29 August 2010

AIDAdiva, 27 May 2009

AIDAdiva

IMO 9334856
Built 2007, Meyer Werft Papenburg, Germany
Tonnage 69 203 GT
Length 251,89 m
Width 32,20 m
Draugth 7,20 m
2 500 passengers
4 MaK diesels, combined 36 000 kW
2 azipods
2 bow thrusters
2 stern thusters
Speed 19,5 knots

AIDAdiva is the lead ship of AIDA Cruises' Sphinx-class (there isn't, at least yet, a ship in the class called AIDAsphinx, however), part of AIDA Cruises large-scale newbuilding plan encompassing six ships. AIDA Cruises is in fact a part of Costa Cruises and as such a member of the world's largest cruise company Carnival Corporation & PLC. However, unlike all other Carnival brands, which trust Italy's Fincantieri to provide their ships, AIDA's Sphinx-class ships have been built at Germany's Meyer Werft and to a design that's (at least thus far) unique to AIDA's fleet, instead of being a generic design spread though the various Carnival brands. Perhaps this is in part due to AIDA's brand as an informal, club-like cruise line that is quite different from other Carnival brands (there was an attempt to establish a similar brand for the UK market with Ocean Village, but that was a failure. In the US market the informal cruises are provided by Carnival's competitor Norwegian Cruise Line).

Externally AIDAdiva has the same design elements that have been present in all newbuilt AIDA ships since the original AIDA (from 2001 named AIDAcara), with the wedge-shaped stern, rounded forward superstructure and swept-back funnel (interestingly, much of the design has reportedly been based on the rebuilt Sally Albatross of 1992, which AIDA's original owners Deutsche Seereederei apparently considered buying before deciding on a newbuilt ship instead). AIDAdiva and her sisters add interesting new elements to the design, such as the two-level bridge structure reminescent of the Baltic cruiseferry Finnjet (and Disney Cruise Line's ships) and the large bowl-shaped window protruding from the ship's side. Though these features certainly make the ship more interesting on the inside (and I admit that's the part that really matters), on the exterior the ship does look less well-designed than the previous AIDA newbuilds. The Sphinx-class ships lack coordination of design elements what the AIDAcara and the AIDAvita/AIDAaura sisters had.

AIDAdiva in the harbour of La Goulette, Tunisia on 27 May 2009, photographed from onboard MSC Sinfonia. Click on the image to view full size.

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