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World`s fastest cruiseship sets sail

Greek President Costis Stephanopoulos launched the world`s fastest cruiseship at sea last Friday at Piraeus port…

Greek President Costis Stephanopoulos launched the world`s fastest cruiseship at sea last Friday at Piraeus port in a lavish ceremony befitting the country`s long history in shipping.

Greek firm Royal Olympic Cruises (ROC<.>) welcomed the Olympic Voyager, the new jewel in its crown in an event which attracted international media coverage.

Metropolitan Kallinikos of Piraeus blessed the vessel while members of the Greek and Cypriot governments and other officials were present at the ceremony.

Accompanied by Marissa Loizou and Eleni Potamianou, members of two great shipping empires, Stephanopoulos smashed the obligatory champagne bottle in launching the vessel and said he hoped it always met with smooth seas. A 14m-high Greek flag was raised to the sounds of the national anthem, played by the naval band.

Measuring 180m in length and with seven decks, the Olympic Voyager represents the latest in shipping. It can host 800 in its luxurious cabins while its generous common areas – covering 30,000 square metres – include a pool, sauna, spa and bar.

Greek shipowners union president Andreas Potamianos, also deputy president of ROC, said that the Olympic Voyager combined technical perfection with comfort, elegance and environmental harmony.

Costas Loizos, deputy president of the Louis Group, drew a parallel between the vessel and the Greece of the new millennium, saying that the Olympic Voyager bears the identity of the new, modern and proud Greece of the 21st century, a Greece which follows and is adapting quickly to global conditions, a Greece which leads in the region, a Greece which, despite all this, never loses its human, hospitable face.

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