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the ONTR Museum Tank Tour

HOSTED BY THE ONTARIO REGIMENT RCAC MUSEUM

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Inside the new Vimy Ridge Interpretation Centre - Photo taken by tour guide Sam Cowan, April 2019

October 19th-28th 2023

Join Ontario Regiment RCAC Museum members and staff on a specialized custom tour exploring the First and Second World War battlefields and armoured vehicles of Britain, France & Belgium.

We begin in the UK, with special visits to the Duxford Imperial War Museum and the Bovington Tank Museum. Join us, and stand with us in awe of those who built and crewed these complex vehicles with powerful adaptability through history and into our modern world.

ON THIS TOUR:

Duxford

Explore Britain's largest aviation museum - the Imperial War Museum of Duxford

Info

Tour Info

Destinations: England, France & Belgium
Tour Dates: October 20th to 28th 2023

Flight departure: [Oct 19] Flight return: [Oct 28] 
Flight departure [your major gateway] > [LHR], Flight Return [CDG] > [Home]   

Ontario Regiment Tank Tour | Map & Outline

Trou Map

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS
 

  • A visit to the Duxford Imperial War Museum, the largest aviation Museum in the country
     

  • A chance to visit the Bovington Tank Museum
     

  • A visit to the Juno Beach Centre & Canadian Battlefields in Normandy
     

  • A visit to the tank Museum of Saumur
     

  • Exploring Beaumont Hamel, the largest preserved battlefield in the world 
     

  • See the Vimy Ridge Monument & Memorial Park

  • Exploring and understanding the First World War Battlefields of Flanders Fields & the Ypres Salient 

^^^ 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.

Ontario Regiment | Itinerary

Itinerary

- - October 19 th - 2023, | Departure Day
Depart from Toronto Lester B Pearson Airport on your overnight flight to London. [Dinner and breakfast will be served onboard]

Day 1 - October 20 | Arrival Day
Upon arrival, you will be met by your tour manager, Glenn Edmonds and coach before embarking on your journey to Duxford, Cambridge (1h45min, 105 km). Here, spend some time stretching your legs while exploring the Duxford Imperial War Museum at your own pace. Inside every hanger and exhibition, you’ll discover iconic aircraft, loads of historic objects and hundreds of personal stories of the many lives impacted by conflict. We depart in the late afternoon as we continue to our hotel in time for check-in at St Albans, Hertfordshire. Tonight, join us for our group Welcome Dinner; an opportunity to meet with our fellow travellers. [Overnight - St Albans Travelodge, (D)]

Day 2 - October 21| Journey to Portsmouth
An early start today after breakfast in order to maximize our time at one of our tour's most major highlights, The Tank Museum in Bovington (3h15min, 210 km). We will be spending our entire day at the home of one of the most fabulous collections of tanks and armoured vehicles in Europe including the Tiger 131, Little Willie and the M4A2E8 Sherman ‘Fury’ to name a few. After our visit concludes we travel to the historic Naval City of Portsmouth (1h15min, 104 km). Tonight, we enjoy dinner together at the Ibis Portsmouth Center. [Overnight – Ibis Portsmouth Center (B, D)]

Day 3 - October 22 | Ferry Crossing to France
An early start this morning, as we embark on our 8:15 AM scheduled ferry crossing to Ouistreham, Normandy (5h45min hours sailing time approx. with Brittany Ferries). Upon arrival in France, we begin our orientation of the Normandy Invasion, with a visit to where it all started: Pegasus Bridge in Benouville. Led by British Major John Howard, a small element of the 6th Airborne succeeded in capturing two crucial bridges and liberated the first house in Europe, the Café Gondree. This stunning and daring feat of arms will be discussed from many points of view. Afterwards, we make our way to our hotel in Caen (20min, 16 km) for some rest and relaxation before enjoying our first dinner together in France. [Overnight - Caen - Hotel des Quatrans (B, D)]

