German Cruise Ship AIDAvita with 1154 Passengers makes FIRST Trip of 2019-20 Season to NMPT
- Herzlich Willkommen (Welcome) to Kudla! German Cruise Ship AIDAvita with 1154 Passengers plus 407 Crew members makes FIRST Trip of 2019-20 Season to New Mangalore Port Trust (NMPT). On the occasion, a Helicopter service was launched for cruise ship passengers to visit Bekal Fort in North Kerala at present, and later to other sightseeing destinations.
Mangaluru: A new cruise season dawned at NMPT and the first vessel of the season AIDAvita, sailed into the port in the early hours on November 4 with 1154 passengers and 407 crew members on board. Speaking to the media persons NMPT Chairman-A V Ramana said, “This year NMPT has improved the existing facilities and augmented services. However, the attraction was the introduction of Helicopter services from the Port to nearby tourist destinations in Tulunadu and neighbouring state of Kerala.”
Ramana further said, “The Helicopter will offer its services to passengers to the Bekal Fort in North Kerala. The future destinations proposed are Dharmastala, Kukke, Belur and Halebeedu. This service is bound to find favour with the foreign tourists, who can pack a larger itinerary into their stay at Mangaluru by availing the helicopter services. The improved services include the re-furbished cruise terminal with additional facilities such as Free WiFi, improved shopping arcade and information kiosk The prospects look bright for the cruise experience which NMPT will offer this year.”
AIDA Cruises introduced the concept of modern club ships in the German market in 1996 and are still very successful with it. Instead of sticking to firm dining seating or dress codes, guests can unfold themselves on board the AIDA ships in a relaxed atmosphere. AIDA Cruises convinces various buffets, good sports facilities and diverse entertainment. The passengers are predominately mixed, from mostly senior citizens (who are enjoying their retired life on the social security or pension they get), middle-aged and young. AIDA Cruises is very popular with cruise newcomers. But even guests who have traveled with AIDA ships once, return enthusiastically. NMPT has seen many of AIDA ships, like AIDAbella, AIDAcara and others in the past, and last year on 15 November 2018 at 7:30 am AIDAvita made its MAIDEN trip and docked at the NMPT berth.
The AIDAvita belongs to the first AIDA series and is identical in construction to the AIDAcara. It was put into service in 2002 and recently modernized in 2017. Cruise guests will find everything their heart desires on board. In addition to numerous entertainment options, such as a theater with varied shows, guests can enjoy sporting highlights, such as a golf simulator and a volleyball court. For relaxation, there are plenty of oases, such as various saunas or massages. The AIDAvita has something to offer for everyone. With a length of 202.85 meters, the ship can accommodate up to 1266 passengers plus a few hundred crew members.
The 42,289-ton, 1,266-passenger cruise ship AIDAvita was designed as “club ship”, ultra-casual like all vessels in AIDA Cruises fleet… Besides the ship’s staff and crew, AIDA cruise passengers are also served by Peper robots – the latest cyborg technology implemented fleetwide in 2016. These humanoid robots greet and guide passengers upon embarkation. They also assist them throughout the cruise by providing information and tips on, onboard dining, entertainment, enrichment program (workshops, pre-scheduled events), casino and shopping promotions, shore excursions and tours. Pepper robots are mobile and communicate in three languages (English, German, Italian). They can also interpret human emotions by analyzing voice tones and face expressions.
Also on shore excursions, sports activities are offered. The AIDAvita implements the concept of modern club ships in a successful way. If you value a relaxed atmosphere and a variety of entertainment during your holiday, then you will feel well on board the AIDAvita. The ever-growing circle of AIDA fans proves this impressively. 30 passengers took bicycle ride across the City of Mangaluru, wading through the chaotic traffic of Smart City. Out of the 1154 passengers, a majority of them took a sight-seeing tour of Mangaluru/Dakshina Kannada/Moodabidri in the 17 air-conditioned buses, 62 Auto-Rickshaws, and 15 Cars, while a bunch of them cycled through the Coastal city in 30 bicycles.
All these passengers were welcomed at NMPT, by NMPT authorities, the staff of Lotus DMC (Destination Management Company),-Kochi, which handles the sightseeing part of the cruise, assisted by the staff of Globe Travels, Mangaluru, where Globe Travels takes pride, having introduced New Mangalore Port to the world of cruise in 1970, and ever since then, the movement of cruises at New Mangalore Port, has increased by 400%. And today, this German-built cruise ship “AIDAvita” arrived and docked at New Mangalore Port, with 1154 foreigners of mixed nationals, mostly Germans along Swiss and Austrians.
With 17 team members/tour guides on bus, and 5 guides leading the Tuk_Tuk Auto-Trip, the passengers had a jolly good time. While most of the passengers opted to take a bus trip to Famous and historically important places like St. Aloysius Chapel, Kadri Manjunatha Temple, Gokarnanatha Temple, Artisan Village, local market- a few others took bus trips to Udupi Sri Krishna Temple, Thousand Pillar Temple, Soans Farm-Moodbidri, Bahubali Temple, Karkala etc. Apart from this option, a bunch of these foreigners hopped into 62 auto-rickshaws operated by our very own Auto Rajas and enjoyed the “Auto Tuk Tuk” ride across the city, with lunch being served at Hotel Taj Gateway-Mangaluru.
Speaking to Team Mangalorean, AIDAvita Senior Tour Manager said, “On 28 October AIDAvita we departed from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, reached Muscat, Oman (31 Oct 0700-1930); Mormugao (Goa), India (03 Nov 0900-1900); Mangaluru (04 Nov 0800-1800); from here going to Kochi (05 Nov 0900-2000); Male- Maldives (07 Nov 0800(+1)1300); Colombo, Sri Lanka (10 Nov 0800-1800); Langkawi, Malaysia (14 Nov 0800-1600); Klang (Kuala Lumpur), Malaysia (15 Nov 0800-1930); and end our tour in Singapore (16 Nov), which will be a 20 days one-way trip from UAE to Singapore”.
While the foreigners who took the bus trip to Moodbidri and other places around had their lunch break at Soans Farms in Moodabidri, with catering provided by M D’Souza Caterers where the Germans had to take a break from sausages, Bratwurst, Ham, and German delicacies like Sauerbraten, Spätzle, Leberkäse, Maultaschen, Currywurst, Königsberger Klopse etc- instead had to enjoy the Kudla delicacies like- Sanna, Apam, Sevio, Banana Sukha, Chicken Sukha, Anjal (Sear) fish fry, Lamb Curry, Sweet Pulav, Gherkins Cashew, etc- and for desserts they were all treated with Payasam and Gulab Jamun. And those who took the Auto Tuk Tuk trip had a sumptuous buffet lunch arrange at Hotel Taj Gateway- where the hotel management crew along with Peter Nirmal-the General Manager, and F & B Manager Noor Mohammed provided good hospitality.
In conclusion, the NMPT authorities, Staff of Lotus DMC, and Globe Travels, and the tour guides did an extraordinary job in providing exemplary service and hospitality to these foreigners during their visit to Mangaluru. Keep up the good work that you all are entrusted with-Great Job, keep it up! Prost! (cheers!)