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Have a Ball in Vienna

Life Ball in Vienna

On May 16th, Vienna’s City Hall will get an aquatic make-over for the 2009 water-themed Life Ball─the world’s most extravagant HIV and AIDS benefit held annually in Austria’s capital. Celebrating the beauty of life and the diversity of world cultures, the Life Ball reinvents the great Viennese Ball tradition with glamorous, outlandish performances and inspirational speeches by celebrities and politicians. Hosts like Sir Elton John, Sharon Stone, and Heidi Klum (to name a few) along with an army of celebrity guests, make the Oscars look positively parochial in comparison. Organized by AIDS LIFE, an independent non-profit organization, the ball was created with the objective to raise money to support people in areas of the world most affected by HIV and AIDS. Half of the raised funds go to national relief projects and other half goes to international organizations in support of HIV/AIDS treatment, research, and prevention. To date, the Life Ball has raised over €10.5 million and is the only AIDS charity event to take place in a government building. Many believe it’s the best party of the year! A glittering show with a series of music and dance performances opens the event on the square in front of the picturesque Vienna City Hall. Live performances by international artists such as Scissor Sisters, Kool & The Gang, INXS, Cyndie Lauper, Simply Red, Grace Jones, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, and the Vienna Boys’ Choir have raptured the crowds in years past. A dazzling  fashion show serves as a grand finale with luminaires like Donatella Versace, Jean Paul Gaultier, John Galliano, Vivienne Westwood, Roberto Cavalli, Gianfranco Ferré, Missoni, Moschino, Agent Provocateur and others presenting their creations at the Life Ball over the years.

The Ring Hotel

The Ring Hotel

Steele Travel, a new travel company designed to offer alternatives to traditional vacationing, is currently offering a once-in-a-lifetime experience to join the Life Ball circus. On May 14, 2009, passengers will meet at JFK’s international airport to board a private VIP chartered Austrian Airlines jet bound for Vienna with all the benefits of business class. While the Life Ball party plane is exclusively reserved for celebrities and members of the press, Steele Travel has received a limited number of seats on this plane available for sale to the public. Upon arrival, passengers will be welcomed via red carpet service and whisked off to The Ring Hotel for two nights. The coveted, hard-to-obtain Life Ball tickets are included with each package purchase. On Sunday, May 17, passengers will return to New York on the luxury Austrian Airlines jet. An all-inclusive package costs $2,530 per person. An orientation dinner will  be held at New York’s famous Paris Commune restaurant one week before departure for all Life Ball participants, giving guests a chance to meet their fellow travelers prior to the journey.

Steele Travelers can expect the ultimate in first-class lodging, excursions, and exclusive event access. Steele’s gay- friendly travel packages for 2009 include sailing through Sardinia and Corsica aboard an 18-passenger, 125-foot mega  yacht, a visit to Istanbul and Bodrum in Turkey, or the Mykonos Island Villa Escape where a compound made of up three villas becomes home to 21 Steele Travelers. Other destinations include a November trip to Buenos Aires and Punta del Este as well as a trip through South Africa over New Year’s 2010. Steele Luxury Travel will pamper you with amenities and services beyond first class.

For more information on the Life Ball or to make your reservation, call (646) 688 2274.

Latest posts by Kate Ayrton

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