D-Day Veterans welcomed to Poole.

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Tuesday 4th June marked a momentous day of celebrations at the Port of Poole with the arrival of the Royal British Legion’s D-Day 75 Voyage of remembrance, marking the 75th anniversary of the Normandy Landings.

There was a real buzz in the air as Poole welcomed Fred Olsen Cruise Lines’ Boudicca on her maiden voyage to the Port. Boudicca set sail on Sunday 2nd June, on one of the most poignant and moving journeys in her history, under charter to The Royal British Legion. The classic ship, carrying up to 300 D-Day veterans aged from 93 to 104, set sail from the iconic White Cliffs of Dover to Normandy, France on a historic seven-night D-Day 75th Anniversary voyage.

The visit to the Port of Poole was the second of the 3 calls that the Boudicca made before the ship followed the same route as those involved in the Battle of Normandy. Travelling from Portsmouth to Le Havre, France, on 6th June 2019, exactly 75 years after the D-Day Landings. Commemorative ceremonies took place at each of the port of calls.

The ship was escorted into the harbour by Royal Marines in Offshore Raiding Craft and once alongside, veterans were given a warm welcome by port staff and local school children. Veterans were then given the opportunity to witness a display of modern amphibious equipment and given a talk by Peter Snow, the historian, and broadcaster.

Royal Marines in Offshore Raiding Craft out on a sea display as the ship approached the harbour, where they were given a warm welcome from the port staff, local school children and serving military personnel waving Union Jack flags

Poole Harbour Commissioner’s CEO Jim Stewart advised, “We are absolutely thrilled to have welcomed ‘Boudicca’ on her maiden voyage to our new cruise berth, South Quay. It is an enormous honour to host this fabulous ship and the D-Day heroes. I felt incredibly proud to have been part of the celebrations.“

At 206m in length, the Boudicca is the largest cruise ship to date to have docked at Poole’s new cruise berth, South Quay, which opened in May 2018.

“Today also marks a new chapter for the port as we welcomed the Boudicca for the first time, the largest Cruise ship we’ve seen at the Port to date. Something the ship’s guests seemed to get a buzz out of being part of. “

“The school children seemed to really enjoy the interaction with our VIP’s and there was even a wonderful moment when the children and one veteran were seen singing and dancing.”