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Embark on a journey of wonder and discovery as you walk in the footsteps of our Canadian soldiers, who left their mark of service and sacrifice in the pursuit of democracy & freedom.
Your pilgrimage begins in Paris, extends out to the Normandy shores of Juno Beach, then carries north through WWI and WWII all the way to Amsterdam. The tour includes visits to sites of significance to Canada and her allies:
Juno Beach sector featuring the 75th Anniversary Commemorative Events at the Juno Beach Centre, Courseulles-sur-Mer, France
Sword Beach sector including Pegasus Bridge and Ranville
Gold Beach & Omaha Beach sectors including Arromanches, Pointe-du-Hoc and Maisy Battery
the Falaise Gap, the Abbaye d'Ardennes, and more
Beny-sur-Mer & Bretteville-sur-Laize Canadian War Cemeteries
Dieppe, The Battle of the Somme, Vimy Ridge, Passchendaele & the Ypres Salient
John Frost Bridge at Arnhem
... and much more
from Paris to Amsterdam
Our signature Northwest Europe battlefield tour is the most comprehensive tour of its kind - a pilgrimage to the Canadian battlefields of WWI and WWII where Canada came of age as a nation and forged a reputation as the army to be called upon for some of the most difficult and challenging battles. This is our annual signature tour, ideal for those making their first trek to the battlefields and hoping to catch most of the significant points of interest. If you were to make only one Canadian battlefield tour, this is it.
On this 2019 tour we pay special homage to the 75th Anniversary of D-Day and the Liberation of Normandy. Official events are expected to include remembrance ceremonies at Beny-sur-Mer and Bretteville-sur-Laize Canadian War Cemeteries along with the official 75th Anniversary Commemoration at the Juno Beach Centre. Details are expected from Veterans Affairs Canada in late 2018. Your excursion includes visits to two of Europe’s most beautiful capital cities ... Paris and Amsterdam. You’ll travel with a typically all-Canadian group, usually comprised of an even mixture of men and women. Read what past travelers have said about our trips.
Mark the date June 6, 2019 on your calendar and plan to be in France with thousands of other Canadians, students, cadets and dignitaries from various nations. If the 70th anniversary of 2014 is any indication, this will be huge.
Join us for an unforgettable, life-changing journey through France, Belgium and Holland.
Day 1 Sunday June 2 Depart from Canada for your overnight transatlantic flight to Paris, except for those who may choose to leave for Paris sooner to extend their trip.
Day 2 Monday June 3 Upon arrival at Charles de Gaulle Airport we will proceed to downtown Paris. Your hotel room is available for immediate check-in, providing the opportunity for rest for those who wish it. In the afternoon we board our coach with a local expert guide for a sight-seeing drive of the city, followed by a Welcome Dinner and a cruise of the River Seine. Overnight Paris - Novotel Paris Tour Eiffel.
Day 3 Tuesday June 4 This morning we depart for the Normandy coast where we will consider pre- D-Day, looking at the 'Atlantic Wall' defenses facing the allies in the coming invasion. We will visit Longues-sur-Mer, a coastal artillery position of four large 152mm naval guns which posed a serious threat to allied ships off-shore and the landing beaches themselves. We also visit Pegasus Bridge and the Memorial Pegasus Museum which tells the story of the pre-dawn paratrooper landings in the region by the British 6th Airborne and the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion. A must-see visit should be made to the first house liberated on D-Day, the Café Gondrée, a special place filled with history and charm. Overnight Normandy - Mercure Lisieux. Breakfast, Lunch.
Day 4 Wednesday June 5 The schedule for this day is intentionally left flexible, to allow for the inclusion of the expected commemorative ceremony at Beny-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery while also featuring points of interest in the area. Overnight Normandy - Mercure Lisieux. Breakfast, Lunch.
