Aida, part of the Carnival Corp. family of cruise lines, markets itself primarily to German travelers. The company, which currently operates Aida Cara, Aida Vita, Aida Aura and Aida Blu, offers a rather unique cruise experience -- at least as far as North Americans are concerned. The ship, which carries far fewer crew than most lines, emphasizes a more self-serve experience -- meals are all buffet-oriented (those wanting an "a la carte" experience pay extra) and cabins are cleaned just once a day.
Aida also reaches out to a more active, younger passenger base, and in fact was the inspiration, some industry insiders say, for P&O's U.K.-based Ocean Village.
The ships, as yet unnamed, will be delivered in 2007 and 2009.