AIDA Cruises has announced that AIDAvita will be dry-docked in Dubai for routine maintenance and will sail a mini cruise season from the city in lieu of her Asian program, which was cancelled due to the Coronavirus epidemic.
AIDA Cruises cancelled all its Asian cruises due to the disruption the virus has caused for the cruise sector in the region, and the risk it poses for passengers, and will instead homeport in Dubai with AIDAvita, while its second Asia ship AIDAbella will be deployed in the western Mediterranean from Palma de Mallorca on early spring cruises.
AIDAvita was alongside in Dubai’s Port Rashid after cruising from Singapore at the time of writing. Two nine-day itineraries from Dubai have been added, departing on March 7 and March 16, ahead of a dry-docking in the city.
Following its overhaul, AIDAvita will depart on April 14th on a 19-day repositioning voyage from Dubai to Palma de Mallorca.
AIDAbella will offer four- and five-day itineraries with ports like Barcelona, Civitavecchia (Rome), Sète, Olbia and Ajaccio from March 10th to April 30th. Cruise-only prices start at €349 per person in an inside cabin. The itineraries can be combined for a nine-day cruise.
After a short break at Palma, AIDAbella will start her 13-days repositioning voyage to Kiel on May 4. Following arrival scheduled for May 17, the ship will start North Europe operations as planned.
These itineraries will fill the gap until the ships’ summer programs, as earlier reported.
The revised cruise itineraries are the second example of a cruise line choosing Dubai as a safe haven port amid the ongoing Coronavirus epidemic, which has infected more than 81,000 people and killed over 2,800.
Celebrity Cruises was one of the first cruise lines to cancel its Asian itineraries and announced that it’s open-jaw alternating two-week cruises between Dubai and Singapore would be revised as roundtrip Dubai cruises instead.
While Dubai may see a bump in cruise ship volumes in the short term due to excess capacity from cruise ships pulled out of the China market, it’s difficult to tell what the long-term impact to the regional cruise market might be if the virus remains a crisis for the coming months.