The Great War - A Commemorative Cruise




Day 1: LILLE

Passengers are welcome to board our ship in Lille starting at 6:00 p.m. After you’ve comfortably settled in your cabin, we’ll introduce our crew during our welcome cocktail party and have dinner on board. We'll remain in port overnight.


The ship will begin to cruise early this morning heading for Comines. Enjoy a relaxing breakfast and lunch on board as we cruise. We'll arrive late in the morning in Comines. After lunch, we’ll set off by coach for Arras. Each year, Arras attracts thousands of visitors to explore the city's architecture and historic buildings. We’ll visit the Wellington Quarry(5), an enormous underground network of tunnels used by forces of the British Empire and Commonwealth during the First World War. After descending some 65 feet in a glass elevator, you will learn about the memorial to the Battle of Arras of 1917 through use of an audio guide. After our tour, we'll return on board for dinner. Take advantage of a free evening to visit or enjoy the onboard entertainment. We'll remain in port overnight.


You'll begin your day with a breakfast buffet on board. We’ll then leave by coach to Poperingen to discover this charming town. Poperinge was one of only two towns not to have been occupied by the Germans during WWI. We’ll continue on to the military cemetery at Lijssenthoek. From 1915 to 1920, this was also the location of the largest evacuation hospital in the Ypres Salient battle zone. The visitor center tells the story of this unique site through the use of interactive exhibits. After our morning visit, we'll return on board for lunch. The afternoon will be spent cruising to Kortrijk. We’ll have dinner, followed by an evening of music and dancing. We’ll remain in Kortrijk overnight.


After buffet breakfast on board, set off for a full day excursion which will begin with a visit to the Tyne Cot Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery and Memorial to the Missing, the largest for Commonwealth forces in the world. Continue with a visit to Passchendaele Museum, located in Zonnebeke Castle, which offers an overview of the deadly battle of 1917. An underground tunnel gives an idea of what the life of a British soldier must have been like. Before lunch in a restaurant, we will taste some regional cheeses. This afternoon, we’ll head for Ypres where you can take a walking tour of the ramparts (approx. 1.8 miles), followed by a visit of the In Flanders Fields Museum, which presents the history of the First World War in the region of the Western Flanders Front. We’ll also stop at Hill 60 and visit the Australian memorial. Before rejoining the boat, we’ll attend the Last Post Ceremony (5). The “Last Post” was the call of the bugle played particularly in the British Army to mark the end of the day’s work and the beginning of the evening’s rest. After our tour, we'll return on board for dinner. We’ll remain in port overnight.


Enjoy our buffet breakfast on board before setting off on an excursion to Diksmuide(4). A town located near the Yser, Diksmuide was the scene of bloody confrontations during World War I and had to be completely rebuilt. We’ll visit the “Trench of Death”, which preserves the trench setting of the Belgian front during World War I. After observing the view over the Yser plain around the “Trench of Death”, we’ll visit the actual trenches themselves. We’ll then head to the Vladslo German War Cemetery and an unaccompanied visit of the Yser Tower Memorial, which, at 275.5 feet high, is the tallest monument to peace in Europe. In the tower there is a museum dedicated to war, peace and Flemish emancipation. We’ll return on board for lunch and begin our cruise to Bruges. We’ll have dinner, followed by an evening of music and dancing. We’ll remain in port overnight.


After buffet breakfast on board, we’ll set off for an excursion to picturesque Bruges. Well-known for its lace production and filled with a quaint, old-fashioned charm, Bruges has been one of the most important cultural centers in northern Europe for some 200 years. The visit ends with a trip along the town’s canals on board small motor boats (2) where you will be able to see the town’s most important buildings and monuments from a different perspective. We’ll return on board for lunch as our ship sets off again for Ostend, where we’ll arrive mid-afternoon. Tonight, we’ll enjoy our gala dinner together, followed by an evening of music and dancing. We’ll remain in port overnight.


Enjoy one last buffet breakfast on board before disembarking at 9:00 a.m.  End of our services.

Please note: For the safety of our passengers, the captain and crew of the boat may decide to modify the navigational itinerary. This itinerary is not recommended for those with limited or reduced mobility. Alcohol can damage your health. Please drink in moderation.
(1) Please contact us for cruise Ref. OLI_PP: itinerary and excursion packages are different.
(2) Depending on weather conditions.
(3) The temperature in the Carrière Wellington is around 11°C (52°), so warm clothing is recommended.
(4) Good walking shoes are recommended for visiting the trenches.
(5) Since the “Last Post” takes place at 8:00 p.m., the return to the boat and dinner will be later than usual.

For more information about flights and transfers, please contact our call center by clicking on “Request a quote” and filling out the form, or by calling 1-800-768-7232.

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You can also book with a different itinerary, ref. OLI_PP(1).