AIDA CruisesCruise ShipsPast and Present

MV Celestial Discovery (Ex AIDAaura) – Past and Present

IMO Number: 9221566

MV Celestial Discovery

Ex AIDAaura

© Carsten Dettmer

© Carsten Dettmer (Ajaccio, 08/04/2015)

Steel twin screw motor vessel built in 2003 by Aker MTW, Wismar, Germany (Yard No 004) for P&O Princess Cruises Intl, Ltd.

Technical Data

  • Original Cost: $350 million
    Length: 202.85m (overall), 179.74m (Registered)
    Breadth of hull: 28.10m
    Depth: 8.75m (moulded)
    Draught: 6.30m
    Tonnage: 42,289 gross/20,877 gross/4157t
    Engines: Four 12-cylinder Wartsila 12V38B diesels
    Power/Propellers: 27,550 kW/2
    Speed: 21.00 knots
    Capacity: 1266 passengers (1687 max)
    Crew: 426/389
    Navigation Officers: German
    Passenger Decks: 10
    Call Sign: IBNZ, 9HA5930
  • MMSI Number: 256667000
    IMO Number: 9221566
    DNV GL id: G94691
    Registry: London/UK 🇬🇧, Genoa/Italy 🇮🇹, Valletta/Malta 🇲🇹
    Sister Ship: AIDAvita (003)


Current AIS Location

Please note that this specific vessels AIS position data may be over an hour old and that the vessels position will only be displayed when it is within range of the VesselFinder AIS system. The AIS transponder/ship position data featured on this page is intended for information purposes only and it is in no way related to the 'Safety of Navigation at Sea'. All the AIS ship position data featured within this article is provided by VesselFinder and we are therefore not responsible for its content or its accuracy.


January 11th 2002: Keel laid.

September 7th 2002: Launched.

March 5th 2003: Completed.

April 5th 2003: Delivered to P&O Princess Cruises Intl, Ltd, London, England. (management Aida Cruises).

April 12th 2003: Christened in Warnemünde.

April 13th 2003: Shakedown cruise for invited guests from Warnemünde to Hamburg.

April 15th 2003: Maiden cruise from Hamburg to the Mediterranean.

© Aleksi Lindström © Aleksi Lindström © Aleksi Lindström © Aleksi Lindström

© Aleksi Lindström

February 2004: Sold to Carnival Plc, London, England. (management Aida Cruises).

November 2004: Sold to Costa Crociere Spa, Genoa, Italy. (management Aida Cruises). 

© Cees Bustraan © Cees Bustraan © Cees Bustraan

© Cees Bustraan (Willemstad, 20/01/2009)

© John Mavin

© John Mavin (Dover, 18/05/2010)

May 24th 2018: Called at Dover.

© Dover Strait Shipping/ Fotoflite

© Dover Strait Shipping/ Fotoflite (Dover, 24/05/2018)

May 16th 2019: Called at Dover.

March 2020: Arrived Hamburg and laid up owing to COVID – 19 pandemic.

May 8th 2020: Docked at Visby’s cruise wharf for prolonged lay up. 

May 7th 2022: Resumed cruising.

January 5th 2023: Announcement made that she will leave AIDA Cruises’ fleet in September 2023 after a farewell series of sailings in Africa, Northern Europe and Western Europe.

May 15th 2023: Called at Dover.

September 21st 2023: Final cruise for AIDA.

June 2023: Miray Cruises announced that they had acquired a ship, for delivery in September for their Life at Sea Cruises intended 3-year world voyage, beginning in November 2023.

September 21st 2023: Final cruise for AIDA completed in Bremerhaven.

October 8th 2023: Left Bremerhaven.

October 9th 2023: Arrived Bremerhaven and laid up pending sale.

November 16th 2023: Celestyal buys the vessel to become CELESTIAL DISCOVERY. The previous announcement of sale to Miray Cruises subsidiary Life At Sea failed. She remained in Bremerhaven whilst she was handed over to her new owners.

© Christian Eckhardt © Christian Eckhardt © Christian Eckhardt © Christian Eckhardt

© Christian Eckhardt (Bremerhaven, 17/11/2023)

© Christian Eckhardt © Christian Eckhardt © Christian Eckhardt © Christian Eckhardt

© Christian Eckhardt (Bremerhaven, 20/11/2023)

© Christian Eckhardt © Christian Eckhardt © Christian Eckhardt

© Christian Eckhardt (Bremerhaven, 21/11/2023)

November 22nd 2023: Left Bremerhaven for Algeciras (eta: 26/11/2023)

© Christian Eckhardt

© Christian Eckhardt (Bremerhaven, 22/11/2023)

November 26th 2023: Arrived Algeciras Anchorage.

November 26th 2023: Sailed for Malta (eta: 29/11/2023). 

November 29th 2023: Arrived Malta Bunkering Area.

December 1st 2023: Arrived Piraeus for winter refit/refurbishment prior to entering cruise service in March 2024.

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: Cees Bustraan, Carsten Dettmer, Christian Eckhardt, Dover Strait Shipping, Fotoflite, Aleksi Lindström and John Mavin for their assistance in producing this feature.

Article © Nigel Thornton and Ray Goodfellow (Dover Ferry Photos Group)

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