Festively decorated ships, the “Happy New Year” live concert by the AIDA Show Ensemble, spectacular shows, and an unforgettable party will be making the turn of the year into a very special night full of surprises aboard the AIDA fleet. And it will be happening around the globe in seven time zones from the Caribbean to the Canaries, and from the Mediterranean to Southeast Asia.
Guests aboard AIDAcara will be the first to welcome in the New Year. During the first AIDA world cruise, on New Year’s Eve the ship will be north of Australia, a whole seven hours ahead of Central European Time (CET). In other words, guests will be toasting the New Year at 5 p.m. CET. In accordance with old maritime tradition, the New Year will be welcomed in with four double stroke rolls of the drum. Manfred (70) and Gisela (67) from Hamburg are two of the guests on board. The couple has already been aboard since the world cruise began in Hamburg and they appreciate the trust-filled atmosphere. “Guests and crew have meanwhile become a little family. It will be something really special to toast the New Year in this company. Those at home will have to wait a little longer for the turn of the year, but they’ll be getting some New Year’s photos from us that will make them envious,” Gisela says.
For AIDAcara’s captain, Tommy Müller too, it is a very special privilege to be the first ship in the fleet with the smiling lips to welcome in the New Year. “We’ll be the first ones sending out our good wishes and thoughts from the ocean around the world for all the guests, their families and the crew members aboard AIDA.”
Then at 6 p.m. CET the cry of “Happy New Year” will go up again – this time for AIDAbella which, on her way to Bangkok, is six hours ahead. “Our fantastic crew aboard AIDAbella has prepared a fabulous New Year’s gala for our guests. I’ll be taking a look with my team as well because one doesn’t get to celebrate New Year in the Gulf of Thailand every year,” is the happy comment from the Berliner, Daniela Mielke, Crew Purser aboard AIDAbella.
After that, it will be the turn of AIDAaura (Seychelles) and AIDAstella (Dubai). Captain Pedro Ziegler, who lives in Suhl, Thuringia, will be getting AIDAstella into position in good time for the dazzling fireworks display being staged against the Dubai skyline. “We have the perfect spot and will be anchoring off the Palm Islands at 11 p.m.,” Ziegler says. When the corks pop for them, it will still only be 9 p.m. in Germany.
At midnight CET, the guests and crew aboard AIDAperla (Mediterranean) get to raise their glasses. 2,500 doughnuts and up to 5,000 champagne glasses will be set out for the guests on New Year’s Eve. Martin Röstel, AIDAperla’s General Manager is looking forward to the youngest fleet member’s first New Year’s party. “2017 already delivered lots of emotional highlights with the commissioning of AIDAperla. Being able to welcome in the New Year with our guests and the international crew on board is the grand finale for me, and the perfect start to the New Year,” says Röstel, who comes from Berlin.
For AIDAvita, AIDAsol, AIDAprima (all in Madeira) and AIDAblu (Lisbon) it will get exciting at 1 a.m. Central European Time. They are located on the zero meridian so their clocks are set to Greenwich Mean Time. “I am so looking forward to the fireworks in Funchal. They’re supposed to be fabulous. And we’ll be really pumping up the action at the Beach Club, of course. We’ll be there with two sister ships, so we’ll be seeing lots of people we know and love again,” says AIDAprima Entertainment Manager, Silvia Minardi, from Italy. For General Manager Heidi Rothe, who comes from a place near Frankfurt and is currently on board AIDAstella, even after twelve years with the fleet, celebrating the New Year aboard a ship is still something very special. “Moments like that are simply unforgettable! This turn of the year involves another first for me – together with the guests and crew of AIDAblu, we’ll be spending New Year’s Eve in Portugal’s capital, Lisbon, where at midnight on the dot we’ll be cheering ‘Feliz Ano Novo!'”
Glasses will be raised aboard AIDAdiva (near Barbados) when most people in Germany will already be asleep – at 5 a.m. CET. Only the really hard cases will still be up to celebrate New Year at 6 a.m. with the crews of AIDAmar (Gran Cayman) and AIDAluna (Jamaica). On that evening, AIDAluna General Manager Wolfgang Pichler will be performing a special good deed: “On New Year’s Eve I’ll be standing on the stage – on the Pool Deck, of course – and will be counting down to the New Year with my guests. I’m particularly looking forward to how well we do with our New Year tombola. One thing we’re trying to do is raise the funds to build a new school in the Caribbean,” says Pichler, who lives in Saalfelden.