Marco Polo

Built in Germany in 1965, Marco Polo has had a long and varied career.

Cruise Ship Marco Polo in Bergen
Marco Polo alongside at Bontelabo
Entering service as Aleksandr Pushkin for the Soviet Union's Baltic Shipping Company she was designed and built with provision made for conversion to a troop ship should the need arise. Used to launch the transatlantic service between Montreal and Leningrad, she sailed on her first crossing with just 36 passengers.

Cruise Ship Marco Polo in Bergen
The forward superstructure of Marco Polo
She soon settled into regular service, and by 1980 was one of only 3 liners operating a transatlantic route, along with Stefan Batroy and Cunard's Queen Elizabeth 2.

Cruise Ship Marco Polo in Bergen
Marco Polo at Bontelabo
Cruise Ship Marco Polo in Bergen
Marco Polo at Bontelabo
In 1990 Alexandr Pushkin was laid up at Singapore, being bought the following year by Orient Lines for conversion to a cruise ship.

Cruise Ship Marco Polo in Bergen
Marco Polo alongside in Bergen
Between 1991-93 the ship underwent an enormous refurbishment, which included a near total rebuilding of her interiors and considerable extensions to her superstructure. After 30 months in the yard Marco Polo was ready to enter service.

Cruise Ship Marco Polo in Bergen
Marco Polo in Bergen, showing her raked bow
Since 1993 Marco Polo has sailed on a wide variety of ocean cruises. She transferred briefly to Transocean Tours, before entering service with her current owners Cruise and Maritime Voyages in 2010.

Cruise Ship Marco Polo in Bergen
Marco Polo pulls away from her berth
In recent years Marco Polo has been involved in a number of incidents which have made headlines, including a large outbreak of Norovirus in 2009 which affected over half of her 800 passengers. In 2013 one cruise was cut short and another cancelled whilst she underwent emergency repairs after striking a submerged object and sustaining minor damage.

Most recently, in February 2014, she was hit by a freak wave in the English Channel, tragically killing one passenger and injuring several others.

Cruise Ship Marco Polo in Bergen
Marco Polo departing Bergen
Yesterday afternoon Marco Polo departed Bergen to continue her current cruise.

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