It’s one of the most important days of the year to anybody identifying themselves as hailing from Australia or New Zealand, where the two nations stand together to remember the sacrificial actions of thousands of men and women throughout the decades who laid down their lives in the theatre of war for the safety and way of life we cherish today. The day also sees us give thanks to thousands more who continue to do so on a daily basis today.
Anzac Day is sacred and whether on land or at sea, citizens of the two nations are able to mark the occasion in a variety of ways as Australia’s cruise ships also stop in the name of remembering those who served in our armed forces.
On Australia’s own P&O Cruises, Pacific Eden will find itself over in Fremantle where the ship’s Captain Gavin Pears and its officers will participate in the city’s Anzac Day march. At the same time, Pacific Dawn will be in Vanuatu; Pacific Jewel will be at sea on its way back to Sydney; Pacific Pearl will be en route to Auckland and Pacific Aria will be off the NSW coast.
Dawn Services will be held onboard each of the line’s five ships for guests to attend, complete with The Last Post, a minute silence and the casting of a commemorative wreath into the sea. Later in the day, each ship will be handing out freshly baked Anzac biscuits to passengers, while Anzac-themed cake displays will be showcased at the entrance to the Waterfront Dining Room. Wartime movies such as Gallipoli and The Water Diviner will also be screened in the ship’s theatres, while some two-up might find its way into the schedule too.
Anzac Day will be commemorated on Carnival Cruise Line as well, with Carnival Legend welcoming returned serviceman and Vietnam War veteran Bob Metcalfe for the occasion. The ship will be on its way to Hawaii and will hold Dawn Service onboard, with a reading of The Ode, wreath laying and then a day of activities including two-up and screenings of classic Aussie and ANZAC movies.
Carnival Spirit will be berthed in Sydney Harbour on 25 April 2016 and will be appropriate decorated for the occasion as new passengers are welcomed for their cruise. The ship will host a game of backyard cricket on the top deck in the spirit of the occasion, while movie screenings will also take place.
In 2015, Cruise Advice was humbled to be situated just off the coast of Anzac Cove in Turkey with thousands of fellow patriots as we witnessed the sun rise to mark 100 years to the moment since the ANZACS stormed the shores in Gallipoli. We were aboard MSC Cruises’ ship MSC Orchestra where we took part in a special Dawn Service onboard, followed by a day of classic Aussie traditions such as two-up and a commemorative Anzac Day concert starring Bruce Woodley (of The Seekers), John Williamson, Normie Rowe and Daryl Braithwaite.