From The Great Pyramid To Machu Picchu

SEASONED PARTYGOERS HAVE a name for New Year's Eve: Amateur Night. Come Dec. 31, they complain, every once-a-year warrior with a gullet and a liver feels the need to fasten his tie around his forehead and usher in the new year in style. But getting ready for the Big Day three years hence is going to take some serious forward planning. As the world gears up to greet the new millennium, you have the right--perhaps even the duty--to celebrate in a once-every-thousand-years fashion. And thanks to a bunch of visionary entrepreneurial types, on Dec. 31, 1999, there ought to be plenty of options--though precious little space at the bar-- for everybody.

Old standbys like New York's Rainbow Room, the Ritz in Paris, London's Savoy Hotel and Seattle's aptly futuristic Space Needle are already booked. There's always Times Square, where organizers are mapping out a massive 24-hour celebration, complete with live video hookups to parties around the world. But why settle for the ordinary when just about every state, city, country, province and canton with two glasses to clink together has some sort of millennial fete penciled in?

Tour operators will gladly whisk you and your wallet to the ends of the earth--literally, in some cases. Among the millennial hot spots being touted by Abercrombie & Kent International, the Chicago-based purveyor of luxury travel, is Antarctica, where for $5,210 per person, you and your loved ones can toast the icebergs from the deck of the ship Explorer. Other packages include a ""Millennium Waltz'' at Vienna's Imperial Hotel, a fest at the ancient Incan city of Machu Picchu and a jaunt through India and Nepal culminating in a ""maharaja's banquet'' at the Taj Mahal. (Caution: some of these trips may already be sold out.) For those of a more contemplative bent, Deja Vu Tours/Spiritual Adventures, of Berkeley, Calif., offers a trip to Brazil and the Amazon, with a New Year's stop in Rio to pray to Yemanja, the goddess of creation. ""We'll communicate with the energy of the universe,'' says Deja Vu's Susan Hull Bostwick. ""Plus, it's a party, of course.''

It wouldn't be New Year's Eve if it weren't. But those planning to celebrate with Donald Pevsner should try to resist the urge to overconsume. The Florida lawyer and aviation buff is planning to charter an Air France Concorde and play beat-the-clock en route to a ""quadruple midnight'' millennial celebration. The first shindig will take place in Paris. Then it's on to Gander, Nfld.; Vancouver, B.C., and Kona, Hawaii. Pevsner claims the 8,686-mile, four-party trek ought to be ""exhilarating,'' but cautions that ""if everyone gets sloshed at the first one, it ruins everything.'' He says he has a waiting list of 80 people willing to ante up $65,000 each--and pace themselves.

Clearly, a lot of money stands to change hands as we ring in the year 2000. Some of it may even go to charity. Dom PErignon, the champagne maker, will bottle 1,993 jumbo jeroboams of bubbly, and donate the purchase price (an estimated $2,500 apiece) to worthy causes. And the Millennium Society of Washington, D.C., has long been planning a World Millennium Charity Ball, to be held simultaneously at landmarks around the world, including the Great Pyramid of Cheops in Egypt. ""Caesar stood there. So did Napoleon. It's a symbol of civilized man's earliest dreams,'' raves Edward McNally, who conceived the benefit, appropriately enough, during an evening at Mory's, the storied Yale University drinking club.

Others hope for a kind of New Age networking. British impresario Bruno Peek is pushing a plan under which individual communities around the world would ring the planet with light by firing up torches, fireworks, lasers, bonfires--anything--to celebrate the dawn of the new millennium. Illuminating the globe, says Peek, will foster international fellowship and promote peace. High-minded, yes. But there's still room for a little revelry. ""There's nothing wrong with a party,'' says Peek. ""Let's not be boring about it.'' Something tells us he's got nothing to worry