P&O Princess bought Deutsche Seetouristik Rostok (DSR) and a number of subsidiaries and associated companies from Deutsche Seereederei in 1999. The acquisitions covered travel agencies, holiday companies and the highly innovative Das Clubschiff concept using the purpose built AIDA. The AIDA was a radical move away from the heavy formality of conventional German cruising. It created a sensation in Germany and immediately became the best known cruise ship in the country. P&O Princess skilfully exploited this publicity by creating a separate AIDA brand and ordering two more slightly larger ships.
P&O also entered the conventional German cruise market with the extensively rebuilt Crown Princess operating under the new ARosa brand as "ARosa Blu. They also began to build a river cruise fleet under the ARosa brand. All of the ocean-going ships were placed under the British Registry.
Following the merger between Carnival and Princess, the Costa part of the Carnival group took over responsibility for the German market. ARosa Blu was transferred to the AIDA brand as AIDAblu to meet the rapidly growing demand for AIDA cruises. The traditional German cruise market is now catered for by Costa Kruezfahtn GmbH. All the AIDA ships were transferred from the British registry to the Italian registry in 2004. The river boats and the ARosa name have been sold. DSR was renamed AIDA Cruises in 2004.
Three additional 69,000 ton AIDA ships have been ordered. These will release AIDAblu. She will transfer to the Ocean brand, which is aimed at a similar youth market in Britain.
Alan , it is so ghastly that only a German could find it attractive (& they do!).
Joking aside, the faired in bridge wings,superstructure & monkey island ( or at least where the monkey island USED to be ) are in fact, very attractive. The vessel is a weekly caller at Las Palmas & I have had many opportunities to view her from close proximity. She is good looking, structurally, from the first third and the aft third. But , as with all very long cruise ships , the block of flats effect spoils the overall profile.
Which reminds me...I will post the ugliest ship ever built in a moment... look out for the " Silver Sun " !
She is going to Ocean, Paul. (See my post above) Ocean is aiming at the British market for the same 25/35 age group as AIDA. Ocean's first ship is called Ocean Village, their second will presumably also have a name with the Ocean prefix.