This article possibly contains original research. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding inline citations. Statements consisting only of original research should be removed. (August 2010) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
EasyCruise
TypeLeisure Travel
FoundedApril 2004
FounderStelios Haji-Ioannou
Defunct2010
FateSold to Hellenic Seaways and discontinued.
Headquarters
Athens
,
Greece
OwnerHellenic Seaways
WebsiteeasyCruise (via the Web Archive)

EasyCruise (styled as easyCruise) was a cruise line of Greek ferry operator Hellenic Seaways. It was sold to them in August 2009 for £9 million by founder and Cypriot/British business man, Stelios Haji-Ioannou.[1] They launched their first cruise ship EasyCruiseOne in 2005. Unlike other cruise lines, EasyCruise's business model offered passengers an inexpensive no-frills vacation with a la carte pricing for on board food and services. EasyCruise ended operations in early 2010.

Development

Stelios, who has a family background in shipping, decided to form a budget cruise line which he hoped would mirror the success of his budget travel airline, easyJet.

In April 2004, the initial ship was acquired for an approach to cruising that was aimed at attracting younger customers who wished to spend the majority of their time on shore rather than on board a megaship. The ship would offer the barest of amenities, allowing very cheap prices to be advertised. Value would be added by charging separately for each service aboard which is normally included in the quoted price of other cruise liners. Given the minimal facilities on board, the ship would position from port to port at night or in the early morning as the passengers slept, in order to allow the maximum time in each port ashore.

After a few months of negotiation and refurbishment, the ship, formerly known as Neptune 2, was renamed EasyCruiseOne. On 9 May 2005, the ship finally left for her maiden voyage.[2]

Itinerary

The service began by operating night-time departures cruising in the Mediterranean. For the winter season EasyCruise cruised in the Caribbean.

Until 17 August 2007, a second boat, EasyCruiseTwo, a converted river freighter, had a route around the Netherlands and Belgium, visiting the cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Antwerp and Brussels.

Television series

The fortunes of EasyCruise were tracked by a three series observational documentary called "Cruise with Stelios" produced by the British company Twofour, which was screened on Sky3 in the UK on Friday nights and in the US on The Travel Channel. The programme was also broadcast in Belgium (Flanders) as 'Cruiseline' on the public broadcaster 'één'

Reduction of service

In February 2008 EasyCruise made public their plans to sell the EasyCruise One due to "not having enough space", and replacing her with a ship of similar size to the EasyCruise Life.[3]

Demise

In August 2009 the single-ship cruise line was sold to Greek ferry operator Hellenic Seaways for £9 million. EasyCruise's operations were quietly discontinued sometime in early 2010. Passengers who were booked on future cruises were refunded.[4] Later that year, their sole ship was moved to Blue Ocean Cruises and briefly operated as the Ocean Life. It was later sold for scrap.[5] The cruise line's website was totally abandoned with no mention of its discontinuation. Sometime around 2014, the abandoned website was removed and now redirects to the easy.com homepage.

Former fleet

Ship Built In Service Tonnage Notes Image
EasyCruiseOne 1990 2005-2008 4,077 GT Laid up since 2008.
EasyCruiseTwo 1981 2006-2007 1,006 GT Operated as a riverboat. It was franchised by EasyCruise in 2006. It ceased operations in August 2007 due to the financial situation of the owner.[6]
EasyCruise Life 1981 2008-2010 9,878 GT Scrapped in 2014.

References

  1. ^ "EasyCruise Sold to Hellenic Seaways". Cruise Industry News. 18 August 2009. Retrieved 5 September 2009.
  2. ^ Hansen, Pal (11 May 2007). "Stelios Hadji-Ioannou". Time. Retrieved 24 April 2008.
  3. ^ "Stelios puts EasyCruise One up for sale and axes newbuilding project". Cruise Business Review. 12 February 2008. Archived from the original on 14 February 2008. Retrieved 16 February 2008.
  4. ^ "Is easyCruise on Life Support?". Cruise Critic. 19 February 2010. Retrieved 22 February 2015.
  5. ^ "M/S LEV TOLSTOY". Faktaomfartyg (Swedish). 15 August 2014. Retrieved 22 February 2015.
  6. ^ Jainchill, Johanna. "EasyCruiseTwo to cease operations Aug. 17". Travel Weekly. Retrieved 11 February 2019.

Official website via the Internet Archive