Day 4 - October 23 | Normandy Beaches: the Canadian Sector
After breakfast, we travel down to the coastline to the town of Bernieres-Sur-Mer located on Juno Beach (30min, 20 km). Here the Queens Own Rifles of Canada assaulted this deadly stretch of shoreline on the morning of June 6th, 1944. View the original German bunkers and defence positions that caused so many casualties amongst their ranks. A short walk away is “The Queens Own Rifles House”, the first house liberated on D-Day by seaborne forces. A must-see for all Canadians. We then make the brief trip over to The Juno Beach Center in Courseulles-sur-Mer. Having just celebrated its 20th Anniversary, the Center provides great insight into Canada’s contributions on the battlefield and from the homefront during the war years. Time will be given to tour the Center and the beach fortifications still well intact from nearly 80 years ago. Our morning will conclude with a stop at Beny-Sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery. One can pay their respects and reflect on the 2048 Canadians buried here while your guide provides some gravesite orientations to those resting on this peaceful plot of land. We then pause for lunch in the nearby historic UNESCO World Heritage town of Bayeux. Some downtime will be given to stroll the cobblestone streets before our next stop at the Battle of Normandy Museum. The museum shows the key phases of fighting in the Normandy campaign along with hundreds of original artifacts, big and small, from the 77-day-long struggle. To conclude our day, we will visit The Abbaye d’ Ardenne. This 12th Century Abbaye holds the horrific story involving the murder of 20 Canadian prisoners within its ancient walls. The once then Headquarters of the 12th SS Hitler Youth Division, their Commanding Officer Kurt Meyer, and their actions will be explained in detail. Afterwards, we return to our hotel in Caen for dinner on our own this evening. [Overnight - Caen - Hotel des Quatrans (B)].

Day 5 - October 24 | Day trip to the Saumur Tank Museum
After an early breakfast, we depart for the “Musee des Blindes” the incredible Tank Museum of Saumur (3h30min, 281 km). With hundreds of tanks and armoured vehicles from around the world, the museum boasts one of the most comprehensive collections anywhere. Enjoy the day to explore the Tank Museum at your own pace. Once our visit is completed, we can check in to our hotel before enjoying dinner on our own tonight in Saumur. [Overnight - Saumur - Ibis Styles (B)]

Day 6 - October 25 | Dieppe
Saying our farewells to Saumur, we journey onwards to the seaside resort town of Dieppe (3h50min, 383 km). Once arriving in Dieppe, our orientation begins on the extremely controversial Raid that took place on its rocky shores and the horrendous cost in life that unfolded in a 6-hour time span. Here we visit the Dieppe Canadian Cemetery where many of the raid’s fatalities lie at rest before travelling to the main landing beaches codenamed “Red and White” on the Dieppe
seafront. Lastly, we explore “Blue Beach” at Puys, to view the gun emplacements on the cliff tops, which, on Aug 19, 1942, were responsible for such terrible casualties to the Royal Regiment of Canada.  [Overnight - Dieppe - (B, D)]

Day 7 - October 26 | Exploring the Somme
This morning we depart Dieppe and travel to where our day will be spent exploring
the beautiful French region of the Somme (2h30min,180 km). Shifting our focus from the Second World War to the First, the Somme was one the most destructive killing fields of WW1. Our stops will include poignant visits to the Memorial to the Missing at Thiepval, as well as Beaumont Hamel - the largest preserved battlefield in the world - dedicated to the Royal Newfoundland and Labrador Regiment who lost so many men on that first day of battle. After lunch, we will continue to the Lochnagar Crater, the largest crater made on the battlefields of the Western Front. Following our visit there we can view the location and monument where the first usage of tanks in warfare took place near the Village of Courcelette. The remainder of the afternoon will then be spent touring Vimy Ridge Memorial Park. It was here on Hill 145, on April 9th, 1917, that Canada truly became a nation in the eyes of the world. Its troops combined and successfully stormed Vimy Ridge after other allied forces had failed to do so. We will tour the tunnels, trenches and memorial, as well as the new interpretation centre. This promises to be a major highlight for all! We then return to the ancient City of Arras, to enjoy a relaxed evening and dine at your own pace. [Overnight – Arras - Holiday Inn Express (B)]

Day 8- October 27 | Exploring Flanders Fields
We begin our introduction to the Flanders region of Belgium (1h10min, 80 km) with a visit to Essex Farm, the place where Canadian Field Surgeon Lt Col. John McCrae wrote the famous poem “In Flanders Fields”. We then head north to visit the Tyne Cot Commonwealth Cemetery - the largest Commonwealth Cemetery, of any conflict, in the world. A grave site orientation of Canadian Private James Robertson who was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross and his amazing display of courage will be explained. We will also discuss the horrific 1917 Battle of Passchendaele, with visits to the Crest Farm Memorial, in Passchendaele Village. We then continue further to explore the German Cemetery of Langemark, and the Brooding Soldier monument at St Julien, to commemorate the first gas attacks against the 1st Canadian Corps in 1915. We finish our orientations today in the medieval city of Ypres, also known as the 'City of Peace' with a chance to view the Menin Gate and some downtime this afternoon to explore the historic ancient city before having an early group meal in the heart of Ypres’ Grote Markt. Return to Arras [Overnight – Arras Holiday Inn Express (B, D)]

Day 9 - October 28 | Departure Day
After breakfast, we will be transferred to CDG airport (1h40min, 153 km) for your flight back to Canada. [(B) Meals onboard].

