Dolphin Hellas Shipping A/S, owners of the S.S. Albatross, will introduce the 580-passenger the Aegean-sea in Spring, 1987.

Formerly the Nakris - a Zim Line car go vessel built in 1974 - the Aegean Sea is undergoing a $15 million refurbishment at the Perama shipyard in Piraeus, according to Ami Vassiliadis, president of Sigma Cruises & Tours - the general agent for Dolphin Hellas.

Upon completion, the ship will feature 290 cabins - most outside - and a full deck of public rooms; and be completely modernized.

"It will have a variable pitch propeller and bowthruster for easy maneuvering through fjords and bays," Vassiliadis said.

The ship has been designed with the experienced traveller's needs in mind, he said. "The Sigma client is a professional, 40 to 60 years old, with an annual income of at least $40,000. We cater to the upper cut, you might say."

Americans account for one-third of Sigma's passengers, with the majority coming from California, Florida, Texas and the Northeast, "in that order." according to Vassiliadis. There is also a strong representation from Canada.

To date, the itineraries for the Aegean Sea have not yet been selected. However, the Black Sea, North Sea and Greek Islands are strong possibilities, Vassiliadis said.