There are still quite a few holiday packages available over the New Year period. As you would expect, prices are raised to a degree, but the demand has not been as great as expected by some companies. Much of the costliest hotel accommodation has been cut in price, since the predicted rush for New Year's breaks failed to materialise. This trend may extend to flights and other holiday services.

Millennial celebrations

Washington DC will play host to one of the United States' most spectacular New Year celebrations. The Mall will be lined with giant television screens showing Steven Spielberg's American Spirit, a 20-minute film depicting "the highlights of the millennium", narrated by President Clinton. Giant firework displays will follow. Trailfinders (tel: 0171- 937 5400) still has flights on Continental departing on 28 December from London Heathrow, and returning on 6 January, priced at pounds 427. To arrange accommodation in Washington, call the tourist office (tel: 0181-8774521) to request a brochure, or visit the web site at Booking places to stay over the celebrations "shouldn't be a problem".


Swan Hellenic (tel: 0171-800 2200) has a luxury millennium cruise stopping in Sri Lanka, India, Malaysia and Singapore, available for pounds 3,980 per person, based on two sharing a cabin. The price includes flights to Sri Lanka, departing on 21 December from London, and the return from Bali, arriving back in England on 6 January. The cruise itself lasts for two weeks and you will see in the next century from Singapore.


Inntravel (tel: 01653 629010) offers a 10-night, half-board stay in the Swiss village of Kandersteg, staying at the Hotel Victoria, for pounds 1,190. This absurdly picturesque village is a magical place when covered by snow during the festive period. The price is based on two sharing and includes flights and transfers. The flight out departs on 26 December from London City airport and the return is on 5 January.


If a New Year's Eve break in Orlando takes your fancy, Virgin Holidays (tel: 01293 456789) may have just the thing. For pounds 806.50 two adults can share seven nights' room-only accommodation in the Best Western Kissimme Hotel. Up to three children under the age of 12 can travel for an extra pounds 395 each. The catch is that this price represents a pounds 330 discount, which will only be available if you book before 30 September.

The price includes flights on Virgin Atlantic as well as either transfers or car hire. From the hotel, the Disneyworld Epcot complex is a short drive away. Each part of Disneyworld will have a different way of welcoming in the new millennium. Epcot, for example, is holding various displays celebrating the cultures of the world. A five-day pass to Epcot can be bought from the UK Disney world offices (tel: 01232 232425) for either pounds 148 (for adults) or pounds 118 (for children).


Asean Explorer (tel: 01481 823417) offers a New Year package for pounds 1,185 per person based on two sharing a twin room. It includes three nights in Bangkok, 10 nights in the beach resort of Pattaya, and four nights in Chiang Mai, as well as all flights and transfers, but no meals. The departure date is 22 December, from Heathrow, returning 8 January.


Encounter (tel: 0171-370 6845) has vehicle trekking holidays for the millennium in Ethiopia available for pounds 1,165 per person (no single supplement). The trip will last for 15 days, departing from London on 17 December. New Year's Eve will be spent around a bonfire on the shores of Tana, while the exploration itself will take in, among other natural and man-made features, the magnificent 12th-century churches of Lalibela, carved out of the surrounding bedrock. The price includes flights on Air France, as well as all meals and transfers.


For those wanting to spend the New Year holiday a little closer to home, Classic Cottages (tel: 01326 555555) has several six-person cottages in Cornwall, Devon and Dorset, for pounds 558. Cottages for two cost pounds 339.


Amberley Castle (tel: 01798 831992), in West Sussex, offers three-night breaks starting on 30 December from pounds 994 per person based on two sharing. This price is for the cheapest room; more luxurious rooms cost about pounds 1,500. All meals and drinks are included, as well as fireworks and planting a silver birch to see in the new century.