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The Fall Tour

FLANDERS   -   VIMY   -   SOMME   -   DIEPPE  -   NORMANDY   -   PARIS

 THE FULL & ORIGINAL CANADIAN BATTLEFIELD TOUR 

The Vimy Interpretive Centre in the early fall season

Sept 13- Sept 22nd, 2022

This is the original Canadian battlefield tour, built upon throughout the years but maintaining a simple goal - an extraordinary introduction to some of the famous Canadian battlefields and memorials of the First, and Second World War.

On this original tour program, you get a well-rounded and all encapsulating introduction to both great conflicts in our recent human history. Discover how they are linked to each other, and how they have impacted the world we live in today. This tour is guided by our lead battlefield guide Glenn Edmonds, and includes visits with some of our favourite battlefield friends. 

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ON THIS TOUR:

Vimy Ridge

There's something about this memorial that has us taking a picture every time we visit, I have the same picture on my phone for years - there's just something about this memorial. As tour guides, we are constantly in awe of the place.

 

Fall Tour Info

Destinations Belgium & France
Tour Dates September 13th - September 22nd, 2022 

Group Flight [Sept 12, Toronto>Brussels] Flight return [Sept 22, Paris>Toronto)] 
Flight departure [your major gateway] > [Brussels] Flight Return [from Paris Airport
]      

Recent Fall Tour Updates

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Fall Tour Map & Outline

 

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

 

  • A visit to Vimy Ridge

  • Explore the Canadian and American beaches of the famous Normandy D-Day invasions in WW2 

  • Beaumont Hamel: The largest fully intact, First World War battlefield in the world. It has been kept as it was and maintained by Canada

  • Visit the seaside town of Dieppe and take in where so many Canadians fought and died in what was called Canada's largest casualty day in WW2

  • Witness the breathtaking Last Post Ceremony at Menin Gate led by the dedicated Ypres Fire Department & World Community honouring those who fought in the Great War

  • ​View the German Cemetery of Langemark as well as Lochnagar, one of the Great War's largest craters 

^^^ Explore by scrolling through the cities we will be visiting, and zoom in to get familiar with where we will be visiting on this tour.

Fall Tour | Itinerary

 

-- September 12th 2022  | Group Flight Departure
Depart from Toronto’s Lester B Pearson International airport on your flight to Brussels. [Dinner and breakfast will be served onboard]
 
Day 1 - Tuesday, Sept 13th, 2022 | A Warm Welcome to Flanders
Upon your arrival at Brussels International Airport, you will be welcomed by your battlefield tour guide, who will escort you to our coach and driver before we tour the short distance to West Flanders, Belgium. This afternoon we will take an orientation of the Ypres Salient Battlefields with visits to the German cemetery of Langemark, and the 'Brooding Soldier' at St Julien, to commemorate the first gas attacks against the 1st Canadian Corps in 1915. We end our introduction with a visit to Essex Farm, the place where John McCrae wrote the famous poem “In Flanders Fields”. Lastly, we stop in the medieval city of Ypres, also known as the 'City of Peace', for a brief orientation tour, before continuing back to Kortrijk for our welcome dinner together and an early night’s rest. [Overnight – Kortrijk/Ypres Area (D)]

 

Day 2 - Wednesday, Sept 14th | Exploring the Ypres Salient
We begin our day with a visit to the
Tyne Cot Commonwealth Cemetery - the largest Commonwealth Cemetery, of any conflict, in the world. We will also explore the Battle of Passchendaele, with visits to the Passchendaele Museum, in Zonnebeke, and the Crest Farm Memorial, in Passendale. After lunch, we will explore the Hooghe Crater, and Hill 62 - a small area of the original battlefield and part of the Canadian Front Line. In the late afternoon, enjoy the chance to explore the historically rich city of Ypres at your own pace. We come together again for an early group meal in the heart of the medieval Ypres' Grote Markt. Tonight, at 8 PM, we will witness the iconic and historic Last Post Ceremony, at the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing, led by the Ieper Fire Department & the Last Post Association. In this last Centennial Year remembering the First World War, the Last Post Association promises their daily act of homage to be among the most memorable acts of remembrance that we will witness on tour.

[Overnight – Kortrijk/Ypres Area (B, D)]

 

Day 3 - Thursday, Sept 15th | Exploring the Last 100 Days of WW1 We say our farewells to Flanders, Belgium this morning and depart for the Northern battlefields of France - but first - we will make a significant stop at the St. Symphorien Cemetery near the city of Mons. This is where the first and last actions in the First World War took place. Consequently, this is also where the first and last Allied casualties of the Great War are laid to rest. We continue our story of the Last 100 Days with a visit to the city of Cambrai, where we will stop for lunch and orientation of the deeply rooted Canadian action, still visible in the scars of the city’s architecture. We continue further still, to Bourlon Wood, to see the memorial which commemorates the Canadian Corps’ crossing at the Canal du Nord on November 11th, 1918. The stairs leading up to the memorial are lined with ancient lime trees that were nursed back to health after having been devastated by shellfire during the battle for Bourlon Wood. We finish our day in the city of Arras, where we will enjoy a group dinner together before our overnight. [Overnight – Arras (B, D)]


