All Aboard the Time Machine Fiji goes on daylight savings time later this year, for the first time in its history. This will make it the first country in the world to go into the 21st century, according to Karen Marvell, director of sales for Shangri-La's Fijian Resort. Silversea Cruises has concocted a floating time machine to host both the first group to enter the 21st century and the last people to leave the 20th century. On December 31st, 1999, two ships will rendezvous in Suva, Fiji, stage a Y2K party on a secluded beach, and then sail eastward together. Arriving at the International Date Line, they'll celebrate New Year's January 1, 2000, and then separate and move into "yesterday." At the next hour, they'll do it all over again as the last people to head into the 21st century. With a 15-day itinerary from Papeete to Auckland on Silver Cloud and a 16-day itinerary from Cairns to Papeete on Silver Wind, the trip has piqued the interest of at least one automotive company, with tentative reservations on 70 suites for the incentive trip of the Millennium!
If The Mountains Won't Come To Your Meeting... ...take your meeting to the mountains. Rocky Mountaineer Railtours has outfitted two of its coaches with A/C electric power that can handle computer presentations such as PowerPoint, plus a galley and lounge area. Each car seats 15 people boardroom-style or 25 classroom-style for an en route meeting in the Canadian Rockies. Concerned that participants might be distracted by the splendid scenery? Rocky Mountaineer can actually help align your agenda with the itinerary. Other services include assistance with international speakers, menu planning, and meal service. One restriction: Cell phones won't work in the mountains, but that's probably a plus, says Rocky Mountaineer President and CEO Peter R.B. Armstrong.
A Day at the Races The Westfields Marriott in Chantilly, Va. is 20 minutes down the road from the Great Meadow, home of the world-famous Virginia Gold Cup Steeplechase Classic, which takes place in May. An international crowd of 40,000 comes out each year to eat, drink, and watch the races in the beautiful Virginia countryside. It is "the" event of the year in Greater D.C. and a very appropriate venue for a lady to wear a hat. Meeting and incentive groups can tie into the event since the Westfields Marriott is a sponsor of the Gold Cup.
Get the Scoop When several pints of Haagen-Dazs ice cream arrived in our New York offices recently, care of Wyndham Hotels, everyone asked, "What's the scoop?" In celebration of its recent expansion and plans for future growth, Wyndham Hotel Group is serving free Haagen-Dazs to guests at all of its 100 hotels throughout the summer. We were just among the first to get a taste preview. Hotels of special interest to meeting and incentive planners include the Wyndham Peachtree Conference Center, Atlanta; the Wyndham Wind Watch Hotel & Hamlet Golf Club on Long Island; The Buttes in Tempe, Ariz; and the Wyndham Resort and Spa in Fort Lauderdale.
The Tradition Continues The newest product from Orient-Express Hotels, Inc. is the Great South Pacific Express to Australia, the first five-star hotel on wheels in the South Pacific. The train will operate primarily between Brisbane and Cairns, making stops at the Great Barrier Reef and the World Heritage Rain Forest on Australia's East Coast. Orient Express encourages individuality and creativity in its luxury trains, cruises, and hotels, from the Hotel Cipriani in Venice, to the Bora Bora Lagoon Resort in Tahiti, to the new Westcliff in Johannesburg, South Africa--the first hotel built and designed by Orient Express Hotels.
Water With a View New York City sizzles in the summer time. That's why the Meetings and Lobster Fest Package, at $249 per person, is a good bet at the Montauk Yacht Club on the eastern tip of Long Island. Groups of at least 15 can buy the package, which includes guest room (double occupancy), a meeting room, breakfast, morning break, full lunch, afternoon break, and lobster bake. The package is available through October 15. Another venue to make the most of its waterside location when it opens on September 1 is Pier Sixty, located on one of the historic Chelsea Piers, on Manhattan's west side. The restored Pier Sixty will serve dinners for 75 to 1,500, or receptions for up to 2,400. For the first half of this century, Chelsea Piers was the world's premier passenger ship terminal and the rebirth should be reminiscent of being onboard a great cruise ship.