (AIDAnova 2019, AIDAcosma 2021), each with 2500 staterooms and max pax capacity 5200.

As a pioneer in the ship cruising industry, AIDA also sets an example for environmental protection through its technology upgrades and innovations. By initiating the "Green Cruising" concept, AIDA became the world's first cruise company to operate a new generation of LNG-powered ships using 100% LNG (liquefied natural gas), thus eliminating emissions of sulfur oxides and soot particles.

AIDA Cruises Hyperion class ship (AIDAprima, AIDAperla)

AIDA ships cater to German-speaking cruisers and are renowned for their casual service and youthful style. German is the language that is the primary spoken on all AIDA boats, because most pf the company's customers are German-speaking (germans, Swiss, Austrians). They tend to be young and active, as AIDA's seagoing "club resorts" offer many amenities and facilities attracting younger vacationers.

On all AIDA vessels. dining is entirely open-seating and takes place in two or three complementary self-service restaurants. Being without MDRs (main dining rooms), the ship's buffet is the conceptual substitute. Passengers tired of the buffet meals can alternatively try the a-la-carte-priced restaurants pampering with high-quality gourmet cuisine and an elegant atmosphere.

On June 24, 2023, on three ships (Nova, Perla, Prima) AIDA introduced the Soulkitchen. The a-la-carte-priced restaurant has a 3-course menu with plant-based vegan dishes (including meat and seafood alternatives) and organic beverages (coffee, tea, fresh juices) as well as non-alcoholic wines and spirits.

AIDA emphasizes the ultra-casual travel experience. AIDA 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 Cruises Hyperion class ship (AIDAprima, AIDAperla)

All AIDA liners have on their top-deck Freikorperkultur (FKK Bereich) - a fore-located Nudist Deck. This is a generously-sized outdoor area where naked passengers can enjoy sunbathing protected from the gaze of curious suitors. The special FKK deck area is located forward on the ship's top-deck. In most cruise ports, and especially in countries where the local culture doesn't allow nudism in public spaces (for example, Muslim countries), the ship's FKK deck can be accessed only in swimwear. On most AIDA liners, the FKK deck has 1 (or 2) whirlpools / hot tubs.

HELIOS-Class ships (newest)

AIDA's newest class of cruise vessels (succeeding the Hyperion-Class ships AIDAprima and AIDAperla) is called "Helios-class".

AIDA Cruises Helios class ship (AIDAnova, AIDAcosma)

These are LNG-powered ships produced by Meyer Turku, with GT-tonnage 183,900 tons and passenger capacity 5200 (lower berths / 6600 max). The first of the newbuilds (AIDAnova) was delivered in December 2018, the second (AIDAcosma) in April 2022.

On February 27, 2018, Carnival Corporation signed a shipbuilding contract for a 3rd unit for AIDA (delivery in 2023). This was the 98th cruise ship order for the industry's global fleet (order book 2018-2026). However, in June 2021 was announced that the newbuild (Carnival Jubilee) will be assigned to the CCL-Carnival fleet.


Each vessel has 21 cabin categories (including Penthouse Suite, Family and Single-occupancy staterooms), 17 restaurants (including self-serve, a-la-carte priced, 5x specialty), sports deck / deck 16 (water park with 1 slide, mini-golf course, ropes course), pool deck (will retractable glass roof and beach-club complex), 2-deck / 2-level Promenade Deck (connected via stairs).

In July 2015, Carnival Corporation signed a shipbuilding agreement with Meyer Werft for the construction of all 4 new class vessels. Of these 4 new cruise liners, 2 are for Costa Cruises and the other 2 for AIDA. The 4-vessel contract was part of a previously announced larger shipbuilding order with Fincantieri (Italy) and Meyer Werft for all 9 new vessels with scheduled deliveries between 2019 and 2022. Costa ships were built in Turku Finland, AIDA ships - in Papenburg Germany.

Managed by Costa Group, the combined Costa-AIDA fleet became Europe's largest. In 2014, one out of every two cruise ship tourists in Europe sailed on either AIDA or Costa ship. In 2015, Costa Group had 20 offices in 14 countries, around 27,000 shipboard employees and total passenger capacity of 68000+ berths (fleetwide).

AIDA Evolution (fleet modernization program 2025-2026)

In February 2024 was announced the company's largest fleet modernization) drydock upgrade and refurbishment program "AIDA Evolution".

The project was for the 3x SPHINX-class units (Diva, Bella, Luna) with each drydocking taking ~6 weeks. AIDAdiva is scheduled for drydocking in 2025-Q2, AIDAbella - in 2025-Q3, and AIDAluna - in 2026-Q2.

