Two European shipyards are on the short-list to build two 920-passenger vessels for Royal Olympic Cruises, according to board member Alex Keusseoglou.

Royal Olympic wanted to build the ships in Greece but was not given any government financing help. "Economically we cannot build in Greece without aid since it costs about 40 percent more for the two vessels than in other yards," said Keusseoglou.

It is expected that each ship will cost about $150 million and that a contract will be signed by May in order to bring the first newbuilding on line in 1999.