This year is an incredibly poignant one for British history. It marks both 100 years since the start of the First World War as well as the 70th anniversary of D-Day.
To mark the momentous occasion, cruise lines are running itineraries dedicated to visiting areas of key interest to both conflicts.
History is a huge draw for cruise passengers. If your clients are looking for holiday ideas, a vast majority would certainly be interested in visiting sites like Omaha Beach or the Normandy graves.
We’ve outlined some of the itineraries available taking place throughout the season below. Use the guide to build your own programme – especially useful for group tours too.
Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines
Fred. Olsen’s D-Day Anniversary Cruise departed on 1 June and will have guest speaker Tony Harris – official ambassador of Help for Heroes – onboard.
The cruise will call at the Tyne Cot Cemetery, the Portsmouth war memorials, Battle of Normandy sites in Cherbourg before moving on to Le Havre for the ‘Day of Remembrance’ on 6 June.
The last port of call will be Dunkirk, site of the famous Operation Dynamo.
Fred. Olsen runs similar itineraries throughout the year.
Prices dependant on sailing
All Leisure Group brand Swan Hellenic is welcoming legendary broadcaster Sir Trevor McDonald onboard its D-Day anniversary sailing.
Departing on 6 June, the cruise calls at notable sites of the First and Second World War including Dunkirk, Ypres, St Mere Eglise and the Normandy beaches.
The cruise will also be joined by battlefield historian Dr Peter Caddick-Adams who will give a great insight into the D-Day landings.
Wild Earth Travel
Anzac Nursing Sisters Gallipoli
New Zealand expedition company Wild Earth Travel is running a unique itinerary in September 2015, which celebrates the centenary of the Anzac nursing sisters.
The cruise will commemorate the sites where Australian and New Zealand nurses were involved in the Gallipoli conflict, offering the opportunity to learn about nursing during the First World War.
Speakers include UK professor of nursing history Christine Hallett, with the cruise calling at Athens, Skiathos, Thessaloniki, Lemnos, Canakkale and Istanbul.
An impressive voyage for a different view of the Great War.
Picture credit: . Commons family: Assorted negatives, photographs and postcards relating to the Commons family. Ref: PAColl-0321-001. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22881884
Azamara Club Cruises
Memories of WWII
Enjoy this voyage commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Normandy Landings, visiting key battlegrounds and villages along the route.
Join the cruise in the WWII spy haven of Lisbon and set sail for the beautiful countryside of Guernsey, once part of the German Atlantic Wall.
Azamara Journey will be in Cherbourg on 6 June, for the 70th anniversary of D-Day, offering a variety of optional tours that include Omaha Beach, the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, Pointe du Hoc, juno and Gold beaches, and St. Mere Eglise.
The cruise will also visit Dover and Amsterdam where guests will be able to visit Anne Frank’s house.
On Avalon’s Seine itineraries – which run from March through to October – the river cruise specialist offers excursions in the French town of Rouen to the American Cemetery at Collville-sur-Mer and the Pointe du Hoq monument.
Both highly recommended for a great opportunity to travel, with Avalon’s package including flights in the price.
The cruise finishes in the romantic capital of the world, Paris.