Crown Cruise Line has announced the signing of a $60 million contract for the construction of a new 530-passenger cruise ship to be built at union Navale of Valencia, Spain. The 15- to 16,000-ton ship will be 500 feet long, have a beam of 66 feet and include seven passenger decks. Delivery is scheduled for 1990.

According to Oddmund Grunstad, President of the line, size will be an important factor in marketing the new ship. "Results of research we conducted indicate that experienced cruisers, most of whom have sailed on large ships, prefer their next cruise to be on a smaller ship," Grundstad said. He believes the size of the ship will ensure it a secure position between the mega ships and the boutique lines.

The unnamed vessel will cater to an upscale market, offering two- and five-day cruises from the Port of Palm Beach, where the line enjoys a multi-year exclusivity contract.