Saturday, 11 January 2014

Saga's Remembrance Voyage


2014 will be a year of wartime anniversaries, with the centenary of the start of the Great War and the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings, and it should be a great opportunity to learn about the human cost and the political manoeuverings in wartime.

Saga Cruises are making it a voyage of remembrance and pilgrimage this July as they take Saga Pearl II from Dover to key points on the Continent.

The first port of call is Heligoland, the small German island in the North Sea that witnessed the first naval engagement of the Great War, which Churchill maintained had 'muzzled' the German navy.

Next stop is Amsterdam, home to the splendid National Maritime Museum and the Anne Frank Museum, for those who want to take advantage of free time in the city.

The ship then sails on to Ostend to visit the Napoleonic fort decorated with murals by soldier Heinrich Otto Pieper while it was a German HQ during the First World War. Visitors here should not miss an optional excursion to Ypres to observe the Last Post at the Menin Gate.

Guests will spend the next day in Antwerp before sailing to Dunkirk, where 338,000 troops waited on the beaches before being rescued during the evacuation in 1940.

Boulogne is the next port of call, with an optional excursion to the Somme battlefields area. Guest speakers include Vice Admiral Peter Wilkinson, National President of the Royal British Legion, and Stephen Prince, Head of the Royal Navy's Historical Branch.

The eight-night cruise costs from £1,516 and departs on July 22. The price includes UK mainland travel service, all meals, 24-hour room service, all gratuities, travel insurance, on board entertainment, welcome cocktail party and captain’s dinner.

More info: call 0800 056 8986 or visit www.saga.co.uk/cruises.

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