Archive for the ‘Aida cruises’ Category

Helios-Class: AIDAnova Keel Laid

September 11, 2017

(Courtesy AIDA)

Carnival marked the start of construction of a total of seven ‘Helios-Class’ cruise ships with a keel laying ceremony, of the first. This took place on September 6th, for the AIDAnova, at the Meyer Werft shipyard, in Germany.

The seven vessels will all be fully powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG). The ships will be shared between the Carnival brands: Carnival (2), AIDA (2), Costa (2) and P&O (1).

Each will be around 184,000 gross tonnes and carry up to 6,600 passengers, which will be a record.

AIDAnova will be delivered to AIDA in late 2018 and an as yet unnamed sister ship, in 2021.

In AIDAnova’s maiden season, the ship will offer trips around the Canary islands for the German market.

Click to enlarge. (Courtesy AIDA)

On-Board

Among the facilities aboard is a revamped Beach Club concepts, with lush greenery, guests can climb above the treetops or float along the Wild River.

For the first time, there will be three water slides on board. Cozy lounge seating offers the perfect spot for daydreaming, while movies and sporting events are screened on the LED wall.

The Art Club is the multimedia version of the AIDA Gallery, offering an exciting mix of art, photography, videos, games and high-tech. Apart from the works of well-known artists that are on show, guests can also enjoy virtual art using 3D glasses. The bar is designed to look like the lobby of a city hotel.

There will be 17 restaurants across the ship, including the traditional German self-service options, a-la-carte restaurants and five speciality options .

Among the speciality options will be French Kiss, Casanova and the Brauhaus.

Deck 16 will be an activity deck with a waterslide, water park, mini golf and a ropes course.

The pool deck will have a light-weight retractable glass roof, giving the ships the deployment option of Northern Europe in the winter. This will also bring back AIDA’s trademark beach-club which has been a solid hit on the AIDAprima.

AIDAnova Beach Club (AIDA – Click to enlarge)

(AIDA)

P&O’s Helios-class ship, see HERE.

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AIDA Helios-Class Movie

June 27, 2017

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(“Just My Holiday”)

AIDA Cruises has issued a movie of its next class of ships, the Helios-class.

These ships are aimed at the German market and will be in excess of 180,000 gross tons and carry 5,200 passengers (lower berths), powered by LNG.

The first AIDA ship will be delivered from Meyer Werft in late 2018, the second in 2021.

The ships design will have 21 stateroom categories, ranging from penthouse suites to family, veranda staterooms and single cabins.

(Courtesy AIDA)

There will be 17 restaurants, including the traditional German self-service options, a-la-carte restaurants and five specialty options. Among the specialty options will be French Kiss, Casanova and the Brauhaus. (Apparently the German’s like buffets and there will be a good choice of them on-board).

(Image Courtesy AIDA)

The Dome (Image courtesy AIDA)

Deck 16 will be an activity deck with a waterslide, water park, mini golf and a ropes course.

The pool deck will have a light-weight retractable glass roof, making the ships suitable for deployment in Northern Europe, in the winter. This will feature AIDA’s popular beach-club as on-board AIDAprima.

(AIDA Cruises)

The Costa version  (Courtesy Carnival)

Malcolm says: We have now seen renderings of the Costa Cruises version of this amazing Carnival design, the P&O version and a leaked model of the Carnival Cruises version.

The P&O version

Although AIDA is aimed at the thriving German market, it looks as if the P&O and AIDA versions of this ship share a ‘Dome’.

The Costa version does not appear to have this feature, but I guess she will spend much of her time in the hot Mediterranean. It’s not clear if the Carnival version will have  a ‘Dome’, but maybe she will not need it in the Caribbean.

The deck space/prom looks to be extensive, rather like MSC’s ‘Seaside’ design which NCL will also be using.

Malcolm.

