ANZAC Day Memorial Tour
Day 1 Istanbul
Please meet the group at our Istanbul meeting point hotel, in the reception area at 7:45AM where your Chief Experience Officer (CEO) and fellow group members will be waiting. We will depart at 8am sharp as we have a long, busy day ahead to enjoy. It is a great idea to locate the meeting point hotel the night before the tour commencement. (see Joining Instructions) At 8am sharp depart the hotel and transfer to Gallipoli (Çanakkale) by mini van, stopping enroute for a quick local lunch. This afternoon visit the ANZAC Cove, Lone Pine the war cemeteries and many other important sites. There will also be time for individuals to visit relative's grave sites. It is important that we visit this area today as there is no access on the 24th as officials prepare for the various ceremonies. The 1915 Battle of Gallipoli (known as the Battle of Çanakkale in Turkey) took place between the defending Turks and a joint WWI Allied force, which was keen to capture the Ottoman capital of Constantinople (Istanbul), and secure a sea route to Russia. The attempt failed, with heavy casualties on both sides; on the Allied side, the forces were made up of troops from the UK, Australia, New Zealand, France, India and Canada. Between both sides, 100,000 soldiers lost their lives here. The campaign resonated profoundly among all nations involved. In Turkey, the battle is perceived as a defining moment in the history of the Turkish people—a final surge in the defence of the motherland as the centuries-old Ottoman Empire was crumbling. The struggle laid the grounds for the Turkish War of Independence and the foundation of the Turkish Republic eight years later under Atatürk, himself a commander at Gallipoli. In Australia and New Zealand, the campaign was the first major battle undertaken by a joint military formation, the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC), and is often considered to mark the birth of national consciousness in both of these countries. ANZAC Day (April 25) remains the most significant commemoration of military casualties and veterans in Australia and New Zealand, surpassing Armistice Day/Remembrance Day. After our tour, travel to Canakkale to spend the night there in a hotel. Approximate distance driven Istanbul to Gallipoli, 5.5 hours.
Day 2 Troy/Canakkale (1B)
Enjoy a guided tour of Troy and learn more about the ancient fables surrounding this legendary city before free time in the afternoon. After dinner in Canakkale, we make our way to the ceremony site. It is imporant to note that we spend the night in the ceremonial area, near ANZAC Cove. There will be a number of grandstands set up as a seating area and it is important to reserve a place. The evening may be very cold- please come prepared with appropriate shoes and clothing. We will provide sleeping bags but you are recommended to bring a personal sleep sheet to place inside. We spend this evening in our sleeping bags on the grandstands at the ceremonial site, in readiness for the morning ceremony. Approximate travel times: Troy to Canakkale, 1 hour
Day 3 Istanbul (1B)
We attend the unforgettable dawn service commemorating the Battle of Gallipoli (Çanakkale) and ANZAC Day, marking the first major military action fought jointly by Australian and New Zealand forces during WWI. Traditionally the time at which returning soldiers remembered the fleeting moments of peace and tranquility at dawn, before the daily bloodshed commenced during the campaign, the ANZAC Dawn Service is an immensely moving experience and a sombre, yet momentous tribute to the many thousands of soldiers who lost their lives throughout the battle on both sides. After the service, we will join the 5 km walk to Lone Pine for the Australian ceremony which runs from approximately 10:00am to 11:00am We will then head a further 2 kms uphill walk to Chunuk Bair for the New Zealand ceremony which will end at approximately 1.30pm. Note that the 7km to Lone Pine and Chunuk Bair are uphill and the temperatures are warm at this time of year. Extra bottled water is suggested. After taking a quick lunch, we begin our drive back to Istanbul where our tour ends on arrival in the city. Please note that our arrival to Istanbul can be as late as 8pm Please do not book departing flights until after 11pm. Our tour finishes on arrival in Istanbul. We are able to organise extra post-trip accommodation if you wish to extend your stay and explore this wonderful city for a few more days. Please ask at the time of booking.