AIDAnova's captain Boris Becker with the Mirza family at the christening (Image: Franziska Krug)
AIDA Cruises officially christened its first fully LNG-powered cruise ship AIDAnova during a ceremony at Meyer Werft’s shipyard in Papenburg, Germany on 31 August.
Marking the first ship christening ceremony that has taken place at Meyer Werft’s shipyard in two decades, the AIDA Open Air event saw AIDA’s first-ever godfamily – the Mirzas from Hesse, Germany – name and bless the ship in front of 25,000 spectators.
According to maritime tradition, Sonja Mirza delivered the blessing on behalf of her husband and two young children and then pressed a buzzer to trigger a champagne bottle to break against AIDAnova’s bow. The blessing was followed by a fireworks display and a live concert headlined by Grammy award-winning DJ, songwriter and record producer David Guetta. The evening concluded with a laser and pyrotechnics show.
“AIDAnova’s naming ceremony was a special event in a special place; we are delighted that we were able to stage the AIDA Open Air event in Papenburg at the Meyer Werft shipyard so that we could share our enthusiasm about our new ship with so many people,” said Felix Eichhorn, AIDA’s president. “At the same time, this event was a thank you to our partners, the Meyer Werft shipyard, and the many thousands of people who have helped make AIDAnova what is already the eighth AIDA cruise ship to be built on the Ems.”
In mid-September, AIDAnova will embark on a voyage to Eemshaven in the Netherlands for her sea trials and then undergo final outfitting before being delivered to AIDA on 15 November in Bremerhaven, Germany. Following a series of preview cruises, the vessel will embark on her official inaugural cruise on 2 December from Hamburg, Germany to the Canary Islands, where she will spend the rest of her maiden season. The Mirzas will also be offered a complimentary seven-day cruise onboard the ship after she has started service.
AIDAnova will offer several at-sea firsts and onboard highlights will include 23 bars, 17 restaurants, the Street Food strip, Beach Club, a floating TV studio, the Theatrium, the Four Elements activity area with ropes course and water slides, a wellness area and an outdoor gym. Accommodation will include a Penthouse Suite which extends over two decks.
Meyer Werft has been contracted to build two LNG-powered sister ships to AIDAnova by 2023.