AIDA Cruises is Germany’s fun ship cruise line, with an emphasis on jam-packed days and lively nightlife. The on-board experience is super casual, reflecting the millennial German cruise market it targets.
AIDA Cruises started out life as a German travel company in the 1960s and entered the cruise industry properly as a cruise line in 1994 with its first new-build AIDAcara.
It wasn’t until 1999, however, that the cruise line was re-branded in its current form as AIDA, after it was purchased by the British cruise line P&O Cruises (which itself merged with Princess Cruises in 2000 to become P&O Princess – and was then purchased by Carnival Corporation in 2003).
At the time of the acquisition, executive control of the company was transferred to Costa Cruises Group, the European operating arm of Carnival Corp.
The line now has its own executive team based in Rostock, Germany, reflecting the highly independent and unique nature of the brand, primarily because it almost exclusively serves the German cruise market and has become a famous name within Germany.
The cruise line is best known for its active, ultra-casual cruise experience.
On-board experience with AIDA Cruises
Its cruise ships are marketed as seagoing “club resorts” and the emphasis on a casual, fun experience pervades every facet of the cruise holiday.
Cruise staff are allowed to ‘mingle’ socially with passengers when off duty, all main restaurants on-board are open seating, self-service affairs with a very high calibre of buffet foods – among the best of the mass market cruise lines.
Aboard the smaller ships in the fleet there are two to three of these buffet restaurants, but aboard the newer, larger cruise ships (the 2007-built AIDAdiva and the nine cruise ships launched since then) there are also several specialty restaurants for those seeking a romantic meal or a more formal dining experience.
Activities and entertainment aboard AIDA Cruises
By day cruise passengers aboard AIDA Cruises are invited to take part in a number of structured entertainment activities or spend the day as they please. Most of the daytime activities revolve around an emphasis on wellness and fitness.
AIDA cruise ships feature spas that are unusually large and popular compared to other cruise lines.
The AIDA Spa and Fit & Fun aboard each ship is one of the best quality in the global cruise fleet. There are more than 30 fitness classes per week, and aboard AIDAprima and AIDAperla, there is an exclusive Organic Spa with ocean-view Jacuzzis (at an added charge).
At night, the ship’s transform into massive floating nightclubs.
There’s lively entertainment in the theatre, and all the bars and lounges become extremely busy. The atmosphere is kept fun and festive throughout, a bit like Octoberfest at sea!
Careful effort is also made by the cruise line’s entertainment team to ensure that all bars and lounges on-board have a different ambiance and style of music.
Family cruising with AIDA
There is a huge focus on making the cruise experience fun for families aboard AIDA cruise ships. Children younger than 2-years cruise for free and there are childcare and teen entertainment facilities on all AIDA ships for kids between 3 and 17-years-old.
Aboard AIDAprima and AIDAperla there is also a Beach Club, a huge indoor waterpark with pools, sun loungers, pool bars and eateries where passengers can enjoy a pool day even if it’s raining.
Passengers aboard AIDA Cruises
Passengers consist almost entirely of Germans and other German-speaking Europeans like Austrians and Swiss. These are AIDA’s core markets, and the main language on-board is German.
AIDA passengers, as the onboard experience suggests, tend to be young, active, and out to have fun; older Germans gravitate to the more traditional and sedate cruise lines operating in the German market, such as Phoenix Reisen, Hapag-Lloyd and (to some extent) TUI Cruises.
AIDA Cruises in the Middle East
AIDA Cruises will homeport AIDAprima in Dubai for the 2018/19 Middle East cruise season. Between November and March she’ll cruise roundtrip from Dubai in the Arabian Gulf on 7-night itineraries.
Each 7-night cruise follows an identical itinerary of Dubai, Muscat, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and back to Dubai. On the first and last nights of the cruise the ship will stay overnight at Dubai Cruise Terminal.
Abu Dhabi will also be used as a turnaround port, meaning cruise passengers can board in either city.
Cruise ships in the AIDA fleet:
Due in 2018: AIDAnova
Categories: Cruise Line Focus