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, British-American owned, based in Rostock Germany. Founded originally as Deutsche Seereederei, in the 1960s the company entered cruise industry. In 2000, AIDA Kreuzfahrten was purchased by "P&O Princess Cruises". After 2003's company 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 company's 20th anniversary. AIDA was the first cruise line to offer year-round cruises leaving from Germany.

AIDA Cruises logo

AIDA Cruises continues its long-standing partnership with the German shipbuilder Meyer Werft in Papenburg Germany with an order for two new next-generation vessels (still unnamed). Each of them exceeds 180,000 GT tons and has capacity of over 2,500 staterooms. They 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, AIDA became the world's first cruise company to operate new generation of LNG-powered ships using 100% LNG (liquefied natural gas), thus eliminating emissions of sulfur oxides and soot particles.

new AIDA cruise ship design (AIDAprima, AIDAperla)

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.

new AIDA cruise ship design (AIDAprima, AIDAperla)

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.

new AIDA cruise ship design (AIDAprima, AIDAperla)

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.

new AIDA cruise ship design (AIDAprima, AIDAperla)

New AIDA Helios-Class cruise ships

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

new AIDA Helios cruise ship (AIDAnova)

These are LNG-powered cruise ships produced by Meyer Werft, with gross tonage 183,900 GT and passenger capacity 5200 (lower berths / 6600 max). The first of the new vessels (AIDAnova) was delivered in December 2018, while the second (still unnamed) is scheduled for Spring 2021. On February 27, 2018, Carnival Corporation signed a shipbuilding contract for a 3rd AIDA ship (scheduled delivery in 2023). This was the 98th shiporder for the cruise industry's global fleet (vessels in the orderbook 2018-2026).

Each vessel has 21 cabin categories (including Penthouse Suite, Family and Single-occupancy staterooms), 17 restaurants (including self-serve, a-la-carte priced and 5 speciality), 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).

new AIDA Helios cruise ship (AIDAnova)

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 Costa and AIDA combinjed 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 shipbard employees and total passenger capacity of over 68,000 berths (across the combined fleet).

AIDA cruise ship robots

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

Peper robots 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.

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 ships.

AIDA's LNG-powered cruise ships

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)

  • Company's statistics show that the AIDA ship spends about 40% of its operating time in ports. Compared to using conventional marine diesel (0,1% sulfur content), by using LNG the vessel's emissions were considerably reduced even further - Sulfur oxides and soot particles were prevented completely (while in port), nitrogen oxide emission were reduced by up to 80%, CO2 emissions were lowered by 20%.
  • The AIDA ships (produced by Meyer shipyard in Papenburg) are 100% LNG-powered.
  • AIDA Cruises invested in research and testing of LNG cruise ship 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, AIDAsol is regularly supplied with low-emission LNG power at Hamburg's Hafencity Cruise 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. 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%).

Itinerary of AIDA Cruises

Following the delivery of the "Japanese" ships AIDAprima (2016) and AIDAperla (2017), for the first time in its history the company had booked over 2 million Germans. AIDA operates the German vacation cruising market with 12 vessels cruising to 130 different itinerary routes and visiting over 250 ports of call worldwide.

  • AIDAaura – Caribbean, Mediterranean, Canada, Black Sea & Greece, Southeast Asia, Transatlantic. 
  • AIDAbella – Caribbean, Western Mediterranean and North Africa, Northern Europe, Canary Islands, New York to Canada, Transatlantic
  • 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
  • AIDAmira - in 2019, the ship Costa-neoRiviera leaves Costa to join AIDA Cruises as "AIDAmira". AIDAmira joins the "AIDA Selection" ships AIDAcara, AIDAvita and AIDAaura. Prior the AIDA service, neoRiviera will be drydock refurbished and remodeled. Swimming pools will be reduced from 3 to 2 (larger) with 2 large whirlpools on sun deck. From the 624 staterooms, 96 are suites (80 with balconies). AIDAmira has 6 restaurants and 6 bars. The inaugural cruise is on December 4, 2019, leaving from Palma de Mallorca to South Africa for 14-day roundtrips from homeport Cape Town.
  • AIDAnova - 7-day cruises to Canaries and Madeira Island
  • 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
  • AIDAvita – Caribbean and South America, Western Mediterranean, Transatlantic.

The second edition of AIDA Cruises catalog “My hotel shows me the world” for 2019-2020 season offers an overview of the 3rd AIDA world voyage aboard AIDAaura, and introduces the brand new route aboard AIDAmira. 

The portfolio has been further extended via additional sailings with AIDAmar, AIDAprima and AIDAstella in April 2020. Extra dates for the “North European Metropolises” city cruises aboard AIDAmar from Hamburg and Rotterdam are added in April 2020. The 7-day journey around the Canaries and Madeira aboard AIDAstella is also available for an extra date in April 2020. AIDAprima is starting a further trip from Abu Dhabi in April.

On October 28, 2019 AIDAaura is setting sail from Hamburg on line’s 3rd round-the-world cruise, calling at 41 ports in 17 different countries, prior to returning February 22, 2020. The cruise will take in a wealth of destinations that AIDA is visiting for the first time, such as the Cook Islands, Kangaroo Island and Esperance in Australia, 3 new ports in New Zealand, Maputo in Mozambique, East London in South Africa. 

The latest edition of “My hotel shows me the world” also presents itineraries with AIDAmira for the very first time. As part of line's Selection program, AIDAmira guests have the chance to experience the wonders of southern Africa. AIDA Cruises provides a preview of 2020 summer season, and a selection of the most popular voyages for summer 2020, with routes in Northern Europe, Baltic, Mediterranean and North America.

AIDA World Cruise 2018

AIDA's second world cruise on AIDAaura leaves from Hamburg on October 8, 2018.

  • The 117-days long itinerary (October 8, 2018, through February 2, 2019) had scheduled a total of 41 ports in 20 different countries on 5 continents. Many of the visited destinations were maiden calls, inclusing South Africa, Namibia, South pacific (Melbourne Australia, Tasmania, Fiji, Samoa, New Caledonia). Among the most popular port destinations along the itinerary route are South America (Rio de Janeiro Brazil, Buenos Aires Argentina, Ushuaia Chile), Santiago Chile, Easter Island, Tahiti, Bora Bora, Samoa, French Polynesia. Sydney Australia, Tasmania, Fremantle-Perth Australia, Madagascar, South Africa, Namibia.
  • Passengers will also enjoy an onboard New Year’s Eve party while the ship is in Mauritius.
  • AIDA's 2018 world cruise pricess started from EUR 12,995 pp (USD 15,360 pp /inside cabin) and from EUR 16,565 pp (USD USD 19,580 pp / oceanview cabin).

(animal cruelty) 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 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 - 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 Faroe Islands as cruise destination. The move was a serious blow to the local tourism industry.

AIDA Cruises related cruise news