The name for the first of the Japanese-built cruise ships for Aida Cruises has been announced. Aidaprima will enter service in March 2015 and undertake an 86-day maiden voyage from Yokohama to Hamburg, Germany, arriving at her homeport on 16 June.
After the usual elaborate Aida celebrations, the ship will begin operating year-round from Hamburg on Western Europe itineraries. This is the first time that a German operator has had a ship in year-round cruise service from a German port. Her itineraries will include an English Channel cruise calling at Southampton and Le Havre.
Southampton will see the ship three times in June 2015, as she also calls there on her maiden voyage. Her 1,643 cabins will accommodate around 3,300 passengers, and, although the four principal restaurants will remain buffet-style, there will be greater emphasis on waiter service, with a number of additional extra-charge dining options. The 330m Aidaprima will have a gross tonnage of approximately 124,500. Her as yet unnamed sister is due to be delivered in March 2016.
An interesting development will see Aida Cruises homeport Aidavita in Tampa, Florida for four cruises in 2014/15, and Aidamar during the following winter for seven cruises.