Middle East Cruise News

AIDA Cruises sending largest ship to Arabian Gulf for roundtrip Dubai cruises in 2019 season

AIDA Cruises, the fun-loving German ‘holiday resort’ cruise line has confirmed that AIDAprima will homeport in Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the 2018/19 cruise season.

AIDAprima was delivered in May, 2016 and is one of the first cruise ships in the world to use LNG as a source of fuel. The 124,000 ton AIDAprima carries 3,300 passengers and 900 crew. The LNG is used to fuel an auxiliary motor that produces the energy used by the ship while in port.

It’s not only in the engine room where the ship stands above the rest. She is billed as the most innovative and advanced cruise ship ever built for the German cruise market.

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AIDAprima has 18 passenger decks, 15 dining rooms and cafes, indoor and outdoor pools, as well as shops, cafes, and several dozen bars.

The AIDA Beach Club pool area is covered by a transparent UV-permeable membrane dome. It allows passengers to relax in a beach setting with natural light no matter the weather.

The Beach Club also features the longest indoor water slide on a cruise ship, a rock climbing wall, and a lazy river.

This area also serves as a nightclub at night, with stars or laser shows projected onto the dome.

“AIDAprima is the first ship of an entirely new AIDA product family,” explains Costa Group CEO, Michael Thamm. “With creativity and great innovation, our team has managed to implement our high standards in terms of product quality and environmental friendliness in an exemplary and impressive way.”

AIDA Cruises is owned by Carnival Corporation, which manages its European cruise lines under the Costa umbrella.

“AIDAprima ushers in a new age of cruising,” adds Michael Ungerer, President AIDA Cruises. “Encouraged by the desires of our guests, we are constantly thinking beyond the horizon. Our new flag ship offers more room, more variety, more individuality than ever before.”

AIDAprima is the cruise line’s first attempt at the ‘city at sea’ cruise concept of creating a ship that is a destination in itself. There is something for all passengers aboard AIDAprima, from the busy Beach Club up top to the secluded Lanai Deck down below.

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The Lanai Deck, named after the Hawaiian island of the same name, reinvents the promenade concept with a wider space home to small outer pools, relaxation zones, and the traditional promenade.

On the same deck the new AIDA Plaza with its many shops and bars transforms into a lively stage for street artists and a central meeting place on board. Entertainment facilities abound, but the most impressive is the expanded Theatrium.

Outfitted with a brand new circular stage, it takes on Dubai’s Le Perle show with the most modern LED technology, aerial performance equipment for unique artist shows, and an interactive floating globe.

AIDAprima will cruise roundtrip from Dubai to the most popular cruise destinations in the Arabian Gulf. From November 23rd she’ll operate 20 Dubai to Dubai cruises of 7-nights. Abu Dhabi will also be used as a turnaround port, meaning cruise passengers can board in either city.

Following the AIDA trend of skipping Sir Bani Yas Island, AIDAprima will instead visit Bahrain.


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Each 7-night cruise follows an identical itinerary of Dubai, Muscat, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and back to Dubai. On the first and last nights of the cruise the ship will stay overnight at Dubai Cruise Terminal.

This is what her cruise schedule will look like (this example is taken from the cruise departing Dubai on January 11th, 2019):


Dubai, United Arab Emirates (11 Jan embark(+1)d1100); Muscat, Oman (13 Jan 0800-1900); Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (14 Jan 2000(+1)1700); Mina Sulman, Bahrain (16 Jan 0800-1600); Dubai, United Arab Emirates (17 Jan a1000(+1)disembark)

AIDAprima will sail her last roundtrip Dubai cruise on April 5th, arriving back in Dubai on April 12th. She’ll depart on a 21-night repositioning cruise to Palma De Mallorca the following day.

Carnival Corporation has seven LNG-powered cruise ships for four of its 10 cruise brands from Meyer Werft and Meyer Turku. The first delivery is expected in 2022. Two of the cruise ships are for AIDA Cruises, two for Costa Cruises, one for P&O Cruises and the two for Carnival Cruise Line.

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