10 Jan 2022 // 2 minute read
Text by Cruise & Harbour News | Photos by Aquilon Shipping Company & Cruise & Harbour News Team
Aquilon Shipping Company Set For 5th March 2022 Start With Astoria Grande
The former AIDAcara, now renamed Astoria Grande, is set to receive it's first ever passengers outside of the AIDA sphere on the 5th March 2022, from Sochi. Launched as the AIDA in the mid-nineties, and later renamed AIDAcara, the ship was sold in 2021 as part of a fleet renovation plan by Carnival PLC, which owns AIDA, beeing picked up by SK Aquilon LLC, a russian company that renamed it the Astoria Grande and spent the last six months carrying out large refit work in the interior of the popular vessel. In December 2021, the Astoria Grande underwent a series of surveys by leading Classification Society, DNV, which lead the operators to receive all the necessary documents to carry out safe cruising operations. Ever since July 2021, the ship saw a large-scale refit happen throughout it's interiors, as adaptation to the new russian market went on, with notable changes on the main public areas and cabin facilities of the ship. To add to the ship's established credibility, a Hotel Management and Catering contract was signed with the world-famous Sea Chefs, which also have management duties with the TUI group, including TUI Cruises itself and Hapag-Lloyd.
-- continues after advertisement --
Until late April 2022, the ship will run all-inclusive 14-day cruises to and from Sochi, including calls in Istambul, Canakkale, Cesme, Alexandria with overnight, Bodrum, Kusadasi and Istambul once again, before returning to Sochi, with the itineraries beeing named "Magic East". Afterwards, the Astoria Grande will depart on a special Easter cruise entitled Russian Easter in Jerusalem, including calls in Istambul, Bodrum, Limassol, Haifa (with overnight), Alexandria, Kusadasi and Instambul, beggining and ending in Sochi. Astoria Grande's scheduled itineraries for 2022 go as far as late September 2022, with 11-day cruises kicking in after the 1st of May and until 21st of September, all from Sochi and including calls not only in some of the aforementioned ports, but also in some of Greece's top destinations, such as Mykonos, Santorini and Patmos, with other ports like Leros Island, Batumi, Milos Island or Siros Island also in the list. Aquilon Shipping Company is a russian company that has been involved with local business in the Black Sea for over 30 years, now looking to implement the Astoria Grande into the russian market and launch themselves in larger-scale cruising aswell.
© Cruise & Harbour News, 2018-2022. All articles and image galleries in our website and database are created by our team. All magazine editions are created, edited and published by our team. All images on our website and database belong to our team, unless said otherwise. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is forbidden.