After more than two years docked, the former AIDAvita finally left the port of Tallin, in Estonia. Recently sold to Blue Dream Cruises, the cruise ship sailed away under its own power on Jan. 24.
Now cruising in the Ionian Sea, the 2002-built is sailing towards Port Said, in Egypt, where it’s expected to arrive on Feb. 10.
Renamed Blue Dream Melody, the ship is on its way to China, where it is set to undergo a drydock and refit before launching service for its new owners.
After first arriving in Tallinn in November 2021, the former AIDAvita remained docked at the port of the Estonian capital city for over 26 months.
The 1,270-guest cruise ship has been out of service since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020.
Initially waiting to resume service for AIDA Cruises, the ship ended up being withdrawn from the company’s fleet in June 2022.
Following several months looking for a buyer, the AIDAvita finally sold to Beta Marine in March 2023.
The ship was renamed Avitak under the Liberia flag but no plans for its future were announced. While rumors pointed out that the vessel could start a new operation in the Eastern Mediterranean, it remained docked in Tallinn.
Now part of the Blue Dream Cruises fleet, the Blue Dream Melody is set to operate a series of cruises in the Far East along with the Blue Dream Star.
Aiming at the Chinese market, the 42,200-ton vessel will receive a new hull art, in addition to customized features aligned with Blue Dream’s goal of becoming the country’s “National Cruise Brand.”
According to a press release, the company is focusing on China’s new trends in culture, tourism and consumer preferences.
Built in Germany for AIDA Cruises, the former AIDAvita was initially designed to offer the company’s “club-ship” concept, which includes multiple open-seating, buffet-style restaurants, in addition to a relaxed and informal atmosphere onboard.