By this project, the three vessels will be completely overhauled, refitted and upgraded with new technologies and equipment and systems. Interior upgrades include refurbishment (complete redecoration) of all passenger staterooms, new Suites, revamped public spaces (carpeting, walling, artworks) more dining options/new restaurants and bars, new fun-themed activity and lounge zones catering to families with children, exclusive areas and services catering to Suite guests. The Theatrium will be enhanced with new seating arrangements and a color scheme.

AIDA cruise ship robots

An innovative AIDA and Costa program implemented the latest cyborg technology in both fleets. Humanoid robots (named Pepper) greet and guide passengers upon embarkation. They also assist them throughout the voyage by providing information and tips on shipboard dining, entertainment, pre-scheduled daily events, shore excursions/tours.

Peper robots communicate in 3 different languages (English, German, Italian), to move fluidly and even to interpret human emotions by analyzing voice tones and facial expressions.

The new technology was first tested on AIDAstella 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 liners.

Unlike other ships, AIDA's off-duty (human) crew are allowed to mingle with passengers. 

AIDA's LNG-powered liners

The AIDAprima ship's first successful test run for LNG supply was in Hamburg Germany on May 7, 2016. While berthed, the ship was successfully provided with LNG at all the itinerary's ports of call (Hamburg, Rotterdam, Le Havre, Southampton, Zeebrugge).

LNG cruise ship propulsion scheme (Rolls-Royce design)

The company's statistics show that an AIDA vessel spends ~40% of its operating time in ports. Compared to using conventional marine diesel (0,1% sulfur content), by using LNG the vessel's emissions are considerably reduced even further - Sulfur oxides (SOx) and soot particles are eliminated (while in port), nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions were reduced by up to 80%, carbon (CO2) emissions were lowered by 20%.

The AIDA ships (produced by Meyer Papenburg) are 100% LNG-powered. AIDA invested in research and testing of LNG technologies since 2015.

In 2013, AIDA collaborated on LNG hybrid barges with Becker Marine Systems. The innovative and flexible solution is used on ships moored in Port Hamburg. Since May 30, 2015, AIDA's ships (starting with AIDAsol) have been regularly bunkered/supplied with LNG at Hamburg's Hafencity Terminal.

AIDA ships use just 3 liters (0,8 US gallons) of fuel on average per person on board for a 100 km (62 ml) trip. This was confirmed by an independent expert study in 2012. Thanks to the use of new technologies and the economical handling of resources, additional progress was made.

The company's statistics for 2016 (over 2012) showed 9% less energy used per person on board, reduced water consumption per person on board (by 7,2%) and reduced CO2 emissions (by 7,7%).

In August 2019, AIDA contracted the Candian stock-listed company Corvus Energy for delivery and installation fleetwide of the world's largest ship battery-package ESS (Energy Storage System / air-cooled system with patented single-cell thermal isolation). Orca ESS (Corvus Energy's biggest battery pack) has capacity 6100 kW per hour - or double the capacity of currently largest battery-packed (electric) ferries. Battery power is combined with the vessel's powerplant and propulsion. AIDA's other partners for this project are ABB Marine & Ports (producer of Azipods/electric propulsion units) and Siemens AG (Europe's largest industrial manufacturing company).

AIDA fleet's Captains

These are the names of all the AIDA's Captains (ship Masters) by vessel as of 2020:

  • AIDAaura - Thomas Mey
  • AIDAbella - Erik Kirchner
  • AIDAblu- Tonnies Kohrs
  • AIDAcara - Sven Gartner
  • AIDAdiva - Panagiotis Mantzavinos
  • AIDAluna - Sven Laudan
  • AIDAmar - Martin Rittig
  • AIDAnova - Marc-Dominique Tidow
  • AIDAmira - Nikola Dolfi
  • AIDAperla - Tommy Moller
  • AIDAprima - Przemyslaw Kurc
  • AIDAsol - Jorg Miklitza
  • AIDAstella - Nikos Nitschai
  • AIDAvita - Carsten Watge

(Coronavirus crisis) passenger shipping pause 2020-2021

Due to the COVID pandemic, AIDA suspended its entire fleet's passenger shipping operations (all liners) canceling all voyages with pre-scheduled departures in the period March 14, 2020, through late-April 2021. Operations temporarily resumed on October 17 with AIDAblu (7-day Mediterranean from Civitavecchia-Rome, through Nov 28) and fleetwide on November 1. However, on Oct 29, due to Germany's imposed public life and travel restrictions, AIDA canceled all voyages through Nov 30. AIDAperla and AIDAmar were scheduled for 7-day ex-Gran Canaria roundtrips (in the Canaries) starting December 5, but the program was canceled. AIDAprima's Dubai 2021 winter program was canceled.

