20 years of smiling lips – That was AIDA’s anniversary year 2016
The cruise line AIDA Cruises is looking back at one of its most successful years in its 20-year-old corporate history. With AIDAprima, the flagship of the latest AIDA generation, the company has once again entered new territory and proven its innovative power.
Its christening by Emma Schweiger – with an audience of millions at the anniversary of the Hamburg port on May 7 – was the sparkling highlight of the year.
AIDA Cruises is the first ship owner to employ a vessel, namely AIDAprima, from a German port throughout the year. Starting with its inaugural journey on April 30, 2016, AIDAprima has been traveling the Metropolitan route from Hamburg. Since then, it has delighted its guests with the Beach Club, where they can relax under a foil dome at a constant 24°C, a water slide, rock-climbing wall and in the winter months even a wintery ice-skating rink that was opened ceremoniously on November 12.
The successful operation of the dual-fuel engine on AIDAprima was also a pioneering moment in the cruise industry, making it possible to operate the ship with low-emission liquefied natural gas (LNG) while docked at port during the Metropolitan Cruise.
After the first successful test run for the LNG supply of AIDAprima in Hamburg on May 7, 2016, the ship is now also being provided with low-emission energy at all ports on the route, from Southampton, Le Havre and Zeebrügge to Rotterdam.
By adding AIDAprima to the fleet, it now – for the first time – includes eleven ships, which covered about 810,000 nautical sea miles together in 2016. This year the fleet arrived at 197 ports around the world, including first-time stops in Sihanoukville in Cambodia, Khor Fakkan in the United Arab Emirates, the Welsh Fishguard and Norwegian destinations such as Tromsø, Kristiansand, Versterålen and Bodø north of the Polar circle, as well as the British channel island Guernsey. The Canary Island El Hierro, the picturesque Propriano on Corsica and Souda Bay on Crete along with Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic and the US-city of Portland, Maine, were visited by an AIDA ship for the first time.
The anniversary year was crowned with the birthday journey of the first AIDA ship, which numerous associates of the company attended on board. The christening ceremony for AIDAcara took place on June 7, 1996.
The famous smiling lips on the bow, created by the Rostock artist Feliks Büttner, went on its first journey on this occasion. Today the red lips and radiant blue eyes already decorate twelve AIDA ships, since the twelfth fleet member AIDAperla, currently under construction, received its characteristic exterior painting in recent days.
From the very beginning, AIDA has stood for innovation and product diversity like no other company in the industry. This will continue in its 20th year. On September 15, 2016 in Hamburg, under the name “AIDA Selection,” AIDA presented new, exceptional vacation experiences on cruises with AIDAcara, AIDAvita, and AIDAaura. Winter journeys to Norway as well as trips to such dream destinations as Mauritius, the Seychelles and even a cruise around the world are new additions to the program.
AIDA Cruises is one of the fastest growing and most successful tourism businesses in Germany. In 2017, 2019 and 2021, the company will order three additional newbuilds. The company currently employs more than 8,000 people from 40 different countries at their corporate offices and on board AIDA ships, of which around 1000 work at the Rostock and Hamburg sites. AIDA Cruises operates one of the world’s most state-of-the-art fleets, currently comprising 11 cruise ships. With its “green cruising” concept, AIDA will be the first cruise line in the world to operate ships entirely with LNG (liquefied natural gas) starting with the new ship generation of 2019.