Day 5 Thursday June 6 Today we honour the 75th anniversary of the great Allied invasion by attending the Official 75th Anniversary Commemorative Ceremony at the Juno Beach Centre in Courseulles-sur-Mer, France, while also allowing a flexible schedule to include points of interest in the area. Overnight Normandy - Mercure Lisieux. Breakfast, Lunch. **See important notice on the home page regarding attendance at this event.
Day 6 Friday June 7 The schedule for this day is intentionally left flexible, to allow for the inclusion of the expected commemorative ceremony at Bretteville-sur-Laize Canadian War Cemetery while also featuring points of interest in the area including the Falaise Gap and St-Lambert-sur-Dives. Overnight Normandy - Mercure Lisieux. Breakfast, Lunch.
Day 7 Saturday June 8 Day seven takes us to points west of Juno. First we explore one of two British landing zones code named Gold Beach. This area was selected as one of two sites to construct the man-made Mulberry Harbour where ships could off-load their massive amounts of materials to supply the invasion force. The view from the cliffs above reveals remnants of the harbour just off-shore. We then walk down the hill into Arromanches, a lovely coastal tourist village, to visit the Musée du Débarquement which wonderfully illustrates how the harbours were designed. If the tide is out then a walk on the beach might be in order. Next up is one of two American landing sectors code named Omaha Beach. Here the Americans suffered heavy losses, as illustrated by some time of reflection at the Colleville-sur-Mer American War Cemetery which serenely overlooks the Normandy shore below.Overnight Normandy - Mercure Lisieux. Breakfast, Lunch.
Day 8 Sunday June 9 We move west again today, to Pointe-du-Hoc where the United States Army Ranger Assault Group scaled 100' cliffs to secure the position. A visit to the much overlooked Maisy Battery is a highlight ... nestled in the countryside and nearly forgotten for 60 years. We close out the day with a short drive in-land to La Cambe German Cemetery and an opportunity to respectfully consider the losses of the other side. More than 21,000 German soldiers lie here, a number of them having not quite reached their eighteenth birthday. Overnight Normandy - Mercure Lisieux. Breakfast, Lunch.
Day 9 Monday June 10 This morning we honour the men of D-Day by walking the sands of Juno Beach at Courseulles-sur-Mer, with story telling and much reflection. A visit inside the Juno Beach Centre is included. We move to eastern sectors of Juno Beach at Bernières-sur-Mer and Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer to observe the famous Canada House and the coastal defenses taken during the early hours of the invasion. In the afternoon we visit the garden at the Abbaye d'Ardennes near Caen to pay respects to the twenty Canadian soldiers who were illegally executed here in June 1944. We then say goodbye to 'Lower Normandy' and continue our journey northeast, to Dieppe for the evening. Overnight Dieppe - Mercure Dieppe La Presidence. Breakfast, Lunch.
Day 10 Tuesday June 11 We begin the day with a morning stroll along the main beach to consider Operation Jubilee - the plans, the execution and the after-math of the August 1942 raid that went horribly wrong. The raid entailed three attack zones and we visit the coast at both Puys and Pourville. Our final stop is at the Dieppe Canadian War Cemetery, a small place tucked away up the hill and beyond the edge of town which beckons Canadians to visit. We then depart the coast and resume our journey inland into northern France as we move back in time to The Great War. Overnight Amiens - Mercure Amiens Cathedrale. Breakfast.
Day 11 Wednesday June 12 Day Nine is steeped in history as we wind our way into the countryside to consider the Battle of the Somme, one of the largest and bloodiest battles of World War One. You will be intrigued with a tour at Beaumont-Hamel - it is here that the Newfoundland Regiment was nearly wiped out in the first few hours of the attack. This proudly Canadian battleground is one of the best preserved sites in all the region. Next is a walk around the impressive Thiepval Memorial, the largest British battle memorial in the world and on which are inscribed the names of over 72,000 soldiers who have no known grave. The day includes a visit to the Lochnagar Crater. Overnight Arras - Najeti Hotel de l'Univers. Breakfast, Lunch.
