German-Based Aida Places New-Ship Order

October 20, 2004

Aida Cruises, the four-ship German cruise line, has placed an order for two new vessels. The 68,500-ton, 2,030, passenger sister ships will be built at Papenburg, Germany's Meyer Werft.

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.