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 it’s kind we would have the honor 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
We provide our travellers with a unique travel experience. Organized through strong partnerships made with the tourist boards and communities in the destinations we visit, our tours are rich with many different opportunities, inside-information and insight. Join us and partake on an educated, perfectly orchestrated journey, that creates a positive impact on the lives we touch every day.
Our programs unveil stories about our past travellers including Veterans we've travelled. Together we have unraveled real mysteries and have uncovered a heritage like no other to truly engage and educate the viewers of today about the awe inspiring history we have overcome.
Every year we offer 5-8 programmes focused on events, ceremonies, or invitations, with a heavy focus on subjects such as the Canadian involvement in the First and Second World Wars. We also provide customised 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.
What We Believe In
Our mission is to give all Canadian travellers a true and in-depth understanding of the incredible histories we share with the battlefields, truly showing how intrinsically connected we are with the remarkable destinations we travel to. We believe that our travellers should embark on a journey that is rich with knowledge & meaning. We believe this should be complimented by rich culture, locally-sourced and succulent dishes, and authentic exploration. We urge a call to all Canadians to join us in experiences this remarkable pilgrimage.
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.
Why Choose The Battlefield Tours
We are the longest-running Canadian Tour Operator offering Battlefield Programs to date
With over 30 years of experience we provide you with a seamless travel program using trusted accommodation and restaurants that we personally know and love. As well, you're receiving reliable and insightful information from an experienced and knowledgeable source, gaining one of the most in-depth understandings of the areas you'll be exploring.
The same team that lead and organize your tour today is the same team that started leading Battlefield groups for Canadians across Europe & Britain in 1986
This means you will consistently be receiving the same information, from a reputable, trusted and reliable source. When you speak with our team, you are speaking with a wealth of knowledge and a living history.
Following the footsteps of our fathers, The Battlefield Tours has had the honour of leading our Canadian Veterans through the Battlefields of Europe
Since our start in 1986, learning and sharing their legacy has been our primary focus. Today, we continue to share their stories, insights, perspectives and memories with our travellers. This means that when you travel with us, you have the remarkably rare opportunity to speak with living history, allowing you to gain first-hand knowledge about our incredible War Story. Traveling and exploring the Battlefields is undoubtedly a great experience however, truly understanding the individuals who fought upon them for our freedom and nation, is a powerful and invigorating moment for any Canadian.
60% of our travellers are repeat Battlefield Travellers.
27% have been on more than two trips
This means two things: First, ultimately that it is all about the people you travel with. On our tour you'll be welcomed by a group of friendly familiar faces carrying with them with a wealth of knowledge, enthusiasm, and some incredible stories you won't hear anywhere else. You travel with us and you're traveling with the Battlefield Community. Secondly it proves that we are consistently delivering an incredible experience, no matter where we go, no matter what our group size.
Unique to mainstream tours, the Battlefield Tours are different:
This is real history
This is not your average group tour. Our travels are seamless, our team has always been the same, our drivers carry a wealth of humour and knowledge, and our travellers are part of a strong and returning community. We take the road less travelled, we speak about the events you haven't heard about before, the places you haven't seen before, and set out to inspire and honour in ways you wouldn't have dreamt possible.
Every tour we offer is customizable, we believe in flexibility. We have the ability to cater your itinerary one-on-one
Many travellers wish to add their Battlefield Tour on to an even greater adventure, when others need to cut it short. Some even like to extend their Battlefield adventure and hop on to the next program. Because we are a travel team first and foremost, with strong relationships to Europe, Britain, and South East Asia, we can easily organize and arrange outside travels for you to add on to your Battlefield Tour, making it easy for you to travel the way you need to travel.
There are still many strong, well-traveled, and incredible Canadian Veterans continuing to travel with us today
Many of our repeat travellers are veterans and their families carrying with them incredible stories that they are willing to share. Many of our new travellers will be traveling with these incredible men and women who have seen the of effects war first hand. For you this means discovering a rare, yet incredible opportunity to hear these men's stories, ask them questions, and see your surroundings from their eyes. It most certainly is an incredible way to travel.
Who can organize with us?
- Members of The Royal Canadian Legion
- Individuals & families
- Canadian Student & Education Groups
- The Historical Community
- Veterans & Members of the Battlefield Community
- Canadian Travel Agents
Where to go from here.
It's time for you to take action, and there are several ways to do so: