AIDAmira

AIDAmira is a cruise ship currently operating for AIDA Cruises, a subsidiary of Carnival Corporation & plc. The ship most recently operated as Costa neoRiviera for sister brand, Costa Cruises, before officially debuting for AIDA Cruises in December 2019.

AIDAmira in Palma de Mallorca, December 2019
History
Italy
Name:
  • 1999–2003: Mistral
  • 2003–2013: Grand Mistral
  • 2013–2019: Costa neoRiviera
  • 2019–present: AIDAmira
Owner: Carnival Corporation & plc[1]
Operator:
Port of registry:
Route: South Africa, Mediterranean
Ordered: 1996
Builder: Chantiers de l'Atlantique, France
Yard number: J31
Launched: 2 January 1999
Christened: 25 June 1999
Completed: 1999
Maiden voyage: 17 July 1999
Identification:
Status: In service
General characteristics
Class and type: Mistral-class cruise ship
Tonnage: 48,200 GT
Length: 216 m (709 ft)
Beam: 28.8 m (94 ft)
Depth: 6,8 meters
Decks: 8 passenger decks
Speed: 19.5 knots (36.1 km/h; 22.4 mph)
Capacity:

1,248 passengers (double occupancy)

1,727 passengers (maximum capacity)
Crew: 670

History

Mistral

The ship was originally ordered by Renaissance Cruises in the summer of 1996, but the order was later withdrawn.[2] The yard and bankers together held ownership of the ship through a company called Auxiliaire Maritime.[2] During construction at Chantiers de l'Atlantique, the order was taken over by Festival Cruises, which would be receiving its first new-build vessel.[3] Festival Cruises chartered the ship for the first 12 years, with the option to purchase the ship after the first six years.[2] The ship was floated out on 2 January 1999 from the shipyard and was christened on 25 June 1999 by Claude Deschamps, wife of French football player, Didier Deschamps.[2][3][4]

She sailed her maiden cruise on 17 July 1999, a 7-day cruise from Genoa to the Greek islands.[2] She was later deployed to Guadeloupe in the Caribbean after her inaugural Mediterranean season.[2] She later operated primarily from Cuba.[3]

Festival Cruises collapsed in 2004 and most of the company's fleet, including Mistral, was sold off.[3]

Grand Mistral

Mistral was initially sold back to Alstrom Group and chartered to Viajes Iberojet and operated by Ibero Cruises, having been marketed as Iberostar Mistral.[3] Mistral was officially sold to Iberojet at an auction and subsequently renamed Grand Mistral, debuting for the cruise line on 30 May 2005.[3]

In 2007, Carnival Corporation & plc formed a joint venture with Orizonia Corporation under Orizonia's Iberojet Cruceros brand, with Carnival owning 75% and Orizonia owning 25% of the company.[5] With this, Grand Mistral would now be owned and operated by the new joint venture company.[5]

Grand Mistral exited the Ibero Cruises fleet in November 2013 after being transferred to Costa Cruises.[6]

Costa neoRiviera

In August 2013, Costa Cruises announced that Grand Mistral would be transferred to Costa Cruises, effectively cancelling the South American itineraries from Santos, Brazil operated by Ibero Cruises.[7] Costa reportedly invested €10 million into transforming the ship to integrate it into its fleet.[8] A month later, Costa announced that the transferred ship, which would be renamed Costa neoRiviera, would take a central role in launching a new sub-product that would focus on smaller ships with longer port calls, more overnights, and new exotic locales among its offered itineraries.[9] In October 2013, Costa revealed that she would be based in Dubai, with her debut set for 24 November 2013.[6]

Costa neoRiviera exited Costa's fleet in October 2019 after it was announced on 25 May 2018 it would be transferred to sister brand, AIDA Cruises.[10][11][12]

AIDAmira

Costa neoRiviera entered dry dock at the San Giorgio del Porto shipyard in Genoa on 30 October 2019 for a $55 million transformation to integrate her into the AIDA fleet.[12] She departed the shipyard on 28 November 2019 and arrived in Palma de Mallorca on 29 November 2019 for her christening.[12]

AIDAmira was officially christened by Franziska Knuppe on 30 November 2019 in Palma de Mallorca.[13]

AIDAmira is the fourth ship to be in AIDA's "AIDA Selection" program, along with AIDAaura, AIDAcara, and AIDAvita, which utilizes the fleet's smaller ships to perform longer itineraries calling in exotic locales.[12][14] Her inaugural cruise was scheduled to leave on 4 December 2019 to Sète and Barcelona,[13] but was cancelled last-minute due to continued renovations requiring her to stay in Palma de Mallorca until 4 December.[14] She will then leave for her maiden season in South Africa, offering 14-day cruises from Cape Town.[12] She will return to the Mediterranean from May to September 2020, sailing within the Eastern Mediterranean region from Corfu.[13]

References

  1. "Costa Cruceros: vacaciones y viajes en crucero | Costa Cruceros". www.costacruceros.es.
  2. Mazorra, Arturo Paniagua (14 December 1999). "Festival Cruises' Mistral". Tutto Crociere: The Cyberspace Cruise Magazine.
  3. "Grand Mistral". Castles of the Seas.
  4. Smith, Peter C. (2010). Cruise Ships: The World's Most Luxurious Vessels. Barnsley, England: Pen & Sword Maritime. p. 91. ISBN 978 1 84884 218 2.
  5. Cogswell, David (8 February 2007). "Carnival to partner with Iberojet Cruceros in joint venture". Travel Weekly.
  6. Norton, Theresa (1 October 2013). "Iberocruceros' Grand Mistral to Become Costa neoRiviera". Travel Pulse.
  7. "Grand Mistral South America Season Cancelled, Ship Transferred to Costa". Cruise Industry News. 29 August 2013.
  8. Capella, Daniel (9 November 2013). "Costa investe mais de 10 milhões de euros na renovação e manutenção de sua frota".
  9. Staff, C. I. N. (28 September 2013). "Overnights and Unusual Destinations Mark New Costa Project". www.cruiseindustrynews.com.
  10. Staff, C. I. N. (25 May 2018). "Costa neoRiviera to Become AIDAmira in 2019". www.cruiseindustrynews.com.
  11. Kalosh, Anne (25 May 2018). "Costa neoRiviera is transferring to become AIDAmira". Seatrade Cruise News.
  12. Mathisen, Monty (25 September 2019). "Costa neoRiviera to Become AIDAmira After $55 Million Drydock". Cruise Industry News.
  13. "AIDAmira Christened". Cruise Industry News. 1 December 2019.
  14. Erdmann, Frederik (2 December 2019). "First AIDAmira cruise canceled last minute". Seatrade Cruise News.
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