SA Cruise News

Itineraries announced for AIDAmira cruising roundtrip from Cape Town in 2019/20

AIDA Cruises has released itinerary information for AIDAmira’s very first cruise season in South Africa, and the German cruise line’s first-ever homeporting season in Cape Town.

AIDAmira, which formerly sailed as Costa Cruises’ neoRiviera, was transferred to AIDA Cruises in 2018 (both cruise lines are owned by Carnival Corporation) and underwent a major refurbishment to become AIDA’s new South African cruise ship.

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But, while AIDA Cruises is the first mainstream cruise line after MSC Cruises ever to homeport in South Africa, giving SA cruise passengers a chance to experience German seagoing hospitality rather than Italian, there is a catch.

Every single one of the eight roundtrip cruise itineraries from Cape Town between December 30th, 2019 and March 23rd, 2020, is a 14-day voyage, which puts the starting price for the cruise (R27,000!) in a much higher bracket than MSC.

But, if a longer voyage around the African coast is your jam, this is the itinerary for you.

AIDAmira will sail from Cape Town to Walvis Bay and Luderitz in Nambia, as well as the South African cities of Port Elizabeth, East London and Durban, and unusually for most cruise itineraries visiting Walvis Bay, she’ll stay overnight in port, giving passenger more opportunity to explore the interior.

The eight 14-night cruises are all identical in terms of ports visited, but they alternate slightly in terms of the order in which the ports are visited.

It’s not Walvis Bay itself but the nearby experiences that make it so appealing

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On the Sudafrika & Namibia 1 itineraries, AIDAmira will sail to East London, Durban and Port Elizabeth first, and then return to Cape Town for a full day before setting off for Luderitz and Walvis Bay. She’ll then stay overnight in port in Cape Town on the final night of the cruise.

On the Sudafrika & Namibia 2 cruises on the other hand, she’ll set off for Luderitz and Walvis Bay first from Cape Town, and then return to the city to stay overnight in port before cruising to East London, Durban and Port Elizabeth.

AIDAmira will stay overnight in Cape Town on each itinerary

Because of the overnight in Cape Town mid-way through the cruise, she will only spend a day in port at the end of it.

AIDAmira’s South African itineraries are part of the German cruise line’s Selection programme. She is the fourth ship to join the program, which includes AIDAaura, AIDAcara and AIDAvita.

“The Selection ‘explorer programme’ is ideal for cosmopolitan adventurers who would like to experience countries and cultures in an intensive and unique way,” says Felix Eichhorn, President, AIDA Cruises.

“Many of our guests have been hoping for AIDA cruises to start cruising in South Africa for a long time,” he added. “I am pleased that we are now able to fulfil this wish.”

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