The New P&O/Carnival Mega-Ships Analysed

September 12, 2016

Carnival has announced that they have ordered seven 180,000gt mega-ships from the German ship builder Meyer Werft: two for Costa, two for Carnival, two for AIDA and one for P&O to be delivered between 2019 and 2022.

So far we have seen the renderings of the ship in the Costa livery and  a model of the P&O version. All versions are likely to be similar, but there are clearly some differences.

As per usual the renderings are not very clear in detail. If fact details can be deliberately withheld on early renderings. However I am not going to let a lack of facts stop me at least speculating about the ships design.

Firstly we can see that the design looks relatively conventional, with no split superstructure (like Oasis) and no unusual external features like ‘North Star’ (Anthem’s observation pod).

These ships will carry a maximum of 6,600 passengers, which is a world record. That’s up to 300 more passengers than Oasis, yet she will be 20% smaller. Therefore I don’t think we can expect Parks, Ice rinks, long Internal promenades or large indoor sports halls.  These sort of features may well be too space-hungry. In addition the Costa, AIDA, P&O and to an extent Carnival brands tend to avoid such ‘gimmicks’.  Their clientele do not expect them , although such big ships are likely to have extensive family/children’s facilities. They cannot ignore that sector of the market, if they want to fill their ships.

In fact the ships design looks rather like AIDA Prima, AIDA’s newbuild. Maybe some of AIDA’s design features will feature on-board the new  megaships?

The new ships bow is quite distinctive and rather like the one featured on AIDAprima. In fact AIDAprima does not have the traditional bulbous-bow, as she uses the MALS system. Maybe these newbuilds will use the same system?

AIDAprima, Nagasaki Japan. No bulbous bow.

AIDAprima, Nagasaki Japan. No bulbous bow.

There are clearly no big LNG tanks on deck, like some LNG ships (see here), so the tanks have been integrated into the ships hull. However I believe they are not allowed to be low/deep within the hull like normal fuel tanks, for safety reasons. This may alter the ships engine room design/internal layout quite significantly.

I count 8 lifeboats per side (Oasis has seven per side). However given the higher passenger numbers, the lifeboats must be bigger. In fact I believe they are the new ‘Fassmer’(See here) ones carrying 414 passengers each, compared to the Oasis/Schat-Harding lifeboats at 370 passengers each.

The lifeboats appear to be served by their own promenade deck, to enable passengers to board the lifeboats. Such prom. decks are not great for giving passengers a sea views as the lifeboats often obscure much of them. However their appears to be a second promenade deck.

The stern features a low extended deck area, reminiscent of MSC’s ‘Seaside’ ships. There appears to be six cabanas against the railings. Seven decks rise from the stern offering prime real-estate: many aft facing balcony cabins. Maybe the row of windows below the stern deck could be a restaurant?

Looking at the Costa renderings: Leading from the aft deck area, are some steps to a raised promenade deck which runs along 80% of the side of the ship. This prom deck is above the lifeboats and obviously solely for public use and not for lifeboat boarding. It does not appear to wrap around the bow, unless it has an internal tunnel. The rendering is not specific, but this could feature some bars and restaurants like NCL’s ‘Waterfront’. (“A much wider, half-mile promenade deck allowing for al-fresco dining.” was recently reported by P&O) 

The P&O model does NOT appear to show ‘steps’ on the prom, but seems to show a level, uninterrupted one level prom. P&O call it the ‘Lanai’ deck.

NewCostaShipsLNG2ddf3

Above: Courtesy of Costa. (Click to enlarge)

 

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P&O Model

Costa: CostaThe upper superstructure (amidships) appears to have  a glass skylight and a pool. Some structures run along side of ‘skylight’ and pool, on both the port and starboard sides, sloping down to the deck. Are these the tubes of a slide or maybe a track, for some sort of ride.

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In front of the funnel appears to be two spirals which definitely look like slides/water chutes (flumes).

