Carnival Corporation will consolidate its German cruise operations, transferring the 1,590-passenger cruise ship A'ROSA Blu to its AIDA brand in summer 2004. Separately, the company announced that it has entered into a letter of intent to sell the A'ROSA brand name and the A'ROSA riverboats.
With the transfer of the A'ROSA Blu, to be renamed AIDA Blu, Carnival Corp. & plc will have two distinct brands operating five vessels catering exclusively to German-speaking clientele. The four AIDA ships will operate under the informal "club resort" cruise concept aimed at younger, more active passengers while the vessel of Costa Kreuzfahrten, a division of Costa Cruises, offers a more traditional cruise experience.
"This is a strategic move that will allow us to focus on these two truly exceptional but markedly different cruise products for German-speaking clientele while optimizing asset utilization and maximizing returns for the corporate group," said Carnival Corporation & plc Chairman and CEO Micky Arison. "The German-speaking market is one of the fastest growing in Europe and these two well-known, popular brands will serve as a platform for our future growth there," he added.
As previously announced, Pier Luigi Foschi, Costa Cruises' chairman and CEO and a member of Carnival Corporation & plc's boards of directors, will continue to have overall responsibility for the company's German cruise companies, including Seetours, which operates AIDA, with Seetours President Lars Clasen reporting directly to Foschi.
The parent company of Seetours, the operator of A' ROSA, has signed a letter of intent with Arkona AG for the sale of its A'ROSA river cruise business, including three 200-passenger riverboats and the "A'ROSA" trademark, effective later this year.