Lone Pine on Anzac Day Cruise at Gallipoli 2015

In 2015 you will have a once in a lifetime chance to be touring on a cruise ship heading to Gallipoli for the 100th year commemoration of ANZAC day.

Anzac Day 2015

Get the facts on where Azamara Journey will be before, during and after the Dawn Service.

Epic Cruise passengers will experience the Gallipoli dawn just as most of the original ANZACs did. But that’s merely part of the journey of discovery this centenary cruise offers. Azamara Journey passengers will:

  • Enjoy easy access to the Port of Canakkale

    the Epic Cruise is one of only two vessels with Kepez Docking approval.
  • Explore Gallipoli battlefields with expert guides

    on itinerary days 3 & 4, well before the proposed Gallipoli peninsula closure.
  • Stand in the Gallipoli dawn to mark 100 years

    during a dignified pre-dawn tribute and live Dawn Service broadcast.

Media articles have been published following a government warning about some tour operators misleading travellers. Gallipoli-2015 is not one of the agencies involved.

The Epic Cruise advertised itinerary, daily land activities and 2015 Anzac Day commemorations remain unchanged. Arrangements are as follows:

Ballot Ticket Holders

If you are a ballot ticket holder issued by the Australian or New Zealand Government, you will be taken care of. On the eve of Anzac Day, you will disembark Azamara Journey, board buses and go to the Commemoration Site near Anzac Cove. You will spend the night and witness the once-a-life time event of centenary commemorations, as the dawn breaks over the Gallipoli cliffs. After these commemorations, you will be guided to walk to Lone Pine [3.2 km] if you are Australian ballot ticket holder or to Chunuk Bair [7.8 km] if you are a New Zealand ballot ticket holder. The walk to Lone Pine and Chunuk Bair can be difficult as it is uphill most of the way. The Australian and New Zealand Governments have arranged buses if you have mobility issues. However for these Government arranged buses you have to register:
Australians: http://www.gallipoli2015.dva.gov.au/faq.htm#mobility_assistance
New Zealanders: http://www.veteransaffairs.mil.nz/commemorations/gallipoli/travel-information.html#ama.

After all the ceremonies conclude, at 12.15 pm, buses will begin arriving at Lone Pine Cemetery and will then proceed to Chunuk Bair to collect visitors, and visitors can expect to leave the site by mid to late afternoon on 25 April. It can take several hours for all buses to collect visitors. Buses will not arrive in the order in which they are registered. Hence it might be late in the afternoon, for the ballot holders to get back to Azamara which will be awaiting docked at the port."

Port of Canakkale

Azamara Journey has official docking approval at Kepez Port over the Anzac Centenary. This dock accommodates just two cruise liners. The Epic Cruise is one.

Berthing provides gangway access to the dock and means passengers may easily alight as and when they choose. This convenient advantage also streamlines arrangements for land activities, such as the Gallipoli battlefield pilgrimage.

Below is the official berthing plan published by the Port of Canakkale.

Port of Canakkale berthing plan

Gallipoli Battlefields

Cruise passengers will make a Gallipoli battlefield pilgrimage over two days on 22nd and 23rd April 2015. These day tours are to be led by globally recognised experts, including:

  • Dr John Basarin

    Turkish Australian Gallipoli historian and author, RSL Anzac Peace Prize recipient
  • Brad Manera

    NSW RSL “war history guru”, Sydney Anzac Memorial CEO and Senior Historian

The cruise itinerary also features a visit to Canakkale Military Museum and the site where HMS Queen Elizabeth’s 15” shell landed without exploding.

Anzac Day Commemorations

During the evening of 24th April and following the transfer of ballot ticket holders from the vessel, Azamara Journey will relocate to the Aegean Sea. The ship will be positioned a safe distance from Anzac Cove, at anchor or adrift, as the captain is directed by local Turkish authorities.

This will give Epic Cruise passengers to chance to stand on deck in the Gallipoli breaking dawn. This is how most of the colossal landing force spent the morning of 25th April 1915. It is a fitting and authentic way to commemorate the 100th Anzac Day.

On board activities include a pre-dawn tribute, featuring Dame Malvina Major and live broadcast of official proceedings. Later on Anzac Day, a further tribute is planned as Azamara Journey sails past the Australian AE2 Submarine site.

The only Anzac Centenary travel endorsed by Australian Geographic, the Epic Cruise is a private charter of Azamara Journey, in the top 25 luxury cruise liners of its class globally. The cruise is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Not just to participate in one extraordinary moment. But to glimpse back in time, from ancient civilisations to futile conflict. And discover their astonishing stories.