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Pilgrim

Ouistreham D Day 75th Anniversary 6/6/2019.

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Looking at next year's timetables, I'm wondering whether or not choosing a Portsmouth-Caen sailing on June 6 is likely to be a nightmare with the anniversary. Would it be an easier option to pick another route, do people think?

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I think on the 6th itself (a Thursday) it won't be too busy, although the morning crossing may be more so than the afternoon departure. The overnight crossing between the 5th and 6th might well be very busy with veterans and their families. I don't have any information about what commemorations are planned, or where, but there could well be navigation restrictions in place on the day so if you want to attend the events but avoid problems then perhaps an overnighter to Le Havre would be safer or NEX to Cherbourg on the 6th. Ed. 

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I have a vague recollection that one year - was it last year? the year before? don’t remember which one, but one year - the Port of Ouistreham was closed for most of the day during D-Day commemorations, and several sailings were divereted to Cherbourg.  Might have been 2014?  2014 would have made sense, but at the same time it is more recent that that in my mind. 

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It was Friday 6th June 2014 when the commemorations were held on the beach at Ouistreham and due to the large number of heads of state the port was temporarily closed to traffic. Next year will realistically be the last big event for those veterans still able to make the trip over so I wouldn't be surprised if they organised an event on the same scale but maybe on one of the other beaches. However only Ouistreham, and perhaps Cabourg, are really big and easily accessible enough to fit the bill. Ed. 

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I thought that they had stopped large scale events. I would have thought that it will be quieter next year. Ouistreham was not a landing beach, however it was theoretically part of one, Cabourg was not a landing beach.

To answer the question, the final destination is relevant,

 

Edited by David Williams

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8 hours ago, David Williams said:

I thought that they had stopped large scale events. I would have thought that it will be quieter next year. Ouistreham was not a landing beach, however it was theoretically part of one, Cabourg was not a landing beach.

To answer the question, the final destination is relevant,

 

Looks like I was totally wrong, they will be doing some large events again. http://en.normandie-tourisme.fr/calendar-of-events/anniversary-of-d-day-847-2.html

Back to the original question, i guess that the safest answer is to use another port, however in the unlikely event of it being held in Ouistreham again BF would probably just divert the ship. The answer depends on the final destination.

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I spoke to someone at the Granville tourist office back in the summer of 2014 and she said that bringing the veterans over every year, plus the logistics and costs involved for France, was not feasible. Therefore they would commemorate the 75th and then see what was appropriate another 5 years down the line. She also told me that holding the event on the beach was popular with the public for obvious reasons but often meant that those wishing to visit the beach where their father or grandfather came ashore, and not escorting a veteran, were denied access until later in the day for security reasons. She believed holding the event at another site, and she mentioned Cabourg or the Memorial in Caen, would make it easier but the symbolism of the 5 key beaches was likely to dictate the final decision. As Ouistreham (closest to Sword) was used last time, Arromanches is completely covered at high tide, Omaha is relatively inaccessible and Gold and Juno are pretty small I wouldn't be surprised if they go for Utah (which has a lot of fields nearby) next year but we'll have to wait and see. They may simply return to Ouistreham for practical reasons. Ed. 

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I guess that it depends on which VIPs attend, if Trump comes maybe they will go to the American Sector (Colleville cemetery).

There will definitely be an event with Macron and the British Prime Minister (whoever that is) at Ver Sur Mer (between Arromanches and Courseulles) as that is where they are building the British Memorial.

I can't see it being Cabourg as there is no D Day connection there - likewise for the Caen Memorial (and it is in the middle of office blocks)

However we will see.

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