Founded in the 1960s, the German AIDA Cruises has been in the game long enough to be a household name. Despite this, lots of travelers (particularly those in America) don’t know too much about them. The company is relatively unique, and has plenty of factors that are worth considering. But, is that enough to make these German-speaking ships worth it for the English-speaking crowd? Let’s find out!
AIDA has a large number of ships in their fleet, but they aren’t separated into classes like you might expect, so we’ll talk about them in terms of relative size. Coming in at less than 50,000 gross tons are AIDAmira, AIDAaura, AIDAvita and the AIDAcara (which is their oldest and smallest). Between 60,000 and 70,000 gross tons are AIDAdiva, AIDAbella, AIDAluna. Hovering around 71,000 gross tons are AIDAblu, AIDAsol, AIDAmar, AIDAstella. There are two 125,572 ton ships: AIDAprima and AIDAperla. Their biggest ship is the AIDAnova, active from 2018 to now, which is 183,858 tons with a max occupancy of 6654.
AIDA falls pretty squarely into the “affordable, but not cheap” camp. A quick glance across their itineraries will show that most of their cheaper cruises are around 800 euros or so, with most others hovering around 1500 to 2500 euros. As always, the price increases as the trips get longer and more lavish, but some deals are definitely to be found. On the lower end, some trips translate to about 100 euros per night. However, you should keep in mind that these cruises are not all-inclusive; you’ll be paying for drinks and specialty dining, among other things.
There’s a lot to take in across all the different ships that AIDA offers, so it may be better to just give a wide view on this one. The atmosphere is fun-loving and not uptight, so you can expect a nice mix of fun stuff to do, including live music and laser shows. There are also a few that are more chill, though, like cooking classes and scuba. In terms of dining, there are also more than enough options to choose from. Their ships typically have an excess of restaurant and bar choices, so you’re bound to find something you like.
The main thing to know about AIDA is that it is known to largely cater to German-speaking people. If you don’t know German, you may end up having a hard time. It’s also worth noting that AIDA is thought of as a young person’s cruise line more than a refined or family experience. If you’re looking for something that frowns upon partying and living in the moment, this may not be the best bet for you.
AIDA has a lot of variety to offer, but this may not be enough to entice someone to cross the language barrier. If you have a pretty good grip on German, though, AIDA would be an excellent choice, as they have a big enough fleet and enough itineraries that you can find a unique trip that feels just right for you.