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Although nominally like any other cruise, these trips were expected to be much in demand, not only as a novel venue for a one-in-a-lifetime event, but as a response to Y2K fears; ships being a self-contained and controlled environment, although modern vessels are heavily dependent on computers to operate. Many ships started booking passengers for these cruises several years in advance, and required sizeable nonrefundable deposits.
The ships generally celebrated the New Year's Eve out to sea, which gave them an opportunity to launch fireworks safely. Meanwhile, modern ships also being well-connected via satellite networks, it was possible for passengers to see the televised celebrations as local midnight moved around the globe.