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NUKU'ALOFA, Tonga (December 17, 1998 - PACNEWS/Radio Tonga)---More than 18 cruise liners are expected to visit Tonga early next year as it prepares for the new millennium.

The Silver Cloud, a European cruise ship, is scheduled to be the first to arrive in the Kingdom in 1999, on January 22.

The Tonga Visitors Bureau reports 10 cruise liners are scheduled to visit Tonga in the first two months of 1999.

A Bureau spokesman said, according to current bookings, they expect to welcome seven tourist ships in December 1999 alone.

The Bureau is asking residents to be prepared next year to welcome an increasing number of tourists flocking to the Kingdom, which claims --together with several others, including Fiji, Kiribati and New Zealand-- to be the first country in the world to see in the next century and the next millennium.

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