On Friday 26th April 2019, Gibraltar welcomed the first AIDA cruise ship with the arrival of AIDAstella in port. One of seven sphinx class cruise ships, AIDAstella was built by Meyer Werft and launched in 2013.
The ship has a tonnage of 71304GT, measures 253 metres in length and has capacity for 2700 passengers and 620 crew.
AIDA cruises is an American/British owned German cruise line based in Rostock, Germany. The company was acquired by P&O Princess Cruises in 2000 and became part of the Carnival Group, the world’s largest cruise holiday company.
AIDA Cruises is run by the Costa Cruises group and caters for the German speaking market. These cruises are well known as club resorts with on board amenities and facilities to attract young active vacations. AIDAstella provides comfort, modern entertainment and security technology. The ship’s interior is characterised by a Nordic Design with Scandinavian charm and the birch forest on board the ship is one of its special features.
Minister for Tourism Gilbert Licudi QC said, “The call by the first AIDA cruise ship is significant and shows that Gibraltar continues to be an important port of call for cruise ships in the Mediterranean.”
As with other inaugurals, there was an exchange of plaques on board the ship between the Captain and representatives of the Gibraltar Tourist Board, Port Authority and local shipping agents Lucas Imossi.