Safety is top priority at AIDA. The entire crew takes responsibility and are trained according to HESS standards (Hess = Health, Environment, Safety, and Security). The internationally prescribed safety drills with our guests are standard and are conducted at port before the ship even sets sail.
Technical ship safety
The ships of the AIDA fleet, AIDAbella and AIDAdiva, were the only ones that received a top rating of “excellent” in the last ADAC Cruise Safety Test 2012. ADAC confirmed that 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 Centre for Simulator Maritime Training (CSMART) Rostock at the AIDA Academy, the first center for maritime simulator training in Germany. This simulator training is specifically geared toward the quality requirements in training and continuing education and thus the safety of the cruise industry. This is where the officers and junior staff receive regular training in the mastery of safe navigation methods and the technical operation of the ship. This training far exceeds the requirements of the international STCW standards (Standards for Training, Certification and Watchkeeping). 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 strong leadership skills and the ability to work in a team. 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 findings and experiences in the area of “human factor” training 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 is Europe's second cruise-specific simulator training center after CSMART Almere in the Netherlands. The “Full Mission Bridge Simulator” is a realistic replica of the bridge on AIDAblu, which was commissioned in 2010. Thanks to the modular structure of the simulator bridge, an adaptation to other ships with different drive system is also possible. The comprehensive safety concept of the maritime simulator training center also includes a machine room simulation modeled after an original SIEMENS automation on board the AIDA ships.
When training on the full-mission bridge, a wide range of scenarios can be simulated 1:1 with due regard to such influencing factors as swell, wind, current, various sight conditions and precipitation. Training is conducted in the regions of the world that AIDA cruise ships visit, including the ports of Hamburg, Warnemünde and Singapore as well as busy shipping areas like the Kadet Trench or the English Channel.
On four “part-task bridges”, we conduct equipment and system training as well as other training programs for new officers and students. The engine room simulator reenacts the operation of the on-board machinery, simulates emergency scenarios and offers team and individual exercises.
Since November 2013, the bridge simulation and the engine simulator have been coupled. This has created an innovative, realistic training environment that allows us to conduct even more complex scenarios in particularly authentic circumstances specifically for emergency procedure training.
Since 2014, our crew has also been training for the operation of the first ship in our new AIDA ship generation, AIDAprima, which began its service in March 2016. One of AIDAprima’s special features are its Azipod drives. Here the drive system lies in a streamlined pod and can be rotated around the vertical axis by 360 degrees. For the purpose of operating this drive system, we worked with the ABB company, its manufacturer, in 2014 to introduce a special Azipod training program.
In 2015, we further expanded our simulation and training center for the sake of increased training capacities. In November 2015, a second full-mission bridge simulator was commissioned. An increasing number of captains and officers from Costa will complete nautical and technical training in Rostock along with the AIDA executives. 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.