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EasyCruise to Purchase Third Ship

Easy Cruise is expected to purchase its third ship "very shortly," according to a spokesperson. The easyCruiseThree will sail in the Aegean Sea from May through October 2008. While not revealing the identity of the addition, it will be larger than the line's other vessels, she said.

In May 2006, easyCruise signed a letter of intent for the construction of two 500-passenger, 7 ,500-ton cruise ships, with an option for an additional two, at Neorion Holdings shipyards in Greece. But in December 2006, easyCruise Chairman Stelios HajiIoannou said that it may take another six months before a contract is finalized, citing the yards' inexperience as a main factor. However, last week, the yard's managing director, Yiannis Tavoularis, told Cruise Industry News that he has "no word on the intentions of easyCruise for the building of new ships."

"We are not counting this project in our planning forn ow," Tavoularis added.

A Louis Cruise Lines spokesperson said that "there are no developments" regarding the status of easyCruise's franchise agreement with the Greek-based line, which was also announced last year. "We are still looking for the right ship(s)," he added.

In other easyCruise-related news, the easyCruiseOne recently added 22 new cabins, bringing capacity to 214 (double occupancy). The cabins on Deck 3 replaced the Cafe Ritazza, and the cabins on Deck 2 "replaced the original restaurant which we never used," said Paul Ellerby, director of sales and marketing for easyCruise. The new cabins are from about 90 to 112 square feet, compared to the older cabins, which are from 90 to 133 square feet.

The easyCruiseOne is currently operating at "90 percent plus" occupancy, Ellerby said. And HajiIoannou pointed out that "there are no issues" concerning the additional capacity. EasyCruise has a new ship presentation on its website.

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