The German cruise line AIDA Cruises has announced that AIDAnova will be redeployed from the Middle East to the Canary Islands for the upcoming winter Dubai 2021/22 cruise season.
The change in AIDAnova’s winter itineraries means that she will be replaced with AIDAbella for the Middle East cruise season, which the cruise line says is a result of fleet availability rather than demand.
A spokesperson for AIDA Cruises told Cruise Arabia & Africa that demand for Dubai cruise itineraries remains strong, but a larger ship than AIDAbella was not available at such short notice, with the Dubai cruise season due to commence this November.
AIDAnova had to be redeployed to the Canary Islands to take over the itineraries that were meant to be sailed by her sister ship AIDAcosma, which is under construction.
However, the shipyard has informed AIDA Cruises that the vessel will not be ready for delivery in time for the cruise season.
AIDA said that taking into account the current state of completion, more time is needed to prepare the newbuild for guest operations. Details on the launch of the AIDAcosma will be communicated at a later date.
AIDAnova will now offer two additional short voyages from Hamburg starting on December 14th and December 19th, 2021, prior to commencing her Canary Islands season.
On December 22nd, 2021, she will set sail for Gran Canaria on a Christmas and New Year’s Eve voyage.
Guests can expect highlights including 17 restaurants and 23 bars, a double water slide and climbing garden, the Beach Club, the Theatrium with its 360° stage, the TV studio and the spacious Body & Soul Organic Spa.
AIDAbella meanwhile will take over the voyages of AIDAnova starting with the “From Mallorca to Dubai” itinerary from November 6th, 2021.
A “special highlight” in this year’s winter season in the Middle East is the World Expo in Dubai, according to AIDA. Guests aboard AIDAbella will have an “extra-long stay” there for this purpose.
In addition to Dubai, the ship will also call at Muscat and Abu Dhabi, as well as Doha or Bahrain on alternating roundtrip cruises out of Dubai.
Although much smaller than AIDAnova, at just 68,500 gross tons and carrying only 2,030 passengers, AIDAbella still offers eight dining options, 11 bars, a 4D Cinema, art gallery, billiards room, several swimming pools, a casino and theatre and other amenities.
She will remain in the Middle East, cruising roundtrip from Dubai in the Arabian Gulf, until March, 2022.