Unbeatable luxury and unprecedented security for the ‘Olympic Family’ in Piraeus
An unprecedented security cordon in Piraeus port will surround eight floating palaces that are to be home to 15,000 exalted guests for the duration of the Olympic Games. Docked at Akti Xaveriou, which will be off-limits to all but holders of special passes, the eight ships, with a total of 5,000 cabins and suites and 4,000 crew members, are the Queen Mary II, Westerdam, AIDAaura, Rotterdam, Ocean Countess, World Renaissance, Silver Wind and Silver Whisper. Some of them are indeed unique in many ways. Queen Mary II There are 173 apartment-suites and 1,137 cabins on 15 decks. The ship is 345 meters long, 80 meters high, weighs 150,000 tons and has 10 different restaurants, 14 bars, indoor and outdoor pools, gymnasiums, beauty salons, a cinema and conference halls, to name just a few of the on-board facilities provided. There are over 1,200 crew members. The ship cost $800 million to build and is the longest, tallest, widest and heaviest cruise ship ever launched. As high as a 23-story skyscraper, it is longer than 3.5 football fields. Its engines, totaling 157,000 horse power, are able to provide enough power to supply a town with a population of 70,000. It is 19 times as heavy as the Eiffel Tower. British Prime Minister Tony Blair is just one member of the distinguished passenger list for the Games. Westerdam The newly built 82,000-ton cruise ship is the second-largest ship in the Olympic Family hospitality program. Built in Venice for Holland America Line Inc, it was launched just a few weeks ago. It is a five-star ship, 292 meters long and 32 wide. Its 924 cabins can accommodate 1,848 passengers. Its 11 decks, three restaurants, a large concert hall, cinema, Internet cafe, volleyball and basketball courts make it one of the most modern and luxurious cruise ships in the world. It will be home to the national Olympic committees of Russia, South Africa, Iceland, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Botswana, Gabon and Nigeria, as well as Games spectators. Rotterdam This cruise ship can accommodate 1,316 passengers, It has a spa, conference hall, Internet cafe, swimming pools, karaoke hall, theater, cinema and disco, children’s playgrounds and restaurants to satisfy the most discerning guest. Its many decks make it one of the most spacious cruise ships in its class. It will be home to some of the bigger national missions. AIDAaura This ship, which belongs to SEETOURS (P&O Princess Cruises International Ltd), will host the German Olympic Committee as well as the German television crew which will have its own studio on board. Facilities include stores, an Internet cafe, spa, swimming pools, cinema and disco, special areas for children, a library and restaurants whose chefs are able to please the most difficult customers. It is the only German cruise ship which will be in Piraeus for the Games. Silver Whisper Just four years old, this Italian-designed cruise ship has many surprises in store for its passengers. All cabins have balconies and there are seven categories of suites, whose names alone hint at luxury – Grand Suite, Royal Suite, Silver Suite – and which range in size from 87.5 to over 400 square meters. It can accommodate 388 passengers and 295 crew members.