David O'Keefe's
Canadian battlefields of the First World War

- Vimy Ridge - Beaumont Hamel - Passchendaele - Flanders - 

with historian & professor David O’Keefe

The Lochnagar Crater in the Somme

Jun 17 - Jun 22

To walk the ground of the First World War battlefields helps us gain great insight into the world we live in today. 


On this tour, Historian and Professor David O’Keefe, will lead us on an expanded tour of the First World War Canadian battlefields, including Vimy, the Somme, and PasschendaeleThis is a custom tour created for a special group of Canadians who wish to participate in an explorative tour alongside our experienced team as led by our knowledgeable guide, Canadian historian and professor David O'Keefe.

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tours led by David O'Keefe

Join our long time Battlefield team, along with the guidance of professor and historian David O’Keefe throughout the tour 

Learn more
 

O'Keefe's WW1 Tour Info

Destinations:  France, Belgium
Tour Dates: Jun 17th - Jun 22nd

Flight departure: [Jun 16, to Paris (CDG)]
Flight return:
[Jun 22, from Brussels (BRU)] 

 

News & Updates about this tour

O'Keefe's WW1 Map & Outline

 

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS
 

  • Commemorate and honour the Canadian Battlefields of the Great War - from Vimy to Flanders and all in between
     

  • Enjoy beautiful, independent, superior class accommodation throughout our stay with our favourite hoteliers
     

  • Extended visits at Vimy Ridge, and Beaumont Hamel + Flanders - from Passchendaele to Poperinge
     

  • Choose the option to continue on to the Gallipoli Tour with us, starting in Istanbul Turkey - see the tour here
     

  • Executive coach transportation, with washrooms, air conditioning, and now ozone filtration!
     

  • Join our long time Battlefield team, along with the guidance of professor and historian David O’Keefe throughout the tour 

^^^ 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.

O'Keefe's WW1 | Itinerary

 

-- Thursday, June 16th 2022

Depart from Toronto's Lester B Pearson Airport on your overnight flight to Paris CDG Airport. [Dinner and breakfast will be served onboard]

 

Day 1 - Friday, June 17th

This morning, upon arrival into Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport you’ll greet the team, including our guide, historian and professor David O’Keefe. Together, we begin our journey to the Somme, with a stop en-route to visit the Trench Museum in the town of Albert for a good introduction. We then head to the city of Arras for our hotel check-in. Tonight, enjoy a welcome dinner and reception. [Overnight - Arras (B, D)]

 

Day 2 - Saturday, June 18th

We begin this morning with a visit to one of the largest preserved battlefields in the world, at Beaumont Hamel. It is also a Canadian National Historic site. 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 archeology, sacrifice, and bravery are told. Next, we continue to visit the Lochnagar Crater - one of the largest preserved mine craters, the explosion of which signalled the start of the battle of the Somme. Today’s unique lunch stop will be at the Old Blighty Café located on the Battlefield itself. 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. See the tank monument at Pozieres, the spot where armoured vehicles or tanks were first used in the history of warfare, and Courcelette, where the Canadians came, and the battle ends. Tonight, everyone will be given the opportunity to explore the beautiful City of Arras while enjoying dinner at your own pace. [Overnight - Arras (B, L)]

 

Day 3 - Sunday, June 19th

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 visitor's center & staff. Outside, we tour the trenches, tunnels and observation points in the heavily scarred landscape. We continue with a stop at the nearby Hill 70 Memorial to discuss Canada’s forgotten battle. We end our day with a visit to the “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. [Overnight - Ypres (B, D)]

 

Day 4 - Monday, June 20th

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.” 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. We continue on 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. Our last stop today 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 head back early to Ypres for some time to enjoy the historical site on your own. 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 5 - Tuesday, June 21st

After breakfast this morning, enjoy a visit to the In Flanders Fields Museum, located in the Cloth Hall of the City. We finish our orientations with a trip to Poperinge for a picnic lunch and an extended visit at the Talbot House. 106 years ago, this is where Allied soldiers went to find vital respite. Beforehand, we’ll have time to visit the former field hospital along the Ypres Salient, Lijssenthoek. See the Centre, Memorial & Cemetery. This afternoon, we head back to Ypres to enjoy the rest of the day to explore Ypres on our own. Tonight, we reunite for an early farewell 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, it can only be described as an incredibly moving and solemn tribute to those lost in Belgium in the Great War.  [Overnight - Ypres 4* (B, L, D)]


 

Day 6 - Wednesday, June 22nd

This morning, after breakfast, we say our farewells to Ypres and head to Brussels BRU International Airport for our return flights home.  [(B) Meals onboard]

TOUR END

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^^^ Exploring the trench museum in Albert 

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^^^ A visit to the Old Blighty Tea Room in the Somme  

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^^^ Inside the Vimy Ridge Interpretation Center

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^^^ A visit to Tyne Cot Cemetery 

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^^^ Langemark German Cemetery 

^^^ Watch: Legacy at the Talbot House 

***This itinerary is subject to changes*** 

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Thinking about arranging a custom pre-tour trip or post-tour trip extension? 
We encourage it! 

LIMITED SPACE AVAILABLE
Coach & Hotel Space made available for a maximum of 24 people per 40 seat coach

Minimum Tour Capacity: 

15 Travellers per 30 seat coach

 

O'Keefe's WW1 | Inclusions

Tour pricing comes with the following inclusions & exclusions:

Inclusions

Exclusions

Some Lunches (L) & 
Some Dinners (D)

 

Single Room Supplement

 

Gratuities to your drivers and guides
 

Porterage (luggage handling to your room is 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 Hotels throughout (3-4*)

 

All Entrances as per your Itinerary

 

Full-Time Tour Manager & Escort

 

Transportation in fully air-conditioned, ozone filtered executive coaches

 

Breakfast (B) throughout, Most Dinners (D) and some Lunches (L)

 

Online Map Kit, Tour Resource & Info Guide

 

All service fees, surcharges, fees, and departure taxes

O'Keefe's WW1 | Pricing

O'Keefe's WW1 Canadian Battlefield Tour (Summer 2022)

$4177 CAD

 

$5777 CAD


$830 CAD

Land only - per person, based on twin occupancy

Land & Air - per person based on twin occupancy
*Group air from YYZ Toronto 

Single Supplement

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