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Barcelona battle: Giant Royal Caribbean, NCL cruise ships clash in 2011

The release of the remake of the classic movie “Clash of the Titans" is less than two months away, but Royal Caribbean and Norwegian cruise lines are ready to stage their own version.

There will be no son of Zeus battling demons and beasts in this story, just two giant cruise ships battling one another.

Royal Caribbean announced today that it will base one of its biggest ships – 154,407-ton Liberty of the Seas – in Barcelona in 2011, in direct competition to NCL’s equally massive 153,000-ton Norwegian Epic.

No word yet on whether or not the Royal Caribbean move was in reaction to NCL’s announcement a few weeks ago that Norwegian Epic was moving to Europe to become the largest cruise ship in the Mediterranean.

Europe is the cruise industry’s newest best friend, with more ships than ever heading across the Atlantic during the summer months. Carnival is also positioning its largest ship, the 130,000-ton Carnival Magic, in Barcelona in 2011.

Royal Caribbean predicts a 60 percent growth in guest volume in 2010, doubling 2009’s growth.

“We believe that this is the moment to continue our investments in the Spanish market,” says Belén Wangüemert, managing director of Royal Caribbean Cruises Espana, “and this commitment will not end in 2010, as the arrival of Liberty of the Seas in 2011 will consolidate our position as one of the top brands in the market.”

At this point the world’s biggest ship – Oasis of the Seas – remains in the Caribbean, as will its’ sister ship Allure of the Seas when it debuts in December 2010.

By the way, “Clash of the Titans” – the movie version, debuts on April 2 with “Avatar” star Sam Worthington as Perseus – Zeus’s love child.

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