This year marks 100 years since the start of World War I and 70 years since the D-Day landings and in commemoration, cruise lines have created a wide selection of special itineraries and excursions.
The waterways and seas of Europe provide a unique, tranquil way to reflect on these times and an opportunity to visit the iconic locations which were the setting for some of the 20th Century’s most significant events.
A selection of specially designed cruise itineraries and excursions for 2014 can be found below:
AmaWaterways – new Normandy Beaches excursion
The ‘D-Day Remembered’ excursion, from Caudebec-en-Caux, has been added as part of AmaWaterways’ summer 2014 programme of cruises on the River Seine. The excursion takes in the Gold and Juno beaches in the British and Canadian sector, visiting various monuments en-route such as the Canadian cemetery at Beny-sur-Mer and Pegasus Monument in Ranville.
Azamara Club Cruises – 11 night ‘Memories of WWII’ fly/cruise
This 11 night cruise aboard Azamara Journey departs from Lisbon and calls at St. Peter Port (Guernsey), Cherbourg (D-Day Landing Beaches), Honfleur, Boulogne-Sur-Mer, Dover and Amsterdam before arriving into Hamburg. Guests can also enjoy ‘The North of France WWII experience’ excursion, taking in a visit to the national cemetery of Notre-Dame de Lorette and nearby museum.
Cruise & Maritime Voyages – range of itineraries visiting historic WWI areas & marking the D-Day landings
Cruise options stopping at the ports of Ghent, Zeebrugge, Antwerp in Belgium, and Honfleur in France, allow guests to visit key places in World War One history, including Ypres, where the main conflict took place, and the Menin Gate. There is also a special Anniversary Cruise departing from Bristol on 1st June, 2014 to commemorate the D-Day landings, taking in Normandy, Honfleur, Guernsey and Cherbourg.
Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines – 7 night cruise to commemorate 70th anniversary of D-Day with special guests onboard
Join the Braemar for its commemorative cruise visiting Zeebrugge – Tyne Cot Cemetery and In Flanders Fields Museum; Portsmouth – stopping at Southsea seafront and the D-Day Museum; before moving onto Cherbourg and Le Havre, France – where guests can visit the Allied landing areas on the ‘Day of Remembrance’ on 6th June 2014. Dunkirk is the last port of call, where guests can visit the Battle of Dunkirk Museum. Fred. Olsen is also proud to welcome nostalgic British ‘Big Band’ ‘The New Squadronaires’ onboard, as well as Tony Harris, Official Ambassador for the Help for Heroes charity and inspirational speaker.
River Cruise Line – new four day itinerary ‘Bruges, Ghent, Ypres & the Battlefields’ on the Dutch Waterways
The new itinerary aboard the mps Amsterdam includes a full-day excursion with visits to Tyne Cot Cemetery – the largest British war cemetery in the world, Sanctuary Wood – where visitors can explore a preserved trench system, and Ypres – stopping at the Menin Gate and In Flanders Fields Museum.
Shearings – three Battlefields itineraries introduced for 2014
The eight, nine or ten day itineraries allow passengers to cruise along Dutch and Belgian Waterways to discover the Battlefields of Holland and Belgium with visits to Ypres, including the Airbourne Museum and National Liberation Museum, Cologne and Antwerp.
Swan Hellenic – new D-Day 70th Anniversary Cruise
Cross the Channel aboard the Minerva to Dunkirk, where guests will visit the Dunkirk beaches and museum. The cruise also takes in Ypres – to visit the In Flanders Fields Museum and Tyne Cot Cemetery, Caen – for the Gold and Sword beaches and Arromanches D-Day Museum, and Cherbourg – to visit the American Utah and Omaha beaches and St Mere Eglise, one of the first towns to be liberated. On 6th June 2014, the 70th Anniversary of the D-Day landings, Minerva will cruise off the Normandy Beaches and hold a Service of Remembrance.
Tauck – exclusive commemorative dinner & evening in Ypres
Guests travelling on the Belgium & Holland in Spring River Cruise can enjoy an exclusive dinner and evening in Ypres, inside the historic Cloth Hall within the In Flanders Fields Museum. There are nine departures throughout April 2014. www.tauck.com
Titan Travel – new Centenary Remembrance Tour, ‘Corners of a Foreign Field’
Expert guides take guests to the WWI Battlefields, memorials, landmarks and museums of Flanders, Artois and the Somme. Guests will visit iconic landmarks such as Vimy Ridge and Hell Fire Corner, and the preserved trenches in Newfoundland Park, as well as the memorial to The Last Fighting Tommy. www.titantravel.co.uk