German cruise operator AIDA Cruises is expanding its offering of AIDAselection voyages, cruises that sail to exotic destinations on longer journeys than the more standard itineraries for the cruise line. The company previously used smaller, older vessels for these voyages but has now decided to roll them out on various ship classes.
The decision means that the company has no more use for AIDAmira. This vessel had been in the fleet for less than three months, and AIDA paid more than 55 million euros on enhancements and upgrades in 2019. The likely buyer is the new UK cruise operator Ambassador Cruise Line.
AIDAmira Leaves the AIDA Fleet
AIDA bought AIDAmira in 2019, but the cruise line has already decided to sell the vessel. The cruise ship previously sailed as Costa Neoriviera, NeoMistral, and originally as Mistral for Festival Cruises. AIDA took over the 1,248 passenger cruise ship from Costa Cruises in October 2019.
After the conversion to AIDAmira, which saw significant delays and the cancelation of its maiden voyage, the vessel operated in South Africa for only a few trips when the pandemic broke. The first passengers boarded on December 23, 2019; the last passenger left the vessel on March 23, 2020. AIDA invested more than 55 million euros in the ship.
Since then, the vessel has been laid up in Genua, Italy, and since a few weeks in Croatia, where she is awaiting her new owners. The new owners are the UK-based Ambassador Cruise Line, according to various reports. This cruise line also purchased the former bitcoin-ship Satoshi/Pacific Dawn, which will begin operations in April.
AIDA has implemented an aggressive strategy to bring Green Cruising closer, with two vessels powered by LNG, the use of emission-neutral fuels, and the cruise line plans to use fuel cells and batteries on AIDA ships for the first time in 2022.
The older, more pollutant vessels are being sold off to achieve the environmental goals, including AIDAmira, and last year, AIDAcara. It also gives the company the chance to develop the AIDAselection Voyages for more ships.
AIDAselection Voyages Expanded Across the Fleet
The popularity of longer cruises to off-beaten-path destinations onboard the AIDA ships has prompted the German cruise operator, part of Carnival Corporation, to start offering the AIDAselection voyages across the fleet. Previously the selection was limited to a small number of vessels—the cruise line released details on upcoming voyages this week.
In October of this year, AIDAsol will sail on a 117-day World Cruise, which includes a circumnavigation of Cape Horn and the Cape of Good Hope, sailing through the natural beauty of Tierra del Fuego, a visit to Mauritius and South Africa, and spending New Year’s Eve in Sydney, Australia.
AIDAbella will bring guests to the Lofoten Islands in Northern Norway, AIDAluna will bring guests north of the Arctic Circle, and AIDAblu will bring guests to the beautiful and rarely visited islands Mauritius, Seychelles, and Madagascar.
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In the summer of 2022, AIDAvita and AIDAaura will sail to the Scottish Islands or the archipelago off the Swedish coast, among others.
Each AIDAselection voyage will have exclusive excursions for guests, increased time in ports, and renowned lectures to give guests unique insights into the destinations they travel to.