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Old 03-07-2005, 10:33 AM
Oggy Boy Oggy Boy is offline
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Miami, March 7, 2005 Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. has signed a letter of intent with Aker Finnyards in Turku, Finland, to add a third ship to its Freedom class of vessels now being built for Royal Caribbean International. The agreement is subject to certain conditions, including board approval.

Like the series first and second ships, this third Royal Caribbean newbuild is a 158,000-GRT vessel equipped with 1,800 cabins that accommodate 3,600 guests double occupancy. It enters service in early 2008, two years after the class debuts in April, 2006, with Freedom of the Seas.

The company estimates the cost of the third ship, including the contract price (specified in euros), capitalized interest, owner-delivered items, and engineering/construction oversight, to be approximately $230,000 per berth, at current exchange rates.

The Freedom series builds on Royal Caribbean?s five, highly popular Voyager-class ships the vessels that introduced rock-climbing, ice-skating and Royal Promenade into cruising's vernacular. The ships in this newest class will be 15 percent larger than those in the Voyager-class, and will have new features, not yet revealed, also destined to become industry icons.

We have said all along that the continued success of our brands will depend on the steady, sustained growth of our fleet, said Chairman and CEO Richard Fain, ?We are pleased to reaffirm that pledge today, and are excited about the enormous possibilities inherent in these new ships.

Royal Caribbean's newest entrant to its fleet, Jewel of the Seas, its 19th ship, debuted last Spring. The company ordered Freedom of the Seas in September, 2003. For more information, see your travel agent.