First to the finish line

Thirteen hours earlier than in Europe (CET), the old year ends and the New Year arrives on Kiritimati, one of the largest coral atolls in the Central Pacific Ocean.

Last Resort: First to the finish line, Kiritimati
© Jeff Sherman/gettyimages

Land ahoy! After voyaging for over 2000 kilometers on the open seas, the British explorer James Cook discovered an atoll in the Pacific on December 24, 1777. He named it Christmas Island. Some 200 years later, when the island gained independence from the United Kingdom, its name was respelled in the local language: Kiritimati. Now part of the Kiribati archipelago, it is a paradise for individual travelers. Due to its position west of the dateline, if you’re there on New Year’s Eve, you will be among the first in the world to let in 2018.