AIDA Cruises is a German brand owned by the Carnival Corporation. It currently consists of a fleet of 11 ships, with a further 3 planned. This gives them a current passenger capacity of 23,312 passengers. The primary audience for AIDA Cruises is German passengers. However, other European residents do travel on this cruise line. Two of the three new ships planned will rival the largest cruise ships in the world for guest capacity – with a total of 6,600 passengers each, these are due in 2018 and 2021. However, AIDA Cruise ships have been known to slip behind schedule, with AIDAprima in 2016 being over 4 months late and several early cruises cancelled.
Their ships are instantly recognisable by the huge “smile” (or lips) painted on the bow and across the front half of the hull on each ship. The majority of the cruises depart from a single homeport, which is Hamburg. Two of the fleet have recently experimented with a homeport of Tampa, Florida and with fly-cruise packages allowed German passengers to cruise the Caribbean with ease. Their ships are very family friendly and well-known for their youthful style and casual approach to cruising. The facilities and amenities onboard the ships are well-aimed at the younger cruise market (mainly couples) – this is reflected in their shore excursions too, which can be quite adventurous.
In 2016, Aida Cruises pioneered the running of one of their ships (AIDAprima) on LNG-power whilst in the port of Rotterdam. This significantly cut down on co² emissions whilst in port. The electricity to the ship is delivered by an LNG-powered barge. This originally was trialled in Rotterdam, The Netherlands but expanded to Hamburg, Germany where AIDAprima has her homeport. It is hoped other ships will convert to LNG-power at a later date.