AIDA purchases neoRiviera from Costa ahead of debut South African cruise season

Costa neoRiviera has been sold to AIDA Cruises to become AIDAmira, cruising roundtrip from Cape Town in 2019.

The ship, which looks similar to former SA cruise favourite MSC Sinfonia, will be refurbished to meet AIDA’s cruise style, before being deployed within its AIDA Selection Explorer programme.

The new AIDAmira will join AIDAaura, AIDAcara and AIDAvita cruising off-the-beaten-track itineraries to new and emergent cruise destinations such as South Africa and the Middle East.

AIDA Cruises has purchased neoRiviera specifically for its expansion into the South African cruise market.


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After an extensive remodelling and refurbishment project that will see all 624 cabins and 96 suites stripped bare and re-built, along with six bars, six restaurants, two large pools and two whirlpools, she will be sent to Cape Town.

AIDAmira will cruise a South African season of 14-night roundtrip cruises from Cape Town to Durban, East London, Lüderitz, Namibia and Walvis Bay.

Although the cruises will no doubt prove popular with the South African source market, which has until now had only MSC Cruises as a mass-market roundtrip cruise option from the country, AIDA says the decision has been driven by demand from its German passenger base.


AIDA Cruises released an artist’s impression of AIDAmira departing Cape Town.

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“Many of our guests have been hoping for AIDA cruises to South Africa for a long time. I am pleased that we are now able to fulfil this wish,” says Felix Eichhorn, president of AIDA.

“The feedback we have received from our guests and the high demand for our AIDA Selection programme continually inspires us to keep expanding our variety of routes and to call at new dream destinations in the most beautiful regions in the world,” he added.

AIDA Cruises is a quintessentially German cruise line, offering a resort-style cruise experience that is among the most casual in the industry (cruise staff can ‘hook up’ with passengers when off duty for instance).

And you can dress however you like, even in the main dining rooms. To find out more about this interesting new addition to the South African cruise scene, see our full cruise line focus on AIDA.

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