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AIDA on a Course for Growth

Growing with responsibility

Continuous growth, business success and a pioneering spirit in the use of innovative and sustainable technologies are what make AIDA Cruises unique.

As one of Germany’s leading tourism companies, as of 2019 we employ around 14,000 members of staff from more than 50 countries, of which 12,500 work on board our ships and 1,500 of them on shore.

The driving force in the cruise industry

Cruises have been one of the most popular types of holiday in Germany for a number of years now. The demand for them is growing steadily, and not just in Germany, but around the world too. In 2018, Germans set off on a total of 70.1 million holidays. Around 2.23 million of those spent their holiday on a cruise liner. That is around three per cent more than in 2017. AIDA Cruises welcomed more than a million guests on board its ships in 2018.

77 percent of all cruises travelled to European destinations. The most popular destinations were once again Northern Europe (28 percent) and the western Mediterranean (23 percent). Cruises in the Baltic Sea region are enjoying increasing popularity among German holidaymakers. 8.4 percent of all guests travelled to these regions in 2018, whereas in 2017 that figure was 7.6 percent. Even though the proportion of the overall German travel market made up by cruises is currently only around 3.2 percent, the results of a report issued by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) shows that Germany has one of the strongest growing markets for cruises in the world. In a worldwide comparison, Germany came third in 2018 after the USA and China.

The demand for cruises is incessant and is steadily growing as the variety of cruise packages increases. Guest surveys performed by the CLIA show that three in every four cruise holidaymakers plan to go on another cruise in the next two years. Experts believe that the market will continue to grow and should bring about a significant upturn in the tourism industry. AIDA Cruises will remain the most important driver of growth in Germany going forward and, with the launch of AIDAnova in 2018 - the world’s first cruise ship to run solely on low-emission liquefied natural gas (LNG) - gave the market the impetus to shape its growth in a sustainable manner.

With the commissioning of AIDAnova on December 12, 2018, we completed another technological leap and set a milestone in the preservation of the environment and resources.

The launch of AIDAnova, a ship in the latest generation of AIDA ships, allows us to fill new target groups with enthusiasm and initiate a new surge in growth on the German cruise market. In 2019, we will welcome AIDAmira as the newest member of our fleet and expand our range of cruises to southern Africa as part of the AIDA Selection program. By 2023, the AIDA fleet will have grown to comprise 16 ships.

Leading innovator in protecting maritime environments

AIDA’s positive development shows that courage and an innovative spirit really pay off. The success and growth of the entire cruise sector goes hand in hand with increasing responsibility for us - towards our guests and employees, our business partners, the environment and society. We have our sights set firmly on societal and ecological challenges going forward and will tackle them head on.

By 2023, AIDA will invest a further two billion euros in the next two cruise ships of the “Made in Germany” LNG generation, which will be built in Rostock and Papenburg. We placed the first billion-euro order for two of these innovative ships, which could be powered with low-emission liquefied natural gas (LNG), with the MEYER WERFT in Papenburg, Lower Saxony, back in 2015. We welcomed the first ship in this series into our fleet in December 2018. It is the first cruise ship worldwide that can be powered in port and at sea with low-emission liquefied natural gas (LNG). Of all the fossil fuels currently available, LNG is the most eco-friendly option for reducing emissions that is also usable in practice. There are almost no emissions of particulates and sulfur oxides at all, while emissions of nitrogen oxides and CO2 are substantially reduced. We are proud to operate what is currently most environmentally friendly cruise ship and we will continue down this path.

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AIDA creates job opportunities on board and on shore

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With the commissioning of each new ship we create more job opportunities on board our ships and at our facilities in Rostock and Hamburg, as well as indirectly in the shipbuilding and port industries, the tourism sector and in many small and medium-sized companies that play a part in our growth, in Germany, in Europe and at our destinations around the world. More than three quarters of the suppliers for AIDAnova, for example, are based in Germany or the European Union. Among the suppliers for the three ships in our LNG generation are companies from Rostock, Kiel, Hamburg and across southern Germany. The engines, for example, are developed in Kiel by Caterpillar Motoren GmbH and fitted in Warnemünde. NEPTUN WERFT, which is based in Warnemünde and belongs to the MEYER WERFT group, builds the machine modules and tanks for liquefied gas. These are just a few examples of how AIDA Cruises strengthens regional cooperation and is simultaneously an important factor in both the local and regional economy.