Day 4 - Friday, Sept 16th | The Battlefields of 1917: Vimy Ridge & Hill 70 Today we take a tour to Vimy Ridge Memorial Park. It was on Hill 145, on April 1917, that Canada truly became a nation in the eyes of the world. Its troops combined and stormed Vimy Ridge after all other allied forces had failed to do so. We will tour the tunnels, trenches and memorial, as well as the new interpretation centre, which opened in Spring 2017 for the 100th Anniversary. Enjoy a locally prepared picnic lunch en route. In the afternoon, we continue to see the new Canadian Memorial at Hill 70Here we will be discussing the Battle of Hill 70 - sometimes dubbed as “Canada’s Forgotten Battle”. When our explorations of the battlefields are through, we head back to Arras to explore the French city at our own pace. With its many shops, cafes and restaurants, take the time to also enjoy dinner on your own this evening. [Overnight - Arras (B, L)]

 

Day 5 - Saturday, Sept 17th | Exploring the Somme Battlefields 
We will depart from Arras this morning, journeying through the Somme region en-route to the city of Amiens. Our day will be spent exploring the Somme - making visits to the Memorial to the Missing at Thiepval, as well the preserved battlefield memorial park at Beaumont Hamel - dedicated to the Royal Newfoundland and Labrador Regiment who lost so many men on that first day of battle. After enjoying a locally made picnic lunch at the Old Blighty Cafe we will continue on to view the Lochnagar Crater, among one of the largest craters on the battlefields of the Western Front. We will also visit the city of Albert, where we will explore the Somme 1916 Museum, hidden deep underneath the city’s Romanesque Basilica. We will then head out to the gothic city of Amiens, for our dinner and overnight. [Overnight – Amiens (B, L, D)]
 

Day 6 - Sunday, Sept 18th | Dieppe  
Saying our farewells to the Somme region, we shift our focus from the First World War to the Second, heading for the French coast to the seaside resort town of Dieppe. We will first explore the Blue Beach at Puys, where we can view the gun emplacements on the cliff tops, which, on Aug 19, 1942, were responsible for such terrible Canadian casualties. We will then visit the Dieppe Canadian Cemetery before travelling to Green Beach at Pourville. We will also view the main landing beaches of Red and White on the Dieppe seafront. Later, we will continue our journey to Caen for our hotel check-in, dinner, and overnight. [Overnight - Caen (B, D)]
 

Day 7 - Monday, Sept 19th | Normandy Beaches 
Today we will focus on the D-Day Normandy invasion. We will begin our morning with a visit to Pointe du Hoc where the cratered landscape of the German battery, taken by the US Rangers in 1944, can be observed. We will continue to Omaha Beach and the American Military Cemetery to discover the appalling difficulties required for landing on Bloody Omaha. After leaving Omaha, we visit La Chaos, the German offshore battery, which today sits relatively intact, even after 70+ years. This afternoon, we visit the Mulberry Harbors in Arromanches before heading back to Caen for another evening meal together. [Overnight – Caen (B, D)]

Day 8 - Tuesday, Sept 20th | Juno Beach & The Battle of Normandy
We will begin our day with a visit to the Battle of Normandy Museum in Bayeux, offering the visitor an illustrative understanding of the decisive actions that were taken in the liberation of Western Europe in 1944. With a refreshed perspective, we head to the Canadian battlefields & beaches of Normandy. Our first stop will be to Verrieres Ridge to view the area where the Black Watch suffered severe casualties in “Operation Spring”. We continue on to the Juno Beach Center, dedicated to the 3rd Division landings as well as Canada’s full involvement during World War II. Before heading back for dinner, we will visit the Queens’ Own Rifles House, the first house liberated by Canadian forces when they stormed the beaches at Juno on June 6th, 1944. Our day will end with a solemn visit to the Beny-sur-Mer, Canadian Military Cemetery. [Overnight – Caen (B, D)]

 

Day 9 - Wednesday, Sept 21st | Journey to Paris 
After checking out of our hotel this morning, we will finish our tour of the Normandy region with visits to see the Canadian Memorial Garden in the Abbaye des Ardennes, as well as Pegasus Bridge - where the 6th British Airborne landed, captured and liberated the first house in Europe, the Café Gondree. We will then take the journey down to Paris. As we drive into the city, enjoy a coach orientation tour with our guide, before a river cruise of the Seine and a visit to the Notre Dame of Paris Cathedral. Tonight, we will enjoy an early farewell dinner together at the Jardin du Notre Dame before checking into our hotel to prepare for our early morning flight departure. [Overnight – Paris (B, D)]

 

Day 10 - Thursday, Sept 22nd | Group Flight Departure
This morning after breakfast we transfer to Paris Charles du Gaulle International Airport for our group flight departure home, [or take a personal travel extension to Paris/Brussels/Amsterdam].

[(B) Lunch and snacks served onboard]
 

 
TOUR END

^^^ Exploring the advanced dressing stations, at Essex Farm in   Flanders, Belgium

^^^ The Hooghe Crater near Ypres, Belgium

^^^ The Medieval Gates of Cambrai, France

^^^ The Vimy Ridge Memorial, France 

^^^ The new Hill 70 Memorial (pictured during the inauguration in August 2017) 

^^^ The Somme 1916 Museum in Albert, France 

^^^ The Beaches at Puys, near Dieppe. France 

^^^ Point du Hoc, Normandy, where the American Rangers landed on D-Day