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New Type Cruise Scheduled for Greek Islands

Stelios Haji-Ioannou, head of easyCruise, says he plans to deploy a cruise ship on a Greek Islands itinerary in the summer of 2006 or 2007, and an Arabian Gulf itinerary on a 2006/2007 winter schedule. This will be with the company’s second ship – a  400-plus passenger vessel to be named easyCruise Two – which follows this year’s launch of easyCruise One in the Mediterranean.

The line appeals to a younger crowd by allowing passengers to embark and disembark where and when they choose (with a minimum of two nights on board) and by sojourning in a different port every night so passengers can sample nightlife on shore.

From the outset, easyCruise targeted the independent, younger crowd and says the average age of its passengers is 33. According to a spokesman for the line, that’s more than 20 years younger than the average age typically quoted by most of the cruise industry, which includes children in its tallies.

And although barely a month since its launch, no-frills easyCruise already plans to expand beyond this year’s Mediterranean base. The success of this inexpensive, ferry-like service sent owners exploring a Caribbean option. Its president visited Barbados in May with an eye on basing his 170-passenger easyCruise One there from November 2005 to April 2006.

Plans are not finalized, and, according to the line, Antigua also is in the running.

Either way, plans include a weeklong Caribbean loop to islands such as Saint Lucia, Martinique, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Grenada. With the exception of St. Vincent, all the islands have nonstop flights from London or Paris and New York, ensuring a broad mix of passengers.

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