AIDAcosma, the latest Excel-class cruise ship for the German cruise line AIDA Cruises, has been floated out at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenberg, Germany.
The 5,400-guest cruise ship, the largest in the AIDA fleet alongside sister ship AIDAnova, will now be fitted out ahead of her delivery and summer cruise season in the Mediterranean.
The Meyer Werft shipyard posted a picture of the float out on social media.
“Love at first sight,” the shipyard said in a post on Facebook. “The AIDAcosma has left the hall of Meyer Werft and thus saw the light of the world. Are you lovestruck too?”
Both AIDAcosma and AIDAnova are powered by LNG, the cleanest-burning fossil fuel, significantly reducing her environmental impact and emissions.
She is the second Excel-class cruise ship for AIDA Cruises. A third was meant to join the fleet in 2023, but that newbuild has now been assigned to Carnival Cruise Line.
A float out is a major milestone in a ship’s construction, it is the modern equivalent to a “launch”, which was performed during much of the previous century, when ships were built on a slip and then slid dramatically into the water.
Nowadays, they’re assembled in a construction hall, essentially a covered dry dock, and then floated out when ready to move to the outfitting pier. It still marks the first time the ship has touched water, with all major technical installations now finished.
AIDAcosma is due for delivery in December, 2021. At the outfitting pier her 2,200 cabins and several dozen public rooms and common areas will receive soft furnishings; she’ll then be sailed down the Ems River to undertake sea trials in the North Sea.
The ship will sail 7-day cruises around the Canary Islands during the winter 2021/2022 cruise season before repositioning to Barcelona in April.
AIDAcosma features many of the amenities that debuted aboard AIDAnova, such as the Beach Club, the Theatrium with its 360° stage, the TV studio and the spacious Body & Soul Organic Spa.
There are also 17 restaurants and 17 bars, a rock climbing wall, a Fun Park with double water slide, and a huge Ocean Deck at the stern with an infinity pool looking out over the ocean.
The pandemic caused significant delays to AIDAcosma’s delivery date. She was initially meant to debut in spring 2021.