Ex-AIDAcara to offer Mediterranean cruises from Sochi from March 5th – News from the cruise industry

The former AIDAcara – the 1,186-passenger ship previously operated by Germany’s AIDA Cruises – is soon to embark on new adventures as part of a new Russian project.

The ship, renamed Astoria Grande, is to date four cruises from Sochi in Russia.

The first is a 14-day round trip to Istanbul, Çanakkale and Çeşme in Turkey, Alexandria in Egypt (with overnight stay on board), followed by three other Turkish ports of call: Bodrum, Kuşadası, Istanbul. There are three travel dates available for this itinerary: March 5, 2022, March 19, 2022, and April 2, 2022.

The second available cruise is a 15-day round trip via Istanbul, Bodrum, Limassol in Cyprus, Haifa in Israel (with overnight stay on board), Alexandria in Egypt, followed by two Turkish ports of call: Kuşadası and Istanbul. Only one departure date is available for this itinerary: April 16, 2022.

The third cruise is an 11-day round-trip visiting Batumi in Georgia, Istanbul, the Greek islands of Mykonos and Santorini, followed by two Turkish ports of call: Kuşadası and Istanbul. There are eight departure dates available for the route until September 2022, with the first departing on May 1st.

The fourth route is called Legendary Greek islands and offers ports of call in Batumi, Istanbul, Syros, Milos, Santorini, Leros, Patmos, Kuşadası, Kos – depending on the sailing date. The crossings last 11 nights and are like the other round-trip journeys from Sochi, Russia. Six sailing dates are available until September 2022, with the first departing on July 17th.

The cruise ship, built in 1996, is now operated by the Russian shipping company Akvilon. The company is registered in Moscow. After the takeover of AIDA Cruises, the ship was given a general overhaul at Sefine Shipyard in Turkey.

Akvilon sees his goal as “offering fun trips from Russia’s cruise capital Sochi with cruises specially created for Russia’s most discerning passengers”.

These cruises operate in countries that do not require a travel visa from Russian residents. Russian-speaking service and entertainment are provided on board.

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