Normandy to the Liberation of Holland

  • Apr 25th – May 10th, 2020

Join this vacation of a lifetime operated by The Battlefield Tours to France and Holland to honour the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Holland. During this trip, you will be accompanied by a Full Time Battlefield Tour Manager on site who will explain the significance and history of all sites visited during the tour.

The tour begins in Paris and makes its way through important sites in Normandy, Somme, Vimy, and Flanders before heading north to Holland as you follow the First and Second World War story in Western Europe. Highlights include Juno Beach, Beaumont Hamel, Vimy Ridge, the Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing, the Commemoration Ceremonies at the Commonwealth Military Cemetery during Remembrance Day in Holten, and the Liberation Parade celebrating 75 years since the liberation of the Netherlands in Wageningen. Be sure to read the full itinerary below to learn more about this tour’s many inclusions.

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.

This tour is operated by The Battlefield Tours. Learn more about this travel partner by clicking here.

*If you have relatives whose graves are located in or near one of the areas on the tour please contact us to find out if we can arrange a visit. We are often able to accommodate. 

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Pricing

$5950 per person 2 per room          

$7060 per person 1 per room

For payment terms and details click “important payment info” below.

Airfare is not included in the tour price and can be arranged at the time of booking at the current rate of the day.

The approximate cost of round-trip flights is $1500 per person (subject to change and availability).

IMPORTANT PAYMENT INFO
ACTIVITY LEVEL
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Itinerary & Inclusions

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Saturday, April 25th

 Depart for Paris

Depart from your local airport and fly to Toronto’s Lester B. Pearson International Airport to meet the rest of the group for your flight to Paris. A light meal and breakfast will be served onboard your flight.

Sunday, April 26th

 Arrive in Paris

Upon your arrival into Paris you will be met by your Tour Manager and Coach Driver before our journey to Normandy. We begin our orientation with a visit to Pegasus Bridge where the 6th British Airborne landed, captured and liberated the first house on D-Day, the Café Gondree. We continue to Aubin-sur-Mer along the shores of Juno for our hotel check-in to enjoy a relaxed afternoon before our group welcome dinner.

Overnight: Aubin sur Mer 2* Superior Class Centrally Located or similar
Monday, April 27th

Today we will explore the Canadian battlefields of Normandy, including visits to the Queens’ Own Rifles House – the first house liberated by Canadian forces –
and the Juno Beach Center, to explore the beaches, museum, and bunkers. Enroute today, we will also visit Abbayes des Ardennes, to see the Canadian Memorial
Garden, as well as Point 67, to discuss the devastating Battle of Verrieres Ridge. We end the day with a solemn visit to the Beny-sur-Mer Canadian Military Cemetery. Tonight, we return to St. Aubin for our dinner and overnight.

Overnight: Aubin sur Mer 2* Superior Class Centrally Located or similar
Tuesday, April 28th

Today we say our farewells to Normandy and head along the French coast to the seaside resort town of Dieppe. Here, we will explore the Blue Beach at Puys to view the gun emplacements on the cliff tops, which, on August 19, 1942, were responsible for such terrible Canadian casualties. We will also visit the Dieppe Canadian Cemetery before travelling to the main landing beaches of Red and White on the Dieppe seafront. In the late afternoon, we continue our drive to the City of Arras, in the North of France, for our check- in and overnight.

Overnight: Arras 4* Centrally Located or similar
Wednesday, April 29th

Today will be spent on the battlefields of the Somme. We start underground, at the Musee Somme 1916 in the Town of Albert. We continue to explore the largest
preserved battlefield in the world, at Beaumont Hamel – dedicated to the Royal Newfoundland and Labrador Regiment who lost so many men on that first day of battle. After enjoying a locally made picnic lunch at the Old Blighty Cafe we will view the Lochnagar Crater, the largest man-made, non-nuclear crater in the world. We will also see the Memorial to the Missing at Thiepval, the Tank Monument at Pozieres and the Canadian monument at Courcelette. This evening, we return to the gothic city of Arras, with time to explore the city and enjoy dinner on our own.

Overnight: Arras 4* Centrally Located or similar
Thursday, April 30th

Today we will visit the Canadian Memorial at Hill 70 to commemorate the Battle of Hill 70 – oftentimes dubbed as “Canada’s Forgotten Battle”. In the afternoon, we continue to Vimy Ridge Memorial Park. It was here, at Hill 145, on April 1917, that Canada truly became a nation in the eyes of the world. Its troops combined and stormed Vimy Ridge after all other allied forces had failed to do so. We will tour the tunnels, trenches and memorial, as well as the brand-new interpretation centre, which opened in Spring 2017 for the 100th anniversary. When our explorations of the battlefields are through, we continue on to Ypres, the City of Peace. After checking into our hotel, we will enjoy an early group meal together in the heart of Ypres’ Grote Markt. Tonight at 8 pm we will witness the iconic and historic Last Post Ceremony, at the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing, led by the Ieper Fire Department & the Last Post Association. This daily act of homage is among the most memorable acts of remembrance that we will witness on our tour.

Overnight: Ypres 4* Centrally Located or similar
Friday, May 1st

Today we explore the Ypres Salient of WW1. We begin our introduction with a visit to Essex Farm, the place where John McCrae wrote the famous poem “In
Flanders Fields”. We will also visit the Tyne Cot Commonwealth Cemetery – the largest Commonwealth Cemetery, of any conflict, in the world. We then discuss the Battle of Passchendaele, with visits to the Crest Farm Memorial. We continue further to explore the German Cemetery of Langemark, and the ‘Brooding Soldier’ at St Julien, marking the place of the first gas attacks against the 1st Canadian Corps. Lastly, we take a visit to the Hooghe Crater, and Hill 62 – a small area of the original battlefield and part of the Canadian Front Line. This evening, we return to Ypres where you can enjoy exploring and dining in Ypres at your own pace.

