Amalfi, St. Tropez, Mykonos, Mallorca, Monte Carlo and Santorini, just their names alone evoke romantic images of the picture-perfect summer holiday. In 2009, Orient Lines will visit all of them in addition to a host of new ports in the Baltic, Black Sea, British Lake District, Croatia, North Cape and Northern Europe.
Cruise vacations from 11 to 37 days are priced from $2,399 per person, double occupancy, including free air from selected North American gateway cities. New for 2009, the line will enhance each itinerary with a free shore excursion in selected ports.
Highlights for 2009 include cruise-tours which begin or end with an included hotel stay in Berlin, plus calls at the lesser-known ports of Szczecin, Poland; Villagarcia and Bilbao, Spain; Bordeaux and Hornfleur, France; Murmansk, Russia; Sarande, Albania; and Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria, England.
The destination cruise specialists at Orient Lines have carefully planned each new itinerary to include overnight stays on board ship in selected ports. With two full days, guests have time to see the pyramids from Port Said, shop for bargains in Istanbul and Lisbon, explore the classical treasures of Rome and Athens, or visit St. Petersburg and Copenhagen.
Orient Lines’ new 650-guest Marco Polo II is larger in size yet carries nearly 200 fewer guests then the brand’s former flagship. “At nearly 25,000 tons, Marco Polo II is the perfect size for cruising in Europe,” said Wayne Heller, the line’s president and CEO. “She’s large enough to offer every four-star comfort, yet small enough to enter the snug harbors and intimate coves where mega-liners cannot go.”
Aboard Marco Polo II guests enjoy the intimacy and charm of a European boutique hotel while offering the comforts of a modern cruise liner. The vessel has 325 staterooms, complete with such amenities as en suite mini-bar, color TV, personal safe/safe drawer and built-in hair dryer. Suites also feature sitting areas, twin sinks, bidets and terry cloth bathrobes.
Public rooms include a single-seating main dining room, as well as a French and Italian brasserie; grill room serving prime meats, chicken and seafood; and Lido deck buffet serving regional specialties. The vessel also has several bars and lounges, cinema, casino, Internet center, library, card room, duty-free boutiques, outdoor and indoor pools, spa and modern gymnasium. Enrichment lecturers and gentlemen social hosts are also on board to enhance each voyage.
The ship’s deck officers are European, the social staff American and British, and the hotel staff – perhaps the line’s greatest asset – are Filipino.