Gallipoli 2015 Blog

2015 Anzac Cruise Explores Uncanny Gallipoli Links

Posted by Anne Macindoe on March 7th, 2014

azamara journey cruises aegean off turkey 2015 anzac cruise

2015 Anzac Cruise charter vessel, Azamara Journey, cruises the Aegean Sea off the coast of Turkey, where the Anzac soldiers landed at Gallipoli in the early hours of 25th April 1915.

2015 Anzac Cruise passengers have a lot to look forward to.  Travelling aboard elegant Azamara Journey promises to be a superb travel experience.  There’s globally renowned soprano, Dame Malvina Major and a whole team of international experts.  Plus, a fantastic 10 day itinerary, during which cruisers can discover legends beyond the battlefield.

Gallipoli-2015 offers cruisers an exclusive opportunity. Not just to participate in one significant historical moment.  But to glimpse back in time, from ancient civilisations and futile conflict to discover astonishing stories. Both history and legend, make uncanny connections between millennia of history and more modern times.

Ephesus – Cruise Day 2

Although aligned at different times with both the Athenians and Sparta, in ancient times the city of Ephesus was open and welcoming to all races and creeds.  Much like the Turkey of today welcomes visitors.

It also has an interesting synergy with the Dardanelles campaign. During the Battle of Notium in the Peloponnesian War, the Athenian fleet had the Spartans blockaded in the harbour at Ephesus. Before the battle its commander sailed north leaving his helmsman, Antiochus in command. He attempted to implement a strategy that would give the Athenians the upper hand. But what followed was a comprehensive defeat.

Similarly, immediately before the ferocious Dardanelles sea battle of 18 March 1915, the commander of the Royal Navy’s Mediterranean Squadron, Vice Admiral S.H. Carden was taken ill. His second in command, Rear Admiral John de Robeck, replaced him on the day and attempted to implement Churchill’s master strategy. By day’s end, the Ottomans had gained a significant victory.

In 2015, Anzac Cruise expert, Marcus Falay, speaks with authority on Turkey’s celebrated attractions and will make an enlightening Ephesus presentation.

Troy – Cruise Day 7

Today, the fascinating site at Troy spans nine different levels of settlement. But it is most famous as the setting for Homer’s Iliad, which includes a striking parallel:

Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives … You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side now here in the country of ours … you, the mothers, who sent their sons from faraway countries wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land. They have become our sons as well.
Kemal Atatürk, 1934

The celebrated words of Ataturk extend the hand of friendship in a most respectful and emotive way. Yet this was a man who defended his nation under siege. Circumstances startlingly similar to those in which King Priam of Troy had once found himself, only a short distance from Gallipoli.

‘Honor the gods, Achilles; pity him. Think of your father; I am more pitiful; I’ve suffered what no other mortal has, I have kissed the hand of one who killed my children.’
King Priam of Troy, The Iliad

In 2015, Anzac Cruise expert, Dr Carol Scott, speaks on the role of Troy as a centre of convergence, its position as a major Bronze Age centre, significance as an early site of modern archaeology and the role of Helen in making its story a source of continuing fascination and romance.

2015 Anzac Cruise Highlights

The 2015 Gallipoli cruise embarks on a voyage of discovery.  Sailing from Athens to Istanbul, the Azamara Journey follows a 10 day itinerary of archaeological wonders, cultural encounters and battlefield pilgrimage. Some of the memorable moments this Anzac Centenary cruise include:

  • Ephesus – celebrated ancient Greek & Roman city
  • Troy – with some mysterious Gallipoli connections
  • Lemnos – steeped in Hellenic myth and ANZAC history
  • AE2 – Australian sub that slipped through the Dardanelles
  • Istanbul – destination of the legendary Orient Express


Gallipoli 2015 Cruise Fulfils the Ultimate Anzac Goal

Posted by Anne Macindoe on February 21st, 2014


azamara journey gallipoli 2015 cruise ship

Gallipoli 2015 cruise passengers will voyage aboard the outstanding Azamara Journey, one of the world’s top cruise ships in its class.

A cruise to Gallipoli in 2015 promises a different experience to 100 years ago. An uncertain future is much less likely than our fresh-faced ANZACs faced on those Aegean shores in 1915. But there are some synergies too. The Epic Cruise itinerary journeys through time to explore uncanny historical links. The Anzac voyage from Lemnos Island will be retraced. And ultimately the campaign goal will be complete when Azamara Journey arrives in Istanbul.

A Mirror Through Time

Throughout myth and history are some mysterious links to Gallipoli. Take Troy for example. Priam’s celebrated kingdom is a site where most indulge a passion for history. Not only is Troy located a short distance from the Gallipoli. It was the inspiration of Troy that imagined the greatest armada since Homer’s Iliad. And gave rise to the Dardanelles campaign.

Anzac Cruise from Lemnos

As the seconds ticked towards 25th April 1915, an Allied armada set out from Moudros Harbour. From this Lemnos Island sanctuary, 4,000 ANZAC soldiers were dispatched. They crossed the Aegean on a morning that was strangely calm and still. In the cool darkness of pre-dawn, 1,500 Australian and New Zealand soldiers fell upon Anzac Beach. The rest is history.