(Courtesy of Seatrader)

(Courtesy of Seatradeinsider)

Costa: The central Skylight could suggest a central internal space like AIDA’s ‘Theatrium’ – a combined Atrium and performance space, with seating, rather than a conventional theatre at the bow. Carnival did mention the clever use of internal space with multi-function public rooms . (“An atrium with a glass wall the full height” has recently been reported by P&O)

I was not expecting a ‘tall’ atrium unless it had a duel role, as they are essentially a waste of space on such a busy ship.

23. (Red) AIDAprima Theatrariun

23. AIDAprima Theatrium (amidships)

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An AIDA Theatrarium – cick to enlarge (Image courtesy of AIDA)

Costa: Towards the front of the upper deck there is a cut-out which appears to be the location for a pool. The structure above it, looks like a sliding roof.

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Costa: Behind the funnel there appears to be a glass-canopy, probably covering a pool and maybe forming a ‘Solarium’. That makes three pools on the upper deck. (It is now reported by P&O that there are three outside pools and one inside).

'Dome' behind funnel.

‘The Dome’ behind funnel.

It has since been reported by P&O : “The dome at the top of the new ship will be an entertainment space, with a pool and retractable stage, water feature and whirlpools, that can act as an all-weather venue for entertainment and dining during the day”. The Costa renderings do NOT show a Dome. It appears that the P&O’s Dome replaces a water-chute/flume on the Costa ship. This would seem to shrink the space available on the P&O sun deck.

2016-10-26-21-49-14-1bbb

The Dome

Costa: There appears to be a giant outdoor video screen at the very stern (image below), with tiered seating facing it. There appears to be a ‘scenic’ (Princess ‘Skywalkers’ type) walkway above the screen. I’m not sure if a fourth pool is hidden down there in the space.

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Costa: Amidships, but nearer the hull, there are three lines of windows on a curved section of the hull. This may be part of a possible ‘Theatrium’ a lounge or a dining room?

Internal Décor: I wonder if the now elderly, Mr. Joe farkus, will be creating more mind blowing interior décor as he has done for Carnival and Costa?  P&O will obviously have a more conservative approach to her décor.

One main dining room and one main theatre each holding half the ships compliment of passengers at two sittings, with two matching show-times, is the most efficient use of space (apart from when they are empty). However it is not very flexible.

Carnival ships have often had this traditional feature. However I would  expect multiple dining rooms – like NCL’s Freestyle/RCI Dynamic Dining. This may be Carnivals first real shot at a ‘flexible dining’ system like NCL’s ‘Freestyle’ or RCI’s ‘Dynamic Dining’. Although RCI have struggled to make their new system work well, so scapped it.

Four entertainment spaces have sine been reported by P&O, the Dome being one. A Theatrium could be a second, a conventional theatre could be a third, the screen with seating, at the stern, could be the fourth.

Costa 180,000gt ship

Courtesy of Costa. (Click to enlarge)

P&O have reported that there will be:

17 places to eat to suit all appetites and occasions
• Seven speciality restaurants
• 12 places to enjoy a drink and take in sea views
• 16 whirlpools
• Four swimming pools (three outside and one inside)
• 13 entertainment venues from the theatre to venues for adults only, including three pop-up entertainment spaces
• Nine places to have breakfast
• Five places to take afternoon tea
• Seven places to enjoy fresh coffee

In conclusion, the above text is a mixture of observation and guess work.

I do wonder if this new ship design will be a  little more like existing AIDA ships in design, than existing Costa, Carnival or P&O ones.

Interestingly I understand AIDA (aimed at the German market) are more relaxed in style, with a younger, more active demographic whose passengers favour buffet food. The entertainment is not the big Broadway type productions. Whereas Costa (Italian) are more traditional in style, with more formal dining and more lavish production shows.

It’s hard to imagine that one design of ship can entirely satisfies all camps.

