Experiencing Gallipoli on European River Cruise:
The popularity of the Dawn Service at Gallipoli has grown and grown over the years and the significance of being at Gallipoli on April 25th resonates with both the young and old, especially with people from countries involved in the Gallipoli campaign. Most coach tours of Turkey have always included a stop at Gallipoli and tours around April 25th include a special dawn service component.
These days, river cruise operators and travel aggregators have also built Gallipoli visits into their river cruise itineraries. Many are just pre or post extensions of one of the popular 15-day European river cruises, for example the Amsterdam to Budapest or Budapest to Amsterdam river cruises.
The following two Australian tour operators in particular have Gallipoli cruises, but APT’s Gallipoli cruise is the only one that specifically travels during the April 25th period and includes a night camping out at Gallipoli so that passengers can attend the dawn service.
APT Tours‘ 24-day Gallipoli cruise begins with six days in the city of Istanbul. On April 24th, passengers travel to the Gallipoli Peninsula and visit the Gelibolu War Museum, go on a guided sightseeing tour of the war memorials, including Lone Pine, Chunuk Bair and 57th cemetery. Later in the day, head to Anzac Cove to settle in for the Dawn Service. Here, you will be accommodated in a secure outdoor area (sleeping bags are provided) and there’s entertainment and musical performances during the evening. APT’s experienced guides will accompany passengers throughout the evening and take part in the ANZAC Day Dawn Service at sunrise. Those who wish can take the opportunity to walk to Lone Pine for the Australian service.
After Gallipoli, passengers will explore the legendary ancient city of Troy before returning to Istanbul and flying to Budapest to board the MS Amadagio for the 14-night cruise along the Danube, Main and Rhine rivers to Amsterdam. The holiday concludes with a 3-day extension in Paris.
As you can see, this Gallipoli cruise is essentially a three part holiday made up of the first 6 days in Istanbul + a 15-day Budapest to Amsterdam river cruise + 3 nights in Paris, but you do get to visit Gallipoli and experience the Dawn Service on April 25th.
Scenic Tours has a 30-day Amsterdam to the Black Sea River Cruise + Gallipoli. The first 15 days of the cruise is the popular Amsterdam to Budapest river cruise. On Day 16, the river boat follows the Danube down south to Serbia, sails along the Serbian/Romanian border and then glides eastwards along the Romanian/Bulgarian border before reaching Bucharest where passengers disembark. The rest of journey is by coach. The Gallipoli visit is on Day 26, so the arrival at Gallipoli is in late May.
Aggregators – An example of an aggregator’s Gallipoli cruise is a 29-day Istanbul to Paris trip which is a Danube River Cruise with a Gallipoli pre and Paris post cruise extension, i.e. 4 days pre-cruise visit of Istanbul + 21 day Rousse to Trier river cruise with APT + 3 nights post-cruise in Paris.