AIDAcosma has left her shipyard at Meyer Werft in Papenburg to begin her conveyance down the Ems River to the North Sea for sea trials.
AIDAcosma’s conveyance on the Ems River from Papenburg to Eemshaven is an unofficial ‘launch’, but marks a major milestone in her construction.
The ship is the ninth AIDA vessel to make the journey down the river, and one of several dozen that have done so in the last few years.
The river conveyance is a kind of coming of age for new cruise ships and is eagerly anticipated by cruise ship fans, especially those that live in the area.
Numerous people were said to have followed the passage through the Ems dikes and watched the AIDAcosma on her voyage from Papenburg to Eemshaven.
The voyage is a high-stakes stress test for local pilots and shipyard officials, with the massive ship having to be navigated through numerous docks, twists and turns in the river, and past other ships on the waterway.
Because the ship has not yet been handed over to AIDA Cruises, she remains the responsibility of the shipyard if anything goes wrong.
AIDA Cruises said that two tugs pulled the ship backwards through the dock lock of Meyer Werft. The ship then passed through the Weener Friesenbrücke and Jann Berghaus bridges without any problems.
In Eemshaven, AIDAcosma will undergo further outfitting and depart on her sea trials ahead of her anticipated delivery in late 2021.
AIDAcosma was initially scheduled for a spring 2021 debut, but that was pushed back to the third quarterdue to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The change forced the cancellation of her inaugural season in Europe, with the first voyage now rescheduled for December 22nd. AIDAcosma was also initially ear-marked for deployment to Dubai, but was later switched with her sister ship AIDAnova, which was then switched with AIDAbella.
The 183,900-ton, 5,400-passenger ship is AIDA’s second newbuilding fueled by LNG and will feature a number of new attractions, such as a climbing wall, a Fun Park with double water slides, and a spacious pool deck at the stern, which extends across the entire width of the ship.
These will be in addition to her classic AIDA features, which include the Beach Club, the Theatrium with its 360-degree stage, the TV studio and the Body & Soul Organic Spa.
Like her sister ship, AIDAcosma will also offer 17 restaurants and 23 bars. She is the last of the Excellence-class cruise ships planned for AIDA, but one of nine planned sister ships for Carnival Corportion overall.
Already AIDAnova, Costa Smeralda, Mardi Gras, and Iona have entered service for AIDA, Costa Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line and P&O Cruises.