the Liberation of Holland 75
HONOURING THE 75TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE LIBERATION
NORMANDY - DIEPPE - SOMME - VIMY RIDGE - FLANDERS - HOLLAND
Photograph taken by Battlefield Tours Guide Sam Cowan at Apeldoorn, Thank you Canada Celebrations [May 2015]
JUL 25nd - AUG 4th 2020
Join us, July 2020, for the 75th Anniversary, as we give our thanks and remembrance to the Canadian veterans who liberated Holland from the Second World War.
Help us commemorate one of the most historic moments of our time, in celebration between the Dutch and the Canadians, honouring those who did the impossible, up against all odds, so that we could have peace today.
Start the tour in Normandy, exploring the D-Day story on the Canadian beaches of Juno, as we embark on the Road to Holland
Destinations: France , Belgium , Holland
Tour Dates: July 25th - August 4th ,2020
Duration: 10 Days - 9 Nights
Flight departure: [July 25] Flight return: [August 4th]
Flight departure [your major gateway] > [Amsterdam], Flight Return [Amsterdam] > [Home]
Summer 75 | Map & Outline
Celebrate 75 years of remembrance in the Liberation of WW2, in Europe this summer
Full orientations as we walk the Canadian footsteps from Normandy to Holland
Explore the grounds of Vimy Ridge, where it is famously said Canada became a Nation
Visit the German Cemetery of Langemark to find a different perspective
Beaumont Hamel: The largest fully intact, First World War battlefield in the world. It has been kept as it was and maintained by Canada.
The Last Post Ceremony at Menin Gate honouring those who fought in the Great War
^^^ 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.
-- Saturday July 25th
Depart from Toronto's Lester B Pearson Airport on your overnight flight to Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris. [Dinner and breakfast will be served onboard]
Day 1 - Sunday July 26th
Upon your arrival into Paris, you will be met by your Tour Manager (Glenn Edmonds) and Coach Driver. There you will meet your travel companions all together for the first time as we begin our journey into Normandy. Upon arrival, we will visit the location where Operation Overlord or “D-Day” as we know it, all began in the early morning hours of June 6th,1944. Pegasus Bridge, located in the small town of Benouville, was assaulted by the British 6th Airborne in an incredibly daring mission to gain control of its vital position. A full orientation will be provided along with viewing the first house liberated in France, the Café Gondree. We then will head to the ancient city of Caen to check in to our hotel and relax before our group welcome dinner. [Overnight - Caen (D)]
Day 2 - Monday July 27th
Today we explore the Canadian Battlefields of Normandy. Starting at the fabulous and informative Juno Beach Center located right off the dunes where the Royal Winnipeg Rifles landed under heavy fire on the early morning of June 6th. Here we will see the original enemy bunkers, beach obstacles among many more fascinating artifacts. We then will visit the first house liberated by Canadians that fateful morning, the “Queens Own Rifles House.” This home is a pilgrimage point for all Canadians to see. By midday, we will pay respects to the Canadian men who lost their lives fighting in the early weeks of the Normandy campaign at Beny-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery. Two thousand forty-eight of our countries bravest lie in peace at this immaculately keep sacred ground. Personal stories and accounts of a few of these individuals will be told for all to contemplate and reflect on. A short distance away is the darkly notorious Abbayes des Ardennes. This 11th Century Gothic Structure became the Headquarters of the 12th SS Hitler Youth Division in the time leading up to the Allied Invasion. To conclude our day, we will visit what was known as Point 67. This strategic position overlooks the Battlefield of Verrieres Ridge, one of the enemy’s strongest lines of defence in all of Normandy. During “Operation Spring” on July 25th, 1944, one of Canada's most famous Regiments, The Black Watch of Montreal were virtually wiped out assaulting this dominating slope. A complete overview of this highly controversial action will be explained at different angles from those involved. [Overnight - Caen (B,D)]
Day 3 - Tuesday July 28th
After breakfast, we will explore some of the more notable spots on the American and British landing zones, starting at what was codenamed Omaha Beach. The exposed piece of dangerous ground was the costliest of any that day. Several stories of extreme bravery will be discussed as we stand on the sand looking seaward. Following our departure from Omaha, we will visit one of the most dramatic pieces of undisturbed landscape at Pointe du Hoc. This shattered area shows the scars from air and sea bombardment the allies inflicted on it. Concluding the morning, we will pay our respects to our American Ally war dead at Colleville-Sur-Mer War Cemetery. Over 9300 burials are peacefully at rest in this stunningly beautiful but sad piece of hallowed ground. Overlooking the beachhead, you will be given the opportunity to view all this and the visitors center explaining more details on the American's involvement in D-day and the Battle of Normandy. Our lunch stop today will be in the historic town of Bayeux, home to the Bayeux Tapestry depicting the Norman conquest of England and the crowning of William the Conqueror as the King of England. Time will be given for those who would like to see it while others can stroll the picturesque streets as they choose. A mid-afternoon stop at the German battery Longues-sur-mer’s La Chaos before heading to the the seaside town of Arromanches. Codenamed “Gold Beach,” the waters off Arromanches still show the massive remnants of the artificial harbour called “Mulberry B” used by the British forces. Time will be given to browse the many shops, photograph the numerous sights or simply enjoy a refreshment while you take it all in! [Overnight - Caen (B, D)]
