British Cruise Lines Remember War Heroes

November 11, 2010
(11 a.m. EST) -- Wherever they are in the world, the passengers and crew of British cruise lines are today marking Remembrance Day in honour of those who gave their lives for their country.

At the very least, passengers and crew have been observing two minutes' silence today at 11 a.m. local time, commemorating (for those of you who may have forgotten your history) the moment when the First World War came to an end in 1918. Nowadays, of course, the British also pay tribute to those who died in conflict in World War 2, the Falklands, the Gulf, Bosnia, Afghanistan and Kosovo. A spokesman for All Leisure Group told Cruise Critic today: "On Sunday morning, all four ships will observe Armistice Day with full services of remembrance on Discovery, Minerva and Hebridean Princess and an act of worship for the crew on Alexander von Humbolt. The services on ships in service will include the famous lines from Laurence Binyon's poem 'For the Fallen' which ends with the phrase 'We will remember them', ahead of a two-minute silence."

Some lines are taking Remembrance Day further:

P&O Cruises will hold special services on all of its ships on Remembrance Sunday, November 14, as well as observing the two minutes' silence today

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines sells poppies onboard for The Royal British Legion and will hold special Remembrance Services, as well as the two minutes' silence.

Hebridean Princess is on a turnaround today and All Leisure Group's newest ship, Alexander Von Humboldt, is undergoing refurbishment, but the Master of each ship has still initiated two minutes' silence today for the crew and workers to pay their respects.

Collections and remembrance services will be held on the ships of Saga Cruises and on Spirit of Adventure on Sunday.

MSC Cruises, although Italian-owned, is offering military veterans and those currently serving in the armed forces, together with their families, 50 percent off all Mediterranean Summer 2011 sailings for bookings made between today and November 15.

Royal Caribbean will hold a special Remembrance Day service on Independence of the Seas on Sunday, as the ship is carrying mainly British passengers on a cruise from Southampton.

Voyages of Discovery's ship, Discovery, is in Libya, where passengers and crew will remember some of the fiercest fighting during the North African campaigns of World War 2.

Cruise & Maritime Voyages, although not sailing at the moment (both its ships are laid up in Germany until the Christmas market season begins) is, according to a spokesman, reporting increased interest this week in Ocean Countess's 'Wartime Memories' itinerary in April. This is the first time the line has done something with this theme; the cruise departs from Hull and visits the Flanders battlefields, Ypres, the Dunkirk Evacuation, the D-Day Landing Beaches in Normandy and Arnhem.

If you're cruising this week, will you be wearing your poppy? Let us know.

--By Sue Bryant, Cruise Critic Contributing Editor