AIDA Cruises is the market leader in the German-speaking cruise market and aims to create contemporary, resort-style facilities that appeal to today’s active consumers – and that now includes a premium in-cabin digital user experience that fully engages this tech-savvy market. The company worked with VITEC to upgrade its in-cabin infotainment systems to exemplify the premium-quality amenities that make its ships into, in effect, seagoing resorts.
AIDA wanted a solution that would combine guest access to international TV channels with interactive cruise services. As well as supplying a range of high-definition international content to each cabin, the system also needed to be flexible and easy to manage to meet the highest levels of service expected by guests onboard the ships. One of AIDA’s primary motivations behind upgrading their technology was the desire to offer cutting-edge room infotainment services via SmartTVs, which was not possible with previous systems.
As of mid-2020, VITEC has equipped six AIDA ships – including AIDAnova which, at 183,900 tonnes and 5,200 passenger capacity, is among the world’s largest and most technologically advanced vessels – with a combined total of over 11,000 guest and crew cabins, each with in-cabin infotainment TV interfaces powered by ArtioGuest. AIDA created a fully customisable interface that delivers a rich variety of German language and international TV channels, and movies (with age restriction controls) and TV shows on demand. Crew members also have the ability to catch up on the previous two days of TV, an important benefit for their welfare, as well as to watch training videos.
Additional channels, provided by VITEC Encoders and AvediaServer Play channels, include important safety information videos, live and delayed broadcasts of onboard theatre, entertainment previews, and interviews with the Captain. Live feeds from on-board webcams are also available showing the view from bow, stern and pool deck cameras. Destination and experience videos with promotional shopping information also provide additional revenue opportunities for AIDA.
Alongside providing guests with a premium entertainment experience, ArtioGuest enables AIDA to drive additional revenue as guests are able to book excursions and purchase movies from the comfort of their room. Guests can also view their bill and receive messages from ship personnel on their in-cabin TV.
In addition to in-cabin infotainment, the VITEC system also powers public screens in areas such as reception and lounges, with digital signage displaying news channels, weather, events, restaurant/bar opening times, as well as live sports events, all managed centrally by the system administrator. Safety measures are also taken into consideration with the ability to automatically mute all TVs when emergency signals and announcements are in progress.
Van Hoven is full of praise for the VITEC deployment, its technical staff and technology platform:
“The VITEC team and technology exceeded our expectations. Each installation process has been seamless, and the team was always on hand to ensure everything was running smoothly. We’re looking forward to working closely with them again in the future.”