Visit France and Belgium on a special seven-night sailing specifically timed to commemorate 100 years since the end of World War I. Pay your respects at infamous battlefields, fascinating museums and iconic memorials.
After a short cruise along the English Channel from Southampton, UK, Fred Olsen’s 929-passenger Braemar will arrive in the French harbour of Dunkirk, the site of one of World War II’s most famous battles.
Dunkirk is also ideally placed for tours to Ypres, which was reduced to rubble in WWI. Take a moment at the Menin Gate Memorial, where the Last Post is played every evening, and the In Flanders Fields Museum. A short journey away is Mons, a major battleground and where the first WWI Victoria Crosses were handed out.
Next stop is Ghent on November 11, offering the chance to head to Brussels and be part of the annual Remembrance Sunday commemoration. The ship docks overnight, allowing plenty of time to also explore Ghent’s medieval architecture and the 12th-century Gravensteen castle.
Braemar then visits Antwerp, home of the diamond district, chocolate shops, the Cathedral of Our Lady and the Royal Museum of Fine Arts. A day trip is possible to Liège, where the opening engagement between the Germans and Belgians took place. See the ruined Fort de Loncin — the only fort not to surrender to German advances.
The final stop is Boulogne-sur-Mer, the closest port to the Somme and the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing. Thiepval features a fascinating visitor centre and museum dedicated to the soldiers who lost their lives in the fierce battles of the Somme.
Within Boulogne discover the gothic church of St Nicholas, a medieval castle and a 12th century, UNESCO-listed castle.
This 11-night Fly, Cruise & Stay package, ‘World War One Centenary cruise’ also includes return economy class airfare to London from Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide or Perth, transfers in London from airport to hotel to port, four nights’ four-star accommodation including breakfast and a full-day London city tour (with free time for lunch). Passengers also have two full days of leisure in London before boarding the ship on 8 November.
Flights depart Australia on 3 November 2018 and return 16 November. The total package is priced from $3,999 per person twin share based on an inside cabin or pay an extra $220 per person for an outside cabin.
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