AIDA Cruises has signed a shipbuilding contract for a third next-generation cruise ship for the German brand. Scheduled for delivery in 2023, the 180,000gt vessel will be built at Meyer Werft and will have approximately 2,700 staterooms. She will be fully powered by LNG and will follow the launch of the first of three next-generation LNG vessels, to be called AIDAnova, which will join the fleet in December 2018, followed by a second to be christened in 2021. On 5th March AIDA Cruises announced their first female captain in the AIDA fleet and the highest-ranking woman on a cruise ship in Germany. Nicole Langosch was born in Osterode and grew up in Herborn in Hesse and has taken command of the 71,304gt/2011 built and 253m long AIDAsol. Captain Langosch navigated the ship into Hamburg for the first time as Captain on 25th March. The 125,572gt/2017 built AIDAperla, younger sister of the AIDAprima, made her debut at Southampton on 11th March.

Celestyal Cruises announced on 28th February that it will operate an extended 2019 season, which is seeing the company lengthen operations into November while returning to Istanbul for the first time since 2016.

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Cunard Line has announced that it will base the Queen Elizabeth in Australia for an unprecedented 101 days over the 2019-20 Australian cruise season. The 90,901gt/2010 built ship will sail on six roundtrip cruises from Melbourne and two from Sydney between December 2019 and March 2020.

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