You might be aware that in response to a reported shortage of appropriate accommodation in Normandy over the period of the D-Day 75 commemorations, The Royal British Legion recently announced that they have chartered a ship via our travel provider Arena Travel, the MV Boudicca, to provide a fully funded tour for 300 Normandy Veterans; each with one carer.
We are respectfully asking ex-Service Associations to help us communicate this opportunity to their respective memberships. Our aim is not to compete with previously arranged travel plans but rather to ensure that every Normandy Veteran is aware of the opportunity to utilise the Legion’s fully-funded travel and accommodation option that includes travel insurance. Ideally, we seek to provide every Normandy Veteran with the opportunity to travel and share time with erstwhile comrades whilst attending major commemorative events marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day on both sides of The Channel.
A comprehensive transport plan has been designed offering the collection of individuals from their respective homes to the Port of Dover and subsequent return at the completion of the tour. Following embarkation in Dover on Sunday 2 June 2019, the MV Boudicca will set sail on the itinerary outlined below, returning to Dover on Sunday 9 June 2019. A programme of activities specific to the Normandy Veterans has been designed that includes attendance at national level commemorative events, visits, demonstrations at-sea by the Royal Navy as well as historical briefings.
There are significant on-board medical facilities and the Legion will provide a cadre of additional, qualified care staff to support those travelling with us. The vessel’s itinerary allows sufficient time for the on-board veterans to take full advantage of what we hope will be a memorable experience for each of them and provide sufficient time for rest and times for reflection.
Below is the current outline itinerary for the MV Boudicca. This is subject to change.
Day 1, Sunday 2 June 2019
- Depart Dover
Day 2, Monday 3 June 2019
- At sea familiarisation and safety briefings.
- Historical lectures.
Day 3, Tuesday 4 June 2019
- Arrive in Poole Harbour for RN/RM displays & briefings.
Day 4, Wednesday 5 June 2019
- National Commemorative Event on Southsea Common marking the assembly & embarkation of the Allied D-Day invasion force.
Day 5, Thursday 6 June 2019
- Major national events at Bayeux Cathedral & the nearby CWGC cemetery.
- Major Normandy Veteran Reception.
Day 6, Friday 7 June 2019
- Coach visits to the Op OVERLORD beaches, SWORD & GOLD as well as the British Normandy Memorial and the Arromanches Military Museum.
- Gala dinner
Day 7, Saturday 8 June 2019
- Ship Homecoming into Portsmouth – 60k spectators anticipated.
Day 8, Sunday 9 June 2019
- Arrive in Dover
To apply for a place on the MV Boudicca, we are inviting veterans or their carer to our website to download and print an eligibility form. https://www.britishlegion.org.uk/community/d-day-75/
They will need to complete the eligibility form in its entirety and return to Arena Travel by Monday 4 February 2019 via post. They will also have access to our Frequently Asked Questions and the mobility policy for the ship from our website.
In the event that applications exceed availability, priority will be given to veterans who participated in the D-Day Landings, with the remaining spaces allocated to Normandy Veterans via a ballot.
If there is no over subscription on the closing date, then all eligible applicants will be awarded a space on the ship. The results of the ballot will be confirmed by Arena Travel via post before the end of February 2019. A veteran who is unsuccessful in the ballot will have the option to remain on a reserve list in case a place subsequently becomes available.
Please direct any questions or concerns to Arena Travel on 01473 660800.