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LUXURY LINERS SHIFT BERTHS TO BROOKLYN

Four luxury passenger and cruise ships -- including the Queen Mary 2 and the Queen Elizabeth 2 -- will abandon Manhattan and begin docking in Brooklyn next year.

Carnival Corp. will move the ships' berths to a huge pier the city is redeveloping in Brooklyn, city and company officials said.

The city hopes the shift will create thousands of jobs, spur retail and tourist-industry development, and breathe new life into what was once a bleak warehouse district.

The change is expected to bring an additional 250,000 passengers to New York each year on top of the current 900,000, because abandoning the crowded terminal on Manhattan's West Side will add dozens of dockings to the ships' schedules.

"We're looking forward to being the inaugural tenant of this brand new development," Dean Brown, executive vice president for fleet operations for Carnival's Cunard and Princess lines, was quoted as saying in Saturday's New York Times.

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