Rotterdam – Antwerp – Dieppe – Caen – Paris
Welcome to Holland! Today you will arrive at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. After arrival you will depart for Lisse to visit the Keukenhof, the largest flower park in the world. Here you can admire a wide range of blooming tulips, daffodils and hyacinths. Stroll through the gardens, view the plantings in the three exhibition halls and walk up the windmill for a magnificent view over the bulb fields and its brilliant colors. You will have lunch on your own at Keukenhof. In the afternoon you will travel to Rotterdam for check in at your hotel. Dinner and overnight in Rotterdam area.
This morning you will enjoy a guided city tour through the city centre of Rotterdam. You will see some of the buildings that have escaped the bombing of WWII and also modern architecture like the Markthal (Market Hall), the Cube houses and many more. The city is the birthplace of Erasmus, the famous Dutch philosopher and theologian. During your visit you will note that the university and downtown bridge are both named after him. Afterwards you will explore Rotterdam and it’s docks by boat and view the impressive skyline from the water. Lunch included on board. Remainder of the afternoon at leisure. In the evening attend the WSO concert in Rotterdam. Dinner on your own and overnight Rotterdam area.
This morning you will depart for Belgium. Before arriving in Antwerp, you first will visit Fortress Breendonk Memorial Belgium in Willebroek. Belgium has not been spared the horror of Nazism and its concentration camps. The fortress of Breendonk is a striking example. It is one of the best conserved camps in Europe. After this moving visit you will travel to Antwerp. After lunch on your own you will enjoy a guided walking tour of the town centre. You will see the historic city with the Town Hall, the Cathedral of our Lady with the famous Rubens triptych, the Schelde quay and the Palace at the Meir. Dinner and overnight Antwerp area.
Today you will drive to Ypres in the Southwest of Belgium to learn more about WWI. You will get to know the history of battles in this area during a visit of the Flanders Field Museum in Ypres and Tyne Cot Cemetery. Tyne Cot is the largest Common Wealth cemetery in the world with 11956 graves and a visitor centre. You will also see the Brooding Soldier Memorial dedicated to 2000 Canadians who were killed during the first chemical attack and the Canadian Memorial at Crest Farm which commemorates the fallen Canadians during the 3rd Battle of Ypres. Travel back to Antwerp. In the evening attend the WSO concert in Antwerp.Dinner on your own and overnight Antwerp area.
This morning you drive to Vimy Ridge, where you will visit the Education Centre. See artifacts, photos and films on Canada’s involvement in WWI. Outside the Education Centre the restored trenches can be visited with a student guide (upon availability and depending on the weather). After lunch on your own you will drive from Vimy to Amiens. You will make an on route stop at the Ring of Remembrance, a unique memorial with the names of 579606 casualties from 40 nationalities fallen in WWI. Dinner on your own and overnight in Amiense.
Saturday May 9, 2020 – Caen
Early departure to Dieppe. Dieppe is the site of Operation Jubilee which is now known as the Dieppe Raid. After breakfast you will see several memorials and tributes commemorating to Operation Jubilee, like the Blue Beach at Puys and the Dieppe Cemetery. After lunch on your own you will head for Normandy. Here you will visit Café Gondrée and the Pegasus bridge. The bridges of Ranville and Bénouville were recaptured in the early hours of the night of the 5th to the 6th of June 1944 by the British 5th Parachute Brigade, whose emblem was Pegasus. The bridge over the canal was renamed Pegasus Bridge in memory of this great military feat. Travel onwards to the Canada House, one of the most iconic buildings in Canadian military history. It was one of the first houses liberated by Canadian soldiers on D-Day, 6 June 1944, and has since become a familiar historic landmark, standing in the backdrop of the many black-and-white photographs showing troops landing on the sands of Bernièressur-Mer. Dinner and overnight in Caen area.
Sunday May 10, 2020 – Paris
Today a local guide will take you to several important historical D-Day sites starting with a visit of Beny-sur-Mer Canadian Military Cemetery. After this memorable and moving visit you will tour the D-Day Landing Beaches, Longues-sur-Mer Gun Battery and the Juno Beach Centre. Here you will get an overview of the events on June 6th,1944 known as Operation Overlord. In the afternoon you will depart Normandy for Paris, where you will arrive early in the evening. Dinner en route or upon arrival in Paris. Overnight in Paris.Day 8
Monday May 11, 2020 – Paris
Get your cameras ready for a coach tour of the most photogenic city on earth. A local guide will show you the treasures of Paris, including views of the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Opera Garnier, Arc de Triomphe, the Champs Elysees, the Eiffel Tower and Place de la Concorde. Afterwards, you will visit the Paris Catacombs; here you go underground to the place where in the 18th century, the city started to “store” human remains as cemeteries were getting full and prone to disease. Another worthwhile visit is the Louvre museum where you will have a guided tour of the most famous exhibits like the Mona Lisa of Leonardo da Vinci and the Venus by Milo. In the evening head for the riverbank for a cruise on the Seine River including a farewell dinner. Dinner and overnight in Paris.
Tuesday May 12, 2020 – Departure
Today you will be transferred to Paris Charles de Gaulle International Airport for your flight home.
Starting at $4,310 CAD per person based on double occupancy for 8 nights including airfare
Single supplement $1105 – per person based on 7 nights
- 8 nights’ accommodation at 4-star hotels, based on double occupancy with private facilities on the room
- Daily breakfast
- Ruijs tour escort throughout the program
- Private deluxe coach according to the program
- Whisper systems throughout the tour
- Lunch cruise in Rotterdam and its docks (upon availability, sailing schedules 2020 not determined yet), day 2
- 4 x 3-course dinner at the hotel or a local restaurant, no drinks included, day 1, 3, 6 and 7
- Seine river cruise with a 3-course Farewell dinner on board, including water, 1 glass of wine and coffee or tea, day 8
- Guided city tour of Rotterdam by coach and on foot, day 2
- Guided visit of Fortress Breendonk in Willebroek, day 3
- Guided walking tour of Antwerp, day 3
- Guided visit to of the memorials commemorating Operation Jubilee in Dieppe, day 6
- Full day specialized D-Day and WOII guide in Normandy, day 7
- Guided city tour of Paris, day 8
- Guided visits of the Louvre Museum and Paris Catacombs, day 8
- Entrance to:
-the Cathedraal of Our Lady including Rubens triptych
-Flanders Fields Museum
-Pegasus Bridge Museum
-Juno Beach Centre
-Louvre Museum and the Paris Catacombs
- Luggage handling at the hotels in and out, 1 suitcase per person (upon availability)
- All taxes.
* Reservations for entrance and guided tours of the tunnels and trenches at Vimy Ridge can’t be made in advance. Guided tours and opening of the tunnels are subject to availability and can only be arranged on the spot
*Concert ticket costs are not included. Please advise us if you would like to participate and we will make sure to price these costs for you.
Suggested hotels (or similar):
Rotterdam 4-star Bilderberg Park hotel – May 4-6
Antwerp 4-star Lindner City Hotel & Lounge – May 6-8
Amiens 4-star Mercure Amiens Cathedral – May 8-9
Bayeux 4-star Novotel Bayeux – May 9-10
Paris 4-star Novotel Paris Tour Eiffel – May 10-12