Overnight: Ypres 4* Centrally Located or similar
Saturday, May 2nd

Today we drive north to Holland, as we continue to follow the First & Second World War story in Western Europe. Enroute, we explore the mobilization, occupation and liberation of Flanders through lively dioramas at the Canada Poland Museum. Upon our arrival into Arnhem, we will see the John Frost Bridge, (A Bridge Too Far). As we drive to our hotel along the Benedendorpsweg we will see some of the main sights of the Battle of Arnhem including the Stationsweg, the White House, Hackets Hollow, the Kate ter Horst house, Lonsdale church, and the original Railroad Bridge. We arrive in time for some rest and relaxation before our “Welcome Dinner”, where we will have the opportunity to meet other Canadian travelling companions.

Overnight: Van der Valk Hotel, Arnhem or similar
Sunday, May 3rd

After breakfast this morning, we make the drive to Lisse to visit the Keukenhof Gardens, Europe’s largest garden, home to 7 million tulip bulbs planted annually. After the war, the Dutch people and their Royal family expressed their thanks to Canada by sending thousands of tulip bulbs to Ottawa. The Gift of Tulips became a yearly tradition. Approximately 10,000 of the bulbs from the Keukenhof are gifted to Canada each year. After our visit to the gardens, we return to Arnhem for our dinner and overnight.

Overnight: Van der Valk Hotel, Arnhem or similar
Monday, May 4th

Ceremony at Canadian Military Cemetery in Holten

Today is Remembrance Day in the Netherlands. After breakfast, we depart for the Commemoration Ceremonies at the Commonwealth Military Cemetery in Holten. Before returning to our hotel for dinner, we will also get the opportunity to visit the Liberation Museum in Lochem and the Canadian Clubhouse, home to the 005 Canadian Legion of the Netherlands.

Overnight: Van der Valk Hotel, Arnhem or similar
Tuesday, May 5th

Liberation Parade in Wageningen

After breakfast, we depart for Wageningen, to take part in the Liberation Parade, celebrating 75 years since the liberation of the Netherlands. On May 5, 1945 German commander general Blaskowitz met with Canadian general Foulkes, here, at the Hotel de Wereld. There they negotiated the surrender document for all German forces in the Netherlands.

Overnight: Van der Valk Hotel, Arnhem or similar
Wednesday, May 6th

We begin our day with a visit to the Hartenstein Hotel, the HQ of the beleaguered Airborne Forces in Operation Market Garden – now a remarkable museum before heading to the city of Nijmegen for an orientation tour and lunch. This afternoon, we continue to Groesbeek with a visit to the Liberation Museum. We finish our day in the Canadian Military Cemetery of Groesbeek to pay our respects.

Overnight: Van der Valk Hotel, Arnhem or similar
Thursday, May 7th

Today we take the long drive to Zeeland to visit the Liberation Museum of Zeeland and Liberation Park to discuss the Battle of the Scheldt. Zeeland was the hardest-hit province in the occupation, and the effects of the Battle for the Scheldt were felt far beyond. This single operation cost the Canadians more casualties than any other operation during the whole of WWII. After our orientations we head to Yerseke to sample some of their world-renowned seafood for lunch. We end our day with a solemn visit to the Canadian War Cemetery of Bergen-Op-Zoom. Tonight, we return to Arnhem for our dinner and overnight.

Overnight: Van der Valk Hotel, Arnhem or similar
Friday, May 8th

VE DAY in Europe

Today marks the 75th anniversary of Victory Day in Europe. After breakfast this morning we will travel up to Friesland to visit the important Liberation towns of Leeuwarden and Groningen – both liberated by the 2nd Division in April of 1945. Both towns will be celebrating the 75th VE day in Europe with local festivities and events. Tonight, we return back at the hotel for our dinner and overnight.

Overnight: Van der Valk Hotel, Arnhem or similar
Saturday, May 9th

Apeldoorn Thank You Canada Celebrations

Today we join in on the 75th Liberation Celebrations in Apeldoorn – home of the ‘Thank You Canada’ static show. Witness displays of Old Army Cars at the Historic Army camp and witness the Dutch Schoolboard’s “Peace and Freedom” Presentation “Apeldoorn and the war”. Throughout the day we will also see various stage performances, and this evening, a static show with various hot air balloons. Tonight, we return to our hotel for our dinner and overnight.

Overnight: Van der Valk Hotel, Arnhem or similar
Sunday, May 10th

Depart for Home

This morning after breakfast we transfer to Amsterdam’s Schiphol International Airport for your flight departure home. A light lunch and snacks will be served onboard your flight.

  • Accommodations in superior tourist class (3-4 star) hotels
  • Executive motor coach with washroom/AC/tea/coffee
  • All entrances as per the itinerary
  • Breakfast (B) throughout and 12 dinners (D)
  • Online custom map kit and tour resource and information guide
  • Full-time experienced Battlefield Tour Manager
  • All surcharges, fees, and departure taxes

This tour is available from the following locations:

Departures from PEI

You can meet this tour in:

  • Charlottetown Airport
Departures from Nova Scotia

You can meet this tour in:

  • Halifax Stanfield International Airport
Departures from New Brunswick

You can meet this tour in:

  • Greater Moncton Romeo LeBlanc International Airport
  • Fredericton International Airport
Departure from other Canadian Provinces
  • Contact us for rates and options.
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Target Tours
Excellent orientation evening for Battlefield Tour. Patient and friendly staff answered my pre-tour questions. Tour very well organized. Saw and experienced so much on the tour. It exceeded my expectations! Thanks to all of you!
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