After more than 20 years in the company, AIDAvita is leaving the AIDA Cruises fleet. The vessel is being decommissioned. The oldest ship sailing for AIDA has not sailed since the start of the pandemic and will not do so again, at least not for the German cruise line.
AIDAvita is already the third cruise ship leaving the Rostock-based cruise line since the onset of the pandemic. AIDAcara and AIDAmira left the fleet in the last 12 months, while the third new build that was supposed to join the cruise line was diverted to Carnival Cruise Line as Carnival Jubilee.
AIDAvita Leaving AIDA Cruises
The oldest ship in the AIDA fleet will leave the cruise line after twenty years of faithful service. The vessel sailed her last voyage before the onset of the pandemic and has not restarted despite several plans to do so.
AIDA Cruises said the following in an online statement: “After 20 successful years, AIDAvita will not be used again for the company. Guests who have already booked a trip with AIDAvita will be contacted and informed about their new travel options or rebooking options.”
AIDA announced several restart options for AIDAvita in the last two years, but the pandemic and, more recently, the war in Ukraine played a significant role in voyage cancelations.
In February of this year, AIDA cruises already canceled the remaining voyages through May for the vessel, perhaps expecting a sale to be going ahead later in the year.
The sale does disrupt the upcoming itineraries that had been scheduled for AIDAvita. This year, the entire season of expected cruises in Northern Europe has been canceled. These voyages, scheduled to sail to Norway, the UK, and the Baltic, were due to start on July 24, sailing from Warnemuende, Germany.
AIDAbella will be taking over the Great Winter Break itineraries later this year. Included are two long voyages to the Caribbean from Hamburg and back, which take 43 and 44-days, respectively. AIDAbella has also taken over two cruises sailing from Hamburg to the Canary Islands and back.
AIDA guests with confirmed bookings for travel dates between October 2022 and April 2023 whose cruises are affected by changes will be notified directly by the cruise line.
AIDAvita joined the AIDA fleet on May 4, 2022, in Warnemunde, Germany. She spent most of her 20-year career as one of the selection ships. A designation given by AIDA to ships that operate more extended, more port-intensive cruises focused on exploring destinations.
AIDA cruises decided to employ more of its ships to sailing these routes, making ships such as AIDAcara and AIDAmira, which were sold earlier this year, and AIDAvita as the oldest ship in the fleet, no longer necessary.
AIDAvita spent the last couple of months in port in the Estonian capital of Tallinn, waiting for her return to service, which never came. Whether AIDA Cruises and Carnival Corporation have decided to sell AIDAvita to another cruise line or whether she will be scrapped is unknown.
It could very well be that the vessel will be heading the same way as AIDAcara, which emerged as part of a new cruise line aimed at the Russian market, while AIDAmira was sold to a new UK-based company, Ambassador Cruise Line.
AIDA Not In Financial Problems
Although Carnival’s financial records are not great, it seems unlikely that AIDAvita is being sold due to economic issues. Instead, it looks like Carnival Corporation is making more inroads into rejuvenating its fleet of ships.
Since the start of the pandemic, Carnival Corporation has been focusing heavily on getting rid of older, more polluting ships, which account for fewer berths but more running costs. With that, the company has been successfully rolling out its Excellence-class program, with AIDA, Costa, Carnival, and P&O UK cruises already sailing with the LNG-powered ships.
AIDA Cruises is one of the fastest-growing companies in the Carnival Corporation group of companies. The cruise line, which now operates twelve cruise ships, is also counted as one of the most successful german tourism businesses operating in the German market.