Ex Costa neoRiviera, Grand Mistral, Mistral
AIDAmira – © Mike Peel (Playa de Las Teresitas, Tenerife, 2021)
Steel twin screw motor vessel built in 1999 by STX (Chantiers de l’Atlantique) STX France SA (former STX France Cruise SA ; former Aker Yards) Nantes – Saint Nazaire. France (Yard No J-31) as a Passenger vessel – Cruise
- Original Cost:– $245 million
- Length: 216 m (overall) 187 m (between perpendiculars)
Breadth: 28.80 m
Depth: 37.95 m
Draught: 6.85 m (Summer)
Tonnage: 48200 gross/2516 net/4923t deadweight
Engines: 4 x Wärtsilä – 4 stroke 12 cylinder diesel engines
Power: 31680 kW/HP
Speed: 21.6 knots (Service)
- Passenger Decks: 8
Capacity: Lower beds: 1.196/All berths: 1.670 (Max)
- Crew: 480/553
Call Sign: V7GD3, ICGX, CQNK, IBDU
MMSI Number: 247325300
- IMO Number: 9172777
Port of Registry: Mata-Utu/Wallis and Futuna, France (overseas territory), Majuro/Marshall Islands, Genoa/Italy, Madeira/Portugal, Genoa/Italy
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1996: Ordered by Renaissance Cruises but the order was withdrawn. The yard and bankers together held ownership of the ship through a company called Auxiliaire Maritime. The order was then taken over by Festival Cruises who chartered the ship for the first 12 years, with the option to purchase the ship after the first six years .
January 2nd 1999: Floated out.
June 23rd 1999: Completed.
June 25th 1999: Delivered to Festival Cruises, Mata-Utu, France.
Mistral – © Benoit Donne
July 17th 1999: Maiden cruise from Genoa and then cruising in the European Market (operating 7-night Mediterranean cruise from Italy during the summer and autumn, and 7-night Caribbean cruises during the winter.).
February 20th 2001: Ran aground just off the Caribbean island of St. Kitts & Nevis. No passengers were injured. The ship was now reported to be stuck on a sand bank 900 feet offshore. The passengers spent the night on the ship, and authorities hoped rescue crews could free the vessel from the sand bank. Divers were investigated the damage but said they could not make a proper assessment until the ship was towed clear of the obstruction.
Mistral – © Brian Fisher (Corfu, 2001)
February 21st 2001: Re-floated. Two locally-based tugs stationed in St. Eustace island, succeeded in pulling the vessel off the sandbank at 4 a.m. and she continued her cruise with the next port of call being Antigua.
August 8th 2001: Suffered a propulsion malfunction that necessitated repairs and cut short her 4 cruise from Marseilles. The ship was subsequently repaired and resumed her regularly scheduled service on August 11.
Mistral – © Nigel Thornton (Dover, 23/09/2003)
January 2004: Festival Cruises won approval of the Marseille court to have the vessel arreted as security against damages the line said it incurred when creditors immobilized the vessel in the port.
September 1st 2004: Sold to Auro Shipping, SA, Majuro, Marshall Island.
May 31st 2005: Sold to Mistral Shipping, Majuro, Marshall Island. Refitted and renamed GRAND MISTRAL.
Grand Mistral – © Rogério Cordeiro (São Paulo (Brasil), 04/12/2005)
September 2007: Sold to Societa Di Crociere Jupiter, SpA, Italy for Ibero Crucero.
Grand Mistral – © Ken Larwood (@Dover)
December 16th 2008: Management Costa Crociere SpA.
Grand Mistral – © Marcel and Ruud Coster (IJmuiden, 30/08/2010)
June 2011: Registered Owner Grand Celebration, Madeira, Portugal (Care of Costa Crociere SpA).
Grand Mistral – © Marcel and Ruud Coster (IJmuiden, 04/09/2012)
November 2013: Renamed COSTA neoRIVIERA.
January 2014: Cruising from Dubai.
July 2015: Registered Owner Costa Crociere Spa, Genoa, Italy.
Costa neoRiviera – © Will Weijsters (Split, 15/06/2016)
Costa neoRiviera – © Carsten Dettmer (Heraklion, 03/07/2016)
October 29th 2019: Completed its last Costa Mediterranean cruise in Savona.
October 30th 2019: Sailed to Genoa, San Giorgio del Porto shipyard for a month-long, $55 million drydock to refurbish the vessel and convert her for AIDA service.
November 29th 2019: Arrived in Palma de Mallorca.
December 2019: Transferrred to Aida Cruises and renamed AIDAmira.
November 30th 2019: In Palma de Mallorca, TV host Franziska Knuppe christened the ship in Palma de Mallorca.
December 2019: Transferrred to Aida Cruises.
December 2nd 2019: Her inaugural cruise from Palma de Mallorca to Sete and Barcelona was scheduled to leave but was cancelled last-minute due to continued renovations.
December 4th 2019: Left for her maiden season in South Africa.
AIDAmira – © Ken Malcom (Durban, 09/01/2020)
March 16th 2020: In Cape Town suffered a COVID-19 scare and 1,700 passengers were confined on the vessel pending results of tests.
March 19th 2020: All tests having been returned “negative” and passengers allowed to disembark.
April 6th 2020: Left Cape Town.
April 25th 2020: Arrived in Palma de Mallorca, Spain
May 2020: Scheduled to return to the Mediterranean cruising although the COVID-19 pandemic caused AIDA to suspend its operations through the summer.
AIDAmira – © Alex Marrero (Anchored in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, 14/07/2020)
November 2021: Remains, at anchor, off Tenerife.
December 2021: Application made to change her Port of Registry. “AIDA Cruises has already confirmed that there have been inquiries about the acquisition of the ship. However, no agreement has yet been reached with a potential buyer.”. WATCH THIS SPACE!
All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for any errors or omissions. All items included in this article are subject to © copyright. We would like to take this opportunity of thanking: Rogério Cordeiro, Marcel and Ruud Coster, Carsten Dettmer, Brian Fisher, Ken Larwood, Ken Malcolm, Alex Marrero, Mike Peel and Wil Weijsters for their assistance in producing this feature.
Article © Nigel Thornton and Ray Goodfellow (Dover Ferry Photos Group)