The newest cruise ship of the AIDA fleet has been christened. At exactly nine minutes past eight on the evening of 9 February 2010, the traditional bottle of champagne was smashed across the bow of AIDAblu. The prominent ‘godmother’ was none other than the renowned designer, Jette Joop. She spoke the following words:
You beautiful ship, I christen you with the name AIDAblu.
I which you, your passengers and your crew
a safe and pleasant voyage at all times and
may there always be water beneath your keel.
Carry your smile into the world and into the hearts of the people!
AIDAblu had taken up a position in front of the Fish Market for the christening ceremony, with Captain Dr. Friedhold Hoppert keeping the vessel steady by using the bow thrusters. From a floating pontoon, the radiant ‘godmother’ then pressed the button, which then released the bottle of champagne on board via radio control. Jette Joop was dazzling in her dress designed especially for the christening ceremony and decorated with 6,000 Swarovski sequins.
Following the official christening, nearly the entire ship, 200 metres long and 25 metres high, became the projection area for a film about the natural elements. The show was accompanied by a brilliant firework display high above the Port of Hamburg, with red and blue lighting effects illuminating the night sky of the metropolis on the Elbe in the colours of the elements fire and ice.
More than twenty thousand onlookers were able to follow the magnificent spectacle from the banks of the River Elbe. A special Winter Village had been built at the Fish Market complete with powdery snow. The “Fire & Ice” christening theme gave spectators the opportunity to marvel at the firewalkers and ice carvers demonstrating their skills between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. The visitors to the Winter Village were able to get really close to the action via the huge LED screen set up there - as if in the first row!
After the christening ceremony, AIDAblu bade farewell to Hamburg and set off on its maiden voyage to Palma de Mallorca. The next highlight of AIDAblu’s premiere season will be the tours of Northern Europe. Between 6 March and 30 April 2010, guests will be able to discover the pulsating cities of Paris, London, Antwerp and Amsterdam.