Day 4 - Wednesday July 29th
We depart Normandy this morning, and head along the coast to our destination of Dieppe. The raid that took place on the rocky shores of Dieppe still echo’s disaster loudly to this very day. We will visit all three landing zones that our Regiments fought on in a nearly hopeless situation. Included in today’s orientation will be a visit to the August 19th, 1942 Memorial Museum. Filled with artifacts and personal stories from men on the raid, this is a must-see stop for all Canadians. Before departing, we will pay our respects to our fallen at the Dieppe Canadian War Cemetery. A potent visual to the staggering loss of life that tragic day. Our day concludes by travelling to the ancient Gothic City of Arras for our dinner and overnight. [Overnight - Arras (B, D)]
Day 5 - Thursday Apr 30th
Today our focus will shift to the Great War, “The War to end all Wars” as it was considered. One of the most significant battles of the War was known as the Battle of the Somme. We begin with a visit to the “Trench Museum” in the town of Albert for a good introduction, before exploring the battlefields themselves. We will view the site of the unbelievable Lochnagar Crater - the largest underground mine explosion, which signalled the start of the battle on July 1st,1916. Nearby we will tour the Memorial to the Missing at Thiepval - the largest Commonwealth Memorial in the world - commemorating the names of over 72,000 missing. Today’s unique lunch stop will be at the Old Blighty Café located on the Battlefield itself. We continue onto the largest preserved Battlefield in the world at Beaumont Hamel. This Canadian National Historic site is an unforgettable experience for all to see. The brave men of Newfoundland’s only Regiment to fight in the Great War suffered horrendous casualties in the opening hours here. We will walk through original trenches on the untouched Battlefield, while stories of sacrifice and bravery are told. Today will also include stops at the tank monument at Pozieres, the spot where armoured vehicles or tanks were first used in the history of warfare. Tonight, everyone will be given the opportunity to explore beautiful Arras while enjoying dinner at our own pace. [Overnight - Arras (B, L)]
Day 6 - Friday July 31st
Our journey today will take us to a place of great pilgrimage for generations of Canadians, Hill 145, Vimy Ridge. On April 9th,1917, Canada's citizen-soldiers took center stage on the world's news headlines by capturing the impregnable fortress of Vimy Ridge. Accomplishing what our allies earlier in the war could not, the Canadian Corps fighting all together for the first time handed the Germans their most significant defeat of the war at that point. Our tour of the park will begin at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial. A complete overview of its construction, history and dedication events will be shared amongst all. More time will be taken to view the new visitor's center located within the park. Outside awaits the opportunity to tour the trenches, tunnels and observation points in the heavily scarred landscape. We continue with a stop at the nearby “Ring of Remembrance” and the Albian-Saint Nazaire 15th Century Church. Both hold powerful meaning for one to ponder in the destruction. Afterwards, we travel on to Ypres, Belgium, to check in to our hotel for an early group dinner. At 8:00 PM tonight we will attend one of the most moving ceremonies in the world, The Last Post Ceremony. Performed every day without exception to honour the lost and missing in Belgium from the Great War. The Ypres Fire Brigade performs in what can only be described as an incredibly moving and solemn tribute. [Overnight - Ypres (B, D)]
Day 7 - Saturday August 1st
Today will be spent exploring the Ypres Salient from 1914-1918. Flanders Fields was the location of prolonged and intense fighting for the entirety of the war. We first visit Essex Farm Cemetery, the exact site where Canadian John MacCrae wrote his now-famous poem “In Flanders Fields.” Our next stop will be at the Hill 62 battlefield site and monument. The Canadian Corps held this crucial area in Spring/Summer of 1916 in which the Canadians distinguished themselves for their bravery and steadfastness despite a terrible cost in life. We continue to the German Cemetery of Langemark. Originating in 1915 with several hundred German graves, it swelled to over 40,000 in the time that followed. Many differences between Commonwealth and German Cemeteries will be discussed and viewed. After lunch, we continue to the Tyne Cot Commonwealth Cemetery - the largest Commonwealth Cemetery in the world with close to 12,000 burials, including the grave of VC awarded Canadian Private James Robertson. The next stop is the Crest Farm Memorial on the Battlefield of Passchendaele, the most horrific battle of WW1. Our day will also include a detailed stop at the village of St. Julien. In late April of 1915, Canada's newly arrived Division experienced some of the worst in warfare; the first Chlorine gas attacks. We head back early to Ypres this afternoon, for some time spent on your own to enjoy the historical sites such as the famous Cloth Hall, St Maartens Cathedral, St Georges Memorial Church and much more. Choose from a wide range of delicious local Belgian cuisine on your own, among a multitude of restaurants in the famous Grote Markt of Ypres. [Overnight - Ypres (B, L)]
