Carnival’s AIDA delays restart from September to November

Germany-based AIDA Cruises, a subsidiary of US-based Carnival Corp that caters to the German-speaking market, has put back the resumption of service for an additional two months. The company blamed ongoing travel restrictions related to Covid-19 for its decision.

AIDA, being based in Europe, had been one of Carnival’s main hopes for an early resumption of cruise offerings. Another, Costa Cruises are resuming intra-Italian cruises this month.

AIDA had originally hoped to resume services at the beginning of August with three ships sailing on short cruises in and around Germany, without any docking on the way.

However, the company said that “AIDA Cruises has come to the conclusion that, despite its careful preparations, the conditions for a safe and responsible restart are not yet in place”.

AIDA noted Norway’s recent decision to close its waters to international cruise ships, in addition to restrictions from Denmark and the Baltic states and travel warnings issued by Germany.

All of the short voyages scheduled for September on the AIDAblu from Kiel and the AIDAperla from Hamburg, as well as all voyages up to and including October 31st 2020, have been cancelled.

AIDA Cruises president Felix Eichhorn said that “even though it is currently not possible for cruise ships to call at Norway, which is so important for our voyages to the north, we are confident that the first AIDA ships from Germany will be able to travel to Northern Europe again at the beginning of 2021”.

AIDA said it was updating its autumn and winter 2020-2021 programme to provide additional time to plan and book vacations.

AIDA is now planning a November 2020 restart with its ship the AIDAmar, which will sail on November 1st for a seven-day cruise in the Canary Islands. The AIDAmar will start and end its cruises in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria. In addition, the new schedule calls for the AIDAperla to resume cruising the following week. She will sail from both Las Palmas and Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

AIDA also announced seven-day Western Mediterranean cruises on the AIDAstella, starting on December 12th from Palma, Mallorca. They are also planning cruises aboard the AIDAprima sailing from Dubai, starting December 11th and Abu Dhabi starting December 15th.

2010-built, Italy-flagged, 71,304 gt Aidablu is owned by Costa Crociere SpA of Genoa, Italy. It is managed by Aida Cruises of Rostock, Germany. ISM manager is Carnival Maritime GmbH. It is entered with Steamship (Americas Division) on behalf of AIDA Cruises German Branch of Costa Crociere SpA. It is entered with Gard AS on behalf of Costa Crociere SpA. It is entered with UK Club (Area Group Americas G7) on behalf of AIDA Cruises German Branch of Costa Crociere SpA.

For H&M it is entered with Royal & Sun Alliance on behalf of Carnival Corp, with Gard having a subscription position.

2012-built, Italy-flagged, 71,304 gt Aidamar has a similar structure of ownership, management and insurance.