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New interested party for “Aidaaura”

Caption: Die »Aida Aura« in Bremerhaven (© Eckardt)

A solution is emerging for the sale of the 20-year-old cruise ship “Aidaaura”. The Greek company Celestyal Cruises is interested in the semi-trailer.

The “Aidaaura” has been moored at Columbuskaje in Bremerhaven for weeks after being taken out of service by the Rostock-based cruise operator Aida Cruises. According to reports from port circles, there is a new interested party for the 202 m long club ship. [ds_preview]

In the meantime, the seller and buyer are said to have reached an agreement. It is rumored that the purchase contract could be signed as early as next week and the handover could then take place in Bremerhaven. There is no information yet on a new name or a possible sale price. The somewhat smaller “Aidacara”, built in Finland in 1996, was sold to the Russian company Aquilon Shipping Company for around 30 million US dollars in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Aidaaura” to go to the Mediterranean

If the sale goes through, Aida Cruises would be ending a six-week wait. Originally, the ship, which was built in 2002 at MTW in Wismar for just under 1,300 passengers, was to be handed over to the Turkish Miray Cruises after the last cruise on September 21. However, the sale did not materialize for reasons that are not yet known. It is suspected that there were problems with the financing.

Celestyal Cruises is a Greek shipping company based in Limassol, Cyprus, which was founded in 1986 as Louis Cruises. A 60% stake in the company was sold to the international financial investor Searchlight Capitol Partners in December 2021.

In the 1990s, Louis Cruises had a fleet of five ships, some of which were chartered out to other shipping companies. In 2014, the shipping company was renamed Celestyal Cruises. Celestyal’s fleet was only rejuvenated this fall with the acquisition of the “Aegean Goddes”, which was renamed “Celestyal Journey”, and the sale of the over 40-year-old “Celestyal Crystal” to a Japanese buyer.

Aida Cruises had previously sold the former ships “Aidacara”, “Aiadamira” and “Aidavita”. If the “Aidacara” is also sold, the Kussmund fleet will consist of eleven ships – seven Sphinx-class ships and two ships each from the Hyperion and Helios classes. (eck/KF)

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