Day 8 - Sunday August 2nd
Today we journey northwards to the beautiful country of the Netherlands to continue our World War 2 story - a story in which the Canadian Army played a huge role in liberating from the grasp of the occupying German forces 75 years ago. But first, we will begin our tour examining Operation “Market Garden,” the world’s largest-ever Airborne assault designed to have brought the war to an end in late 1944. The first stop will be the John Frost Bridge, which spans the lower Rhine River in Arnhem. The bridge was made even more famous by the 1977 film “A Bridge too Far.” British Lt Colonel John Frost and a small group of fellow paratroopers from the 1st Airborne Division valiantly fought for control of it against overwhelming German forces. Shedding more light on this will be a visit to the new Airborne at the Bridge museum. Filled with audio/visual displays and artifacts from the battle, one can immerse themselves in the struggle that occurred here. Further strategic sights of the battle will be shown to you as we head to our hotel for check-in and relaxation before dinner. [Overnight - Nijmegen/Arnhem Area (B, D)]
Day 9 - Monday August 3rd
To start off the day, we visit the carefully restored Hartenstein Hotel, which was the HQ of the beleaguered Airborne forces during the battle. One will get an accurate idea of the desperate clash that took place here and around what was called the “Oosterbeek Perimeter.” Lunch today will be in the beautiful city of Apeldoorn. Liberated by the 1st Canadian Division in April of 1945, the Dutch population has never forgotten our Countries sacrifice giving them their freedom back. Time for a relaxing lunch and a chance to purchase some authentic Dutch treats will be provided. Continuing our day, we will pick up on the story of the Canadian involvement in the Liberation of Holland. We'll take a short journey to the beautiful and peaceful Holten Canadian War Cemetery, which is nestled amongst the forest trees. Close to 1400 of our fellow countrymen are laid to rest here, many of whom were killed in the last months of fighting. Several stories of some of these men will be shared with you during your reflective visit here, including the special bond the Cemetery has with the local Dutch population and its Christmas time tradition. Afterwards, we head back to Nijmegen to prepare for our “Farewell Dinner” tonight to toast our time together and new friendships made! [Overnight - Nijmegen/Arnhem Area (B, D)]
Day 10 - Tuesday August 4th
After breakfast, you will be transferred to Schiphol Amsterdam Airport for our flights back to Canada. (Meals onboard)
-This itinerary includes ceremonial events and may be subject to changes -
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, we encourage you to reach out to your local travel agent. If you don't have a local agent, contact our host travel agency:
DH TOUR OFFICE
(Office Phone) 905-639-9954
(Toll-Free) 1-888-597-3519 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Arrival into CDG Airport and transfer to Normandy
A tour of the Juno Beach Center & Grounds
Exploring the cliffs of Pointe du Hoc
Exploring the UNESCO World Heritage town of Bayeux
^^^ A visit with Daniel at the Memorial Musee in Dieppe
Exploring the WW1 tunnels underneath the Basilica in Albert
A full orientation at the Vimy Ridge memorial
The Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate , Ypres
Exploring the Cloth Hall, in Ypres - the City of Peace
Arnhem - the John Frost Bridge - A Bridge Too Far
The Hartenstein Hotel, now home to the Airborne Museum
Activities on this itinerary may change due to 2020 schedules which are yet to be finalized.
Should you have any questions regarding your flight, insurance, or travel extension options please contact your travel agent
Flights for this itinerary will be available for scheduling and pricing by 11 months prior to the departure date.
If you have any questions or special requests, let us know!
Want to extend for a few nights in Amsterdam? We have the perfect tour for you, click here.
Minimum Tour Capacity:
15 Travellers per 25 seat coach
Maximum Tour Capacity:
30 Travellers per 40 seat coach
This Tour Includes...
Tour pricing comes with the following inclusions & exclusions:
Airfare - this is a land only itinerary
Lunches (L), Some Dinners (D) + all drinks with dinner
Single Room Supplement
Gratuities owed to tour staff (5EUR per person, per day)
Porterage (luggage handling to your room available upon request)
Travel Insurance (please contact your travel agent / DH Tour if you need assistance booking medical or trip cancellation insurance)
Accommodations in Superior Tourist Class (4 Star Hotels)
Full-Time Experienced Battlefield Tour Manager
All Entrances as per your Itinerary
Executive Motor Coach with Washroom/AC/tea/coffee
Breakfast (B) throughout,
Some Dinners (D)
Online Custom Map Kit & Tour Resource & Info Guide
All surcharges, fees, and departure taxes
Land only - per person, based on twin occupancy
**Air is available from all major Canadian cities - please contact your Travel Agent for more information**
TOUR PAYMENT SCHEDULE
Initial Deposit: $500.00 (of which $300 is non-refundable) to guarantee your space is due immediately
Your Remaining Balance: Due by 70 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:
Attn to: Karen Burwood [Travel Manager]
Mail to: 2319 Fairview St., Suite 609, Burlington ON L7R 2E3
Early registration is recommended for this battlefield program - This program will not be made available to more than 30 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 ($300 is non-refundable) will be called upon to reserve/secure your spot.
Final payment is due 70 days prior to departure