Day 12 Thursday June 13 Each Canadian ought to visit Vimy Ridge once in their lifetime and today is your opportunity. We will see the underground tunnels which reveal how soldiers lived beneath the earth and prepared for the battle. We also walk the above-ground trenches for a first-hand feel of trench warfare. Ample time is then given to be at, on and around the Vimy Monument, one of the most impressive of all the war monuments in Europe. A short distance down the ridge takes us into Souchez for quick stops at points of interest. We then say au revoir to France and drive north across the border into Belgium, to the enchanting small town of Ieper (Ypres). At 8pm the Last Post Ceremony will take place at the Menin Gate, as it has every evening since 1928. Selected travelers will be invited to lay a wreath on behalf of the tour group. Overnight Ieper - Novotel Ieper Centrum. Breakfast, Lunch.
Day 13 Friday June 14 Ieper (Ypres) was the center of fierce, prolonged, bloody fighting in World War I and the remnants of this are all around. We visit the monument at Hill 62 (Sanctuary Wood) and also The Brooding Soldier at St. Julien. We will also visit Essex Farm ... it is here, in the province of West Flanders, that Canadian LtCol John McCrae penned his famous poem In Flanders Fields in 1915. We also visit the monument to the Battle of Passchendaele at Crest Farm, and visit nearby Tyne Cot Cemetery, the largest Commonwealth War Graves cemetery in the world. We return to Ieper for free time in the afternoon. Overnight Ieper - Novotel Ieper Centrum. Breakfast.
Day 14 Saturday June 15 This morning we say goodbye to Belgium and our journey takes us across the border into the Netherlands, heading northeast just as the Canadian Army did in 1944. We pay a visit to the John Frost Bridge at Arnhem, made famous in Operation Market Garden. After a Farewell Lunch we carry onward to the coast. Overnight Amsterdam - Dorint Airport (tentative). Breakfast, Lunch.
Day 15 Sunday June 16 Enjoy a full free day at leisure in Amsterdam. Overnight Amsterdam - Dorint Airport (tentative). Breakfast.
Day 16 Monday June 17 Morning departure via Schiphol Airport for those returning home, while others may extend their stay at their option. Breakfast.
Note: This itinerary is tentative, with changes possible based on Veterans Affairs event scheduling, French security provisions, etc. And of course clients should always keep in mind that minor variances are always possible during the actual tour based on the need to adapt to circumstances we encounter during our travels.
PRICING $6590CAD Land Only, based on Double Occupancy $1590CAD Single Supplement (limited spaces available)
14 nights accommodation in twin-bedded or single-bedded rooms with private facilities
Guests will enjoy the benefits of a premium airport departure lounge (where available) ... an exclusive benefit not offered by other battlefield tours
Upon arrival in Paris in the early morning your hotel room is reserved for you and available for immediate early check-in should you wish to take some rest after your flight ... an exclusive benefit not offered by other battlefield tours
Travel by luxury air-conditioned coach with reclining seats, on-board facilities and free Wi-Fi
Buffet breakfast (cold and/or hot) at the hotel each morning, plus select meals as outlined in the itinerary
All hotel service charges, local taxes, baggage handling (one bag per person) included
Gratuities to Coach Driver, On-Board Agent and Local Guides are included! ... these costs are extra on most other tours and can add up to $150 CAD or more per person at the end of your trip, requiring that awkward search for a bank machine in the final days of your vacation ... be sure to compare!
Group pick-up from Charles de Gaulle Airport on June 3, 2019 and return group transfer to Schiphol airport on June 17, 2019 (individual transfers are the responsibility of the client)
PRICING DOES NOT INCLUDE:
Airfare - optional group airfare available:
Air France AF351 02JUN YYZ CDG 1825 0755 KLM Royal Dutch Airlines KL691 17JUN AMS YYZ 0945 1140 $535 + ~$600 taxes = ~$1135
Meals other than stated on the itinerary
Travel / Cancellation / Medical Insurance
Passport & related fees
Items of a personal nature
Prices are subject to change based on currency fluctuations, to be confirmed at time of final payment
Hotels have been pre-booked but are subject to change