Thursday, October 4, 2007

Cruise Lines: It's So EASY

easyCruise’s successful inaugural summer season in Greece has prompted the unorthodox cruise line to more than triple its capacity for summer 2008. The line’s new flagship, to be christened easyCruise Life after a multi-million dollar refit is scheduled to enter service in April 2008. With accommodattions for 540 passengers, and at 12,711 tons, easyCruise Life is three times the size of her yacht-sized, sister ship easyCruise One (4,011 tons).

Launched in 2005 by serial entrepreneur Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, easyCruise is noted for inexpensive cruises to chic resorts and islands off the beaten track. The ships sail for just a few hours each morning and arrive in port around lunchtime so guests can enjoy the rest of the day and evening (until the wee morning hours) ashore. easyCruise Life will offer a seven-night itinerary that includes Turkey, calling at Bodrum, one of the country’s most popular resorts with a nightlife known throughout the Aegean. New itineraries also showcase six different Greek Islands from laidback Syros and Samos to lively Kalymnos, Kos, Paros and Mykonos, the legendary jet-set mecca. Guests can choose to join the cruise in Piraeus (Athens) on Saturdays or in Bodrum on Mondays.

“Since easyCruise launched two years ago we have offered an affordable way to see intriguing places that are difficult to reach, except by sea,” said Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, chairman of easyCruise. “It is clear that staying in port until the early morning hours has broad appeal because many travelers also want to experience the local nightlife.”

Cruise fares, starting from as low as $143 per person (double occupancy) for seven nights aboard easyCruise Life, include port taxes. Cabins are equipped with ensuite bathrooms with shower. Fresh linens and towels are provided upon arrival, however, little else is included. Meals, drinks, spa treatments, sightseeing tours, and even housekeeping services are all reasonably priced extras that can be purchased in advance or on board. Facilities on the newly-acquired ship will include enhanced versions of the Aptiva Spa and fusionon6 combination restaurant/discotheque that are found on easyCruise One, plus broad teak sundecks, an outdoor swimming pool, and hot tub. Accommodations include 23 Panoramic Suites and 14 superior doubles, all with picture windows; 76 oceanview standard twin cabins, 45 oceanview standard quad cabins, and 112 interior standard twins.

This fall and next spring, the line’s easyCruise One will be deployed on a new seven-night itinerary that showcases Classical Greece, including Mycenae, Nemea, Olympia and Delphi. Timings have been planned so that guests can experience the Acropolis by night and witness a Sounion sunset. In summer 2008, the ship will again offer popular long-weekend cruises to Poros, Mykonos, Paros and Sifnos. A new 10-night itinerary will transit the Corinth Canal to the islands of the Ionian Sea, including Ithaki, Paxos, Corfu, Kefallonia, Zakynothos, Itea (for Delphi), Corinth, Preveza and Agioi Saranta, Albania, which serves as a gateway to Butrint, a UNEXCO World Heritage Site. Unfortunately easyCruise One is not repeating its Caribbean cruises this winter.

To learn more about the new easyCruise Life, easyCruise One, and the line’s Greece and Turkey itineraries visit or contact a professional travel agent. If you don't mind making your own bed, easyCruise is an easy way to island-hop.

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