After midnight on 21st April 2015, the Gallipoli cruise makes a respectful re-enactment. Relive the Anzac’s journey from Lemnos Island minute-by-minute. How better to experience this early morning cruise than with some engaging personal commentary and insightful military narrative? Our onboard experts will provide both.

Fulfil the Gallipoli Purpose

In 1915, the strategic aim of two failed campaigns was the same. The Dardanelles campaign and the Gallipoli campaign had one objective: to capture the Dardanelles Strait and ultimately Constantinople (now Istanbul). This would secure the sea route to the allied Russian Empire.

The Anzacs battled bravely at Gallipoli. But, in the end, little was gained and a December withdrawal confirmed the struggle lost. There would be no marching into Constantinople.

In a poignant conclusion to our Gallipoli 2015 cruise itinerary, Istanbul is the final port of call. 100 years later, passengers will fulfil the Anzac goal.


Dame Malvina Major Confirms Aboard Anzac Cruise

Posted by Anne Macindoe on February 7th, 2014

dame malvina major anzac cruise entertainer

World renowned soprano, Dame Malvina Major, joins the Gallipoli-2015 Anzac Cruise for a special tribute concert to Dame Vera Lynn and sings at the poignant Dawn Service aboard Azamara Journey.

Anzac Cruise passengers are in for a special treat.  New Zealand’s world-renowned soprano, Dame Malvina Major, has confirmed aboard the Gallipoli-2015 cruise.  During the 10 day cruise, Dame Malvina will perform a very special Dame Vera Lynn tribute concert.  Her exquisite voice will also ring out aboard Azamara Journey during a dignified onboard Dawn Service and live broadcast from Anzac Cove.

About Dame Malvina Major

Over an international career, Dame Malvina Major has appeared in 28 principal roles, attained a superb oratorio and concert repertoire along with an impressive discography.  She has entertained royalty, heads of state and music lovers across the globe in venues as varied as grand opera houses and exotic desert retreats.

Born in Hamilton, New Zealand, Dame Malvina has studied under Dame Sister Mary Leo (who also instructed Dame Kiri Te Kanawa) and Ruth Packer at the London Opera Centre.  She has won multiple awards and her unique talent is celebrated wherever she performs.

A Genuine Anzac Cruise Highlight

For the 2015 Gallipoli cruise, she is preparing a very special tribute to Britain’s wartime sweetheart, Dame Vera Lynn, whose lasting legacy includes tracks like We’ll Meet Again and The White Cliffs of Dover.  No doubt some popular World War I songs like It’s a Long Way to Tipperary and Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag will be featured also.

During the stillness of pre-dawn on the 100th anniversary of Anzac, cruise passengers remaining aboard for a respectful remembrance ceremony will hear Dame Malvina Major’s celebrated soprano once more.  A poignant musical homage to the men of Anzac, who answered the call of king and country and now sleep forever in a land half a world away.

Make your Gallipoli-2015 cruise booking online or phone 1300 766 595.


Why make your own Anzac Landing? This Gallipoli cruise has the OK to dock.

Posted by Anne Macindoe on January 24th, 2014

Spring flowering iris at Gallipoli

Spring flowering iris at Gallipoli in the foreground of The Ridge. This photo from Dr V John Basarin’s 2005 Anzac Tour. Around the cemeteries, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission has planted species that will flower in April; purple and white iris are common.

Gallipoli 2015 promises what every spring on the peninsula does.  Anzac Day, fields of flowers … and unpredictable weather.  So when you transfer from a vessel to dry land, it’s better not to risk the elements.  But only two Gallipoli cruises have port approval to dock for the Anzac Centenary.  The Epic Cruise aboard Azamara Journey is one of them.

When the ANZACs landed in 1915, they boarded lifeboats that were towed ashore.  The fleet used an age-old system of moving travellers onto smaller craft for their journey to the beach.  100 years ago, the soldiers were off-loaded in the chill Aegean waters.  While Gallipoli cruise passengers won’t disembark that way, travellers aboard other ships will make an inconvenient lifeboat transfer.

Passengers aboard Azamara Journey for the Gallipoli-2015 Epic Cruise are able to come ashore in port.  That means stepping off the vessel directly onto the dock at Canakkale, as and when you choose.  Passengers will enjoy easy access to the inviting town and many local attractions, including the Gallipoli peninsula.  Those attending the official Dawn Service at Anzac Cove will move to and from the cruise ship with ease.

Cruise ships transfer passengers by life boat tender for many reasons.  Moving a lot of people on and off a vessel requires seamless logistics.  Even so, there is lots of waiting and a number of drawbacks:

  • Loading a lifeboat tender with passengers is quite time-consuming,
  • Travelling to and from land by smaller craft is frustratingly slow,
  • Even if there is a canopy, lifeboat tenders are open to the elements,
  • Movement is only available when scheduled by the cruise ship.

For the 100 year anniversary, there are still some further matters to be settled.  A flotilla of cruise ships is expected off Anzac Cove to mark the centenary.  It’s likely the Port of Canakkale will need safety and security measures in place for an orderly flow of marine traffic.  So there is a possibility the movement of smaller craft will be restricted.  That could pose more problems for ticket holders hoping to attend official Gallipoli 2015 commemorations.