Radisson, Crystal prepare to welcome new vessels

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Two luxury cruise lines are poised to introduce ships in the coming months.

At Radisson Seven Seas Cruises, president Mark Conroy said the line was slated to take delivery of the all-suite Seven Seas Voyager at the end of last month.

The ship's maiden voyage departs from Monaco on April 1; however, for select agents and guests, the Voyager will sail a series of shakedown cruises this month.

To cope with the increase in capacity -- the Voyager can accommodate 700 passengers -- Radisson increased its sales force by four and promoted four sales employees.

Meanwhile, at Crystal Cruises, president Gregg Michel said it's "all systems go" at France's Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard for the completion of the line's first new ship in nearly eight years, the Crystal Serenity.

"We're ramping up for our inaugural events," Michel said.

The Serenity, at 68,000 tons, will be 38% larger than its predecessors, the Crystal Harmony and the Crystal Symphony. However, Michel said the ship only will carry 12% more passengers.

The Serenity's inaugural cruise, from London on July 7, is sold out, he said.

Both ships will sail their inaugural itineraries in the Mediterranean.

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