Built 2016, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Nagasaki, Japan
Tonnage 125 572 GT
Length 299,95 m
Width 37,65 m
Draugth 8,25 m
3 250 passengers (lower berths)
4 Caterpillar-MaK diesels, combined 43 200 kW
2 bow thrusters
Service speed 22 knots
Name history: Homeric, Westerdam, Costa Europa, Thomson Dream, Marella Dream
Built 1986, Meyer Werft Papenburg, West Germany
Tonnage 54 763 GT
Length 243,23 m
Width 29,00 m
Draugth 7,20 m
1 533 passengers (lower berths)
1 756 passengers (all berths)
4 MAN B&W diesels, combined 54 763 kW
2 bow thrusters
1 stern thruster
Service speed 19 knots
Two new ships in one entry, so I guess we also have a double history entry too. Well, the Aidaprima's is fortunately short: She is the lead ship of Aida Cruises' Hyperion-class, contracted in 2011 from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) for delivery in March 2015. MHI found they had bit off more than they could chew, and the ship was delayed by a year, finally entering service in Spring 2016.
The Marella Dream is an altogether more complex affair. She was the last new ship commissioned by Home Lines, being delivered from the Meyer Werft in West Germany in 1986 as the Homeric - she was the start of Meyer's entry into building cruise ships, in which they have become one the world's leading yards.
The Homeric's career with Home Lines was short, as the company was absorbed by Holland America Line in 1988, and the Homeric became the Westerdam. In 1989-1990, she returned to her builders to be "stretched" with the addition of a 39-metre midsection (the added bit can clearly be seen, as the windows in it are of a different size from the originals). The ship remained with Holland America until 2002, when she was transferred within the Carnival Corporation to the fleet of Costa Cruises as the Costa Europa. In 2010, she changed owners again, being told to TUI UK for their Thomson Cruises brand and became the Thomson Dream. With TUI AG deviding to harmonise their brands during the middle of the decade, Thomson Cruises was due to be rebranded TUI Cruises, with the name prefixes of the Thomson fleet due to be changed to TUI. However, someone at TUI realised there was a high chance of confusion between the German-market TUI Cruises and the to-be-ex-Thomson Cruises for the UK market. However, instead of doing the logical thing and simply keeping the Thomson brand, Thomson Cruises was renamed Marella Cruises (unintentionally recalling the name of a 1970s Viking Line ferry), with the Thomson Dream becoming the Marella Dream in November 2017.
The photos below show the Aidaprima and Marella Dream in the port of Funchal, Madeira on the evening of 22 January 2018. Photographed from different locations along the Praça Do Povo. As always, click on the link to see the images in larger size.
|I admit we happened to be in the right place at the right time purely by accident. Concrete fences and the ground make a decent replacement for a tripod if need be.|
|Impressive illuminations on the Aidaprima here.|
|Even more impressive a few minutes later, with the sun having just set.|
|The same location but with both ships. Unfortunately, I couldn't get a decent image of only the Marella Dream from this viewpoint.|