British Maritime Heritage Cruise Aboard The MV MARCO POLO

MV MARCO POLO. Photo courtesy of Cruise and Maritime Voyages.

U.K.-based Cruise and Maritime Voyages (CMV), operators of the 1965-built, 22,080 gt, 800 passenger MV MARCO POLO (ex ALEXANDR PUSHKIN), is promoting a special seven night cruise from Tilbury to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the TITANIC. Departing April 10, 2012, the cruise will follow a portion of the TITANIC’s ill-fated maiden voyage with calls at Cherbourg in France, Cobh in Ireland, Belfast in Northern Ireland and Liverpool in England. The MARCO POLO will also cruise off the Old Head of Kinsale where the LUSITANIA was sunk by a German U Boat on May 7, 1915.

In Cherbourg, an exhibition commemorates 231 passengers that joined the TITANIC. Cobh was the TITANIC’s final port of call before steaming onward towards North America. Belfast was home to the famed Harland and Wolf shipyard that built the TITANIC and a whole roster of important 20th Century passenger liners including the SOUTHERN CROSS and CANBERRA. A tour in Belfast will visit the Titanic Quarter where local authorities are preparing special activities for MARCO POLO’s passengers. Liverpool was once the British hub for transatlantic crossings — tours there will visit the Titanic Memorial, the Merseyside Maritime Museum and the former White Star Line headquarters.

Aboard ship, there will be special exhibits, lectures and menus to celebrate Britain’s maritime heritage. MaritimeMatters’ co-editor Peter Knego will also be joining the cruise and will be posting a series of Sea Treks reports.

The handsome MARCO POLO is the last survivor of a quintet of East German-built vessels named after famous Soviet writers for the Soviet state-owned Black Sea Shipping Company. As the ALEXANDR PUSHKIN, she followed the 1964-built IVAN FRANKO (scrapped in 1996) and was joined by the 1967-built TARAS SHEVCHENKO (scrapped in 2005), the 1968-built SHOTA RUSTAVELI (scrapped in 2003) and 1971-built MIKHAIL LERMONTOV (sunk off New Zealand in 1986).

Although vastly rebuilt in 1991 for Orient Lines as a deluxe expedition style cruise ship, the MARCO POLO still retains her classic profile with pronounced sheer, camber, teak decks and an ice-strengthened, raked bow. She is fully stabilized and air conditioned and has eight passenger decks serviced by three main lobbies and four lifts.

The ship’s public facilities include the Waldorf Restaurant which offers two fixed, traditional dinner seatings in addition to the informal Bistro restaurant. There are five main lounges, from the mainstage theater of the Marco Polo Lounge, the Captain’s Club piano bar, the Palm Garden with its sea vistas to the stylish Columbus Bar. 

Other amenities include the Livingston Library, the Nansen Card Room, an Internet Café, a shopping arcade, photo gallery and the Jade Wellness Centre, which offers hairdressing, beauty treatments, fitness and exercise equipment, and sauna and massage facilities. There is an outdoor swimming pool, three whirlpools and a medical center. In addition, and in keeping with the MARCO POLO’s ocean liner heritage, the Amundsen Deck offers a traditional, fully-encircling promenade.

Cabin accommodation ranges from standard to deluxe, with 70% of staterooms having an ocean view. Prices for the cruise begin at £499pp.

For more information, please contact Cruise and Maritime Voyages.

Peter Knego

Peter Knego

Having documented over 400 passenger ships and taken more than 200 cruises, MaritimeMatters’ co-editor Peter Knego is a leading freelance cruise writer, a respected ocean liner historian and frequent maritime lecturer both on land and at sea.  With his work regularly featured in cruise industry trades and consumer publications.  Knego also runs the website which offers MidCentury cruise ship furniture, artwork and fittings rescued from the shipbreaking yards of Alang, India.  He has produced several videos on the subject, including his latest, The Sands Of Alang and the best-selling On The Road To Alang."
Peter Knego

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