AIDA PRIMA Launch
The next generation of 3,250 passenger “Club Ships” for Aida Cruises is now in the water. The 124,500 gross ton, AIDAprima was officially launched on May 3, 2014, as hull number 2300 at the Tategami Plant at the Nagasaki Shipyard of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. (MHI) in Nagasaki, Japan. Following several days of testing stability, buoyancy and technical systems, the ship will be moved to the Kojagi Dock on the outskirts of Nagasaki, where interiors and final outfitting will take place. AIDAprima is the newest and largest ship ever built for the German line, which operates under the Costa Crociere division of the Carnival group. Construction on the first of two Japanese-built ships began on June 30, 2013. Work will continue throughout this year and half of next, with delivery expected in September, 2015, six months later than originally planned. The second as yet unnamed vessel arrives a year later.
AIDAPRIMA, May 2014
The new AIDAprima will be one of the most technologically advanced ships in the world. With a fine hull design, the ship will literally ride on a cushion of air. Air lubrication using bubbles below the waterline will reduce friction and lower fuel consumption. Stack emissions will be reduced by a newly developed filtering system. This exhaust treatment technology helps control the three most significant emissions; nitrogen oxide, sulfur oxide and soot particles, which will be reduced by between 90 and 99 percent. The ship has a length of 984 feet (300 meters), with a beam of 123 feet (37.60 meters) and will carry 3,250 passengers based on double occupancy.
AIDAPRIMA launch, May 3, 2014
Among the highlights for passengers are the “Four Elements” described as an “activity deck” dedicated to natural resources including earth, air, water and fire. A water slide and rock climbing walls cover at least two of the elements. A different area for kids will be dedicated to the themes and there will be a brand new AIDA Mini Club providing childcare for youngsters six months and up. The Beach Club is housed beneath a transparent dome providing a place for passengers to hang out by the pool in the daytime before the area transforms itself into a party area that continues through the night. While most of the new features center around the top decks, there will be the usual variety of lounges and bars found throught the ship.
AIDAprima aerial rendering
The maiden voyage is now set to depart from Yokohama on October 1, 2015. After the inaugural cruise and delivery voyage, regular sailings will commence year-round from the port of Hamburg, Germany. The addition of the AIDAprima will bring the Aida fleet to a total of 11 ships.
Shawn J. Dake, freelance travel writer and regular contributor to MaritimeMatters, worked in tourism and cruise industry for over 35 years. A native of Southern California, his first job was as a tour guide aboard the Queen Mary. A frequent lecturer on ship-related topics he has appeared on TV programs. Owner of Oceans Away Cruises & Travel agency, he served as President of the local Chapter of Steamship Historical Society of America. With a love of the sea, he is a veteran of 115 cruises.
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