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»Imagine taking a break this summer where you are guaranteed hassle-free holidaying in a completely child-free zone – well a short trip across the Thames could well put you on that journey.

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Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) is Britain’s newest privately owned cruise line, chartering the classic 1960s ship The Marco Polo all-year-round from Tilbury Docks to destinations as far-flung as the West Indies, or the Amazon rainforest.

Closer to home, voyages to the Nordic Fjords, the Netherlands and Belgium, or a unique chance to explore the islands surrounding Britain are also on offer.

CMV is set to announce its programme for 2012 and new features include a Titanic Centenary excursion in April, a Diamond Jubilee tour of the British Isles and a three-day mystery cruise in October.

Cruising holds the stereotype of being a retiree’s option, a fact acknowledged by CMV marketing manager Mike Hall, but the facilities aboard The Marco Polo – which underwent a compete refurbishment in 1993 – while offering a range of options on-board are designed for the more active traveller.


“People primarily pick us because of the destinations. Because we are a smaller ship we can enter ports the larger liners cannot. Yes we get a lot of more mature travellers but we also see a lot from education who want to take a break without being surrounded by children.”

The decision to make the Marco Polo an adults-only environment was made by CMV last year and has allowed the company to focus its energy on features suitable for adults.

A number of lounges, including the more intimate Palm Garden and Columbus Lounge, as well as the larger Marco Polo and Show Lounges, the latter of which hosts nightly live entertainment, are available.

Alongside this there is a small library, a card room, free gymnasium, pool area, health and beauty spa, shopping area and internet café.

Count in the fact prices include three meals a day and the comparison to alternative package holidays is favourable.

n For full details, prices and tour dates visit www.cruiseandmaritime.com

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