World War I was one of the most devastating armed conflicts in modern history; nearly ten million soldiers and just as many civilians lost their lives. The deployment of new weapons, such as machine guns and combat gases, brought violence to an unknown level. Soldiers had begun to protect themselves by digging trenches on all fronts, which would dominate the Western Front until 1918. On our 12-day Great War Tour, we are going to experience these new weapons and strategies, and we are going to walk the hallowed grounds of France and Belgium, where the bloodiest battles took place, and the outcome of this devastating war was decided. By the end of the tour, you will understand how the outcome of the „war to end all wars” led to World War II.
Passengers are greeted at the Brussels Airport and transferred to our hotel in Ypres, Belgium. After you got to know your fellow passengers at the orientation dinner, we start the tour by visiting the battlegrounds of Ypres which was of key importance throughout the war. The In Flanders Fields Museum and the surrounding battlefields with its monuments, trenches and sites such as Hill 62 or Kemmel American Monument makes the visitors face the consequences of the Great War. We pay our respect at the Flanders Field American Cemetery and will even participate in a moving ceremony at the Menin Gate.
We continue our tour by honoring the Canadian contribution to the war by visiting Vimy Ridge and the various sites of the surrounding battlegrounds, such as trenches, bunkers, and cemeteries. The next day we explore the Battle of the Somme, which, to this day, is for many Britts the most painful and infamous episode of this war. The Lochnagar Mine Crater Memorial, the Thiepval Memorial and Museum, and the Somme American Cemetery and Memorial show us the difficult but important efforts and sacrifices which would contribute to the Allied victory.
The Battle of Verdun was the longest and one of the deadliest battles of WWI, so visiting this stronghold is a must. As we visit the Verdun Museum, the Fort Douaumont and Fort Vaux, the Montfaucon American Monument and the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery and Memorial, it will become clear how this battle had a lasting effect not only on the French national consciousness but also on the strategic implications of the rest of the war. We will pay special attention to the sites dedicated to the American participation in the Allied efforts through a battlefield tour of the Chateau-Thierry American Monument, and the Belleau Wood Marine Monument. This WWI tour would not be complete without visiting Compiegne where the 1918 Armistice was signed. As the last stop of our tour, we will travel to Paris where we conclude over a farewell dinner. The next morning, after saying goodbye to our Passengers, we bring them to Charles de Gaulle Airport for their return flights.
Relax after a long flight and ease your mind knowing that your Tour Director will meet you at the airport on the first day of the tour, avoiding extra navigating and expensive taxi fares. With our all-inclusive tour package, we handle all the details of your tour, so you can focus on experiencing this trip of a lifetime. Sit back and let us wine and dine you as you explore history with our carefully planned itinerary, with all breakfasts, dinners and entrance fees included. You will sleep soundly each night at 4-star accommodations. Breakfasts are delicious and authentic, while the two-three course dinners are mix of buffet and limited menu dining options which offer a chance to taste some of the local wines or beers as well. This tour includes a 24/7 Tour Director and several local guides. Our dynamic, knowledgeable Tour Directors are with you from your arrival at the airport to departure on the final day. They proactively smooth the way for your entire tour experience. Our handpicked, trusted local guides are fluent in English and expert historians, who deliver their impressive wealth of knowledge, anecdotes, and local insights with skill that shows their years of research and experience. They always address topics onsite so that you get to experience history where it happened as they guide both popular destinations and obscure locations only the locals would know. Do not worry about availability, wait times, or ticket costs as all museum and site admissions are pre-arranged and included in the cost of our all-inclusive tours. On this tour you ride in style in our motorcoaches complete with climate control, video entertainment and extra leg room. Our skilled, professional drivers maximize your tour time by navigating the busiest highways and tightest country lanes, giving you more time at sites and less time subjected to the inflexible scheduling, delays and crowded areas that accompany public transport. For those who want to stay connected, Wi-fi is available at all our hotels and on all of our buses.