Flanders Fields cruise
World War I remembrance tour.
CRUISE ONLY ON REQUEST ! ! !
No one will dispute the fact that a territory as small as the West of Flanders played quite an important role in the Great War of 1914-1918. Up to this very day, the province of West-Flanders still pays homage to the hundreds of thousands who died on both sides of the lines.
The Flanders Fields route, aboard the Johanna, allows you to discover every important corner of the territory that played such an important role during the Great War:
- Be touched by the playing of “the Last Post” in Ypres
- Admire the Yser Tower, a symbol that was destroyed in 1946, only to be transformed into the Peace Gate, and replaced with an even higher Tower. The slogan “No more war”, that was implemented in 4 different languages, has elevated the symbolic and historic meaning of this monument to a level that is unequalled to this very day.
- Take a walk through the famous trenches of death.
- Visit the locks of Newport (Belgium) that were a turning point in the way the first World War was fought. After all, it was the flooding of the Yser that stopped the German advance in Belgium, making it a war that was fought from the trenches.
- 1 Bruges: Welcome on board. We hope you had a nice stay in this UNESCO World Heritage city, or that you will come back here after your cruise.
- 2 Nieuwpoort: Our hotel ship moores close to the Albert I monument. Here you get a beautiful view on the locks that inundated the war area. There is a new visitors centre with information on the Great War and the strategic role the locks played in it. The form of five waterways coming together at this place explains the name of Ganzepoot locks (Goose leg).
- 3 Diksmuide: Small town on the frontline with charming market place and interesting marked walking trail to explore the city center. On the other side of the river IJzer is the Peace Gate (first IJzer tower, dynamited in WW II) and the new IJzer Tower. Just 1 mile outside the town are the Trenches of Death with new visitors center giving a spendid panorama on the war trenches. While in Diksmuide, don’t forget to tast chocolates from Van Nevel or the local Papegaai Beer.
- 4 Ieper (Ypres): Being surrounded on three sides by the German army, Ypres was completely in ruins by the end of the war. Fortunately, it was decided to rebuild the city based on the original plans. All “historic” buildings date from 1919 or later. The Lakenhallen with Belfry tower were finisched in 1950 and now contain the “FlandersFields museum”. At the Menen Gate, the Last Post is blown every evening at 20h in remembrance of the more then 500.000 that died in the area.
- 5 Ieper: We stay another day in Ieper to give you the time to visit all places of interest, some of the more then 170 cemetaries, have a walk on the ramparts, or maybe even cycle to Abeele in France.
- 6 Veurne: We sail at a slow pace along the Ieperlee canal, river IJzer and Lo canal to Veurne. Once past the (still hand operated) Fintele lock, along the Lo canal, is the famous cookie factory of Jules De Strooper and brewery “De Snoek” with its museum of “thirst”.
- 7 Veurne: Farewell after breakfast .
On alternating weeks cruising in the opposite direction as “Chocolate and Beer cruise”.