AIDA works with more than 2,400 suppliers from a wide range of sectors, from excursion agencies to food suppliers and ports to technical service providers and suppliers. AIDA moreover collaborates with upwards of 12,000 travel agencies all over Germany. With the LNG initiative and its research into further innovative future technologies for reducing emissions in the cruise industry, AIDA Cruises will also make a significant contribution to ensuring that Germany remains innovative and competitive on the international stage in the field of maritime technologies in cruise shipping.

With each new ship that we are going to bring into service in the coming years, we will create more than 2,000 new job opportunities on land and at sea. We are committed to developing young talent around the world and collaborate with well-known colleges, universities and training centers in Asia in order to train our future potential colleagues and prepare them for working on board a cruise ship.

In its destinations around the world, AIDA Cruises makes an important contribution to economic development and the creation of job opportunities. We work with local excursion agencies, employ numerous suppliers, procure provisions locally and make use of a wide range of services provided by local port agencies.

In all, the gross economic product of the cruise line industry was 134 billion euros in 2018, and crews and employees of the cruise line companies were paid more than 45.6 billion euros.

AIDAperla in Hamburg

An important economic factor for port cities

German ports also benefit from the ongoing growth of the cruise industry. In 2018, the Port of Hamburg maintained its top position as the number one German cruise port, recording around 915,000 cruise guests. Cruise ships docked in the Port of Hamburg a total of 220 times, 86 of which were AIDA ships. According to figures released by the CLIA, in 2017 cruise guests spent 377 million euros in German cruise ports.

In 2018, the Hanseatic City of Rostock welcomed 923,000 cruise ship passengers from 206 stopovers at the Baltic coastal resort of Warnemünde, thus reaching second place in the overall German rankings. AIDA ships docked here 44 times. As part of the 800th anniversary of the city, the Hanseatic and University City of Rostock held its first ROSTOCK CRUISE FESTIVAL between September 14 and 16, 2018. AIDA supported the maritime event as its main sponsor, at which the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania presented itself as an ideal location for growth and investment in the shipbuilding and cruise industries. AIDA thus reaffirmed its regional commitment in Rostock, where it has its headquarters.

The Port of Kiel was ranked in third place in Germany in 2018 of all the important cruise ports, recording 600,000 cruise ship guests during 165 calls. With 63 visits by AIDA ships, the company is also the most important partner of the Kiel Fjord and contributed significantly to its positive results.

AIDA Cruises celebrated a world premiere in Bremerhaven on December 12, 2018. AIDAnova was officially handed over to AIDA Cruises by the MEYER WERFT and set course for the Canary Islands where the premier season started on December 19, 2018.

Alongside direct spending by AIDA Cruises, passengers and crew members also make a considerable contribution to value creation in every port town or city. This includes local and regional retail trades, for example, the hotel and restaurant sectors, public transport systems, taxi companies and car park management companies.

Sustainable Management

For AIDA growth goes hand in hand with a sustainable approach to business. This approach of all-encompassing quality, in which we also incorporate our business partners, means that our economic decisions are taken with due consideration given to the environment, the wider community, our business partners and the well-being of our guests.

Construction of AIDAnova
Construction of AIDAnova

Any products we buy, use and offer are recyclable wherever possible. Ideally these are themselves already made of recycled products. It is our aim in the long term to create an almost complete closed-loop recycling solution, which would produce virtually no waste.

All-encompassing quality means that the products we use should be healthy and functional for the end user. If they contain reusable resources, the products benefit the environment and the economy in equal measure.

