Proudly the longest running Battlefield Tour operations in Canada - having escorted Canadian Veterans & their families for over 30 years
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“In May of 1995, we concluded a tour with Veterans and their families, and wondered if it would be the last tour of its kind we would have the honour of leading
…we were fortunately very wrong.”
The Battlefield Tours Story
“In May of 1995, we concluded a tour with Veterans and their families, and wondered if it would be the last tour of its kind we would have the honour of leading…
we were fortunately very wrong.”
In May of 1995, just after the 50th Anniversary of Holland, we concluded a tour with Veterans and their families and wondered if it would be the last tour of it’s kind we would have the honour of leading. In the years leading up to the anniversary, our coaches were filled with the men and women who fought for our freedom and the freedom of our children. For some, it was the first time in decades to set foot on the battlefields of Europe since the end of the Second World War. For most, it was a final farewell to their comrades who were laid to rest thousands of miles from their homelands, and for all a reminder of the loss and sacrifices they endured.
We were fortunately wrong to think that visitors to the battlefields of Europe would dwindle after memories of the 50th Anniversary celebrations had faded. It’s been well over a decade later and The Battlefield Tours are still operating numerous prpgrams to Europe and beyond every year. The tours are being experienced by participants of all ages from many different walks of life. All with one thing in common – the desire to understand and pay tribute to the men and women who fought and paid the final sacrifice.
Our expertise has developed from the First and Second World Wars in Europe to the Crimean, Napoleonic and Boer War in South Africa as well as Canada’s involvement in southeast Asia. We have hosted Veterans returns to D-Day and Liberation of Holland as well as many school study groups and Regiments. Our tour managers are extremely knowledgeable in their fields of expertise and we consider ourselves very fortunate to have them on board.
Our vision is to continue to organize battlefield tours to educate future generations and retain a semblance of history as well as commemorate the monumental sacrifice given by the generations before us and those still with us. We will also continue to travel to destinations farther afield to discover and keep the traveling community open to better understand how war has affected our history.
& The Battlefield Tours Team
And the stories we tell have an impact.
Organized through strong partnerships in local communities both at home, and abroad, our tours are rich with opportunity, excitement, heartbreak, inside-information and insight.
Our stories unveil an understanding. These are the stories of our past travellers, the Veterans themselves. For 30 years, we have unraveled real mysteries, uncovering a heritage like no other, to reveal an awe inspiring history.
Every year we offer 5-8 programmes, with a heavy focus on subjects such as the Canadian involvement in the First and Second World Wars. We also provide customized programs for school groups, cadet groups, members of our Battlefield community and others.
We continue to play an active role in providing educational lectures to both the travel community and the general public to create awareness of our mission and why the Battlefield Tours is a vital experience for any Canadian traveller.
Small group tours with big stories to tell
What we value
Our mission is to give all Canadian travelers the perspective and understanding of the incredible histories we share with the battlefields, showing how intrinsically connected we are in conflict. We believe that travelers should embark on a journey that is rich with knowledge & meaning. We believe this exploration should be rich in culture, locally sourced, and authentic. We urge a call to all Canadians to join us in experiencing the pilgrimage that is a Battlefield Tour.
We are first and foremost dedicated to exploration. We operate primarily as a tour operator for Canadians, having created strong relationships with communities in Europe, Britain & South East Asia. We like the road less travelled. We believe in offering more at destinations Canadians may have been to many times before. We believe in authenticity. We believe in eating locally and staying in well matched accommodations booked directly by our own team. We believe in the usage of locally trusted and quality owned accommodation and restaurants with people we know and love.
Canadians may have been to the Battlefields, they may have been overseas, but they have never seen the world like this.
Our primary goal is to continue to honour the communities we touch, and the histories that come with them. By continuing year after year to journey back to Europe with the Canadians we travel, we are representing our nation, truly showing that even our new generations are willing honor those who have fought so hard for our freedom. We are commemorating the sacrifices made and the impacts they have had across Europe. We are living proof that we will never forget the hardships our forefathers had to overcome for our freedom.
We encourage all Canadians, especially students and families of those who had fought for us, to travel with us and see first hand the history that we have come from.
We believe that nothing can impassion you more to fully understanding a subject more than travel itself. Walking the battlefields is differs greatly from reading a text book.
We regard travel as a key educational tool in truly understanding the events that had taken place during the wars of our history.
On every tour, the Battlefield Tours Team takes you to the very fields, museums, memorials, and cemeteries to share insights, histories, stories, recollections, perspectives, strategy, and historical commentary like no other. We encourage conversations to be shared, questions, and conntributing personal stories and familial histories that all combine in to one of the greatest history lessons you could ever experience.
The Battlefield Community reaches back to our beginnings in 1986, where Ian Cowan, now CEO, would take Veterans and their families overseas for special events, invited ceremonies, and oftentimes just so that families could connect with where they had lost a loved one. No matter what the motive, Ian carried a passion and respect for these individuals that fostered repeat travel many years over again.
Some of our travellers have been on more than 6 programs!
For you this means joining not just another group tour, but a well-integrated, motivated community, filled with a wealth of knowledge and information that they are willing to share.
Join us and you becoming apart of a big traveling Canadian family, with a mission to keep our nation's remarkable history alive.
We continue to support organizations such as the Vimy Foundation of Canada, and the Royal Canadian Legion. We urge our travellers to donate and participate in any events and ceremonies hosted in the destiantions we embrace.
We are also fully dedicated to supporting these important components that ultimately contribute to our missions needs: urging Canadians to remember honour and respect our great history, on behalf of our forfathers who sacrificed so much for us. Therefore we aim to lend support to organizations such as "Thank a Soldier", Veterans Affiars, The Vimy Foundation, the 005 Canadian Regiment in Apeldoorn, The Juno Beach Center, and The Royal Canadian Legion.
If you would like to donate or join any of the above causes, we encourage it. Find out more, by reading about our partners.
No matter where we are on tour or how many people we have with us, we believe it is our duty to represent Canadians at various events and ceremonies held around the world commemorating the World Wars and Canadian involvement.
These special acts of commemoration are made all the more exceptional by the turn out which often involve our fellow Veterans from around the world, the Commonwealth, Government leaders, and a mass of other incredible figureheads. We all congregate to take in together an incredible moment while standing in silence to commemorate those who have fallen.
We involve ourselves in every aspect of the tour, booking directly, and integrating our travellers into the communities we work with. This means that whereever we travel you are intriduced to a welcoming community.