Initially, as exceptions were announced the ships Perla (Aug 12, from Hamburg), Diva (Aug 15, from Warnemunde-Rostock) and Prima (Aug 15, from Kiel). However, these departures were canceled as the flag-state (Italy) delayed its approval for the restart. Eventually, AIDA extended its passenger shipping pause through August 2021 (fleetwide thru August).

Next are listed all AIDA shps and their first departure dates/regions - AIDAperla (Mar 20, 2021/Canaries), AIDAnova (Aug 7, 2021/Baltic from Kiel), AIDAsol (May 22, 2021/cruises to nowhere from Kiel), AIDAmar (July 31, 2021/Baltic from Hamburg), AIDAblu (May 30, 2021/Greece from Corfu), AIDAluna (Sept 4, 2021/Iceland-Norway from Kiel), AIDAstella (July 29, 2021/Mediterranean from Palma de Majorca), AIDAprima (July 31, 2021/Baltic from Kiel), AIDAbella (Sept 5, 2021/Baltic from Kiel), AIDAdiva (Oct 16, 2021/Baltic from Warnemunde), AIDAaura (May 7, 2022/UK from Hamburg), AIDAvita (Mar 31, 2022/Norway from Hamburg), AIDAmira (April 15, 2022/Eastern Mediterranean from Heraklion Crete/canceled), AIDAcosma (February 26, 2022/Maiden Voyage from Hamburg).

  • On July 9, 2020, AIDA announced that will restart operations with three liners and cruises to nowhere (portless itineraries with roundtrips from Germany). AIDA's "nowhere ships" were AIDAperla (August 12 / 3-nights from Hamburg), AIDAmar (August 12, from Warnemunde) and AIDAblu (August 16 / 4-nights from Kiel). Bookings were opened on July 9.
  • In June 2021 was canceled AIDAcosma's 2021 program (Arabian season from Dubai and Abu Dhabi) and the Canary Islands deployment (7-day roundtrips from Tenerife and Gran Canaria).
  • In July 2021 were canceled the winter 2021-2022 programs of AIDAaura (South Africa from Cape Town), AIDAvita (including 2x 43-day roundtrips from Hamburg to the Caribbean and Bermuda), AIDAmira (Aegean Islands from Heraklion Crete).
  • IMPORTANT: On June 23, 2021, Carnival Corporation (shipowner) announced that AIDAcara has been sold (to a Russian buyer). The 1996-built (as Clubschiff) boat left the fleet after 25 years of service. Cara was AIDA's first-ever vessel.
  • IMPORTANT: On June 14, 2022, was announced that the 20-year-old AIDAvita (2002-built) will not resume operations, being sold (to an undisclosed buyer) and leaving the fleet.

All affected bookings received full refunds, including on prepurchased through AIDA packages and services. For the period, all the company's employees had the options to either remain onboard or leave the vessel and return home (without terminating the job contract with AIDA Kreuzfahrten). All affected bookings received 110% refund in FCC (future cruise credit). The FCC can be used for rebooking on any cruise ship/itinerary (fleetwide) with departure through December 31, 2021. The FCC is redeemable for MyAIDA (pre-purchasing shore excursions, onboard specialty dining and wellness services) or can be transferred to OBC (onboard credit).

Itinerary of AIDA Cruises

Following the deliveries of the "Japanese" ships AIDAprima (2016) and AIDAperla (2017), for the first time in its history, the company had booked 2+ million Germans.

AIDA operates the German vacation cruising market with modern vessels and 140+ different itineraries visiting 250+ ports worldwide.

Signature destinations include Bermuda, the Caribbean-Bahamas, Eastern and Western Mediterranean (including Greece, Turkey, Egypt), North Africa and Spain's Canary Islands, Northern Europe (UK, Iceland, Baltic, Norwegian Fjords), North America (USA-Canada), Transatlantic crossings (, Red Sea, Southeast Asia, 

Mediterranean voyages usually depart from Palma de Mallorca (fly-cruise packages). Most Northern European voyages depart from Germany (Hamburg and Kiel).

As of 2023, AIDA offers 5750 shore excursions globally, of which ~780 emphasize sustainable tourism.

