Cruise and Maritime Voyages' ms Marco Polo is celebrating its half century with a couple of 50th anniversary voyages this summer.
When CMV Marco Polo debuted in 1965 it was named the Alexandr Pushkin, after the famed Russian poet, and was one of the five poet-class vessels built at Mathias-Thesen Werft docks at Wismar, former East Germany.
Marco Polo was extensively refurbished in 1975. In 1984 the ship joined CTC Cruises Australia with 18-30 Holidays' sailings. In 1991 "The Alex" (as Aussies called her), was purchased by Gerry Herrod, British cruise entrepreneur, who took the ship to Greece to be re-built over a 3-year period.
Emerging as Orient Lines' ms Marco Polo, the cruise ship specialised in expedition voyages to the Far East. A helicopter was available on the purpose-built heli-deck to observe whales and wildlife.
Today the 800-guest adults-only vessel is retracing those early sailings to Canada with two Marco Polo 50th Anniversary Cruises departing from the historic London Cruise Terminal in Tilbury. Quizzes, themed nights and dinners will be included in onboard activities, taking passengers down the memory lane to the 1960s.
MS Marco Polo features several lounges for afternoon coffee or pre-dinner drinks, an outdoor swimming pool, three Jacuzzis on its sheltered promenade deck, a beauty treatment salon, gym and sauna in the Jade Wellness Centre.
Its first Commemorative Anniversary Cruise to Canada & Greenland offers an option to embark from Rosyth, close to Edinburgh, on July 23, or from Tilbury, July 24. Highlights of the 36-night round-trip cruise include Nova Scotia, Montreal, Quebec and cruising the St. Lawrence River. Prices start from £2,000 per person, based on double occupancy.
The second Commemorative Cruise to Canada departs from London Tilbury for 35 days on 7 September, heading for Canada via Amsterdam and Cherbourg. Prices start from £1,800 per person, based on double occupancy, with late night snacks and afternoon tea included. Daytime activities, guest speaker programmes, evening shows and entertainment are all included in price. Complimentary coffee and tea is available from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.