✔ See most of the great historical locations of two world wars, and follow in the footsteps of our Canadian veterans through Belgium and Holland, plus a visit to Vimy Ridge, accompanied by a military historian.
✔ Visit the war cemeteries of Tyne Cot, Langemark, Adegem, Bergen op Zoom, Holten, Otterlo, Groesbeek and Reichswald.
✔ Explore the beautiful cities of Cologne, Ghent, Antwerp, Brussels, Arnhem, Rotterdam and Amsterdam, and discover the magnificent Keukenhof Gardens, one of the largest flower gardens in the world.
Day 1 / Wed, Apr 27: DEPART CANADA
Depart for Germany.
Day 2 / Thu, Apr 28: ARRIVE FRANKFURT – MAINZ
After arrival in Frankfurt, transfer to your hotel in the nearby Rhine Valley. Those arriving in the morning will be transferred to the centre of Mainz, known for its old town with half-timbered houses and medieval market squares, and visit the Gutenberg Museum. The invention of the printing press in 1439 by Johann Gutenberg was one of the most significant inventions for mankind, enabling the dissemination of knowledge throughout the population and classes. Dinner at the hotel. (D)
Day 3 / Fri, Apr 29: MAINZ – COLOGNE – GHENT
Enjoy a 2.5-hour river cruise, past the castles and vineyards of the Rhine between Rüdesheim and Boppard. See the statue of Lorelei, a lovely young maiden whose beauty was so bewitching that she caused sailors to wreck their ships.
Proceed to Cologne for a brief visit; the incredible cathedral is the largest Gothic church north of the Alps. Continue on to Ghent, Belgium. Dinner at a local restaurant. (B,D)
Day 4 / Sat, Apr 30: GHENT – VIMY – YPRES – GHENT
Depart for Vimy Ridge. Visit its tunnels and learn about the battle that took place in April 1917 and is such an important milestone in Canada’s history at the visitor centre.
Continue to Ypres, site of WWI’s first gas attacks and home to many memorials and cemeteries, indicative of the horrors this area saw. Visit Tyne Cot Cemetery, the largest Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery in the world, with 11,965 graves and a further 33,783 commemorated on the Memorial to the Missing. Continue to the German Cemetery at Langemark (44,000 graves), the St. Julien Canadian Monument with Vancouver Corner, and John McCrae’s field station. Discover the impressive Passchendaele Museum. After an early dinner in Ypres, join the Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate. Return to Ghent. (B,D)
Day 5 / Sun, May 1: GHENT - ADEGEM - LEOPOLD CANAL - GHENT
Morning city tour of the historic town of Ghent, followed by time for lunch.
Drive to the Canadian Cemetery at Adegem, visit the Canadian Museum at Maldegem and explore the Leopold Canal area, before returning to Ghent for dinner. (B,D)
Day 6 / Mon, May 2: GHENT - SCHELDT ESTUARY - ANTWERP - GHENT
Today cover the route of the Canadian Second Division through the Scheldt Estuary, an interesting region which was partly flooded during the war. In Holland, stop in Middelburg, whose historic centre was heavily damaged by German bombers in 1940. Then drive to the Bergen op Zoom Canadian War Cemetery. Return via Antwerp and stop at Fort Bredonk, built in 1906 and later used as a Nazi prison camp. Dinner in Ghent. (B,D)
Day 7 / Tue, May 3: GHENT – BRUSSELS – ARNHEM
Proceed to Brussels, the Belgian capital, for a visit to the historic Grand-Place, often considered the world's most beautiful squares.
After some time for lunch, depart for Holland. Afternoon arrival in Arnhem, your home base for the next week. (B,D)
Day 8 / Wed, May 4: ARNHEM – HOLTEN – APELDOORN – ARNHEM
Holten has a long-standing tradition of honouring the special contributions of Canadians in the fight to liberate the country and it is a profound experience to travel to the cemetery. Then visit Apeldoorn, a city which has had an affinity with Canada since WWII. (B,D)
Day 9 / Thu, May 5: ARNHEM – OTTERLO – ARNHEM
Today visit the nearby Airborne Museum, dedicated to the Battle of Arnhem. Time at leisure to explore Arnhem, location of the famous John Frost Bridge of the movie A Bridge Too Far. In the afternoon take a drive to the nearby village of Otterlo, where you will meet with locals to commemorate the end of WWII. (B,D)
Day 10 / Fri, May 6: ARNHEM - GROESBEEK - REICHSWALD - ARNHEM
Visit the Canadian cemetery at Groesbeek before driving to Germany. Explore Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, the largest WWII Commonwealth Cemetery. On your return journey, cross the Rhine at Rees-Bienen, where the Nova Scotia Highlanders of the 3rd Canadian Division crossed in April 1945. Dinner in Arnhem. (B,D)
Day 11 / Sat, May 7: ARNHEM – AMSTERDAM – ARNHEM
Full day excursion to Amsterdam. On arrival, embark on a canal cruise. Afternoon at leisure to further explore the Dutch capital on your own. You may wish to visit the Van Gogh’s Museum, the Rijksmuseum or Anne Frank’s House. Late afternoon return to Arnhem. (B,D)
Day 12 / Sun, May 8: ARNHEM – ROTTERDAM – ARNHEM
Depart Arnhem and drive to Rotterdam. Enjoy a cruise of the largest seaport in Europe. See Rotterdam's impressive skyline with its imposing buildings glide by, and get a unique view of the harbour’s shipyards, docks and the hypermodern transshipping of thousands of containers. This afternoon visit the famous Keukenhof Gardens and experience the full glory of tulip fields in bloom. Late afternoon return. (B,D)
Day 13 / Mon, May 9: ARNHEM – VOLENDAM – AMSTERDAM
This morning, depart Arnhem and explore the scenic village of Volendam, known for its colourful wooden houses and the old fishing boats in its harbour. Late afternoon arrival in the Amsterdam area. Join fellow travellers for a farewell dinner. (B,D)