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 Belgium and finally Holland all the way to 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 … the inaugural tour coming September 2019 to coincide with 75th Anniversary of Operation Market Garden (Arnhem – A Bridge Too Far), a very special anniversary not to be missed.
Scroll down to the very bottom of the page and add your name to the pre-registration list ... 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 of Operation Market Garden in Arnhem, Holland ... and much more
Day 1 Sunday September 8 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 Monday September 9 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 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 an optional driving sight-seeing tour of the city. We conclude the tour with a Welcome Dinner in the city. Overnight London - hotel tba.
Day 3 Tuesday September 10 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 - hotel tba. Buffet breakfast, Lunch.
Day 4 Wednesday September 11 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 - hotel tba. Buffet breakfast.
Day 5 Thursday September 12 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 - hotel tba. Buffet breakfast.
Day 6 Friday September 13 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 - hotel tba. Buffet breakfast.
Day 7 Saturday September 14 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 - hotel tba. Buffet breakfast, Lunch.
Day 8 Sunday September 15 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 - hotel tba. Buffet breakfast, Lunch.
Day 9 Monday September 16 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 - hotel tba. Buffet breakfast, Lunch.
Day 10 Tuesday September 17 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 tba. Buffet breakfast, Lunch.
Day 11 Wednesday September 18 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 - hotel tba. Buffet breakfast.
Day 12 Thursday September 19 Our morning departure takes us first to Hill 145 for a brief sunrise visit to the Canadian National Vimy Memorial, a place that each Canadian ought to visit once in their lifetime. We then hit the road and head east, across northern France and into eastern Belgium, to make a visit to Fort Eban-Emael - a massive fortress on the Dutch-Belgian border. It was the largest such military defensive installation in the world at the time, and designed to be impregnable. The day concludes with an evening in the very south of the Netherlands. Overnight Maastricht - hotel tba. Buffet breakfast, Lunch.
Day 13 Friday September 20 We drive north in the morning, stopping for a coffee break along the Dutch-German border. Next is a visit to Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery, one of the largest Commonwealth War Graves Cemeteries in Holland and the resting place of a recipient of the Victoria Cross. 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 stop for lunch in Nijmegen, then cross the rivers into Arnhem to examine Operation Market Garden with a stop at Drop Zone Y and a drive along the attack route back into Arnhem to the John Frost Bridge. Overnight Arnhem - hotel tba. Buffet breakfast, Lunch.
Day 14 Saturday September 21 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 Arnhem - hotel tba. Buffet breakfast, Lunch.
Day 15 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 - hotel tba. Buffet Breakfast, Lunch.
Day 16 Monday September 23 Enjoy a full free day at your leisure. Overnight Amsterdam - hotel tba. Buffet breakfast.
Day 17 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 tour is in the final stages of development and the above tentative itinerary, along with pricing, is expected to be finalized in the spring of 2018. If you believe you might be interested in this tour simply complete this short pre-registration form. Final tour details will be sent direct to you by email.