Marco Polo millenium cruise

Be in the most unusual place on earth for the most unusual day of the century is how Orient Lines is describing its Millennium 2000 cruise aboard the four-star Marco Polo. The dazzling itinerary is timed to arrive at Antarctica’s breathtaking Port Lockroy just in time for a New Year’s Eve gala on the final tick of 1999.

The two-week cruise expedition takes passengers to penguin rookeries, glacier-lined channels and the endless light of the austral summer. The Marco Polo departs from Buenos Aires on December 23, 1999. A Christmas gala at sea will give new meaning to the term ‘White Christmas.’ After two stops in the Falkland Islands, the voyage proceeds across the Drake Passage to Half Moon Island and Port Lockroy. Surrounded by mountains towering over 10,000 feet, guests will cruise into a new year, new century and new millennium, from what many consider the purest, most beautiful spot on earth.

The Marco Polo then continues to one of Antarctica’s most awesome passages: the Lemaire Channel and Hovgaard Island, where often humpback or minke whales follow in the ship’s wake. After visiting some of the most glorious scenery on earth, the voyageoncludes in Ushuaia, the southernmost town in the world.

According to Orient Lines’ Executive Vice President Deborah Natansohn, “Most people who come back from Antarctica feel totally exhilarated and renewed. We couldn’t think of a better place to start a fresh new millennium.”

Included in this polar millennium celebration are all sightseeing tours and an open bar, not only during the Christmas and New Year’s parties, but all cruise long. Fares start at $5,795 per person, double, with low air “add-on” fares from 48 U.S. and Canadian cities. Single supplements are only 25% for most cabins. Travelers seeking an extended 2000 celebration may join the Marco Polo early – on December 6 – in Cape Town for a 32-day Grand Millennium itinerary to ports in South America, then continuing on to Antarctica.

The Marco Polo carries a fleet of Zodiac inflatable boats to facilitate landings on the Antarctic Peninsula. Guests will be accompanied ashore by expert field guides. The 20 to 1 ratio ensures guests will enjoy, understand and learn more from their Antarctic adventure. The sailing also features a top-notch team of naturalists, geologists, ornithologists and biologists to explain the wonders on view. The Marco Polo is particularly well suited for cruising Antarctic waters, with an ice-strengthened hull and the latest in environmental and safety equipment. It even carries a helicopter to scout for wildlife and ice conditions.

Discussing the “Millennium 2000’s” impressive itinerary, Natansohn said “we have a proud reputation to uphold,” referring to the recent Condé Nast Traveler magazine readers’ survey naming Orient Lines “Best in the World” for destinations/itineraries. The Marco Polo has also been rated “Best Cruise Value” by the World Ocean & Cruise Liner Society for the past three years.

The 800-passenger Marco Polo is a four-star luxury liner with a classic exterior profile that characterizes a vessel in the grand ocean liner tradition. Sweeping decks allow plenty of room for penguin, seal and whale watching. The elegant Art Deco interiors offer every comfort. Facilities include 425 cabins and suites with televisions, two restaurants, four lounges; a library; casino; health club; beauty center; swimming pool and Jacuzzis.

Early booking is recommended as capacity is strictly limited during Antarctic cruises. With countdown to January 1, 2000, underway and Millennium cruises booking fast; Orient Lines’ astonishing “Millennium 2000” cruise is already attracting those who want to enter the new millennium with the spirit of adventure.