Remembering the SommeWednesday 1 July 2015
Saga Sapphire cruise to France will mark World War One centenary of the Battle of the Somme which saw the biggest loss of life in British Army history
Remembering the Somme
July 1, 1916: On the day intended to end the Great War there were 57,470 casualties including 19,240 missing.
July 1, 2016: Saga Sapphire will sail to France on the 100th anniversary of the battle and a memorial service will be held on board for passengers to pay their respects to the fallen before a tour of the Somme battlefields, memorials and museums.
The five-night Remembering the Somme cruise will start from the Port of Dover which played a key role in the protection of the English Channel during World War One.
A military historian will be on board to give a series of lectures during the themed cruise which will also include two maiden ports of call.
The first new port will be Boulogne for an excursion to the Somme, where the battles raged for more than four months.
The tour will take in Albert, the main Allied-held town behind the front line, and a visit to the Somme 1916 Museum before a walk around La Boisselle mine crater. At 328ft wide by 33ft deep it is the largest crater ever made by man in anger and was created by one of the explosions designed to break the German front line before the infantry assault on July 1, 1916.
There will also be time to view the imposing Thiepval Memorial which commemorates 72,194 men who have no known grave. The Newfoundland Memorial at Beaumont Hamel will also be on the itinerary and here visitors will be able to walk through the trenches and see a landscape still scarred by shell holes.
The cruise will continue to Le Havre, St Peter Port in Guernsey and Dunkirk where there will be further World War One and World War Two tours as well as cultural shore excursions.
The second maiden port of call will be Dunkirk, the scene of the 1940 evacuation where 338,000 British and Allied troops were rescued during Operation Dynamo. The Battle of Dunkirk Museum, the 1940 Memorial and the English cemetery La Plaine au Bois will be included on this poignant tour.
Five nights from £940, based on the lowest available inside cabin grade, departing Dover on June 30, 2016. Price includes UK travel package to and from Dover, all meals, wine with lunch and dinner, afternoon tea, 24-hour room service, welcome cocktail party, entertainment and lectures, unlimited tea and coffee in selected venues, wi-fi, all on-board gratuities, porterage, shuttle bus to nearest town centre (when the ship is berthed more than 500 yards away), travel insurance and cancellation cover or a discount of £40 if passenger has own insurance cover.
Editors: Saga Holidays is the winner of seven British Travel Awards 2014 including Best for Special Interests and Best Specialist Small Ship Cruise Line.For details call free on 0800 051 3355 or visit travel.saga.co.uk/cruises
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