AIDAmar as seen passing IJmuiden at the 21st of april 2016.
At the 13th of december of 2007, Carnival Corporation ordered another two ships for the AIDA Cruises brand, just half a year after the first ship AIDAdiva of the so-called Sphinx-class entered service for the company in april of 2007. The second ship was about to be delivered, named AIDAbella, and two more ships had already been ordered, becoming the AIDAluna and AIDAblu. So this new order placed was for the fifth and sixth ship in the class, although because of design-changes, from the fourth ship onwards another classname is used, Ikarus. The last four ships are larger, as they have an extra deck added giving them a larger tonnagemeasurement. Furthermore, interiour and exteriour design of the ships is largerly the same. Confidence in the class was high, as Carnival Corporation ordered still another ship in the class, the AIDAstella, in august of 2010. By the time this last ship of the class was ordered, the Sphinx- and Ikarus-classes had proven their success, as they made AIDA Cruises the leading cruiseline in northern Europe.
AIDAmar as seen in Amsterdam at the passengerterminal during her first season at the 7th of june 2012.
Construction and general statistics
The two-ship order from december 2007 was for the AIDAsol and AIDAmar, and AIDAsol was the first of the two to be introduced in 2011. The keel for the second ship in the order and the sixth in the combined Sphinx/ Ikarus-classes was laid at the 20th of october of 2008 and, like her sisters, she was built at the Jos L. Meyer wharf at Papenburg, northern Germany. Just like the two ships in the class before her, the ship was a slight modification to the original trio of ships, recieving one extra deck. The ship was laid down as yardnumber S.690 and measures some 71.300 tons. She has a lenght of 253,22 meters, is 32,20 meters wide and her draft measures 7,20 meters. Her total passenger capacity is 2500, on a two-per-cabin basis this number is set at 2174. She also has some 646 crewmembers aboard on her twelve passengerdecks of the total of 14. The normal speed for the ship is 21,8 knots and she is driven by two five-bladed propellers. AIDAmar floated out of the buildingshed at the 1st of april of 2012 and after completion, the ship was towed down the river Ems towards the sea at the evening of the 12th of april. She arrived at the seaport of Emden the following early morning. Due to the fact that AIDA Cruises is part of the Costa-group within Carnival Corporation, the ship flies the Italian flag and is homeported in the traditional Costa Cruises homeport Genoa. But in everything else, she is a true German ship and German is also her onboard language.
The overall design of the ship was done by the German company Partner Ship Design and they are responsible for all interiours of not only this ship, but also the rest of the class. It gives all ships of the class a very recognizable interiour, the changes between the ships are mostly just in the colours used. As a nice extra touch for people who book an inside cabin aboard AIDAmar, within these cabins LED-flatscreens are placed at one of the walls where-on an image of the sea will be played. So AIDAmar is the first ship in the world where you can have a seaview from an inside cabin! Also, just like her sisters from the Ikarus-class, the ship will have a micro-brewery where the ships own beer is brewed and of course this can be ordered from the ships own beercellar (which is not really a cellar, by the way). Of course the central hub aboard the ship is the Theatrium, a 3000 square-meter space in the center of the ship spanning three decks and combining the atrium with a theater. There is no other theater aboard, sorry, there is a small Kids-only theater in the kids area... Dining is not done in one or more large traditional diningrooms, but there are four market-style buffetrestaurants next to of course an a-la-carte alternative. There is a very large Spa & wellnesscenter aboard, as well as a large amount of open-deck space so just sitting on your own smallish cabinbalcony can be alternated with interaction with your fellow passengers on the outerdeck (!). This interaction is also encouraged in the line's trademark AIDA Bar, where the bar is placed in the form of a compass-rose giving more seats along the bar and making interaction with others easier. Do keep in mind that AIDA Cruises offers many discounts for young parents and children, and mostly this is successfull and brings many of them along. AIDA Cruises is a company truly catering especially for the young at heart and in doing so, the ships of the line are less interesting for those enjoying a very quiet, traditional cruise. For that, there is Holland America Line or Cunard, for example. But for the people searching for a fun-filled, very relaxing and informal cruise experience who are not looking for tradition and dressing up, AIDA Cruises offers a stylish European alternative to the American-styled mothercompany. German punctuality is responsible for a very clean and safe environment aboard, in a very open en bright setting. Food quality offered is as good as a-la-carte dining and there is good information available for people with allergies or vegetarians. Also sports are encouraged, as AIDA offers bike-rentals from the ship itself, as well as diving-equipment. There is also the possibility to rent a hammock for use on your cabin balcony, maybe giving a reason after all to be just there...
Her name had been officially announced at the 24th of november of 2010 as AIDAmar. Her naming ceremony was to be held in Hamburg, Germany at the 12th of may 2012 during the 824th birthday of the port celebrations. Like all recent namings of AIDA ships, the ceremony was truly spectacular in the presence of three other ships of the company, AIDAsol, AIDAblu and AIDAluna. In my knowledge, it has never been seen before that four ships of one company were present at a naming ceremony and it was a very grand event for the port of Hamburg. During the ceremony, the ships were positioned in the form of a star in the river. The ship was named by a 20-year old inhabitant of Hamburg named Sissi Kuhlmann and after the official part, a fireworkshow was set off from five ramps in the river. Also, lightbeams from all ships made the sky above the city of Hamburg look like as it were midday (so to speak). At her naming, some 100.000 people were present to watch the event.
The first official cruise of the AIDAmar departed immidiately after her naming and she was the first of the four ships to depart, followed in a line by her three sisters. Before this cruise, the ship had already undertwaken two short cruises with AIDA Cruises fans, something that also her sister AIDAsol had done earlier. The first cruise of AIDAmar brought her to several northern European countries, including England, Scotland and Norway. In her first season, she kept sailing northern Europe, repositioning to the Mediterranean in the following fall and the Red Sea in winter. The ship has been sailing this scedule since her introduction, with just small adjustments.
In january of 2015, AIDAmar recieved the advanced scrubbersystem during a refit in Naples, Italy to reduce harmfull emissions from her funnel. This system was developped by Carnival Corporation and the US Coast Guard, because environmentalfriendlyness becomes more important within the industry. The scrubbers reduce the output by some 90%.