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Two new river cruises in France 2015 taking in World War I sites

croisieurope MS-Victor Hugo

Europe’s largest river cruise operator, CroisiEurope is introducing two new itineraries for river cruises in France 2015, specifically created to honour the centenary of the outbreak of World War I.

Seven-day cruise between Ostend, Belgium and Lille, the capital of Nord-Pas de Calais

Highlights include a trip to Diksmuide, the scene of bloody confrontations during WW1 and a visit to the Trench of Death – one of the most dangerous Belgian positions on the Western Front; a stop at the German cemetery of Vaslo and a visit to Europe’s largest peace memorial, the 84-metre-high Yser Tower; a day in Kortrijk including a visit to the British War Cemetery in Tyne Cot, the largest of its kind in continental Europe; a visit to the Passchendaele Museum and the Flanders Fields Museum;  a ‘Last Post’ ceremony at the Menin Gate in Ypres representing the final  farewell to the dead; a trip to Poperingen, one of the only towns not occupied by the Germans; the military cemetery and hospital at Lijssenthoek; the lovely town of Arras and Wellington Quarry – an enormous underground network created to keep the troops together during the build up to the Allied offensive.

croisieurope Raymonde

The cruise on the MS Victor Hugo departs 10th September 2015 with the reverse itinerary departing 16th September 2015. Prices start from £951 per person including all onboard meals, complimentary beer and wine at lunch and dinner as well as open bar throughout the voyage, all excursions, onboard entertainment and port taxes.

Seven-day cruise along the Marne Canal from Paris to Chalons-en-Champagne onboard the 24-guest MS Raymonde visiting Lagny-Sur-Marne, Meux, Saint Jean Les Deux Jumeaux, Chateau Thierry, Dormans and Epernay.

Highlights include the Battlefields of the Marne; the Museum of the Great War with over 50,000 objects and documents to peruse; the Remembrance Museum of Belleau; the Aisne-Marne Cemetery where 2,289 soldiers who fell during fighting in the summer of 1918 are buried; Fort Douaumont, the largest of 19 defensive forts protecting the city of Verdun which was abandoned by the French in 1915; Douaumont Ossuary where the bodies of 130,000 unidentified soldiers from each side are at rest together; and a visit to the Tranchée des Baïonnettes (Bayonet Trench), a monument financed by the American George Rand in honour of the 137th Infantry Regiment. Also included is a tour of the Champagne Tourist Route and a guided tour of Paris.

There are three departures on 28th May, 8th July and 19th September 2015 with prices from £1,653 per person including all onboard meals, complimentary beer and wine at lunch and dinner as well as open bar throughout the voyage (not including Champagne, special wines or fine brandies), all excursions, onboard entertainment and port taxes.

For reservations and further information visit www.croisieurope.co.uk

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