AIDA Cruises is planning to send its cruise ship AIDAaura to South Africa for the upcoming 2022/23 winter cruise season.
AIDAaura will sail 14-night roundtrip cruises from Cape Town, between November and March, with itineraries that focus on South Africa and Namibia.
The cruises are intended to appeal to AIDA’s primary source market, Germany, with calls in the former German colonies of Luderitz and Walvis Bay.
Prior to her deployment to South Africa, AIDAaura became the 12th ship to resume service for the cruise line, departing Hamburg on a 14-day cruise to Great Britain (including Scotland and Ireland) this week.
In addition to the impressive natural adventures of the Scottish islands, guests will spend two-day stays in Killybegs (Ireland) and Dublin.
In addition to cruises to Great Britain and Ireland, AIDAaura’s program includes northern France and the Bay of Biscay from Hamburg, while in July and August she will cruise Northern Europe.
The 21-day cruises take guests to Scotland, Iceland and Greenland, past icebergs, glaciers and fjords.
On October 18th, 2022, AIDAaura will depart Hamburg on her respositioning cruise to South Africa. Highlights of the itinerary include the Canary and Cape Verde Islands, Walvis Bay in Namibia and Lüderitz on the edge of the Namibi Desert.
On each of her 14-night cruises from Cape Town, AIDAaura will visit Port Elizabeth, Richard’s Bay, Durban, and East London in South Africa, before heading up to Walvis Bay and Luderitz ahead of her return to Cape Town.
The deployment of AIDAaura comes after the cruise line sailed its first cruise season in South Africa with AIDAmira, but was forced to cancel cruises due to the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As with all all AIDA ships, AIDAaura was specially designed around the line’s ultra-casual “club ship” concept when she was launched in 2003.
There are two main restaurants, the Calypso Restaurant and Markt Restaurant, which offer open-seating, buffet meals. There is also a specialty a la carte dining option called Rossini that features waiter service and near-gourmet quality food.
Other bars and lounges include the trademark AIDA Bar — one of the largest bars at sea — the elegant Hemingway Bar and the Anytime Disco, while the ship also offers a large theatre for nightly entertainment.
The Body & Soul spa and Fit & Fun fitness center are some of the largest of their kind at sea, while the pool deck is somewhat polarizing. It’s designed to resemble a beach and features palm trees, a freeform pool, artificial “rock formations” and a volleyball/basketball court.