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Cruises for the mass class

Travel & Tourism

With the launch of the 289-foot-long easyCruiseOne, budget travelers will be able to invade the playgrounds of the rich and famous on one-week itineraries that allow them to embark and depart at any port along the route.

If you live in Europe, you must have heard of easyCruise by now, yet another low fare concept from the people that already brought cost-conscious Europeans easyJet, easyCar, easyHotel and more. With the launch of the 289-foot-long easyCruiseOne on May 6th in Nice, France, budget travelers will soon be able to invade the playgrounds of the rich and famous on one-week itineraries that allow them to embark and depart at any port along the route, provided they stay onboard for at least two nights. Targeting passengers in their 20s, 30s and 40s who have not previously considered travel on a conventional cruise, the easyCruiseOne itinerary covers St. Tropez, Cannes, Nice, Monaco, Imperia (for San Remo), Genoa and Portofino. The ship’s six decks include a Caffe Ritazza, an American-style Sports Bar, and a Tapas Bar with a live DJ on some evenings. There will also be an outdoor six-person jacuzzi on deck. All food and beverage will be sold on an a la carte basis. Cabins are available in three categories, with 72 twins, 6 quads and 4 suites. For passengers who want their cabin cleaned or bedding and towels changed during the course of their cruise, there will be an optional housekeeping charge of USD 20 (GBP 10 / EUR 15) payable on board. If easyCruise proves successful, another 4-6 ships may be added to the fleet by 2010, cruising not only the Mediterranean but possibly Caribbean and Australian waters as well.

Opportunities

While easyCruise’s tag line “CRUISE INTO THE PLAYGROUND OF THE RICH & FAMOUS” initially conjures up fantastic images of horrified jet setters taking to their Wallies to escape the very orange easyCruiseOne, the company’s vision could play out well. It capitalizes on changes in travel patterns and a predicted growth in the cruise market of 6 new million new customers in the next few years. The fact that up to 80% of all Northern American and European households have never taken a cruise, doesn’t hurt either. On a grander scale, easyCruise could change the dynamics of a somewhat conservative industry. After all, boats may have gotten better and more luxurious, but the product itself has shown remarkably little innovation, and remains geared toward a run-of-the-mill audience, sustaining a fairly un-cool image of what could be a really fun or hip way to spend a part or all of one’s holiday. Naturally, easyGroup’s low fare airline division easyJet will also benefit from flying aspiring cruise passengers to Mediterranean ports. With tourists going on short breaks non-stop and year-round, adding a few nights on a cruise ship should appeal. Other cruise companies to follow? And on a grander scale: which industry will succumb to the low fare revolution next?

Website: www.easycruise.com/

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