The German cruise line AIDA will be homeporting its ship AIDAaura in South Africa for the 2023/24 cruise season, carrying on an annual tradition that has become popular with its home market.
AIDAaura will homeport in Cape Town from November, 2023 to March, 2024, sailing roundtrip 14-day cruises that visit various South African ports, as well as former German colonies on Namibia’s Skeleton Coast.
This will mark AIDAaura’s return to South African waters after having sailed the same Cape Town cruise season annually for several years.
“Cape Town, is one of the most exciting stops on your cruise along the African coast,” AIDA Cruises says of the homeport for the season. “Experience the diversity of Cape Town with a stroll along the waterfront or drive up the famous Table Mountain.”
“From Cape Town you also have the opportunity for unique excursions: Visit the Cape of Good Hope or discover the well-known wine-growing regions of South Africa around Stellenbosch,” it adds.
Other ports of call on every one of these itineraries include Port Elizabeth, Richard’s Bay, Durban, and East London in South Africa, before the ship heads for Namibia and the ports of Luderitz and Walvis Bay, both former German colonial possessions.
“Marvel at the typical Wilhelminian architecture of the imperial era in Lüderitz city center and look out for the German inscriptions that still abound today,” AIDA Cruises says of Luderitz. “If you would like to experience the endless expanses of the Namib Desert up close, join an excursions through former diamond mines to abandoned ghost towns, where today only the wind tells stories of the past.”
AIDAaura will sail eight of these roundtrip Cape Town itineraries, before repositioning to Europe at the end of March, 2024. The ship is one of the smaller vessels in the AIDA fleet, carrying just 1,266 passengers at double-occupancy.
She is part of the cruise line’s AIDA Selection program, which features cruise itineraries that are longer, visiting more exotic ports than it traditionally sails to, and with overnight port calls to give passengers more time to explore ashore.
These Cape Town cruises for the 2023/24 cruise season for example will feature an overnight call in Cape Town at the end of each cruise, giving passengers two full days in the city.