The acquisition of the Orient Queen by Louis Cruises Lines follows on the heels of its recent purchase of the Sea Diamond - and more ships will likely follow suit, Marketing Manager Michalis Marathefds told Cruise Industry News.

"We have been expanding our operations and that expansion will continue," Maratheftis said.

Deployment plans for the 15,781-ton, 850- passenger ship had not been not finalized at press time.

The 1968-built ex-Bolero, formerly with now defunct Festival Cruises, was refurbished by the ship's most recent owners, Orient Queen Shipping, to the tune of $22 million.

"They upgraded the ship in a stylish, European manner, adding several luxury touches; she is in impeccable condition," Maratheftis said, adding that the vessel will have plasma TVs in all of her cabins.

"No further upgrading is needed," he added.

Louis' fleet, including the Orient Queen, now consists of 13 ships. The line operates cruises from Piraeus, Genoa, Marseilles, London, and Liassol. Three of Louis' ships are chartered to Thomson Cruises and one to Transocean Cruises.

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