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Tampa Port Adds New Cruise Line

Tampa Port Authority

The Port of Tampa will soon say "guten tag" to its fifth cruise line.

German cruise line AIDA Cruises (note: website is mainly in German) will base its AIDAvita ship out of the port starting in December 2014.

In winter 2015, the AIDAmar will takes its place in sailing out of Tampa.

"AIDA Cruises' announcement to come to Tampa is a milestone for us, not only at the port, but for all of our tourism and economic development partners in the region," Tampa Port Authority president and CEO Paul Anderson said in a press release.

Credit Tampa Port Authority
Tampa Port Authority
The newer and larger AIDAmar will begin sailing out of the Port of Tampa in December 2015.

The AIDAvita, which carries 1,266 passengers and 384 crew members, will offer cruises around the Western Caribbean that last three weeks. The AIDAmar, one of the newest members of AIDA's fleet, carries 2,194 passengers and a crew of 609. It will sail a similar route around the Western Caribbean.

AIDA bills itself as "ultra-casual cruising," mainly targeting younger German-speaking travelers. It has no dress code and offers open dining.

The subsidiary of Carnival Cruise Lines joins its parent company and another subsidiary, Holland America, in sailing out of the Port of Tampa.

Royal Caribbean and Norwegian cruise lines also offer cruises out of the port, which has seen continuing growth in traffic. Royal Caribbean announced earlier this year that it's adding a second ship, Vision of the Seas, that will sail out of Tampa beginning next winter. 

With the new ships, port officials believe there will be over 1 million passengers cruising out of Tampa in 2015.

Mark Schreiner is the assistant news director and intern coordinator for WUSF News.
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