Normandy Beaches, The Somme, Vimy Ridge, Ypres Salient...2014 - 2018 World War I Centenary Commemorative Tours, Special Tours in Remembrance
6 days/5 nights
They came between 1914 and 1918, from across the seas in answer to the desperate call of the Motherland. They came as representatives of a dominion; they left as representatives of a new Nation. Then in 1939 they again heeded the call, this time to help liberate Europe from the Nazi horde.
This tour visits some of the most memorable and important sites where young Canadians fought and died for their new county’s honour and the countries of their ancestors. Their ferocity and courage, on both land and in the air, earned them legendary status. They were often ‘shock troops’ who achieved victories where others had failed. The names of the various sites are etched into Canadian history for all time; Vimy Ridge, St Julien, Juno Beach, Coucellette are but a few. This is as much a pilgrimage as a tour, honouring those whose actions helped forge a nation.
SGT has chosen to present our commemorative 2017 tour just prior to the special ceremony events so guests can choose to attend (or not) independently.
Vimy Ridge 2017 Anniversary: 09 April, 2017
Passchendaele 2017 Anniversary: 12 October, 2017
This tour begins and ends in Paris. SGT recommends enhancing your touring adventure by spending some independent pre/post-tour time exploring this wonderful capital city independently. We are happy to assist you with incoming journey if you wish. Please ask us for details.
ALSO AVAILABLE FOR PRIVATE/CUSTOM DEPARTURES: If you have a personal interest following the path of a fallen loved one, have a student group, are a history buff or even if you are just curious about learning about these events that changed history, please come and join us on what is sure to be a poignant, informative and enjoyable journey of discovery.
Day 1 The Somme
Depart our Paris meeting point at 09:00.
What remains of The Somme battlefield is truly awesome. There are sites seen that will be etched into your consciousness forever. Cover major sites from the calamitous first day through the whole five months of the battle, and then look at some of the events of 1918 – our focus is on the xperience of the Canadian troops. See Delville Wood, Courcellette, site of the first major use of tanks supporting Canadian troops, and the nearby the tank memorial. Explore Albert, the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing and the Ulster Tower. An undoubted highlight is sure to be the guided walk around the incredible preserved Beaumont Hamel battlefield site.
ON Albert/Amiens area
Day 2 Vimy Ridge
This morning, we have additional time around The Somme before making our way to Vimy.
For Canadians Vimy Ridge is sure to be undoubted poignant highlight of the tour. Subject to availability, we take a tunnel and trench tour and spend time at the massive and imposing Vimy memorial. Also see sites in and around the pretty city of Arras connected with the huge battle of 1917. If time, also see the recently discovered underground tunnels and the French National memorial at Lorrette de Notre Dame.
ON Ypres area
Day 3 Ypres Salient
Today, Canadian involvement in perhaps the bloodiest of all Imperial held lines, the Ypres Salient. Here visit the many sites that make this such a special area for Canadians, including Hoogt, John McRea’s Essex Farm, Passchendaele, Hill 60, the Princess Pat’s memorial, St Julien, site of the first gas attack of modern warfare, Vancouver Corner, Maple Copse, Passchedaele and Tyne Cot Cemetery.
We will arrive back into Ypres town in time for the moving last post ceremony at the Menen Gate.
ON Ypres as above
Day 4 Dieppe
Today we follow the Canadians as they fought tooth and nail along the Atlantic Wall. Our destination is Dieppe. Here, on 19 August 1942 five thousand troops of the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division, along with a thousand British troops, many of them commandos, attacked the French port of Dieppe. The purpose was to make a successful raid on German-occupied Europe over water, and then to hold Dieppe briefly. The results were disastrous. Visit the Canadian cemetery and actual beach battle site.
ON Dieppe area
Day 5 Normandy D-Day Beaches
Via the coastal route to Normandy, we then commence our visit to the D-Day Landing Beaches, the memorial and museum at Juno Beach. Follow the battle from the initial beach landing finding memorials and plaques en route. Appropriate will include Bene Cemertary, Carpique, and the town of Courseulles-sur-Mer where troops engaged in house-to-house combat before liberating it. There’s Authie, just North of the Caen-Bayeux road, where the first tank battles took place against the 12th SS Panzer Division. The German tanks are far superior to the Canadians. See where Kurt Meyer’s 25th SS Panzer Grenadiers encircled the Royal Winnipeg Rifles at Putot-en-Bassin, and the terrible Abbaye d’Ardenne where Canadians prisoner, most of whom wounded, were shot or bayoneted to death.
Day 6 Bayeux & Normandy D-Day Beaches
Today explore the Normandy Beaches, before making our way back into Paris late afternoon. In addition to the poignant battlefields, as guests wish, some time today to see the medieval city of Bayeux. This beautifully restored city offers the famed tapestry, a fine cathedral and several lovely shops and cafes.
Our tour concludes in Paris at approximately 19:00.
Please Note: All attraction opening times are correct at time of printing this website. While we do our utmost to include all properties, we reserve the right to change an attraction should it become impossible to visit due to change in opening times, days.
Oft imitated, never duplicated! This itinerary is an original SGT itinerary, property of Special Group Tours and to be used only with express permission/in conjunction with SGT.