AIDAprima headed for Europe after Mitsubishi HI delivery

AIDAprima heads from Nagasaki, bound for its new year-round home in Germany (Photo: AIDA Cruises) AIDAprima heads from Nagasaki, bound for its new year-round home in Germany (Photo: AIDA Cruises)

Wrapping a lengthy building saga, AIDAprima sailed from Nagasaki, Japan, bound for Europe, on Monday following its handover by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to AIDA Cruises.

In the presence of Costa Group ceo Michael Thamm and AIDA president Felix Eichhorn, the ship was handed over to the line by Shunichi Miyanaga, president and ceo, and Yoichi Kujirai, president and ceo, Commercial Aviation & Transportation Systems MHI.

AIDAprima, the 11th vessel in the AIDA fleet, will be named by 13-year-old actress Emma Schweiger on May 7 as the climax of the 827th Hamburg Port Anniversary.

'AIDAprima is the first ship of an entirely new AIDA product family. With creativity and great innovativeness, our team has managed to implement our high standards in terms of product quality and environmental friendliness in an exemplary and impressive way,' Thamm said. 'We are extremely pleased with the successful design of the ship, and look forward to welcoming guests aboard her, who are going to be equally impressed.'

'With our new flagship and the three newbuilds to follow, the company will continue to provide important growth impulses for the German cruise market,' Eichhorn said, adding that AIDA is charting new territory by becoming the first line to offer year-round cruises from Germany. This, he said, would help the line reach new customers.

From April 30, Hamburg will be the homeport for AIDAprima's seven-day round-trips to top cities in Western Europe. Before then, the ship will sail a short Hamburg-Southampton cruise, April 25-29.

Posted 14 March 2016

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Anne Kalosh

US editor of Seatrade Cruise Review and Seatrade Cruise News