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20 years of smiling lips – That was AIDA’s anniversary year 2016

Rostock, 07. December 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, Oregon, 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.

Rostock, December 7, 2016

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The AIDA year 2016 – An outline

January 21, 2016 – AIDA donates 100,000 Euros to SOS Children’s Villages e.V. from the New Year’s Eve raffle.

January 29, 2016 – AIDA welcomes its one-millionth Facebook fan.

February 11, 2016 – AIDA announces its cooperation with the famous German TV-chef Tim Mälzer.

February 12, 2016 – AIDA Cruises was once again recognized as "Top Employer Germany 2016" by the international research company Top Employers Institute.

February 27, 2016 – The first cruise ship of the season – AIDAmar from AIDA Cruises – arrives in Hamburg. AIDA can count a total of 78 arrivals in Hamburg in 2016.

March 14, 2016 – With AIDAprima, AIDA accepts the delivery of its first new generation newbuild from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. in Nagasaki during a formal ceremony.

March 23, 2016 – AIDA releases its “Holiday a new way” catalog. It includes voyages scheduled from October 2016 to October 2017 and even a sneak peek of selected itineraries through April 2018.

April 21, 2016 – First docking of the new flagship AIDAprima in Hamburg.

April 25, 2016 – AIDAluna kicks off the cruise season in Kiel.

April 28, 2016 – AIDAdiva kicks off the cruise season in Rostock-Warnemünde. A total of 41 arrivals were made in this Baltic Sea city.

May 7, 2016 – The christening ceremony for AIDAprima is performed by Emma Schweiger with an audience of millions at the port anniversary in Hamburg. AIDA is the main sponsor of this port anniversary.

May 14, 2016 – Three arrivals in Palma de Mallorca with AIDAcara, AIDAblu and AIDAstella.

June 3, 2016 – The shoreside power plant in Altona is inaugurated with the arrival of AIDAsol.

June 7, 2016 – Twenty years ago today, on June 7, 1996, the first ship in the AIDA fleet was christened by former first lady Christiane Herzog in Rostock and put into service. Over 23,000 guests on board the eleven AIDA ships celebrate the company’s anniversary.

June 18, 2016 – The 250th docking of an AIDA ship at the port of Kiel. July 5, 2016 – AIDA announces a groundbreaking cooperation in the field of telemedicine with the Rostock University Medical Center.

July 16, 2016 – Festive send-off for the Hamburg team on AIDAprima for the Olympic Games in Rio. AIDA is a gold partner of the Hamburg team. July 27, 2016 – AIDA presents a concert by Ben Becker at the MV festival in Rostock. AIDA has been the main sponsor of this music event for 14 years.

July 30, 2016 – First triple arrival of AIDAvita, AIDAluna and AIDAaura in Kiel.

August 30, 2016 – AIDA continues to be one of the most important sponsors of the traditional annual celebration of the Hamburg State Representation in Berlin.

September 15, 2016 – AIDA presents its new AIDA Selection Program in Hamburg along with the new catalog with journeys from March 2017 to April 2018, including a sneak peek at selected itineraries until October 2018.

October 12, 2016 – AIDA receives the German Fairness Award for the third time in a row.

October 18, 2016 – AIDA is awarded the golden seal for service quality.

October 23, 2016 – Against the backdrop of the New York skyline, AIDAluna becomes a runway for a fashion show by the model and designer Jessica Minh Anh.

November 11, 2016 – AIDA announces a cooperation with DER Touristik.

November 12, 2016 – A festive opening of the ice-skating rink on AIDAprima and announcement of a cooperation with Holiday on Ice.

November 16, 2016 – AIDAprima receives the coveted Guide Award “Ship of the Year 2017” for cruise lines in two categories: “Sports and Wellness Offers” and “Family-Friendly.”

November 19, 2016 – The smiling lips, the brand symbol of the AIDA fleet, is applied to the bow of the new construction AIDAperla at the Mitsubishi shipyard in Nagasaki, Japan.

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