easyCruise Buys Ship, Triples Berths

September 12, 2007

easyCruise's search for a new ship to replace the European river-trawling easyCruiseTwo has ended: The line has acquired a 12,711-ton, 500-plus passenger vessel. (As we reported last month, easyCruise, which leased easyCruiseTwo from Boonstra River Line, was forced to cancel a series of cruises when that line suffered financial problems).

The new ship, which will begin sailing in April 2008, will be called easyCruise Life. It's a departure not only from easyCruise's style of naming (one, two and so forth) but also in its size. easyCruise Life is approximately twice as large as the 232-passenger easyCruiseOne. The ship is
currently sailing as the Farah, part of an Egypt-based company called Arab Ship Management.

More details:

Built in 1981 at the Szczecin Shipyard in Poland, easyCruise Life will undergo an extensive refurbishment this winter, with additions including the standard easy orange and grey livery, the FusionOn6 restaurant/disco (located on Deck 6) and the Aptiva Spa.

easyCruise Life will offer various cabin choices including 23 Panoramic Suites and 14 superior doubles, both with large picture windows; 76 Standard Twin cabins with window; 45 Standard Quad Cabins with window; and 112 Standard Inside Twins. There will be no balcony options.

easyCruise Life's 2008 season will include stops in six different Greek islands, from the lesser known Syros and Samos to the more popular Kalymnos, Kos, Paros and Mykonos. The ship will also feature the line's first calls in Turkey, including the city of Bodrum in the itinerary.

Passengers will have two seven-night sailing options on easyCruise Life: sailing roundtrip from Athens, departing and embarking on Saturday; or roundtrip from Bodrum, departing and arriving on Monday. Editor's Note: Though easyCruise originally promoted more variable itineraries (requiring only a minimum of two days and a maximum of 14), both ships now offer set cruise lengths of four, seven and ten nights.

What does this mean for the new-builds that seem to have been on the horizon for easyCruise for some time, the first of which was tentatively eyed for launch in 2008? (Some reports even noted the goal of expanding the fleet to
8 ships by 2012!).

We checked today, and the link for "new-building," which
appeared on the "ships" page of the easyCruise Web site, has vanished. When asked about the status of the line's new-builds, Paul Ellerby, easyCruise's sales and marketing director noted, "The new-build program is alive but the
details are under review. You will see the link restored before the end of the year."

Stay tuned.

--by Dan Askin, Assistant Editor