AIDAaura

AIDAaura


 

 

In March 2023, twelve cruise ships will sail under the flag of Rostock's AIDA Cruises. The AIDAaura, put into operation in 2002, is the oldest of the ships. With a length of 203 meters, it is small and manageable compared to the other members of the fleet. While the last two new buildings AIDAnova and AIDAcosma seem oversized due to its size, the AIDAaura is elegant and sleek according to our taste. The shipping company aptly describes the AIDAaura as "stylish and unique in its own way".

AIDAaura in Tallinn

AIDAaura in Tallinn


The AIDAaura is what remains of the three small ships that used to be there. The sister ship AIDAvita and the AIDAcara have long since left the AIDA fleet. The AIDAaura also has no future with AIDA Cruises. It will be used until September 21, 2023 for the sub-brand "AIDA Selection Discovery Travel". After that, her "off" is sealed.

Staterooms

The AIDAaura has a total of 633 cabins on ten passenger decks, of which only 62 offer balconies. This is by no means a top value. It should be noted, however, that the AIDAaura was designed at a time when balconies were considered an indispensable luxury on cruise ships.

AIDAaura in the port of Tallinn

AIDAaura in the port of Tallinn


The guest cabins are located on decks 3 to 7. There are seven categories on offer consisting of interior, sea view and balcony cabins, some of which are barrier-free. Two premium suites with a private sun deck round off the range of offers.

Inside cabins

This cabin category is 14,5 square meters. The rooms are designed for 2 to 4 people.

sea ​​view cabin

Their size varies between 13,5 and 17 square meters. They also accommodate 2 to 4 travelers. Some of these cabins only offer a limited view.

AIDAaura - sea view cabin 5137


AIDAaura - sea view cabin 5137


AIDAaura - sea view cabin 5137


AIDAaura - sea view cabin 5137 


Balcony cabin

Including the balcony, this category offers 20,5 square meters of space. Balcony cabins are designed for a maximum of two guests.

Premium Suite with Sun Deck

The two suites, equipped with 2 to 3 beds, are 57 square meters. The size is relative. The separate sun deck alone accounts for around 25 square meters of space. In addition to other advantages, suite residents enjoy the turndown service, which is otherwise frowned upon at AIDA Cruises.

Eating and Drinking

Depending on the size of the ship, the restaurant and bar offerings are rather average. It is due to the original AIDA concept of the "club ships" that the ship's guests eat their meals primarily in buffet restaurants. AIDAaura has two self-service restaurants, a service restaurant that is subject to a surcharge and the pool grill. To say it in advance: The dishes offered are varied and tasty. The guests, many of whom are loyal AIDA customers, are satisfied with the services provided. There is a selection of drinks to go with the meal, including soft drinks, various types of tea, beer and table wine. – We miss a service restaurant that is included in the travel price, as we don’t appreciate self-service at any time of the day.

Restaurant

Market Restaurant - Deck 8

Anyone who has ever traveled on AIDA ships knows the proven concept of the market restaurant. Travelers choose their favorite dishes at “market stalls”.

AIDAaura - Market Restaurant


AIDAaura - Market Restaurant


AIDAaura - Market Restaurant


AIDAaura - Market Restaurant


Calypso Restaurant - Deck 9

True to the motto "Enjoy regional specialties in the most beautiful places in the world", the shipping company promises its guests to internalize the typical cuisine of the destinations visited. A promise that is rarely implemented in practice. What is meant are probably theme evenings that are not related to the goals that have been set. Our journey took us to South Africa and Namibia. The theme evenings were, for example, under the motto Galapagos, Latino cuisine or Sri Lanka.

AIDAaura - Calypso Restaurant
AIDAaura - Calypso Restaurant
AIDAaura - Calypso Restaurant - Buffet
AIDAaura - Calypso Restaurant - Buffet

The pleasing restaurant also has a pizza station. In our opinion, it tops the Markt Restaurant and also has an additional trump card with its partially shaded outdoor terrace.

AIDAaura - outdoor terrace of the Calypso Restaurant

AIDAaura - outdoor terrace of the Calypso Restaurant


Pool Grill - Deck 10

The on-board restaurants are not always on duty. If travelers come on board outside of the restaurant opening hours, they satisfy their hunger with burgers, meatballs, bagels, salads or desserts at the pool grill.

AIDAaura - table at the pool grill

AIDAaura - table at the pool grill


Selection à la carte restaurant – Deck 8

In the Selection Restaurant next to the AIDA Bar, guests are looked after by service staff for a fee.

