Middle East Cruise News

AIDAstella emerges from Dubai Drydocks with new ice-cream bar

During her final Middle East cruise season sailing roundtrip out of Dubai, AIDAstella was put into drydock at Dubai Drydocks World for a 5-day refit.

The German cruise line is one of the first cruise lines to undertake refurbishment works at Dubai Drydocks World, which has traditionally stuck to technical refit projects.

During the project, the Langnese Happiness Station, an ice cream bar, was installed on-board, along with a redeveloped spa, 3,500sqm of new carpeting, and a new teen’s club.

AIDAStella-Dubai (17)

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All the ship’s lighting systems were also overhauled, with energy-efficient LED lights installed throughout all public areas, according to AIDA.

The Langnese Happiness Station was first introduced aboard AIDA’s newer ships. Guests can create their own personal ice cream favorites from a variety of ingredients. In addition to the popular swirl, Carte D´Or and soft-serve ice cream is offered, the company said.

The ship drydocked at Drydocks World in Dubai from March 3rd to March 8th. The shipyard is located adjacent to Port Rashid, home to Dubai Cruise Terminal, making it a convenient option for cruise line’s to undertake such projects between cruise seasons.

Although this was Dubai Drydocks’ first refit on a cruise ship, and indeed the first cruise ship refit for any cruise ship in the Middle East, an official for the shipyard said that AIDA Cruises’ feedback had been very positive.


AIDAstella will be replaced with the new AIDAprima for Dubai’s next cruise season.

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“The cruise line said that the work carried out by Drydocks was as good, perhaps even better, than what they had experienced at the big European shipyards,” said Lakshmi Janarthanan, commercial director, Dubai Yard at Dubai Drydocks World.

Asked whether the drydocks will be actively pursuing more such cruise ship refits and renovations, he replied “absolutely”, but said that technical work would remain the primary strength of Drydocks.

“Our location right next to the cruise terminal at Port Rashid is a huge advantage, certainly,” he told Cruise Arabia & Africa. “But the cruise line brought in an outside team from Europe for the work on the ship’s interior. We carried out all the technical refit work and expect to see more of this in the year’s to come as Dubai grows as a cruise tourist destination.”

AIDAstella will sail a further four weeklong roundtrip Dubai cruises before departing the Middle East. It will be her final Arabian Gulf cruise season, with the newer and much larger AIDAprima due to replace her in the region next cruise season.

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