Secret agents. Airborne assaults by parachute and gliders. Commandos. Spies. They are the elite, the expertly-trained men and women who attack in the dark, assault in broad daylight, or sneak in the back door when you're not looking. They’re watching, waiting ... eager and ready to deploy whenever needed. They’ll come at you from the water, by land or the sky, or simply blend into the crowd where you'll never see them.
They are the Spies & Special Forces and their remarkable contribution to warfare is told in this exciting two-week tour of England, France and Holland. Join us as we tell the intriguing stories of espionage, daring raids and covert operations which were key to the liberation of western Europe in WWII.
Your tour includes sites of significance in London, Normandy, northern France and finally Holland at the German border. Along the way you'll hear stories of deception, coercion and amazing bravery. You'll also experience the wonderful history and culture of London, Amsterdam and more.
Spies & Special Forces 2019 … the inaugural tour which will coincide with the 75th Anniversary of Operation Market Garden (Arnhem – A Bridge Too Far), a very special anniversary not to be missed.
Reserve your seat today ... and be ready to deploy!
Bletchley Park ● Imperial War Museum● Normandy D-Day Beaches Saint-Nazaire● Brecourt Manor● Pointe-du-Hoc ● Merville Battery ●Bruneval● Dieppe John Frost Bridge ('A Bridge Too Far') Arnhem● plus a visit at Vimy Ridge
featuring: 75th Anniversary Events Operation Market Garden Arnhem, Holland
Day 1 Monday September 9 Depart from Canada for your overnight transatlantic flight to London, except for those who may choose to leave for London sooner to extend their trip. Where available, guests will enjoy the luxury of a premium airport departure lounge.
Day 2 Tuesday September 10 Upon arrival at London Heathrow Airport we are greeted by our coach, then proceeding to downtown London where our hotel rooms are reserved and waiting for us to allow for immediate morning check-in (an exclusive benefit of Liberation Tours). Those who need some rest can take it, while others might choose to simply wash up and then step out into the city to begin exploring. In the afternoon we meet at the hotel and climb aboard our coach, where we are joined by a local expert guide for a driving sight-seeing tour of the city, concluding with our Welcome Dinner in the city. Overnight London - The Tower Hotel.
Day 3 Wednesday September 11 In the morning we head north for a tour of the famous Bletchley Park facility, the center for the highly secretive code-breaking activities. After lunch we meet at the Imperial War Museum to tour exhibits of interest to WWII and Special Ops. Overnight London - The Tower Hotel. Buffet breakfast, Lunch.
Day 4 Thursday September 12 Today we grab flights from England to France, to make our way to the Brittany coast. Special arrangements will be made for those who wish to make the trip in a C-47 Dakota and para-drop into an established DZ near the hotel (not really, but it would be fun!). Overnight Nantes - Mercure Nantes Centre Gare. Buffet breakfast.
Day 5 Friday September 13 Our morning will be spent down river at the coast, examining the brilliant British amphibious attack on the Saint-Nazaire dockyards known as Operation Chariot. We then move north to the historic city of Rennes and its half-timbered houses for lunch. In the afternoon we conclude our journey in Normandy, which will be our base of operations for the next five nights. Overnight Normandy - Novotel Bayeux. Buffet breakfast.
Day 6 Saturday September 14 Our first stop is Utah Beach Museum to learn about the exploits of the American D-Day landings in this sector, followed by visits to several monuments in the countryside including Richard Winters (Band of Brothers). We stop in St-Mère-Église for a visit to the Airborne Museum, followed by free time for lunch and a visit to the famous church. After a visit to Brécourt Manor we stop for additional free time in St-Marie-du-Mont. Overnight Normandy - Novotel Bayeux. Buffet breakfast.
Day 7 Sunday September 15 Day Seven takes us to the second of two American landing sectors, code named Omaha Beach, depicted by the opening twenty minutes of the Steven Spielberg film Saving Private Ryan. Here the Americans suffered heavy losses, as illustrated by some time of reflection at the Colleville-sur-Mer American War Cemetery which serenely overlooks the Normandy shore below. We then walk Omaha Beach at St-Laurent-sur-Mer before taking a break for a group lunch with wine at a local restaurant just up the coast - situated on the hill with a view looking directly onto Omaha Beach and the amazing National Guard monument. We then move further west to Pointe-du-Hoc where the United States Army Rangers famously scaled 100' cliffs to secure the position. Overnight Normandy - Novotel Bayeux. Buffet breakfast, Lunch.
Day 8 Monday September 16 This morning walk the sands of Juno Beach at Courseulles-sur-Mer - a visit inside the Juno Beach Centre is included. For lunch we walk across the canal into Courseulles. We then move east, standing on Juno at Bernières-sur-Mer to visit the iconic Canada House and the nearby defenses, and next at Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer where a 50-mm German anti-tank gun still sits ominously in its casemate. In the afternoon we visit the hallowed grounds of Beny-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery, the burial place of 2,044 Canadians who died in the early hours of D-Day and the subsequent liberation of Normandy. Overnight Normandy - Novotel Bayeux. Buffet breakfast, Lunch.