AIDAaura - Selection à la carte restaurant


AIDAaura - Selection à la carte restaurant


AIDAaura - in the selection à la carte restaurant


AIDAaura - in the selection à la carte restaurant 


Bars and lounges

Ocean Bar - Deck 7

This pleasant outdoor bar opens in the afternoon from 16pm depending on the weather.

AIDAaura - Ocean Bar

AIDAaura - Ocean Bar


AIDA Bar - Deck 8

The star-shaped AIDA Bar is located almost amidships. In the background the band and the dance floor, in the center the traditional six-armed bar. There are also enough tables and chairs.

AIDAaura - AIDA Bar
AIDAaura - AIDA Bar
AIDAaura - AIDA Bar
AIDAaura - AIDA Bar

Thomas Henry Bar - Deck 8

This "bar" hardly deserves a mention. It is located at the entrance to the Markt Restaurant. The meaning of this location is not revealed to us. Since the opening hours of the Thomas Henry Bar in the evening are roughly linked to the opening hours of the Markt Restaurant, we assume that its purpose is to offer a quick drink before going to the restaurant.

AiDAaura - Thomas Henry Bar


AiDAaura - Thomas Henry Bar


AIDAaura - Thomas Henry Bar


AIDAaura - Thomas Henry Bar 


Nightfly Bar - Deck 9

We appreciate the Nightfly Bar, which is adjacent to the Calypso Restaurant, as a cozy bar with decent live music. It is also used as an event location. An example of this is the Captain's Question Time.

AIDAaura - Nightfly Bar
AIDAaura - Nightfly Bar
AIDAaura - Nightfly Bar
AIDAaura - Nightfly Bar

Pool bar - deck 10

The essential bar of the pool deck.

AIDAaura - Pool Bar

AIDAaura - Pool Bar


Anytime Bar - Deck 10

The right place for disco lovers. Guests find entertainment aft on deck 10 in the chilled atmosphere of the Anytime Bar. Where necessary, DJs cheer on the mood. Access to the bar is via the "Time Tunnel". During the day, passengers use the outside area of ​​the bar.

AIDAaura - Anytime Bar
AIDAaura - Anytime Bar
AIDAaura - outdoor area of ​​the Anytime Bar
AIDAaura - Time Tunnel of Anytime Bar

Sport and wellness

"Body and spirit in harmony" is the motto at AIDA Cruises. Consequently, the AIDAaura offers individual sports and wellness programs. These correspond to the performance of comparable competitors.

Sport

The pleasantly large fitness studio offers modern equipment and a wide range of offers (from fitness checks to strength training and yoga). Other sports offered: darts, shuffleboard and table tennis.

AIDAaura - Gym
AIDAaura - Gym
AIDAaura - Gym
AIDAaura - Gym

A small swimming pool, three whirlpools and a short jogging course complete the sporting offer.

AIDAaura - pool deck


AIDAaura - pool deck


AIDAaura - pool deck


AIDAaura - pool deck 


Wellness in AIDA Body & Soul

Anyone who loves sauna landscapes and steam baths will not be disappointed. Otherwise, there is something of everything: spa packages, cosmetics, manicures and pedicures, hairdressing services, massages, Ayurveda ... and ... and ... and.

AIDAaura - in the spa


AIDAaura - in the spa


AIDAaura - in the spa


AIDAaura - in the spa 


Sun worshipers will find enough loungers on decks 10 and 11 on board the AIDAaura. Berths on the 12th deck are reserved for fans of the seamless tan. Resting places with and without sun can also be found on the boat deck. There are however no beach chairs but folding chairs.

AIDAaura - pool deck


AIDAaura - pool deck


AIDAaura - boat deck


AIDAaura - boat deck 


It is striking how many pool towels held by large clamps "sunbathe" for long periods of time without their users. Although we take a daily program to indicate that the sun loungers on the pool deck should be released for other guests when they are no longer needed. In practice, however, nobody seems to care. - Of course there is another way. The pool attendants of the American cruise brand Celebrity Cruises clear away loungers if they remain unused in about half an hour.

Entertainment on board

As far as the shows are concerned, the AIDAaura has a classic, two-story theatre. Entertainment options are limited compared to the larger AIDA ships. The show programs are performed by four singers. Dancers are missing.

AIDAaura - Entertainment in the AIDA Bar

AIDAaura - Entertainment in the AIDA Bar


Performances by visiting artists such as cabaret artists, magicians or local groups are other elements of the evening's entertainment.

AIDAaura - Theater


AIDAaura - Theater


AIDAaura - Theater


AIDAaura - Theater 


Otherwise, especially on sea days, many events hardly allow boredom to arise. Dance courses, bingo, lectures by lecturers, Bavarian evenings and much more are offered. Members of the crew and the officers also show their skills and capabilities in the shanty choir or the officers' shaking.

