Royal Olympic charts course with new voyages

NEW YORK -- Royal Olympic Cruises created new itineraries aboard two of its newest vessels -- the Olympia Explorer and Olympia Voyager. The Olympia Explorer will introduce a series of Grand Mediterranean Cruises for the spring and summer.

According to officials, it will be the only vessel offering Aegean and Adriatic cruises that include visits to eight destinations in seven days, calling in Athens, Corfu, Katakolon, Mykonos and Santorini, Greece; Venice, Italy; Dubrovnik, Croatia, and Istanbul, Turkey. The 836-passenger Olympia Explorer offers weekly round- trip departures from Piraeus, Greece (May 3 through Oct. 18, and Venice (May 5 through Oct. 13). Clients also are offered pre- and post-cruise packages in Greece and Italy.

Royal Olympic's Grand Mediterranean Cruises, sailing during the spring and summer aboard the Olympia Explorer, will include calls at Mykonos, Greece, above. The Olympia Explorer's Sky Suites accommodations feature butler service, which officials said was instituted to offer passengers the convenience of a personal concierge -- which can arrange everything from spa appointments to intimate cocktail parties. The butler services also include breakfast and lunch en suite.

In line with Royal Olympic's onboard cultural enrichment programs, the Olympia Explorer features art and history lectures as well as onboard musical performances designed to enhance the itineraries. The vessel features a "Precious Earth" decorative theme throughout its public spaces, with color schemes matching the planet's precious stones.

Dining options are the Aqua Marina Restaurant and its casual alternative, the Topaz Garden Lounge, where buffet breakfast, lunch and late-night snacks are served. Other features include a casino, cigar lounge, piano bar, shops, a library and a game room.

There are two entertainment venues, the Amber Lounge and the Panoramic Lounge, which offer spectacular views and disco entertainment at night. A spa offers special treatment rooms for mud baths, facials, massages and water therapies.

Next year, Royal Olympic returns to the Texas market with the Olympia Voyager, which will offer year-round sailings from Houston through April 2003. The cruise line has been in the Texas market since 1976.

On March 18, the Olympia Voyager will begin cruises from both Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Houston with 10- and 12-day Maya Equinox voyages visiting Cozumel, Progreso and Playa del Carmen, Mexico; Roatan, Honduras; Santo Tomas de Castilla, Guatemala; Puerto Cortes, Honduras, and Belize City, Belize. Rates begin at $1,207 per person, excluding port charges.

Beginning March 30, the Olympia Voyager starts seven-day, roundtrip Mayaribbean itineraries from Houston, which will run through April 5, 2003. The voyages sail the Gulf of Mexico and call at Playa del Carmen, Puerto Cortez, Belize City and Progresso. Rates begin at $847 per person, excluding port charges.

In addition, Royal Olympic will feature two seven-day Maya Equinox cruises departing Sept. 21, 2002, and March 22, 2003, to the same ports of call mentioned above. For reservations or more information, call Royal Olympic at (800) 872-6400 or visit the company's Web site, at www.royalolympiccruises.com.

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