World War One Centenary Cruise
After a short sail along the English Channel from Southampton, Braemar will call first into Boulogne-sur-Mer, the closest port to the Somme and the exceptional Thiepval Memorial to the Missing. Thiepval features a fascinating visitor centre and museum dedicated to remembering the brave soldiers that lost their lives in the fierce battles of the Somme. Within Boulogne there’s much to discover too, including the gothic church of St Nicholas, the medieval castle and the 12th century, UNESCO-listed belfry. In Belgium, Ypres is within reach of Ghent, while Mons – a major World War One battleground and the site where the first WWI Victoria Crosses were handed out – and the Belgian capital are short journeys away too. You’ll dock in Ghent for a full day on 11th November, offering you the chance to head to Brussels and be part of the annual Remembrance Sunday commemoration. [ReadMore]
It’s also possible to tour to Brussels from Antwerp, although if you’re prepared to venture slightly further afield it’s well worth heading to Liège. This historic city is where the opening engagement between the Germans and Belgians in World War One took place and the ruined Fort de Loncin – the only fort not to surrender to the German advances – is a must-visit. Alternatively, if you prefer to stay in pretty Antwerp, be sure to wander the pretty cobbled streets and take in the magnificent Cathedral of Our Lady and the Royal Museum of Fine Arts, the legendary diamond district and the abundance of chocolate shops. Returning to France, Braemar’s final stop is Dunkirk. As the site of one of World War Two’s most famous events, this pretty commune features a number of museums offering an in-depth look into French wartime history. Situated close to Belgium, Dunkirk is also ideally placed for tours to Ypres, which was reduced to rubble in World War One. Perhaps cross the border and visit the Great War battlefields; take a moment at the Menin Gate Memorial, where the Last Post is played every evening as a mark of respect; and learn about Belgium’s role in World War One at the superb In Flanders Fields Museum.
Single supplement offers are available on selected grades on this sailing, please call for details.