 

Tour End.
 

*Please note - this custom itinerary is subject to changes & review * 
 

Thinking about arranging a custom pre-tour or post-tour extension to your in Europe? We encourage it! 

 

Should you have any questions regarding your flight, insurance, or travel extension options, contact our host travel agency: 


DH TOUR OFFICE

(Office Phone) 905-639-9954 
(Toll-Free) 1-888-597-3519 | karen@dhtour.ca

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^^^ Arrive and transfer to the Duxford IWM 

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^^^ Exploring the Bovington Tank Museum

Brittany Ferries - Ferry Normandy Crossi

^^^ Take the Brittany Ferries Corssing from Portsmouth, UK, to Normandy, France

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^^^ Exploring the Juno Beach Centre & Beaches

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^^^ Exploring the Musee des Blindes, Saumur 

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^^^ Exploring the landing beaches of Dieppe

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^^^ A visit to Beaumont Hamel Battlefields

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^^^ A visit to the Canadian Memorial of Vimy Ridge 

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^^^ Ypres Belgium, "The City of Peace" - the In Flanders Fields Museum & Cloth Hall 

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Extend your tour & continue exploring Europe - choose from our following extensions:
 

-the Road to Holland

-the Paris Extension

-the Road to Berlin 

Minimum Tour Capacity:

10 Travellers per 35 seat coach

Maximum Tour Capacity: 

25 Travellers per 50 seat coach

Inclusions

This Tour Includes...

Tour pricing comes with the following inclusions & exclusions:

Inclusions

Exclusions

Lunches (L), + drinks with dinner

Some Dinners (D) as per itinerary

 

Single Room Supplement
 

Gratuities owed to tour staff (5 EUR per person per day)
 

​Travel Insurance (please contact your travel agent or DH Tour if you need assistance booking medical or trip cancellation insurance)
 

R/T Airfare YYZ > LHR // CDG > YYZ

 

Accommodations in Superior
Tourist Class (3 - 4 Star Hotels)


Full-Time Experienced Battlefield
Tour Manager


All Entrances as per Itinerary


Executive Motor Coach with Washroom/AC/tea/coffee


Breakfast (B) throughout


 Dinners (D) as per itinerary


Online Custom Map Kit & Tour

Resource & Info Guide


All surcharges, fees, and departure taxes

Tour Pricing

$4,775.00 CAD


$875.00 CAD

 Per person, based on twin occupancy

Single Supplement

**Air is available from all major Canadian cities - please contact your Travel Agent for more information**

 

TOUR PAYMENT SCHEDULE

Initial Deposit: $300 (non-refundable) to guarantee your space is due immediately

 

Your Remaining Balance: Due 90 days prior to departure

METHOD OF PAYMENT

All funds will be collected by our host agency, DH Tour. If you would like to use your credit card, our agency will collect your payment details over the phone after you have registered. DH Tour accepts Visa, Mastercard, and American Express, as well as cash and cheque payments. 
 

Personal cheques can be made to:

“DH Tour”

Attn to: Karen Burwood [Travel Manager]

Mail to: 2289 Fairview St., Suite 321, Burlington ON L7R 2E3

Please review our Groups Terms & Conditions before booking with us.

Pricing

Where to go from here

Next Steps

REGISTRATION INSTRUCTIONS

Early registration is recommended for this battlefield program - This program will not be made available to more than 25 travellers, we suggest you register as soon as possible to hold your space

 

No payment is required to register - An initial deposit of $500 CAD (non-refundable) will be called upon to reserve/secure your spot.

 

Final payment is due 90 days prior to departure 


 
Have questions about our tour program? Contact:
Tour Operator - The Battlefield Tours - IAN COWAN phone: 1-416-844-4228  email:ian@thebattlefieldtours.com
 
Don't have a travel agent and have questions about your flight or insurance options? Contact:
Our Host Travel Agent - DH Tour - KAREN BURWOOD p: 905-639-9954  e: karen@dhtour.ca
 

Tour contact info

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ONTARIO REGIMENT RCAC | TOUR DASHBOARD

PRICING

1-877-449-4652

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