2019 Remembrance Day
Canadian Battlefield Tour
from Paris to London
Vimy Ridge on November 11th
Vimy Ridge on November 11th
2019 Remembrance Day
Saturday November 2
Depart from Canada for your overnight transatlantic flight to Paris, except for those who may choose to leave for Paris sooner to extend their trip.
Sunday November 3
Upon arrival at Charles de Gaulle Airport we will proceed to downtown Paris for free time to explore. In the afternoon we board our coach and are joined by a local expert guide who will take us for a sight-seeing drive of the city. The day concludes with a Welcome Dinner in the city of Paris. Overnight Paris - hotel tba (2 nights).
Monday November 4
Enjoy a full free day at your leisure in Paris. Overnight Paris. Breakfast.
Tuesday November 5
This morning we depart for the Normandy coast where we will consider WW2 and pre- D-Day, looking at the 'Atlantic Wall' defenses facing the Allies in the coming invasion. We visit Pegasus Bridge and the Memorial Pegasus Museum where you will learn the story of the pre-dawn paratrooper landings in the region by the British 6th Airborne and the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion. We then pause to enjoy lunch at a local brasserie, offering wonderful food including a glass of wine/beer (with advanced menu selection). Our final stop is Longues-sur-Mer, a coastal artillery position of four large naval guns which posed a serious threat to Allied ships off-shore and the landing beaches themselves. Overnight Bayeux - Churchill Hotel (2 nights). Breakfast, Lunch.
Wednesday November 6
Today we walk the sands of Juno Beach at Courseulles-sur-Mer, with story telling and much reflection. A tour inside the Juno Beach Centre is included. For lunch we invite our guests to walk with us across the canal into Courseulles to explore the local restaurants. We then move to eastern sectors of Juno Beach to hear the stories of the Canadian assaults at Bernières-sur-Mer and Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer, including a special stop to see the iconic "Canada House." In the afternoon we visit the hallowed grounds of Bény-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery, the burial place of 2,044 Canadians who died in the liberation of Normandy. Overnight Bayeux - Churchill Hotel. Breakfast, Lunch.
Thursday November 7
Today is a scheduled free morning, allowing you time to rest and explore. In the afternoon we visit the Ardennes Abbey near Caen, and then say goodbye to Normandy and continue our journey northeast into France as we move back in time to World War One. Overnight Amiens - Mercure Catherale. Breakfast.
Friday November 8
Day Nine is steeped in history as we wind our way into the countryside to consider the Battle of the Somme, one of the largest and bloodiest battles of World War One. You will be intrigued with a guided tour at Beaumont-Hamel - it is here that the Newfoundland Regiment was nearly wiped out in the first few hours of the attack. This proudly Canadian battleground is one of the best-preserved sites in all of the WW1 western front. Our lunch stop is in the midst of the Somme battlefield region, at a local restaurant hidden from view which serves excellent food, with wine/beer (with advanced menu selection). Next is a visit to see the impressive Thiepval Memorial, the largest Commonwealth memorial in the world on which are inscribed the names of over 72,000 soldiers who have no known grave. We also visit the Canadian WW1 memorials at Le Quesnel and Courcelette, and the Newfoundland memorial at Gueudecourt, as we begin our tour of all fourteen Canadian first war memorials. The day includes a visit to Lochnagar Crater. Overnight Lille - Novotel Lille Centre Grand Place (2 nights). Breakfast, Lunch.
Saturday November 9
Today we continue our exploration of the WW1 memorials in the French countryside, learning of the importance of the battles involving the Royal Newfoundland Regiment at Masnières and Monchy-le-Preux, and the Canadian contingent at Bourlon Wood and Dury. After a break for a group lunch in historic Cambrai we visit a rare WW1 tank museum. Overnight Lille - Novotel Lille Centre Grand Place. Breakfast, Lunch.
Sunday November 10
Our day begins with a drive north across the border into Belgium. In the morning we visit the new monument to Canadian George Lawrence Price ... the last soldier of the British Empire to die in The Great War ... which stands next to a bridge named in his honour and near to the place where he fell on November 11, 1918 at 10:58 am, two minutes before the Armistice. After time for lunch in the beautiful city of Mons we visit St. Symphorien Cemetery, the burial location of the first (John Henry Parr, Britain) and last (George Lawrence Price, Canada) soldiers to die in WW1. In the early evening we disembark in the village of Passchendaele for a unique evening remembrance ceremony at the Crest Farm Memorial to mark the 102nd anniversary of the capture of the Passchendaele - events include a solemn remembrance service at 6:00 pm followed by a short torchlight walk into the village. Overnight Kortrijk - Parkhotel (3 nights). Breakfast, Lunch.
Monday November 11
Today is Remembrance Day. We will visit Vimy Ridge and join with fellow Canadians from across the country to honour all those who have served Canada, and in particular to remember those who have fallen. Ample time is then given to visit the Vimy Memorial, one of the most impressive of all the war monuments in Europe. We also pop into the Visitors' Centre and tour the trenches and tunnels. A short distance down the ridge takes us into Souchez for quick stops at points of interest, along with a delicious lunch with wine at a well-known establishment filled with charm. We then make a visit to the Hill 70 Memorial in Loos-en-Gohelle, the impressive new national Canadian war memorial in Europe which marks Canada's 'forgotten victory' of 1917. Overnight Kortrijk - Parkhotel. Breakfast, Lunch.
Tuesday November 12
Ieper (Ypres) was the center of fierce, prolonged, bloody fighting in World War I and the remnants of this are all around. On Day 11 we explore the Ypres Salient, beginning with a drive past Hellfire Corner on our way to the monument at Hill 62 (Sanctuary Wood). Our day includes The Brooding Soldier at St. Julien. We will visit Essex Farm ... it is here, in the province of West Flanders, that Canadian LtCol John McCrae penned his famous poem. We also visit the monument to the Battle of Passchendaele (Crest Farm), thus concluding our tour to all of Canada's Great War memorials. We wind down the day with a visit to nearby Tyne Cot Cemetery, the largest Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery in the world where nearly 12,000 soldiers find their final resting place. We return to Ieper for free time in the afternoon and an opportunity to attend the Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate. This unique ceremony takes place at 8:00 pm, as it has every evening since 1928. Selected travelers will be invited to lay a wreath on behalf of the tour group. Overnight Kortrijk - Parkhotel. Breakfast.
Wednesday November 13
As we near the conclusion of our battlefield tour we bid goodbye to Flanders, heading for the Channel Coast and a visit to Wimereux and the final resting place of LCol John McCrae. We cross the Channel Tunnel to make our way to the United Kingdom, arriving on English soil to gather for our Farewell Lunch and reflect upon our unique and inspiring journey. We then journey to the amazing cosmopolitan city of London. Overnight London - The Cumberland / Hard Rock Hotel (2 nights). Breakfast, Lunch.
Thursday November 14
Enjoy a full free day at your leisure in the fantastic city of London, England. Overnight London - The Cumberland / Hard Rock Hotel. Breakfast.
Friday November 15
Morning departure for those returning home, while others may extend their stay at their option. Buffet or box breakfast depending on departure time.
This itinerary is tentative as of December 2018 and is subject to minor alteration prior to the booking deadline. Clients should also keep in mind that minor variances are always possible during the actual tour based on the need to adapt to circumstances we encounter during our travels.