AIDAnova auf See während der Erprobungsfahrt.

First Look: AIDAnova

Easily the most anticipated ship to be launched this year is the AIDAnova. She being touted as the first cruise ship to be able to operate with LNG as bunkers while underway. She’s part of the brand new Excellence-class of cruise ships that Carnival Corp. has nine of on order. The Nova was built in Germany at the Meyer Werft shipyard. She comes in at 183,200gt and has an LOA of 1,105ft and beam of 137ft.


As mentioned, she’s the first in a brand new class. Public areas span 16 decks. AIDA ships are known to have large atriums used for performance and theater. It’s called the Theatrium.

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As with new ships nowadays there’s an assortment of restaurants onboard. The main restaurants are market style meaning that they’re essentially buffet style. It’s a common venue on AIDA ships.

Other restaurants onboard include:

Burger Land

East Restaurant
Casa Nova, a Venetian themed restaurant
Fuego, a buffet style burger, pasta, pizza place

Oceans upscale seafood restaurant

And easily the coolest restaurant it the Time Machine restaurant. This takes the diner on a dinner journey through time, past and future, reality and fantasy.

Time Machine
Time Machine
Time Machine

Some of the lounges onboard include:

The Cube dance club
Brauhaus brewery

The ships design is a bit reminiscent of the AIDAprima, with a narrow superstructure and curved midsection. As well as low, wide promenades.

Lanai bar off the stern. Just 5 decks above the waterline

Back up top the main pool area, under a glass dome, transforms to the night club with a laser show.

Beach Club

The aft section of the top part of the ship is the Four Elements. The Four Elements contains lush vegetation treetops rope course and several waterslides.

Four Elements
Four Elements

And lastly her cabins of which there are 20 different categories. They also are offering the first two level room reminiscent of the duplex suites of Cunard and the Lofts of Royal Caribbean. The junior suites offer a sort of mid-room sunroom or conservatory.

Junior Suite mock-up with conservatory
Standard balcony cabin

The ship is designed to be dual fueled meaning she can use traditional bunkers or LNG. As I’ve analyzed in the past, the biggest hurdle into switching fully over to to LNG is the lack of availability. More specifically, the vessels used to transfer the fuel over to the ship. In fact, in October 2016 they announced they partnered with Royal Dutch Shell to provide LNG for their ships. Shell has had to custom build their own bunkering vessel. The LNG/C Cardissa is owned and operated by Shell Shipping & Maritime. She just bunkered the AIDAnova last week for the very first time.

Cardissa approaching with two Ensco drill ships in the background in Tenerife, Canary Islands
Cardissa tied up alongside the AIDAnova
Closeup of the bunkering. The two insulated hoses are what will transfer the methane.
Closeup of the mooring