AIDA Cruises is an American/British-owned cruise line based in Rostock, Germany. AIDA Cruises caters primarily to the German-speaking market and it’s ships have on-board amenities and facilities designed to attract a younger, more active clientele.
The company was founded as Deutsche Seereederei (German Shipping Company) and entered the cruising industry in the 1960s. After the reunification of Germany in the early 1990s Deutsche Seereederei was privatised and became DSR. DSR acquired Seetours and cruises were then marketed under the Seetours brand. On 1 January 1998, DSR split their operations into cargo and tourism, with a new company Arkona Touristik taking over the cruise/tourism business aspect of the business.
In the year 2000 Arkona Touristik created a new subsidiary company, AIDA Cruises. In April 2000 the Peninsular and Oriental Navigation Company (P&O) acquired a 51% stake in the new company, with Arkona Touristik retaining the remaining 49% stake.
In September 2001 it was announced that the Peninsular and Oriental Navigation Company (P&O) had acquired the remaining 49% interest in AIDA Cruises for approximately DM 115 million.
At the end of the year 2000, the passenger cruise operations of the P&O Group (P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises, AIDA Cruises and P&O Cruises Australia) were demerged to create a new operating company, P&O Princess Cruises plc.
In 2003, P&O Princess Cruises plc merged with the Carnival Corporation, to form Carnival Corporation & plc, becoming the world’s largest cruise holiday company. Following the merger, executive control of AIDA Cruises was transferred to the Costa Cruises Group, one of the main operating companies within Carnival Corporation & plc, with responsibility for the group’s European brands (excluding the UK).