Safety is top priority at AIDA. The entire crew takes responsibility for our guests and are trained according to HESS standards (Hess = Health, Environment, Safety, and Security). Safety drills with our guests are standard and are conducted at port before the ship even sets sail.
Technical ship safety
Of the 10 ships tested in the Mediterranean by the 2012 ADAC cruise test, the ships of the AIDA fleet, AIDAbella and AIDAdiva, were the only ones that received a top rating of "excellent". ADAC confirmed the our ships have cutting-edge technology, and safety, rescue, and fire-protection equipment, diligent security checks for passengers and luggage when boarding the ship, a professional and helpful crew with a heightened sense of responsibility and safety awareness, and routinely conducted evacuation drills. The excellent test results motivate us to be relentless in our diligence and responsibility.
To ensure that employees react properly when faced with potential danger, we start training all of our employees in safety matters before their first day on the job, and later at every stage of their careers – before, during, and between deployment times.
In 2012, AIDA Cruises opened the first center for maritime simulator training in Germany with its CSMART Rostock at the AIDA Academy. This simulator training is specifically geared toward the quality requirements in training and continuing education and thus the safety of the cruise industry. We invest heavily in training and continuing education for our nautical and technical managers. Well-trained personnel is vital to the safety of our guests and crew. In addition to having first-class nautical and technical training, we expect our officers to have mental strength and team spirit. Everyone must be able to make sense of potential emergency situations in the shortest amount of time and make the right decisions. It is for this reason that we have also incorporated the latest scientific findings in aviation and other safety-critical industries into our training content.
CSMART stands for Center for Simulator Maritime Training and is a world-renowned competency center for providing training and continuing education for nautical and technical officers. CSMART Rostock at the AIDA Academy is Europe's 2nd simulator training center after CSMART Almere in the Netherlands. The "Full Mission Bridge Simulator" is a replica of the bridge on AIDAblu, which was commissioned in 2010. The comprehensive safety concept of the maritime simulator training center also includes a machine room simulation modeled after the SIEMENS control system on board the AIDA ships.
It is possible to simulate maneuvers on the 220-degree panoramic screens that consider factors such as swells, wind, current, different visibility conditions, or precipitation 1:1. Training is conducted in the regions of the world that AIDA cruise ships visit, including the ports of Hamburg, Bangkok, and Singapore as well as busy areas like the Kadet Trench, the Norwegian fjords, and the Bosphorus.
We use the bridge simulator to conduct equipment and system training programs for new officers and students. The engine room simulator simulates the operation of the onboard machinery as well as emergency scenarios for team and individual exercises. Since November 2013, we have linked the bridge simulator and the engine room simulator to create an innovation in European simulation technology. As a result, we are now able to conduct even more complex safety exercises under almost realistic conditions.
Since 2014, our crew has also been training for the operation of the first ship in our new AIDA ship generation, namely AIDAprima, which will begin service in October 2015. One of AIDAprima’s special features are its Azipod drives. The drive system has a streamlined pod and can be rotated 360 degrees around the vertical axis. For the purpose of operating this drive system, we worked with the manufacturer in 2014 to introduce a special Azipod training program.
We are planning the expansion of our simulation center and training opportunities in 2015. An increasing number of captains and officers from Costa will complete nautical and technical training in Rostock along with the AIDA managers. The open exchange of experiences and intensive cooperation with our colleagues at Costa offer great benefits. The crews are learning with and from each other in order to ensure the safety of our crew and guests as well as a safe and smooth ship operation at all times.
On our ships, our safety officers guarantee the strictest compliance with regulations. The crew must demonstrate in exercises that they react professionally in an emergency situation and are capable of utilizing all rescue equipment. With respect to fire protection, each ship has a specially trained fire protection team that ensures the safety of our guests. All actions are clearly defined in the HESS management system.
Complying with national and international laws and directives is a matter of principle for us. We implement new provisions as fast as possible – often even above and beyond what is required. Requirements stipulated by the United Nation's International Maritime Organization (IMO) are binding for AIDA internationally. IMO regulations also include the SOLAS Convention (Safety of Life at Sea). It specifies standards for the construction, equipment, and operation of ships. This includes central regulations such as the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS-Code) and the International Safety Management Code (ISM). They ensure security in ports and safe ship operation.