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    Regal Princess will debut ahead of schedule


    Princess Cruises' next ship, the Regal Princess, will debut nearly two weeks ahead of schedule.

    The line on Thursday announced the first sailing of the 3,560-passenger vessel -- a sister to the four-month-old Royal Princess -- will kick off on May 20 instead of June 2 as previously scheduled.

    The new maiden voyage will be a seven-night trip from Venice to Athens featuring calls in Corfu and Mykonos, Greece; and Istanbul, Turkey.

    Also added to the ship's schedule was a six-night voyage from Athens to Venice that starts on May 27 and features calls in Kusadasi, Turkey (for the ruins of Ephesus); Santorini and Katakolon, Greece; and Dubrovnik, Croatia.

    The line says construction of the vessel at a shipyard in Italy is running ahead of schedule.

    The two new voyages can be combined into a 13-day "Grand Adventure" cruise or added on to the previously announced June 2 cruise to create a 20-day Mediterranean escape.

    Under construction at a Fincantieri shipyard near Venice, the Regal Princess will be nearly identical to the four-month-old Royal Princess, which was christened in June by Britain's Duchess Kate. The vessels are nearly 20% larger than previous Princess ships and boast a number of new-for-line features (click through the carousel below for a glimpse of the Royal Princess' deck-top areas, cabins and more).

    By Gene Sloan, USA Today

    For more cruise news & articles go to http://www.cruisecrazies.com/index.html

    Re-posted on CruiseCrazies.com - Cruise News, Articles, Forums, Packing List, Ship Tracker, and more

    http://www.cruisecrazies.com

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