AIDA Cruises is the world's largest German cruise line. Originally founded during the 1960s, AIDA is now one of the many brands owned and operated by Carnival Corporation & plc. Marketed towards the German-speaking world, AIDA Cruises is known for being casual with a youthful style. Their seven "club ships" feature many amenities that a four-star resort would, which typically attracts an active consumer.
AIDAcara, known as Aida when she debuted in 1996, was the first ship built specifically for the AIDA Cruises fleet. When she launched she introduced the "club cruising" concept to the world, which brought about quite a different experience than what traditional cruising offered during that time. Among the innovative onboard features was a very casual dress code, an emphasis on fitness and mostly buffet dining.
The newest ship in the AIDA Cruises fleet is the 71,000-ton AIDAblu, which debuted in February 2010 and became the largest ship ever in AIDA's fleet (an honor which previously was held by the line's Sphinx class ships). AIDA Cruises is expected to launch two sister ships to AIDAblu, one in 2011 (AIDAsol) and another in 2012 (yet to be named). Both of these upcoming cruise ships will be built in the famous Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany.
This cruise line is primarily marketed towards the younger, more active German-speaking traveler. As mentioned above, their ships are operated with a very casual "club resort" theme in mind. In fact, AIDA Cruises is so casual that they allow their off-duty crew members to meet and mingle with passengers throughout each cruise. If you don't speak German you're really going to feel out of place, and quite confused, while on an AIDA ship.
The casual onboard atmosphere of an AIDA cruise ship is further emphasized by their choice in dining style, as they only offer an open seating format. Aside from a single a la carte restaurant available on each ship (offering a more upscale dining experience), there are a slew of casual buffets onboard the AIDA cruise ships.
Because of the active, wellness and fitness theme of AIDA Cruises, the spa and fitness center is one of the most popular daytime venues onboard each of the AIDA ships. There are many bars and lounges onboard each of AIDA's ships, and lively entertainment is available nightly in each ship's theatre.
There are currently 7 ships in the AIDA Cruises fleet, including the new AIDAlblu which entered AIDA's fleet in 2010. The next ship expected to join AIDA's expanding fleet is AIDAsol, expected to debut in February of 2011.