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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.
It may occasionally be necessary to use alternative hotels of a similar standard to those shown.
The 4-star Hotel displays a truly amazing interior design with warm and inviting colors. The high glass doors make the reception area and the O'40 Restaurant spacious and bright. On the other hand, The Wenge Bar gives the intimate feel of a private club thanks to its rich elegant colors and soft lighting.
Multistory Hotel located in heart of city, facing the Plaisance Port, close to the Castle.
A hotel of supreme comfort, airconditioned throughout. Located opposite Dieppe beach and the Les Bains de Dieppe Thalassotherapy and Aquatic Centre, next to the casino and the chateau, a few steps from the town centre, the harbour and just 1 km from Pourville golf course. Le Verrazane Bar and modern function rooms with the latest in audiovisual equipment.
The Mercure Arras Centre hotel is located opposite the TGV train station, just a few steps from the old town with its squares and belfry, which is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site. The hotel boasts an ideal location close to the Louvre Lens museumand the Notre Dame de Lorette and Vimy remembrance sites. There is an auditorium (for 300 people) and meeting rooms (for 400 people) for hosting conferences, seminars, cocktail parties, etc. 50 minutes by TGV train from Paris Gare du Nord.
A modern 122 room hotel set in the heart of historical Ypres offering Free Wi-Fi access, a fitness room, spa and hamman. Delicious food and drinks are served in the hotel's brasserie and bar.
Our expert Tour Directors help you get the most out of every place you visit - and have a 96% customer satisfaction rating.
We’re delighted to have achieved the Good Housekeeping Reader Recommended endorsement for customer experience.
We are a member of ABTA and our flight-inclusive holidays are protected by ATOL. If your holiday is cancelled for any reason, you’ll receive a full refund.