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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Next Generation of Cruise Ships to be "Floating Towns"

The growing popularity of Caribbean and Mediterranean cruise-ship vacations is prompting cruise lines to build ever larger ships. The next generation of cruise ships on the drawing board -- due for launch in 2009 -- will be as long as four football fields (twice as long as the Titanic) and will carry up to 6,000 passengers.

The ships will be virtually self-sustaining, containing their own shopping malls, wave pools for surfing, entire "theatre districts," and even their own sewage treatment plants. These "superjumbo" ships reflect the cruise lines' strategy to market their ships not as forms of transportation, but as destinations in of themselves, competing with resorts such as Disney World and Las Vegas.

In 2005, bookings on cruise liners rose by 7.5% over the previous year. Bookings are expected to rise an additional 30% between now and 2009.

Source: AFP (via Yahoo)