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3rd June 2019 - Press Release

D-Day veterans set sail from Dover with a Swingtime serenade on The Royal British Legion's D-Day 75 Voyage of Remembrance aboard Boudicca



Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines' Boudicca set sail on one of the most poignant and moving journeys in its history on Sunday 2nd June 2019, under charter to The Royal British Legion. The classic ship carried up to 300 D-Day veterans from the iconic White Cliffs of Dover to Normandy, France, on a historic seven-night D-Day 75th Anniversary Voyage.

The D-Day veterans – plus a carer or companion – embarked on The Royal British Legion’s D-Day 75 Voyage of Remembrance in Dover on 2nd June 2019 to attend a series of commemorative events in both England and France, marking the 75th anniversary of the Normandy Landings, fought on the five beaches of ‘Gold’, ‘Sword’, ‘Juno’, ‘Omaha’ and ‘Utah’, on 6th June 1944.

The Port of Dover – one of Fred. Olsen's long-standing turnaround ports – hosted a special event to see the D-Day veterans off in style. The ’40s-themed 'Swingtime Sweethearts' performed in the Cruise Terminal throughout the day, which was decked out in festive flags and bunting.

The Port displayed historic military vehicles from the era, including Jeeps, and the Dover Sea Cadets marched and performed a number of evocative wartime songs.      

Peter Deer, Commercial Director at Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said:

“It is a tremendous honour for us to be part of The Royal British Legion’s commemorations to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day Landings and the Battle of Normandy, in what is set to be a very poignant and moving voyage for these veterans and their loved ones.

“We are very proud of our long partnership with the Port of Dover, and the enthusiastic and fitting send-off for these deserving D-Day veterans, as Boudicca follows the same path as the ships involved on this momentous day, which brought peace and reconciliation to mark the Second World War.”

Sonia Limbrick, Head of Cruise at the Port of Dover, said:

“We were thrilled to host such a momentous celebration for these D-Day heroes, before they stepped on to Boudicca for one the most poignant journeys ever to have set sail from the Port.

“Our impressive Cruise Terminal, combined with the iconic setting of the White Cliffs and the historical and emotional significance of Dover, ensured the veterans were given the amazing send-off they deserve.”

From Dover, Boudicca will first visit Dunkirk, France, before calling into Poole and Portsmouth, England for commemorative ceremonies. The ship will then follow the same route as those involved in the Battle of Normandy, travelling to Le Havre, France, on 6th June 2019, exactly 75 years after the D-Day Landings.

The Royal British Legion’s 'D-Day 75 Voyage of Remembrance' has been offered free to D-Day veterans and their companions, funded by the UK Government’s LIBOR grant, in conjunction with the Ministry of Defence and Suffolk-based Arena Travel. 

ENDS

Note to Editors:

For further information on the ‘D-Day 75 Voyage of Remembrance’, visit Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ website

About Dover Cruise Port:

  • A leading UK cruise port
  • Used by over 25 cruise lines
  • Around 200,000 cruise guests welcomed per annum

 

The Royal British Legion:

  • The Allied invasion of Normandy, known as D-Day, took place on 6th June 1944, and was the largest amphibious assault ever launched. More than 80,000 British and Canadian troops took part in the invasion on the beaches alongside United States Forces, in an Allied invasion Force of nearly 160,000. Another 23,400 British troops were landed by air. Supporting the invasion were more than 7,000 ships off the coast (including the famous HMS Belfast) and 11,000 aircraft. In total, British and Commonwealth casualties (killed, wounded or missing) on D-Day numbered approximately 4,300. The invasion was the first stage in the liberation of Europe from Nazi occupation, which ultimately led to victory for Allied Forces in 1945.
  • Operated by Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, Boudicca is named after the British warrior queen. The ship was designed for world cruising and was extensively refurbished in March 2018. Images and video footage of Boudicca are available from The Royal British Legion Press Office.

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