Canadian W. Front & Normandy

This is a generic itinerary designed to include the main sites of specific interest to Canadian groups from the Western Front, the Dieppe raid and Normandy .We custom-design each trip for the group concerned based on a combination of our own knowledge and contacts with those of the group organiser. We like to include some interaction with the people of one or more villages liberated by the Canadians and aim to include a ceremony and reception with the residents of that village.

We do not just attend the wreath-laying ceemonies at the Arc de Triomphe and the Menin Gate but arrange for group members to participate in the ceremonies.

Day 1 CANADA / PARIS

Meet group at CDG and transfer to Paris hotel.

Afternoon introductory sightseeing tour of Paris.

Day 2 PARIS

We can either organise sightseeing of your choice in Paris or you can have a day at leisure to spend how you choose. In the evening participate in the Ceremony of The Flame.

Day 3 PARIS /ARRAS (2 nights)

Drive to the Somme area. During our two days in the Somme area we will visit the main scenes of action involving Canadian forces including Flers-Courcelette, Thiepval Ridge, Le Transloy Ridge, Regina Trench, Ancre Heights and the excellent Newfoundland Memorial Park at Beaumont-Hamel. Our aim is also to arrange an annual event with the people of a village liberated by the Canadians in 1917 or 1918. We will also visit the best of the sites not specifically associated with Canadian forces including Lochnagar Crater and Ulster Tower.

Day 4 SOMME

Day 5 ARRAS –VIMY – YPRES (3 nights)

We will make a detailed visit to the memorials and tunnels of the Vimy Ridge, including a guided visit of the tunnels. If the group includes a priest or somebody able to conduct it, we will arrange for you to hold your own service. Your hotel in Ypres is situated in Hooghe, right on the Menin Road with craters, trenches and a pillbox in the hotel’s grounds.

Day 6 YPRES

A full day studying the Canadians’ participation at Ypres including Hill 60, Tor Top, Sanctuary Wood, Mount Sorrel, Passchendaele, John MaCrae’s dressing station and the 1916 gas attack. In the evening we will attend the Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate where two of our group will lay a wreath.

Day 7 WATERLOO AND MONS

Lion Mound, Quatre Bras (Napoleon’s HQ), Wellington’s HQ, Hougoumont Farm at Waterloo,

St.Symphorian Cemetery (grave of last soldier killed in WWI at 10:59 11/11/1918 who was Canadian) and monuments where first and last shots were fired at Mons.

Day 8 YPRES – DIEPPE – NORMANDY (1 night)

En route to Normandy we will stop at Dieppe where the ill-fated 1942 rate took place.

Day 9 NORMANDY (1 night on ferry)

The focus of our sightseeing today will be Juno Beach and the new museum there. We will also visit a selection of other D-Day-related sites including Pegasus Bridge and Arromanches before taking the night ferry to Portsmouth.

Day 10 LONDON

We will start the day with an introductory sightseeing tour on your own bus. The remainder of the day and tomorrow we will leave free for you to choose your own visits. Your tour director will be available to help.

Day 11 LONDON

Day 12 DEPARTURE

Transfer to Heathrow airport for your return flight to Canada.

We will do our best to incorporate a visit to any graves of importance to individual group participants, depending on their geographical situation.