IT is just weeks away from April 25 and the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings at Turkey’s Anzac Cove. It is a time to recall the Anzac legend when Australian mateship was born.
While thousands will pay tribute at the Centenary Dawn Service on the Gallipoli Peninsula, many others will watch a live broadcast of the service on board cruise ships in the area. On earlier days – or following days – cruise guests will tour the remote Turkish peninsula to pay respects at the graves of the fallen soldiers.
A few years back australiancruisingnews.com was on deck Azamara Journey looking across to Anzac Cove, and found that bleak view one of life’s most moving experiences. A lump in the throat and tears in the eyes could not be avoided as the band played Waltzing Matilda. Nor did it help that the sky was overcast and the steep cliffs that the brave young soldiers climbed – to be mown down by Turkish guns – looked so lonely and uninviting, azamaraclubcruises.com
A shore tour of the Australian, New Zealand, and Turkish cemeteries next day was just as unsettling, and a walk through the small beach cemetery even more stirring.
This year many Australians and New Zealanders will be on board Celebrity Constellation, among 2000 passengers, who will spend two nights docked at Canakkale (Kepez) following the Anzac Centenary service to visit the battlefields, celebritycruises.com.au
Also, off Gallipoli for the Anzac Centenary Service will be MSC Orchestra with Australian entertainers, including Normie Rowe, Daryl Braithwaite, and John Williamson, on board, msccruises.com.au
(The Gallipoli campaign cost the Allies 141, 000 casualties, of whom more than 44, 000 died. Of the dead, 8,709 were Australians and 2,701 were New Zealanders).