Yet again, another exceptional day of remembrance aboard the Sea Princess, remembering the thousands of Australian, New Zealand and lesser numbers of British troops that landed on the beach as the invasion of Gallipoli. While billed as scenic cruising, Captain Kent has Sea Princess stopped off Anzac Cove before 08:00 and on departure turned the vessel through 360 degrees so all balcony cabins could see the beach.
Temperature: High 23C/74F, Low 15C/59F
Wind/Weather: N’ly at 15 kts, fine and clear
Clox: Z+3 (no change)
During the early hours of the morning Sea Princess maintained WSW’ly courses towards the Dardanelles, picking up the pilot about 03:30 for the approximately 2 hour transit. On disembarking the pilot, Sea Princess steered NNW’ly courses towards Anzac Cove, where we arrived prior to 08:00.
At 11:00, the Captain rotated Sea Princess 360 degrees before commencing the passage towards Santorini.
Anzac Cove, Turkey
Anzac Cove is a small cove, of about 2,000 feet in length, on the Gallipoli Peninsula where the Australian & New Zealand troops landed during WWI on 25th April 1915. Once the troops moved inland the Cove was used as a supply depot and field hospital.
Named by the Turkish Government after the Australian and New Zealand Army Corp (ANZAC), who for eight months fought some of the bloodiest campaigns of WWI. Approximately 27,000 troops were sent ashore to conquer the Ottoman Forts to gain control of the Dardanelles for the Allies. This year has special significance, as it is 100 years since the landings.
In Australia, ANZAC Day is a national holiday and wreaths are laid at the War Memorials and a number of people also embark on tours to Turkey to visit the beaches on April 25th. Our table mates advised that this year had incredible interest in attending the beaches, so the government implemented a lottery system, with the winners able to visit the beaches in Turkey.
A memorial service was scheduled at 08:30 on the top deck, which was very well attended.
Stage set up for the ANZAC memorial service, hosted by Captain Kent. The pax choir set up behind the pool with a selection of officers down both sides of the pool. Across the front were the Captain and dignitaries. As this was a memorial service, I do not consider it appropriate to be taking photographs, so is the only photograph taken prior to the Captain’s arrival. The service was short, but poignant, comprising:
- Opening memorial address from Captain Kent
- Hymn – O god our help in ages past
- Prayer of Remembrance – read by a female veteran
- Hymn – Abide with me
- Lord’s Prayer
- Reading of ANZAC Poem – Cruise Director
- Laying of Wreath – wreath carried by a cadet and presented to two veterans at the ship’s side
- The Ode: (NZ & RSL)
- Last Post followed by a minute of silence
- Australian & New Zealand National Anthems
- The Blessing – Captain Kent
Captain Kent, his officers and crew did an exceptional job in scheduling the memorial service, which was attended by almost all passengers. At 11:00, Captain Kent provided a pre-departure announcement and then turned the Sea Princess through 360 degrees off Anzac Cove, before commencing the passage to Santorini. During the turn, the Port Lecturer provided additional information over the P/A system.
Being a long day yesterday, we elected to have a quiet day, with Judi catching up on sleep and me working on photos and the blog.
As another day closes, we bid you farewell, till tomorrow and hope for fair skies and following seas.