Carnival's AIDA Cruises Delays Restart Two Months to November

AIDA delays restart till November 2020
AIDAblu had been scheduled to cruise from Germany in September - courtesy AIDA Cruises

Published Aug 28, 2020 3:52 PM by The Maritime Executive

Citing ongoing travel restrictions related to the coronavirus, Germany’s AIDA Cruises announced that it is again delaying its resumption of service for an additional two months. Marketed primarily to German-speaking countries, the division of Carnival Corporation had been targeted as the corporation’s first brand to resume service. Carnival's Costa Cruises, however, plans to resume cruises inside Italy in September.

AIDA originally announced plans to resume service at the beginning of August with three ships sailing on short cruises in and around Germany. Saying that it was still working with its flag state, Italy, to obtain permissions, AIDA late delayed its restart to early September and scaled it back to two ships.

“AIDA Cruises has come to the conclusion that, despite its careful preparations, the conditions for a safe and responsible restart are not yet in place,” the line said in announcing the cancelation of additional cruises. Pointing to Norway’s recent decision to close its waters to international cruise ships as well restrictions from Denmark and the Baltic states and travel warnings issued by the Federal Republic of Germany, all the short voyages scheduled for September on the AIDAblu from Kiel and the AIDAperla from Hamburg, as well as all voyages up to and including October 31, 2020, are now canceled.

"Even though it is currently not possible for cruise ships to call at Norway, which is so important for our voyages to the north, we are confident that the first AIDA ships from Germany will be able to travel to Northern Europe again at the beginning of 2021," said Felix Eichhorn, president of AIDA Cruises.

In addition, AIDA said it was updating its fall and winter 2020-2021 program to provide its guests and sales partners additional time to plan and book vacations for a safe and enjoyable return to cruise holidays.

AIDA is now planning a November 2020 restart with its ship the AIDAmar sailing on November 1 for a seven-day cruise in the Canary Islands. The AIDAmar will start and end its cruises in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria. In addition, the new schedule calls for the AIDAperla to resume cruising the following week sailing from both Las Palmas and Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

Beyond the Canary Islands, AIDA also announced seven-day Western Mediterranean cruises on the AIDAstella starting on December 12 from Palma, Mallorca. They are also planning cruises aboard the AIDAprima sailing from Dubai (United Arab Emirates) starting December 11 and Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) starting December 15.

The company said that it was in close contact with the responsible authorities and airlines to prepare for the restart of its voyages in November and December.

AIDA also noted that all other voyages planned for the fall and winter season of 2020 and 2021 in the Western Mediterranean, the Azores, Cape Verde Islands, and Northern Europe will not take place. It also canceled all its long-distance cruises including to the Caribbean, Southern Africa, Southeast Asia, the Orient, and the Indian Ocean into 2021.