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|Price range||From £559|
|Travel partner||Newmarket Holidays|
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North Cape & Spitsbergen Cruise 2013 - Marco Polo ex Leith
- 13 nights' accommodation in your choice of cabin
- Full-board arrangements including full breakfast, luncheon, dinner, afternoon tea and midnight snacks
- On-board entertainment as arranged
- Calls at ports as detailed in the itinerary
- The services of a friendly, professional crew and cruise staff
- Port charges and taxes
- Single and upgrade cabins are available for a supplement
Travel to Leith to board Marco Polo, as she prepares to sail early this evening.
Today is spent at sea, enjoying the atmosphere and activities on board.
Marco Polo arrives this morning in Molde, known as the 'city of jazz and roses' on account of the famous music festival held in high summer, when the flowers are in full bloom. Step ashore, perhaps to take an excursion, or perhaps to explore the town's fascinating outdoor folk museum. Later, Marco Polo makes her way to the Andalsnes. Enjoy an overland excursion through the vertiginous Trollstigen (Troll's Ladder), a breathtaking road at the head of the Valldal valley, and perhaps visit the famous wooden Rodven stave church in its dreamy setting beside the fjord.
Today is spent at sea, as Marco Polo cruises northwards along the beautiful Norwegian Coast.
The largest settlement beyond the Arctic Circle, Tromso, with its magnificent cathedral rising grandly from its bustling centre, is our port of call this afternoon. Step ashore to explore the market, held daily in the main square, and the 'Polarmuseum', which pays tribute to Arctic pioneers such as Amundsen and Nansen. East of the city centre is the stunning, strikingly modern Arctic Cathedral, or Ishavskatedralen, with its amazing stained glass window and organ built in the shape of a ship just two of its memorable features. Close by, a cable car climbs to the summit of Mount Storsteinen for unsurpassed views.
Marco Polo reaches the northern outpost of Honningsvaag, today, and you'll have the chance to go ashore to visit the centre at Nordkapp, almost Europe's northernmost point. This evening, though in the continuous sunlight time seems to matter less, Marco Polo leaves the Norwegian mainland, and heads further north to begin her Arctic adventure in earnest.
A day at sea, spent wrapped up warm on deck perhaps, looking out for bird and aquatic-life as Marco Polo nudges ever closer to the High Arctic.
By morning you will have arrived in the arctic archipelago of Svalbard, the largest island of which is Spitsbergen, ice-bound for all but high summer, and covered by glaciers and frozen tundra. The largest settlement, Longyearbyen, has some 3000 hardy inhabitants, and is a gateway for guided excursions into an Arctic wilderness that feels a world away from the rest of Europe.
Today Marco Polo will provide an unforgettable experience as she cruises through stunning Magdalenafjord, where ice-covered peaks plunge into the waters. She'll also call at the polar research station of Ny Alesund where you'll be able to learn more about the Svalbard region.
Days Ten and Eleven
Another two days spent at sea as Marco Polo turns south and heads for home.
Tiny, Toytown-like Torshavn is the capital of the remote Faroe Islands. A birdwatcher's Paradise, the islands are home to countless species, and its inhabitants are guardians of a deep-rooted Norse tradition, and live surrounded by natural beauty, drawing their income from the sea in the shape of fish and oil exploration. Explore Torshavn's confusion of lanes and narrow passages, or join an excursion to other parts of the islands, perhaps to cross the famous Bridge across the Atlantic connecting the main island of Streymoy with smaller, wooden-church dotted Eysturoy.
Marco Polo arrives in Kirkwall, the historic capital of Orkney, today. Wander the meandering streets and marvel at the magnificent St Magnus Cathedral, or join an excursion to the UNESCO World Heritage site at Skara Brae, the mystical standing stones at Stenness or the fabled Ring of Brodgar
Marco Polo arrives back in Leith at the end of a wonderful Arctic cruise.
MV Marco Polo
In an age of vast, impersonal, floating hotels, 22,000-tonne 'Marco Polo', her profile marking her out as the epitome of sea-going elegance, is a beautiful ocean-liner in the classic tradition. Offering high levels of comfort, sumptuous dining and a genuinely warm welcome from the crew, 'Marco Polo' will offer everything you'd expect of such a high-class vessel.
Fully stabilised and air-conditioned, 'Marco Polo' boasts eight passenger decks, which are serviced by four lifts and three wide stairwells. Out on deck a vast amount of space ensures plenty of viewing opportunities when cruising through scenic waters, and more-than-ample room for sunbathers to top up their tans, while belowdecks you'll find facilities to cater to all your cruising pleasures by day and night. In addition to the comfortable lounges and bars, beautiful main dining room and light and airy bistro there's a shopping arcade, a library, a card room and an internet room. The Spa, Beauty and Fitness Centre spoils the body-conscious with a gym, a hair and beauty salon, a table-tennis room, a massage and sauna area, and even deck-top Jacuzzis.'Marco Polo"s 15 categories of cabins and suites all offer private facilities with showers or bath/showers, TV with satellite, 'view from the bridge' and in-house movie channels, telephones, hairdryers and personal safes. Cabins have a variety of twin and double beds, with upper berths for third and fourth sharing passengers. Outside cabins offer porthole or larger windows. Your cabin will be looked after your steward/stewardess and housekeeper, who will ensure that beds are made, towels are changed and toiletries replenished. All cabins feature 110v and 220v current and have an electrical socket. Even in the most economical cabins, the standard features are impressive.