Day 9 Tuesday September 17 Our day begins with a visit to 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 make a must-see visit to the first house liberated on D-Day, the Café Gondrée, a special place filled with history and charm. We then pause to enjoy a group lunch with wine at a local brasserie. In the afternoon we explore the countryside of the 1CanPara, including a visit at the trench of Jan de Vries, and a walk to Mark Lockyer's bridge at Robehomme. Overnight Normandy - Novotel Bayeux. Buffet breakfast, Lunch.
Day 10 Wednesday September 18 Today we begin at the fascinating Merville Battery, a German stronghold near the beachhead that is beautifully preserved and features fascinating exhibits inside the original bunkers. Following a lunch break, we shift north of the Seine River to take a tour of Operation Biting (also known as the Bruneval Raid), the code name given to a British Combined Operations raid on a German radar installation on the coast of northern France. Overnight Dieppe - Hotel Mercure La Presidence. Buffet breakfast, Lunch.
Day 11 Thursday September 19 Operation Jubilee is the theme of the morning, with an examination of the commando component on the right flank of the raid, and the U.S. Army Rangers, in their first combat action of WW2. We also discuss the various theories for the raid and the secretive players behind the scenes. Following a view of the main beach from the cliff-top outlook point we pause at the Dieppe Canadian War Cemetery, tucked away up the hill and beyond the edge of town which beckons Canadians to visit. Following a break for lunch along the harbour we head inland toward Amiens, stopping for a visit at a French Resistance memorial in the countryside. Overnight Arras - Holiday Inn Express. Buffet breakfast.
Day 12 Friday September 20 Our morning departure takes us first to Hill 145 for a brief early morning visit to the Canadian National Vimy Memorial, a place that each Canadian ought to visit once in their lifetime. We drive north, stopping for lunch along the Dutch-German border. Next is a visit to Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery, the largest Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery in Holland and the location where several Canadian heroes are memorialized. Here are buried many of the young men who fell in the Rhineland battles as the Allies moved across the border into Germany in the latter states of WWII. We then cross the rivers into Arnhem to examine Operation Market Garden with a stop at Drop Zone Y and a drive back along the attack route back into Arnhem to the John Frost Bridge. Overnight Apeldoorn - Hotel Bilderberg de Keizerskroon. Buffet breakfast, Lunch.
Day 13 Saturday September 2 Today we observe activities of the 75th Anniversary of Market Garden, spending time at Ginkel Heath and other points of interest in the area. The itinerary is kept flexible in anticipation of final event planning, to be announced in 2019. Overnight Apeldoorn - Hotel Bilderberg de Keizerskroon. Buffet breakfast, Lunch.
Day 14 Sunday September 22 Our final day in the battlefields takes us appropriately to Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery for the final remembrance services of the 75th Anniversary of Market Garden. We then take time nearby to gather for our Farewell Lunch. Overnight Amsterdam - WestCord Fashion Hotel. Buffet Breakfast, Lunch.
Day 15 Monday September 23 Enjoy a full free day at your leisure. Overnight Amsterdam - WestCord Fashion Hotel. Buffet breakfast.
Day 16 Tuesday September 24 Morning departure via Schiphol Airport for those returning home, while others may extend their stay at their option. Box or buffet breakfast.
Note: Clients should 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. This itinerary is also tentative at this time, with some changes possible prior to the close of booking in 2019. The details of the official events for Market Garden in Arnhem are yet to be finalized.
PRICING $5990 CAD Land Only, Based on Double Occupancy +$295 Mandatory Group Airfare for in-tour flight, England --> France (approximate, includes departure taxes) $1700 CAD Single Supplement
14 nights accommodation in twin-bedded rooms with private facilities
Guests on the group flight will enjoy gathering at a premium departure lounge (where available) ... an exclusive benefit not offered by other battlefield tours
Upon arrival in London in the early morning your hotel room is reserved for you and available for immediate early check-in should you wish to take some rest after your flight ... an exclusive benefit not offered by other battlefield tours
Travel by luxury air-conditioned coach with reclining seats, facilities and free on-board Wi-Fi
Buffet breakfast (cold and/or hot) at the hotel each morning, plus select lunches/dinners as outlined in the itinerary
All hotel service charges, local taxes, baggage handling (one bag per person) are included
Gratuities to Coach Driver, On-Board Agent and Local Guides are included! ... these costs are extra on most other tours and can add up to $150 CAD or more per person at the end of your trip, requiring an awkward search for a bank machine in the final days of your vacation ... we eliminate this. Be sure to compare!
Group pick-up at London Heathrow Airport on September 10 and return group transfer to Schiphol airport on September 24; individual transfers are the responsibility of the client
PRICING DOES NOT INCLUDE:
Airfare - optional group air package available, you can reserve your seats upon booking: 09Sep depart Toronto AC856 1835 arrive London Heathrow 0630 (+1 day) 24Sep depart Amsterdam AC825 1155 arrive Toronto 1350 Base Fare $425 + ~$629 taxes = ~$1054 ... or book your own air itinerary (contact our agent before making any bookings)
Meals other than stated on the itinerary
Travel / Cancellation / Medical Insurance, Passport & related fees
Any optional excursion not specifically stated
Items of a personal nature
Prices are subject to change based on currency fluctuations, to be confirmed at time of final payment
Hotels have been pre-booked but are subject to change
This tour requires a minimum of 25 passengers to operate
$500 Non-Refundable Deposit due with booking. Balance of Payment due on or before June 7, 2019. All deposits and payments are non-refundable.