Paris – Rouen – Caen – Juno Beach – Landing Beaches – Bayeux – Honfleur – Dieppe – Arras – Beaumont-Hamel – Vimy – Ypres – Scheldt Estuary – Ghent – Fort Breendonk – Holten – Arnhem – Groesbeek – Reichswald – Amsterdam
September 21 – October 04, 2023 (14 days)
✔ See most of the great historical locations of two world wars, and follow in the footsteps of our Canadian veterans through Normandy, Belgium and Holland, accompanied by a Military Historian
✔ Visit the war cemeteries of Bény-sur-Mer, Bretteville-sur-Laize, Dieppe, Essex Farm, Langemark, Tyne Cot, Adegem, Holten, Groesbeek and Reichswald.
✔ Explore the beautiful cities of Rouen, Caen, Bayeux, Honfleur, Dieppe, Arras, Ypres, Ghent, Arnhem and Amsterdam.
Depart for France.
After arrival in Paris, transfer to Rouen, city of Jeanne d’Arc, famous for its half-timbered houses. After a break for lunch in Rouen, continue to Caen. (D)
This morning, visit Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer and Bény-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery. In Courseulles-sur-Mer, discover the Juno Beach Centre, a permanent memorial to all Canadians who served during WWII. In the afternoon, head inland and visit Pegasus Bridge, the Ardenne Abbey and Bretteville-sur-Laize Canadian War Cemetery. (B,D)
Today's theme is the defense of Juno and the 12th SS counter attack as you visit Authie, Putot-en-Bessin and Bretteville-l’Orgueilleuse. Then, head to Arromanches and travel along Normandy's landing beaches where parts of the Mulberry Harbour are still visible. See Longues-sur-Mer battery and Omaha Beach, and stop in Bayeux, home to the famous tapestry depicting the Norman conquest of England in 1066. (B,D)
Visit the impressive Caen Peace Memorial – the greatest museum in Normandy. Then, make a brief stop at the picturesque seaside resort of Honfleur, from where Samuel de Champlain set sail for the New World. In the afternoon, continue to Dieppe. Visit the Canadian War Cemetery and the memorial at Pourville which marks the losses of the South Saskatchewan Regiment and Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders. (B,D)
In Dieppe, discover the small but meaningful museum dedicated to the Dieppe Raid and run by the Jubilee Association. In the afternoon, depart Dieppe and travel to Arras. On arrival, enjoy an introductory tour of one of northern France's most beautiful cities with its towering cathedral, Flemish-style arcaded squares and ornate Hôtel de Ville. (B,D)
Today is dedicated to WWI as you follow the battlefield trail along the Somme including Courclette as well as Beaumont-Hamel. Continue to Canada’s magnificent National Historic site on Hill 70, 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. End the day in Ypres, Belgium. (B,D)
Spend a full day in Flanders Fields. See Essex Farm Cemetery, the St. Julien Canadian Monument with Vancouver Corner, John McCrae’s field station, Kitcheners' Wood and the German Cemetery at Langemark. In the afternoon, discover the impressive Passchendaele Museum, a worthy introduction to the war that engulfed the area for so many years. Then, 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. In the evening, take part in the Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate. (B,D)
Depart Ypres and explore the Scheldt area. See the Leopold canal, the Adegem Canadian War Cemetery and visit the museum at Maldegem. After a break for lunch, continue to Ghent, and enjoy a brief introductory tour of this fairly small but vibrant city prior to checking into your hotel. (B,D)
Today proceed into the Scheldt Estuary and tour the area north of the city including Breskens Pocket, Walcheren Island and Westkapelle. (B,D)
Depart Ghent and stop at Fort Breendonk, a former military installation which served as a Nazi prison camp during the German occupation of Belgium. Then, drive to Holland and stop at the Holten Canadian Cemetery before continuing to the Arnhem area. In Oosterbeek, visit the Airborne Museum, dedicated to the Battle of Arnhem. (B,D)
After a photo stop at Frost Bridge, 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 Wesel and Xanten. Cross it again at Emmerich before heading back to Arnhem. (B,D)
Today, travel to Amsterdam and embark on a canal cruise. Enjoy a walk down the Damrak before checking into your hotel. In the evening, join fellow travellers for a farewell dinner. (B,D)
Transfer to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol for your flight(s) home. (B)