Royal Olympic, which suffered a tough first half of the year, reporting a net lost of $10.2 million in the first six months, finally has some good news. Olympic Voyager, its brand new ship -- and the industry’s current title-holder of fastest, with a maximum speed of 28 knots, has arrived on American shores. Voyager’s U.S. inaugural ceremony was held last week in Port Everglades. The ship, which has been offering weeklong voyages to the continents of Europe, Africa and Asia since its official debut in June, will be introducing a series of 17-day Amazon cruises out of Ft. Lauderdale. Other destinations include 11-day Mayan-themed voyages whose highlight will be a full-day trip to Chichen Itza that -- unusually -- is offered to all guests on a complimentary basis.
The 25,000-ton, 836-passenger ship is the first newbuild for Royal Olympic in 10 years. The company hopes it will not have to wait another decade to add a new ship to the 8-vessel fleet; Olympic Explorer, a sister ship, is scheduled for debut in 2001. Additionally, Royal Olympic is reportedly negotiating for two more newbuilds that will feature maximum speeds of 29 knots and state-of-the-art propulsion systems.