2018 Commonwealth Experience, WWI & WWII in France & Belgium

May 6th–May 11th, 2018

Normandy Beaches, The Somme, Vimy Ridge, Ypres Salient...2014 - 2018 World War I Centenary Commemorative Tours, Special Tours in Remembrance

6 days/5 nights from Paris

Experience the battle sites of both world wars, from the Normandy Beaches and Dieppe to the Great War reminders on the Somme and Ypres Salient. Our tour will trace the paths of the Commonwealth troops, focusing on the brave contributions of the American, Canadian and Australian divisions. Do you have a loved one who was lost here? Advise us and we will endeavour to incorporate sites of your personal interest, seeking out specific battle and/or grave sites as time and distance will permit.

Folks seeking to discover the experiences of a loved one may find our small, intimate journeys the way to go. Our guides are retired military and/or historians with a personal interest in the tours that they lead and each is a member of the Guild of Battlefield Guides.

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.

TENTATIVE ITINERARY

DAY ONE Sunday

We depart our Paris meeting point at approximately 9am, making our way to Normandy via a rare bit of motorway driving. We have today and tomorrow morning to explore and pay our respects to those brave soldiers who fought in the Normandy Beach Landings. We will follow the sites associated with American, Canadian, Australian and Commonwealth troops as appropriate to the group on board. Normandy locations can include the D-Day beaches Omaha, Utah, Juno, Pegasus Bridge, the Falaise Pocket, Authie, just North of the Caen-Bayeaux road where the first tank battles took place against the 12th SS Panzer Division. There’s the option of Ste Mere Eglise, where paratrooper John Steele got caught on the church steeple and home to the Iron Mike Memorial and US Airborne Forces. There’s Authie, where the first tank battles took place, where Kurt Meyer’s 25th SS Panzer Grenadiers encircled the Royal Winnipeg Rifles at Putot-en-Bassin, and the terrible experience at Abbaye d’Ardenne.

NIGHTSTOP Bayeux

 

DAY TWO Monday

We have another poignant day exploring the Normandy Landing Beaches. Later, discussing the battles of Operation Spring, we’ll take the coastal route to our overnight stop in Dieppe.

NIGHTSTOP Dieppe

 

DAY THREE Tuesday

Dieppe is where, on 19 August 1942, five thousand troops of the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division, along with a thousand British troops, attacked. The purpose was to make a successful raid on German-occupied Europe over water but the results were disastrous. Also today, we focus on the events of Operation Dynamo, the evacuation from Dunkirk and one of the most celebrated military events in British history.

This evening, we will arrive into Ypres in time to experience the moving Last Post Ceremony at the Menen Gate.

NIGHTSTOP Ypres

 

DAY FOUR Wednesday 

Today we focus on the sites around the Ypres Salient, perhaps the bloodiest of all Imperial held lines in the First World War. The many sites that make this such a special area include Hooghe, John McRea’s Essex Farm, Hill 60, PasschendaeleHill 62 and Tyne Cot Cemetery. Over a quarter of a million men gave their lives to hold this last bit of Belgium from the Germans. Although history records three great battles fought at Ypres, it was in fact a constant battle against shell, bullet, bomb, gas, water and rats.

NIGHTSTOP Ypres, as above

 

DAY FIVE Thursday

We’ll follow the western front trench line, across the Loos battlefield travelling the short distance to Vimy Ridge where it is generally agreed the Canadian Nation was forged over Easter 1917. Here you’ll have a guided tour the underground tunnels, hear in detail how this tremendous victory was achieved, and see the magnificent memorial.

Also on today’s itinerary will be a visit to Courcellete, scene of savage fighting in September 1916 during the Somme, and finally the town and museum at Albert.

NIGHTSTOP Albert/Amiens area

 

DAY SIX Friday

Today, we concentrate on the Somme battlefield. To most people the Somme signifies one day – July 1st 1916. That day the British Army suffered its greatest ever losses in a single day, nearly 60,000 casualties. The actual battle for the Somme raged until November of that year, and saw massive fighting again in 1918. What remains is truly awesome; sites seen today are sure to be etched into your consciousness forever. See Delville Wood, the Welsh memorial at Mametz Wood, the huge Lochnagar mine crater, the sunken road where the Accrington Pals were virtually wiped out, Sausage Valley and the Pozieres battlefield, an important site for Australians.

We will return to Paris by early evening, where our tour concludes. Accommodation is available separately tonight.

 

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 is an original SGT itinerary, property of Special Group Tours and to be used only with express permission/in conjunction with SGT.

 

Toll Free Tel: 1 866-725-5250
specialgrouptours@yahoo.com

$2699 USD per person twin/double; $3299 USD single rate

The services of a driver/guide for 6 touring days, accommodation for 5 nights while on the tour including breakfast daily and dinners as listed. Your price also includes entrance fees to listed attractions, transportation, services of driver/guide-companion and all taxes and tips other than those you may wish to give your guide.