Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Well What Did You Expect on a [Pounds Sterling]20 per Night Cruise ..the QM2? NO-FRILLS CRUISES WILL BRING IN THE YOUNGER GENERATION, SAYS 'EASY' FOUNDER STELIOS

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Well What Did You Expect on a [Pounds Sterling]20 per Night Cruise ..the QM2? NO-FRILLS CRUISES WILL BRING IN THE YOUNGER GENERATION, SAYS 'EASY' FOUNDER STELIOS

Article excerpt

Byline: ED HARRIS

AH, the romance of the sea cruise: magnificent vistas from a sumptuously appointed suite, swimming in the open air pool after a lazy game of quoits, dinner at the captain's table.

Well, it won't quite be like that if you sail on easyCruise. But what do you expect for [pounds sterling]20 a night?

The world's first no-frills cruise liner sails from Nice tomorrow morning on its maiden journey as Stelios Haji-Ioannou, the easyJet founder, launches his latest venture.

Around dawn tomorrow, the " floating hotel" - with orange ceilings, orange shelves, orange beds and orange bathrooms - will slide out of Nice harbour with a full complement of 170 passengers, bound for Cannes, 20 miles along the Riviera.

Holidaymakers pay as little as [pounds sterling]20 a night for their Mediterranean cruise, if they share a four-berth cabin. Two beds are squeezed into the 10 square metres of the standard twin cabin, which costs [pounds sterling]50. Those seeking more spacious quarters can splash out upwards of [pounds sterling]159 for one of four suites.

What separates easyCruise from more conventional cruises is that passengers can book by the night as the good ship easyCruiseOne plies its route, spending one night a week at seven ports along the Mediterranean coast.

The seven-day itinerary is not exactly ambitious, and the captain can leave almost all his charts at home. After Cannes, his vessel docks at St Tropez.

For the rest of the week, it will not stray further than Portofino, 120 miles away on the Italian Riviera.

EasyCruise is aimed firmly at the young market. Passengers are expected to stagger back on board ship by 4am - giving them plenty of time to sample the nightlife in each port - or risk missing the boat.

Facilities on board the 88-metre, 4,077-ton ship are minimal. There is a sports bar, a coffee franchise, a shop selling suntan lotion and beachwear, and an outdoor cocktail bar - with a hot-tub, which is certain to be popular among the young revellers. …

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