Besides technical efficiency, this strategy of all-encompassing quality is the basis of our approach to sustainability - and the foundation of our future economic success.

Responsible growth is the foundation for success

We are committed to the environment and society and contribute to added value in our economic world. For this reason AIDA Cruises is one of the fastest-growing and economically most successful tourism enterprises in Germany.

With thirteen cruise ships at present, AIDA Cruises operates one of the most modern fleets in the world. The ships are run in accordance with the highest international quality, environmental and safety standards. In the coming years we plan to expand our range of offers even further. The AIDA fleet will grow to comprise 16 ships by 2023. In 2021 and 2023 we will commission two of AIDAnova’s sister ships that will also be able to run on LNG.

Regularly retrofitting the ships in our existing fleet with innovative environmental technology is also an important issue for us. By the end of 2020, all of the ships in the AIDA fleet built since 2000 will have shore power technology on board.

As well as researching possibilities for obtaining carbon-neutral liquefied gas from renewable sources (power-to-gas), we are also looking into using fuel cells (Pa-X-ell 2), for example, and the use of batteries in cruise shipping.

Trust-based business relations

The economic success of AIDA Cruises is based on trustworthy business relations and compliance with strict ethical standards. The company is committed to the standards set out in the Code of Business Conduct and Ethics. Among the binding principles recorded are our special quality promise to our guests, a company culture characterized by respect and esteem, fairness in dealing with partners, suppliers and competitors as well as a high degree of precision and integrity in business affairs.

In order to prevent corruption, we educate our employees and introduce them to the anti-corruption guidelines of the Carnival Group in training courses. All business relations with third parties are conducted according to these guidelines and while taking into consideration the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) of the USA.

No material infringements of legal regulations were recorded in the 2018 reporting season.

New offers for more sustainability

Cruises bring families together and multi-generational holidays are on the rise. AIDA Cruises is latching onto the changes in demographics and offers the perfect holiday experience for every generation. Thanks to the considerable variety, it scores highly on innovation, flexibility and customised offerings for all target and age groups. This form of travelling is therefore attractive for all generations, which also explains its long-term growth potential.

Following the success of the first AIDA world cruise, we have widened our range of routes and now offer new dream destinations in the most beautiful regions of the world. Extended land excursions at our various destinations give guests travelling aboard AIDAcara, AIDAvita and AIDAaura the opportunity to discover natural wonders and landscapes that are worthy of protection in complete tranquility and experience cultures from an entirely different perspective.

Every AIDA Selection cruise is rounded off by a personalised onboard entertainment and edutainment programe that relates directly to the particular culture and the valuable flora and fauna of the respective destination region. The AIDA Selection program is ideal for open-minded people of all ages who want to discover countries and their inhabitants in a particularly intense and unique way.

AIDAaura started the second AIDA world cruise on October 8, 2018, which came to an end on February 2, 2019 in Hamburg. In October 2019, it will be time to cast off on the third world cruise for the guests of AIDAaura.

Our guests’ positive feedback and the high demand for our AIDA Selection program continues to encourage us to expand our range of routes and to visit new destinations in the most beautiful parts of the world. In December 2019, we will welcome the fourth Selection ship into our fleet with AIDAmira. AIDAmira’s route will also be a new addition to the AIDA programe. From December 2019, guests will for the first time also have the opportunity to discover the natural wonders of southern Africa with AIDAmira. The 14-day cruise ”South Africa and Namibia”, will set out from and return to Cape Town. Other ports include Durban, East London and Lüderitz, the last of these being situated on the edge of the Namib Desert. The absolute highlight of the cruises will be the several-day stops in Cape Town, giving the guests plenty of time to discover the attractions such as Table Mountain and the Lion’s Head. AIDAmira will also spend a night in Walvis Bay in Namibia. Here guests will be able to observe exotic animals in the large lagoon between the desert and the sea.

On October 8, 2018, AIDAaura departed Hamburg on AIDA’s second round-the-world cruise. It visited 20 countries over 117 days, docking in 41 different ports.

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