20th May 2006, 12:30
Stelios Haji-Ioannou has announced that a letter of intent has been raised to build 2 new ships with an option for a further two. Ships to be built in Greece. 500 berth ships will take two years to build.Far less orange colour will be used in the new ships and the food will be more international than american menu now in use.
26th May 2006, 15:52
The trade press are reporting that although Stelios Haji-Ioannou has signed a preliminary agreement with Neorion Holdings of Greece for the construction of two 500-passenger cruise ships, plus an option for a further two ships, a firm contract is still a long way off. The deal appears to depend upon some fancy financing from the Greek Government, which is not as easy as it was before the EEC clamp down on shipbuilding support. A further difficulty is that Neorion are not experienced cruise ship builders. They did have a contract to build 560-passenger cruise ship to be called Noah’s Ark, but that was abandoned after the ship was afloat.
In the meanwhile, easyCruise (It seems this is the latest house style, both words joined together, with only C in upper case lettering) plans to add a 100-passenger, 1981 built, river boat to its brand. easyCruise Two, will not be owned by Stelios, but will instead be owned and operated under a franchise deal.
I feel that Stelios is superb at generating self-publicity. easyCruise is a minute outfit and likely to remain so, yet he manages to capture a huge amount of media attention.