Note: In January 2022 was sold AIDAmira to Ambassador Cruise Line. In June 2022 was sold AIDAvita. In January 2023 was sold AIDAaura (left the fleet in October 2023).

Summer 2023 Northern European deployment

For the summer 2023 season, AIDA launched new itineraries for the ships AIDAnova, AIDAmar, and AIDAdiva.

AIDAnova (from Kiel) operates the 7-day “Baltic Sea from Kiel” or the 14-day “Norway and Baltic Sea” voyages with departure dates between May 6-October 21, 2023. Call ports include Norway's Oslo and Kristiansand, and Denmark’s Copenhagen and Skagen.

AIDAmar (from Warnemunde-Rostock) operates 9- and 10-day roundtrips to Scandinavia and Norway, visiting 3 Nordic capitals (Stockholm, Oslo, Copenhagen), along with AarhusGothenburg/Goteborg, and Visby. The new Norwegian voyages visit 3 different fjords - EidfjordOlden, Vik/Vikoyri, as well as Bergen, Gothenburg, Kristiansand, Skagen.

AIDAdiva's schedule (from Warnemunde-Rostock) runs from May 6 to October 14, 2023. On 4 departure dates (May 6, July 8, August 5, September 2), the boat sails around Norway visiting Vik/Vikoyri (Sognefjord), as well as 4- and 5-day roundtrips in the Baltic Sea. Along with the popular Copenhagen, Gothenburg, and Stockholm, tourists can visit Poland's Gdansk-Gdynia, Denmark's Fredericia or Bornholm (maiden ports for AIDA. The four 7-day “Sweden, Poland & Denmark” voyages (departures July 1, July 29, Aug 26, Sept 23, 2023) remain unchanged. Both the 7-days and the new 4- and 5-days itineraries can be combined into B2Bs/back-to-back cruises.

Winter 2024-2025-2026 fleet deployment

AIDA's winter 2023-2024 season groups 250+ call ports in 80+ countries, and the popular travel tourism regions of the Caribbean, Southeast Asia, Seychelles, Spain's Canaries, Baltic/Northern Europe.

AIDAnova is homeported in Kiel (October-November 2023) and in Hamburg (November 2023 thru May 2024) visiting ports in Norway and Denmark.

Following the summer Mediterranean season, AIDAcosma starts voyages around Spain's Canary Islands and Portugal's Madeira from November 2023 thru April 2024. The 7-day roundtrips are from Gran Canaria/Tenerife.

AIDAprima is homeported in Dubai/Abu Dhabi to visit Muscat (Oman) and Doha (Qatar) or Bahrain and Sir Bani Yas. The 7-day itineraries can be booked combined (as 14-day B2Bs).

AIDAbella and AIDAblu are deployed in Asia. AIDAblu visits the Indian Ocean islands Mauritius, Madagascar, Seychelles, La Reunion. AIDAbella from Singapore visits Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Taiwan, the Philippines. Three new 21-day "Selection Voyages" (from Laem Chabang/Bangkok) visit Vietnam's Halong Bay/Mekong Delta (on shore excursions) and Hue (Da Nang).

AIDAbella visits Indonesia’s Lombok, Bali, Java, and Surabaya, along with destinations in Vietnam and Cambodia in January 2024. In March 2024, AIDAbella's Easter Voyage (21 days) visits Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Vietnam, and Japan (5 ports are maiden for the ship and 3 are new for AIDA / KochiNagasaki, Tokyo).

In the Caribbean, 3 ships (AIDAdivaAIDAlunaAIDAperla) visit the Netherlands A-B-C islands (Aruba-Bonaire-Curacao), Costa Rica, Mexico, and Panama. AIDAdiva alternates on a route to Mexico, Belize, and the Lesser Antilles. An embarkation is possible in 4 ports (Barbados, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and Martinique).

AIDAmar's 43-day roundtrip from Hamburg to the Caribbean features a New Year’s Eve visit to Bermuda.

AIDAsol starts a world voyage from Hamburg in October 2023. From February 2024, 3 “Winter in the far north” itineraries are included in the program.

AIDA's winter 2024-2025 schedule has 380 departure dates and popular destinations like the Caribbean, the Canary Islands, Far East Asia, as well as Europe's most traveled regions - the Mediterranean and the Baltic.

AIDA has 3 ships deployed in the Caribbean. AIDAbella and AIDAluna are homeported in La Romana DominicanaMontego Bay Jamaica and Fort-de-France Martinique, and deployed on different routes to ports in the Caribbean, Central America, and Mexico.

