New berths for ROC cabin-holders at Olympics

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ATHENS -- Olympic Games organizing committee Athens 2004 here said it found alternate accommodations for officials who had booked cabins on the three Royal Olympia Cruises ships originally set to dock at Piraeus, Greece, for the duration of this August's Summer Games before they were seized by creditors back in January.

The U.S. Olympic Committee, with reservations for 60 cabins on the ROC ships, will be housed on Holland America's Oosterdam, according to Spyros Pappas, accommodations manager for Athens 2004.

Meanwhile, French organizing officials and broadcasters -- with 105 cabins -- will be accommodated on Majestic International Cruises' Ocean Explorer I, while other national Olympic committees have been assigned to area hotels.

Despite the room crunch, Athens 2004 noted that shipboard cabins and suites are still available for booking by visitors and spectators on the Oosterdam and Holland America sister ship the Rotterdam, as well as the AIDA Aura, operated by Carnival Corp.'s Germany-based AIDA cruise operation.

In related news, new Greek prime minister Costas Karamanlis, head of the conservative New Democracy party -- which swept this week's national elections -- said he was taking personal charge of the controversial drive to ready a laggardly Athens in time for the Aug. 13 opening ceremonies of the Summer Games.

To contact reporter Kenneth Kiesnoski, send e-mail to [email protected].

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