Middle East Cruise News

AIDAprima cruise ship lights up with message of thanks for Dubai

AIDAprima, a mega cruise ship belonging to German cruise line AIDA Cruises, lit up with a message of thanks to Dubai for all its help during the Coronavirus pandemic, as she departed the city at the end of what should have been a booming cruise season.

The windows of the ship’s balcony cabins were lit up to spell out the message “shukraan Dubai. We love 2 c u again”.

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“Our crew on board is fine,” a spokesman for Aida Cruises said. “However, they miss their guests and their regular operations. They wanted to say a thank you to Dubai and send Easter greetings to the Aida fans.”

AIDAprima was mid-way through her Middle East cruise season, homeporting in Dubai and sailing 7-day roundtrip cruise itineraries around the Arabian Gulf, when the Coronavirus outbreak in China became a global pandemic.

AIDAprima docked in Dubai

Following reports of the virus spreading internationally, UAE authorities shutdown the country’s cruise ports as part of a series of measure aimed at preventing the spread of the virus.

AIDAprima was forced to cancel the remainder of her season and docked in Dubai in March, along with nine other cruise ships, as the global cruise industry came to a halt worldwide for the first time in history.

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On Wednesday, as AIDAprima departed Dubai bound for Europe, the ship’s crew bid farewell with a personal touch as a way of thanking Dubai for their time in the city.

AIDA Cruises is owned by Carnival Corporation, and while Royal Caribbean’s Jewel of the Seas suffered a Coronavirus scare while cruising from Dubai, there were no reports of cases aboard AIDAprima.

AIDAprima has now departed from Dubai Cruise Terminal

It is uncertain whether the ship will be able to sail her upcoming European cruise season due to ongoing shutdowns across Europe as governments implement social distancing in an effort to limit the spread of the virus.

Her first scheduled cruise is on June 6th from Kiel, a 7-night roundtrip Baltic voyage visiting St Petersburg, Stockholm, Helsinki and Talinn.

AIDA Cruises has confirmed that AIDAprima (assuming a reopening of cruise operations) will be back in Dubai later this year for the 2020/21 Middle East cruise season, which runs from November to April every year.

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