Middle East Cruise News

AIDA Cruises suspends operations until March, cancelling Dubai cruise season

AIDA Cruises has cancelled its planned 2020/21 Dubai cruise season, further suspending all cruises globally until March due to new anti-coronavirus measures introduced in Germany and across much of Europe.

With new lockdowns in Europe and ongoing travel restrictions, AIDA Cruises was forced to cancel its planned Dubai cruise season for the winter, 2021, as it relies on fly-cruise tourists to fill its itineraries in the UAE.

AIDAprima was one of two cruise ships confirmed for the coming cruise season.

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AIDA Cruises joins a spate of major cruise lines that have further suspended operations until later in the year, despite the CDC in the United States lifting its No Sail Order and introducing a Conditional Framework for the return of cruises.

Cruise lines have found it difficult to fully adhere to the multitude of requirements of the framework, and despite some cruise destinations, such as Dubai, reopening to cruise ships, ongoing travel restrictions make selling fly-cruise packages impossible in their home markets.

Italian cruise lines MSC and Costa are the only major operators to have reintroduced cruises at scale, with multiple ships sailing from Genoa late in 2020. AIDA briefly restarted cruising from Germany before suspending cruises as a new UK variant of COVID-19 began to spread globally.

AIDAprima was meant to cruise roundtrip from Dubai between December, 2020 and March, 2021.

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The German cruise line was meant to resume cruises from Dubai in December, 2020, until March, 2021. It’s renewed suspension therefore effectively cancels the entirety of its planned 2021 program aboard AIDAprima.

AIDA said it has cancelled all the seven-day sailings of the AIDAperla and AIDAmar in the Canary Islands until the end of February and that it hopes to resume its programs there from March 6th.

The first Mediterranean cruise for the AIDAstella and its first voyage of the year in Northern Europe have also been pushed back to March 6th.

Also cancelled are AIDAsol’s February transit from Palma (Mallorca) to Hamburg and February and March cruises aboard the AIDAcara and AIDAaura to Norway.

MSC Bellissima at Dubai Cruise Terminal 3.

MSC Cruises, the only other cruise line to have confirmed a 2020/21 Dubai cruise season, still has MSC Bellissima docked in Dubai, next to AIDAprima, but has not indicated whether its planned program of Dubai cruises aboard MSC Fantasia will be going ahead.

It looks increasingly unlikely, as a recent press release from the cruise line indicated that it’s Mediterranean cruises out of Italy would resume in late January, but no information was provided about Dubai.

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