EasyCruise has signed a letter of intent for two 500-passenger ships plus options for two more with Neorion Holdings of Greece, owner of shipyards in Elefsis and on the island of Syros.

Plans call for deploying the ships in the Greek islands as well as in other parts of the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, Florida and the Bahamas, and Dubai and nearby areas. According to EasyCruise Chairman Stelios Haji-Ionnau, there are still some issues to be negotiated before the contracts are finalized which he expects will be in the next two months. No delivery dates have been set yet.

Newly appointed CEO, Gwyn Hughes said: "Our ships are designed to be cost effective. And unlike a typical cruise line, the revenue challenge is not that great. There is much less overhead, and our ports are close together, so we don't spend a lot of time at sea burning fuel."

Hughes sees growth for easyCruise on two levels - with new ships and through franchising. Hughes told Cruise Industry News that 500 passengers offer sufficient economies of scale and going larger would restrict the number of ports the cruise line call at.