AIDAaura - Party on the pool deck
AIDAaura - Party on the pool deck
AIDAaura - maritime evening on the pool deck
AIDAaura - maritime evening on the pool deck

Not to forget the shopping and adventure world. These include the AIDA shop or the art gallery. This organizes several art auctions during the trip. The range of works of art is amazingly diverse.

AIDAaura - onboard shop
AIDAaura - onboard shop
AIDAaura - Art Gallery
AIDAaura - Art Auction

Hemingway lounge with library

On cruise ships there is often a lack of comfortable retreats outside of your own cabin area. The Hemingway Lounge is a suitable and pleasant, but unfortunately much too small retreat. On comparable ships we got to know larger rooms in the past.

AIDAaura - Hemingway Lounge


AIDAaura - Hemingway Lounge 


AIDAaura - Hemingway Lounge


AIDAaura - Hemingway Lounge  


Service

Compared to the ships of the premium providers, which employ a relatively large number of service staff, the service on board the AIDAaura, like on all other ships in the fleet, is reduced to a minimum. However, that doesn't change the fact that all crew members are always friendly and always willing to help. They provide their service with great commitment and dedication.

AIDAaura - Reception

AIDAaura - Reception


AIDAaura – data and facts

Commissioning

2002

Size:

Length 203 meters; Width 28 meters, draft 6,40 meters

measurement

42.289 GT

Passenger decks

10 decks

Machine

diesel-electric, 4 Wärtsilä engines

Speed

21,2 knots (39 km/h)

passengers based on double occupancy

1.266 (maximum 1.400)

passenger cabins

633; including 62 balcony cabins and two suites

Manning

standard 389 people from 20 nations

Flagge

Italy

shipyard

Aker MTW shipyard

Recently renovated

2013

Board language

German

Currency on board

Euro

Conclusion and evaluation of the ship

We got to know AIDAaura on a 14-day South Africa & Namibia cruise from/to Cape Town. The trip was supported by AIDA Cruises. With regard to our journalistic independence, we refer to the chapter “We are independent”. According to hotel director Wohlfahrt, 1.050 people traveled with us.

Seen from the outside, the AIDAaura is a cruise ship with flowing lines that contrasts pleasantly with the appearance of the high-rise backdrops of modern cruise ships that have become habitual. The AIDAaura is assigned to the AIDAselection brand.

The last renovation was ten years ago. Although the ship is optically in top condition, a "rejuvenation" is absolutely necessary. This will no longer happen: AIDA Cruises will deactivate the AIDAaura in September 2023. The fleet will thus lose a clear and popular cruise ship that could also meet high demands in the future under different conditions.

Although the AIDAaura proved to be a pleasant place to stay during the two-week voyage, there are critical points to note. The points of criticism are based on the business policy of the shipping company.

Excursions

On our ship trips, we mainly do self-organized excursions and only in rare cases tours organized by the ship. We - and other passengers - did not find it conducive to our individual plans that the "premium lecturer" on board made the passengers feel that they were in great danger with regard to the respective South African destinations. In addition, there was no reliable information about the availability of taxis or free tour providers. With the exception of East London, all ports of call had taxis and tour operators.

According to the lecturer's lectures, the guests were tempted to book the AIDA excursions, which we and other fellow travelers considered grossly overpriced. Independent tour operators offered tours comparable to AIDA tours for half the price or less. Quite apart from the taxi drivers who were interviewed, who were also very flexible in terms of their price expectations.

show programs

AIDA Cruises enjoys a good reputation when it comes to its show programs. We are all the more surprised that the shows in the theater offered little entertainment value. Only the group "Svanas of Erongo", who performed on board in Walvis Bay/Namibia, deserves a special mention.

AIDAaura - show in the theater

AIDAaura - show in the theater


Beverage prices

The price level for beer, wine and coffee is in the upper segment or at a similarly high level as is usual with US ships. – Speaking of coffee: Coffee is served for breakfast. However, you will look in vain for included coffee for lunch, coffee time and dinner. The hot drink is chargeable.

On the subject of AIDAselection discovery voyages

Under the term "AIDAselection", the shipping company subsumes well-sounding terms such as "extraordinary routes and ports", "impressive AIDAselection excursions" etc. In short: the travelers should get to know "the country and its people". Last but not least, these include small ports, long port layovers and overnight stays. In our opinion, this demanding concept was missed for the majority of the goals. cruise ships from Azamara, Oceania Cruises or nicko cruises, to name just a few, better meet such demands.

Book AIDAaura

Overview of all AIDAaura trips on the AIDA Cruises website.

to the AIDAaura offers