There are very few cruise ship remaining that have a long history behind them and are still sailing. The Marco Polo is one of them and is gearing up for her 50th anniversary.
HISTORY OF THE MARCO POLO
The Marco Polo has a long and distinguished history behind her. She originally began as one of five identical ships in the Russian/Ukrainian fleet back in 1965. She originally sailed under the Baltic Shipping Company as a transatlantic ferry to Montreal, Canada and then back to Leningrad in the USSR.
In order to break through the enormous amount of ice, the ships were constructed with a heavier hull for stability, making the Marco Polo a lot sturdier than the normal passenger ships.
Her exterior design has a larger storage area than most seafaring vessels and at her peak she had a cruising range of 10,000 nautical miles.
The Marco Polo was capable of carrying 700 passengers in two classes of service and 500 additional passengers who remained cabin less.
The ship was purchased in 1991 by Orient Lines and renamed the Marco Polo. She was retrofitted for passenger service using the normal standards of the cruise industry at that time. She changed hands several times over the coming years. She is currently under charter to Cruise & Maritime Voyages in the UK.
UK passengers never have to travel far to board this grand lady of the sea. Her capacity remains at 800 passengers, making for an intimate cruise holiday experience with departures in 2015 from London Tilbury, Newcastle and Leith.
However, the biggest event of the year will be Marco Polo’s Commemorative Anniversary Voyage to Canada & Greenland.
AN ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION FIT FOR A LADY
In celebration of her 50th anniversary in 2015, Cruise & Maritime Voyages have decided there’s no better way to salute this event than by holding an anniversary voyage. She will be reproducing her original transatlantic sailing roots by heading to Eastern Canada.
This specific sailing to Canada and Greenland will depart from Tilbury on the 24th of July in 2015 for 36 nights. As the ship will be sailing during the height of summer, it will incorporate a few ports from the land of the midnight sun.
WHAT OTHER EXCITING DESTINATIONS WILL YOU SEE ON THIS VOYAGE?
Marco Polo will first visit the Shetland and Faroe Islands and make its way up the various fjords in the region. Some of the areas that she will be visiting include Lerwick, Tórshavn and Reykjavik.
From Reykjavik, you can choose to take an optional Golden Circle cruise where you will be able to see sights such as the Gullfoss waterfall, the geothermic area of Geysir and the lush Thingvellir National Park.
In Greenland, the largest island in the world, you can visit the town of Tasiilaq on the island of Ammassalik. Located around a fjord and surrounded by mountains, this stunning sight will be a location to remember.
At Cape Farewell and Qaqortoq, there are enormous drifting icebergs that gracefully glide across the ocean. From here, the ship will head towards Narsarsuaq, located near the ice sheet. Flower Valley, which is strangely covered with flora is yet another must see area. After this, the ship will head up to the Tunugdliarfik Fjord.
The remaining 17 days will be spent exploring Eastern Canada. Take a relaxing trip along the St. Lawrence River and sees regions such as Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Montreal and Quebec.
It must be noted that the Marco Polo is an adults only ship and in addition caters to a more mature audience.
To book this cruise you will need to be quick as cabins are selling fast! Click here to see the Itinerary
Written by Veronica Shine