Yet another of the Costa company’s smaller vessels is departing the fold next year, when the 48,200 ton, 1,196 passenger Costa NeoRiviera transfers across to Aida Cruises, the flag bearer of Carnival Corporation’s German portfolio. The ship, originally built as the Mistral for the now long defunct Festival Cruises, will sail from Palma on her maiden voyage as the AidaMira on December 4th, 2019.
A quite comprehensive refurbishment and updating of the ship has been announced, prior to her first revenue cruise. Some ninety six of her existing 624 cabins will be converted into suites, and around eighty of these will have a balcony. In terms of dining and leisure options, the re-wrought AidaMira will offer six different restaurants, and half a dozen bars and lounges.
Once the work is complete, AidaMira will embark on a series of longer, more destination intensive cruises, including a complete, fourteen night round trip sailing from Cape Town to the highlights of South Africa.
That will leave only the current, 1993 built Costa NeoRomantica flying the flag for Costa’s own brand of brief lived, more intimate, destination oriented cruises, a now obviously abandoned notion that it seems is to be best left to others. It seems unlikely that the brand will continue as a one ship fleet; so quite likely Costa will also be parting with that ship as well in the not too distant future.