Great Canadian War Memorial Tour


  • 10 days

  • Belgium

  • Steady pace

tour : RY

Overview

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Designed by Canadians for Canadians, this special tour pays tribute to all who have served their country in the Great War and World War II. Take in the museums, memorials and special sites throughout France and Belgium that commemorate the contribution of Canadian soldiers during these two wars, including: the impressive and inspiring Canadian National Vimy Memorial at Vimy Ridge, the Canadian Cemeteries in Bény-sur-Mer and Dieppe, as well as the Newfoundland Memorial Park at Beaumont Hamel. Other destinations visited include the Landing Beaches of Normandy, the Juno Beach Memorial Centre & Park, Amiens and Ypres in Belgium.

Highlights

PARIS
Welcome dinner with wine at a local restaurant; guided sightseeing including Dome des Invalides and the Military Museum
GIVERNYVisit Claude Monet's home and gardens
CAENVisit Ardenne Abbey site, orientation; visit the Memorial Museum for Peace
NORMANDY LANDING BEACHESVisit the Canadian War Cemetery at Bény-sur-Mer and the Juno Beach Memorial Centre & Park
RANVILLETake pictures of the famous Pegasus Bridge and visit the Memorial Pegasus Meuseum
HONFLEURCross the Normandy Bridge
DIEPPEVisit the Canadian Cemetery; and the Jubilee Center
AMIENSVisit the cathedral and memorial to Allied Forces
BEAUMONT–HAMEL Visit the Newfoundland Memorial Park
VIMY RIDGEVisit the WWI site and memorial; walk along the trenches and tunnels; visit the Interpretive Centre and Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery
YPRESVisit Cloth Hall and it’s In Flanders Fields Museum; stop at Essex Farm Cemetery
PASSCHENDAELEGuided sightseeing; visit the Canadian Memorial on the site of Crest Farm; stop at Tyne Cot Cemetery

Flights available from most UK airports

Tour prices are shown without flights: make your own arrangements, or purchase your flights with us from most UK airports. All flight-inclusive tours are ATOL-protected, so you can book with confidence.

Flights available from most UK airports

2020 Tour itinerary

Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description, including admission charges where applicable.

Total meals included:

  • 9 breakfasts, 4 dinners

PARIS, FRANCE

Day
1

Welcome to Paris! At 5.30 pm, meet your Tour Director and travelling companions and enjoy a welcome dinner with wine at one of Paris' lively restaurants.

Meals included:

  • Dinner

PARIS

Day
2

This morning an optional excursion is available to the impressive Palace and Gardens of Versailles, built by the “Sun King,” Louis XIV. Afternoon sightseeing with a Local Guide features the city's major highlights: the Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Elysées, Concorde, Madeleine, Opéra and Louvre. Visit Napoleon's Tomb inside the DOME DES INVALIDES and the MILITARY MUSEUM. This evening an optional dinner and show at a famous Parisian cabaret is available.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast

PARIS–GIVERNY–NORMANDY AREA

Day
3

Depart the bustle of Paris and head northwest toward the coast. Stop in Giverny and visit Claude Monet’s HOME and stunning GARDENS, the true inspiration behind many of his masterpieces. Next, visit ARDENNE ABBEY SITE on the outskirts of Caen, where Canadian soldiers were illegally executed by members of the 12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend (Hitler Youth) in June 1944. Arrive in Caen, where an orientation drive includes views of Caen Castle, St. Étienne Cathedral and the Town Hall, the former Men’s Abbey.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

NORMANDY AREA. EXCURSION TO THE LANDING BEACHES

Day
4

As site of the World War II Battle for Caen, from June to August 1944, the city saw heavy fighting and suffered major destruction. This morning is devoted to visiting the poignant MEMORIAL MUSEUM FOR PEACE with its exhibits and audiovisual presentation that tell the story of the pivotal Battle of Normandy. Afterward, drive to the Bény-sur-Mer CANADIAN WAR CEMETERY. Surrounded by peaceful groves of pine and maple trees, the cemetery contains 2,049 headstones that mark the dead of the Canadian 3rd Division and 15 airmen. Next visit the JUNO BEACH MEMORIAL CENTRE & PARK. It was on nearby Juno Beach that on June 6th, 1944, Canadian forces landed and secured the bridgehead for a successful opening of the Western Front. The centre educates visitors about Canada's military and civilian contribution during the war. Also stop for pictures at the Canadian House at Bernieres-sur-Mer. Pass the Gold Beach Mulberry Harbour at Arromanches–one of two artificial harbors built by the Allied troops for the D-Day invasion and one of the greatest engineering feats of World War II. Back to Caen.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast

NORMANDY AREA–RANVILLE–HONFLEUR--DIEPPE

Day
5

In Ranville, take pictures of the famous Pegasus Bridge – secured by the British on the night of June 5th, 1944, and crucial for the success of the Normandy landing and further operations, and visit the MEMORIAL PEGASUS MUSEUM. At Arrive in Honfleur, from where Samuel de Champlain left France in 1603 to become the founder of the Province of Québec, and cross the Normandy Bridge, spanning the Seine River at its mouth and linking Honfleur to Le Havre. Continue East to Dieppe and see the CANADIAN CEMETERY MEMORIAL, and the actual beach battle site to pay tribute to 913 Canadian soldiers who died that tragic morning of August 19th, 1942. Lessons learned here were instrumental in the successful landing two years later on the beaches of Normandy. On September 1st, 1944, the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division liberated Dieppe.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast

DIEPPE–AMIENS–SOMME AREA

Day
6

Before leaving Dieppe visit the JUBILEE CENTER. Later arrive in Amiens and visit medieval AMIENS CATHEDRAL and the Memorial to Allied Forces, which commemorates the men who fought one of the decisive battles in August 1918, ultimately leading to the end of World War I. Then, visit the NEWFOUNDLAND MEMORIAL PARK in Beaumont-Hamel, dedicated to the Dominion of Newfoundland forces members who were killed in WWI. The attack that tragic morning of July 1st, 1916, claimed 91% of the regiment. The site contains the stunning bronze caribou monument, emblem of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, the Danger Tree, around which the highest casualty numbers were inflicted and the visitors’ centre.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

SOMME AREA–VIMY RIDGE–YPRES, BELGIUM

Day
7

Today visit VIMY RIDGE, site of an outstanding Canadian victory in World War I. The battle, which began April 9th, 1917, marks the first time all four divisions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force participated in the battle together, and has since become the symbol of the Canadian nationalistic achievement and sacrifice. Visit the newly restored MEMORIAL that dominates the area. Around its base are the names of 11,000 missing Canadians who died in France during the Great War and have no known graves. Time to walk along the restored trenches and tunnels (subject to availability) and to visit the INTERPRETIVE CENTRE. End with a visit to the CABARET-ROUGE BRITISH CEMETERY, from where the remains of an unknown Canadian soldier were returned home in 2000 as a symbol of all the missing and unknown soldiers who died during the Great War in Europe. Continue to Ypres. Later your Tour Director will accompany you to Menin Gate. Here, the “Last Post” is played every evening to honour the memory and sacrifice of the war’s dead.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

YPRES.

Day
8

Visit famous CLOTH HALL and its IN FLANDERS FIELDS MUSEUM

.

Afterwards, stop at the ESSEX FARM CEMETERY, where John McCrae wrote his poem in May 1915. On to Passchendaele, where a Local Guide will tell you the story of the tragic battle that took place here in 1917. Up the hill at Crest Farm is the PASSCHENDAELE CANADIAN MEMORIAL, which marks the place where the men of the Canadian Corps took possession of the high ground at Crest Farm after two weeks of ferocious fighting. Also stop at TYNE COT CEMETERY, the largest Commonwealth military graveyard in the world with its 12,000 graves and a memorial dedicated to another 35,000 missing.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast

YPRES–PARIS, FRANCE

Day
9

Return to Paris. Choose from our exciting optional excursions, including a scenic cruise on the beautiful Seine River followed by a visit to the artists’ hill of Montmartre.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast

PARIS.

Day
10

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast

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