AIDAluna stops in Santa Marta Colombia (new port for AIDA) on every second Central American voyage.

AIDAperla visits the Dutch Antilles (ABC Islands) departing from La Romana or Bridgetown Barbados.

AIDAmar's the "Great Winter Break Caribbean" (Transatlantic crossing from Europe/Germany) departs from Hamburg and ends in Willemstad Curacao.

In Asia, AIDAstella offers 4 different itineraries visiting Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong China, the Philippines, and Vietnam.

AIDAprima's Red Sea program is based on two different routes (roundtrips from the UAE/Dubai or Abu Dhabi) stopping at Muscat OmanDoha Qatar, Salman Bahrain, and Sir Bani Yas UAE. The 7-day ex-UAE roundtrips can be combined into 14-day B2Bs.

In winter 2024-25 (November thru April) AIDAcosma operates 7-day Canary Islands and Madeira voyages out of Gran Canaria or Tenerife. Also deployed in Spain's Canaries, AIDAblu offers 7-day roundtrips from Gran Canaria, with the option of visiting La Gomera or Funchal Madeira. Longer itineraries (9-12-14-days) are also available.

In the Med, AIDAdiva offers 9- or 12-day roundtrips from Palma to Spain, Portugal, and the Canaries, or 7-day roundtrips from Civitavecchia-Rome to Italy and Valletta Malta.

AIDAstella's 14-day Eastern Mediterranean itinerary visits the Greek islands, Cyprus, and Egypt.

From Antalya Turkey, AIDAblu has two 7-day roundtrips to RhodesMykonosIzmirIstanbulPort Said Egypt, Cyprus, Haifa Israel.

AIDAprima provides Easter 2025 voyages from Palma or Barcelona to MalagaCadiz and Cartagena, allowing passengers to witness the famous Semana Santa.

AIDAnova's Baltic 2024-2025 winter program is based on homeporting in Hamburg and call ports in Norway and Denmark.

AIDAsol's World Cruise (starting in October 2024) visits 41 ports in 17 countries (on 4 continents) including 6 in New Zealand. From February 2025, AIDAsol provides three "Winter in the far north" voyages from Hamburg to the Norwegian Fjords.

Itineraries 2025-2026 winter

AIDA's winter 2025-2026 season groups voyages visiting destinations in the Caribbean, South Africa, Spain's Canary Islands, the Orient/Red Sea, the Indian Ocean islands (Seychelles, Mauritius, La Reunion, Madagascar) and Northern Europe.

African voyages offer safari tours in the Table Mountain (Cape Town), the Cape of Good Hope, deserts, and beaches. Cape Town's tours feature street food events, microbreweries, foodie tours, and affordable Michelin-starred restaurants.

AIDA's winter 2025-2026 Caribbean voyages are scheduled for a 3-ship fleet (AIDAperlaAIDAblu, AIDAsol).

In the Arabian Gulf/Red Sea is deployed AIDAprima (homeported in Dubai USA). Destinations include the UAE/United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, and Oman.

In the Canary Islands and Madeira are deployed AIDAcosma and AIDAmar.

In Northern Europe/Baltic Sea, AIDAnova ship from Hamburg visits Norwegian and Western European metropolises (November 2025 through April 2026) including Arctic Norway's Northern Lights experience. 

(animal cruelty) The Faroe Islands cruise boycott

In mid-July 2016, AIDA became one of the three cruise ship companies (together with Disney and Hapag-Lloyd) that banned Faroe Islands (a Danish territory) as a 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 motorboats 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.


The Faroe Islands have a population of about 50,000 and kill each year over 1,000 pilot whales. You can see the cruise ship schedule of Torshavn - Faroes most visited port. All cruise lines with scheduled visits to the Faroes are accused of supporting the brutal whaling practices. Whaling is still officially approved and carried out by the "civilized" countries Japan, Norway, and Iceland, killing over 2000 whales each year and trading in whale products.

AIDA's response was to the new "Faroese Pilot Whaling Act" by the local government, which continues to allow pilot whales to be culled or massacred. It also empowers local authorities to imprison (for up to 2 years) people found guilty of impeding these whaling activities - despite all the international condemnations.

Sea Shepherd and Greenpeace are among the largest organizations taking direct actions against the "Faroese Pilot Whaling Act". Most of the available online haunting images of slaughtered whales lying in a sea of blood are released by these organizations.

AIDA was the first of the major cruise companies to ban the Faroe Islands as a cruise destination. The move was a serious blow to the local tourism industry.

AIDA Cruises related cruise news