Most people probably know Aida Cruises, but who owns the well-known cruise brand and what the story behind it is is not so well known. Yet the chronicle of Aida Cruises is very exciting and the origins of the now world-famous cruise brand may surprise you.
AIDA Cruises – this company owns the cruise brand
The question of who currently owns the cruise brand AIDA Cruises is answered very quickly and not very spectacularly. Whereby the term currently was chosen deliberately, because AIDA Cruises has already had several owners and whether the current “home port” will be the final one remains to be seen.
- AIDA Cruises today belongs to one of the largest cruise groups in the world, Carnival Corporation & plc. The company has its headquarters in Miami. However, the company is represented by numerous subsidiaries around the world.
- One of these subsidiaries is the Italian Costa Crociere, to which AIDA Cruises reports. Incidentally, the official name of the cruise brand is AIDA Cruises – German Branch of Costa Crociere S.p.A.
- The corporate headquarters of AIDA Cruises is located in Germany, specifically in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, in the Hanseatic city of Rostock. Many of the huge pleasure ships start or end their tours there.
- Another base of the cruise brand is Hamburg. The cruise ships with the unmistakable brand name also dock and depart in the Hanseatic city. In addition, the company operates the Cruise Center Steinwerder in Hamburg, the most modern handling terminal.
AIDA Cruises – a cruise brand with an exciting history
Much more exciting than the question of who currently owns AIDA Cruises is the story behind the cruise brand.
- The bright red kissing mouth by which the Fun Ships are easily recognisable from afar has by no means adorned the pleasure ships from the very beginning. The striking trademark of the AIDA Cruises was created by the Hamburg graphic artist Feliks Büttner only in 1996.
- The “mother ship” of the cruise line, the Astor, was launched in Hamburg in December 1980. As the “dream ship” in the popular television series of the same name, the cruise ship quickly made a storybook career for itself. However, the media presence did not bring the Hamburg shipping company HADAG all that much, the luxurious cruise ship otherwise only made losses in the millions.
- In 1983, the shipping company parted with the Astor, which was then used for two years by an African shipping company. The story becomes exciting in 1985, when the Astor changed hands again. The rulers of the then GDR treated themselves and particularly deserving employees of the system to the luxury ship.
- After her renaming from Astor to Arkona, the cruise ship was in service for the so-called socialist workers’ and peasants’ state for around 200 days a year. The rest of the time it was “rented out” to the then class enemy, i.e. West Germany, for hard foreign currency.
- After reunification, the company was privatised and the development of the cruise brand as we know it today began. Under the name AIDA Cruises, with a new concept and numerous new pleasure ships, the success story of the cruise brand then began. The Astor, which had changed names again in the meantime, continued to sail for the shipping company as the Saga Pearl II for a few more years until it was decommissioned in April 2019.