I don’t think these ships will be very exciting, in terms of innovative spaces; Carnival tend to ‘play it safe’. They will probably be pretty conventional mass-market ships with thousands of cabins and many bars, dining rooms and shops. I believe that will be designed for maximum income generation and not spaciousness or unique facilities. Carnival have always focused on functionality and profit and leaves the innovation to the likes of RCI and NCL.

The most exciting aspects about these ships design will probably be their ‘scale’ and the LNG propulsion. However, the propulsion of course will have little impact on the passenger experience. (Apart from a soot free deck?)

Even with a half-mile promenade deck, given the passenger numbers, the pool deck is likely to be very crowded at anytime the sun shines.

I’m not suggesting that they will be bad ships. I just don’t think they will have room for generously sized public spaces or too much design-innovation. However the aspects of the design to manage the high passenger numbers, could be classed as an innovation in itself.

However the passenger density and ‘economies of scale’ offered by this ship design should enable Carnival to sell the cabins at very competitive rates.

Of course aspects of my speculation are likely to completely wrong. All comments welcome.

Malcolm

So what is an LNG powered Ship? See Here

Is LNG safe? See Here

AIDA & Costa To Get Two Mega-ships Each

July 29, 2015
Costa 180,000gt ship

180,000gt design in the Costa livery

The Carnival cruise line recently ordered four 180,000 gross ton mega-ships, with the German ship builder Meyer Werft.

Each ship will accommodate 6,600 passengers (all berths) which is a world record. Carnival have now confirmed that two of the new ships will go to their AIDA brand and two to their Costa brand.

They will be powered by Liquifed Natural Gas (LNG).

Now although I know who Costa are, I must admit that I don’t much about ‘AIDA’.

I was quite  surprised when I heard that a cruise line that I do not know much about was going to  get two such big ships. At 180,000gt they will be the second biggest ships in the world (based on gross tonnage).

Only Royal Caribbean’s ‘Oasis’ class ships, at around 225,000gt,  are bigger.

History

AIDA was acquired by P&O/Princess cruises in 2000. In turn, in 2003 P&O Princess was acquired by the Carnival Corporation to form the world’s largest cruise holiday company, comprising of 11 cruise brands. Following the merger, executive control of AIDA Cruises transferred to the Costa Cruises Group, now responsibility for the European brands.

AIDA ships cater for the German-speaking market and are renowned for their youthful style and casual service. As seagoing “club resorts”, AIDA ships have many on-board amenities and facilities aimed at the younger, more active passengers.

The German Cruise Market

The UK cruise market was the second biggest in the world and was only superseded by America. However in the past year UK cruise growth has stagnated.

However Germany is set to become Europe’s biggest cruise market (it may already be so) as record employment levels, wages and leisure time all combine.

Over the last 10 years German passenger numbers have increased threefold. 1.7 million Germans cruised in 2014 and this is expected to rise this year (2015). Therefore it is hardly surprising that AIDA was the first choice to get two of the biggest cruise ships ever built for Carnival.

The AIDA Fleet

(AIDAprima courtesy of AIDA)

(AIDAprima courtesy of AIDA)

I was not aware that Aida currently has ten ships in their fleet:

AIDAcare (1996) is there oldest and smallest ship at 38,531 gross tonnes.

AIDAvita (2002) AIDAaura (2003) are 42,289gt.

AIDAdiva (2007) AIDAbella (2008) AIDAluna (2009) AIDAblu (2010) AIDAsol (2011) AIDAmar (2012) AIDAstella (2013) are all around the 70,000gt mark, give or take a couple of gross tonnes.

AIDAprima will be delivered later this year. A twin (as yet unnamed) will be delivered in 2016. These are the first AIDA megaships at around 125,000gt.

(Courtesy AIDA)

(AIDAprima rendering courtesy AIDA)

AIDAprima

AIDAprima

Then of course AIDA will have the two new ships at 180,000gt, somewhere between 2019 and 2022, names as yet unknown.

Malcolm

What is an LNG cruise ship? SEE HERE