Western Front to Normandy Tour 2018
Join our team led by Colonel Steve Larkins on this memorial tour to France and Belgium to visit the battlefields of the Western Front and the Normandy Campaign. This is a special tour developed for a very special purpose that we hope will, in a small way, make sure that those who fell on the Western Front and at Normandy are truly remembered.
Experience the Somme Region, Ypres Salient and the Normandy battlefields , visit war cemeteries and memorials with expert commentary at significant locations. Locate, visit and pay your respects at that particular site that is dear to your family or friends. Meet the local dignitaries who maintain our military heritage.
Cost: Tour from $4295.00 (13 days/ 12 nights) per person twin share, single supplement $550.00
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Thursday 13 September 2018 - PARIS: This is the day when we gather at our Paris hotel and are met by our Tour Leader. The remainder of the day and evening is free to relax and meet other guests for tomorrow we head north into The Somme.
14 September 2018 – PARIS to PERONNE: Following breakfast in our hotel we board our coach and depart our hotel at 0830. Those who do not stay the night at our Paris Hotel must be at our hotel by 0800 for our 0830 departure. On the way to the Somme area we will visit the area at Compiegne where the Armistice was signed ending the First World War. We will then continue to Bullecourt before heading to Peronne for a lunch break. After our lunch break we will attend the L’Historial de la Grande Guerre Museum for a briefing and visit. We will return to the museum for dinner but before then we will visit the location of the Battle for Mont St Quentin. After dinner we move into our hotel in Peronne. B/D
15 September 2018- THE SOMME: A very busy day as we will visit most of the areas of the 1916 battles including; Beaumont Hamel, Theipval, La Boiselle and ‘La Grand Mine’ Lochnagar, Pozieres, Mouquet Farm area and finally Delville Wood / Longeuval (South African Memorial) before we head back to our hotel for dinner. B/Boxed Lunch/D
16 September 2018 – THE SOMME: Advance to Victory 1918. We will firstly head over to Dernancourt where the German advance of March 1918 was halted and then follow the 1918 Campaign as far as Peronne.
After Dernancourt we head to Villers-Bretonneaux to visit The Adelaide Cemetery, Museum above the School and the Australian National Memorial. Lunch on the road and then moving further West we visit Le Hamel, Heath Cemetery and Proyart before heading on to our hotel for dinner. B/Boxed Lunch/D
17 September 2018 – THE SOMME: "To the Last Ridge" 1918: Today's visits will take us further to the west, to the last ridge where the Australians fought before through their last village coming out of the line on 5th October 1918. The Hindenburgh Line, Bellenglise, Bellicourt, the Riqueval Canal and High Tree Cemetery at Montbrehain will be visited before special visits to the American Cemetery at Bony and the German Cemetery at Maissemy. Following our last visits in this part of the Somme area we will head back to our hotel for dinner for tomorrow we head north towards Ieper. B/Boxed Lunch/D
18 September 2018 – THE SOMME to IEPER: An early start as we have much ground to cover for today. Our first area will be Arras to visit The Citadel 17th Century Fortress, La Mur de Fusilee, The Wellington Quarries and then on to Vimy Ridge before we break for lunch. After lunch we continue north to Fromelles and the area of that campaign including the new cemetery where many of those found in Pheasant Wood have finally been identified and placed in a marked grave. Following our visit to Fromelles we push further north to Ieper and settle into our hotel. Prior to dinner we will attend the Remembrance Service at the Menin Gate. Dinner in our hotel. B/Boxed Lunch/D
19 September 2018 – IEPER: The first of our two (2) days touring the Ieper Salient battles. Our first call will be to visit the Irish Peace Park where we can discuss the battle of Messines Ridge. Following our time at the Irish Peace Park we will move on to Ploegsteert Wood, Prowse Point –scene of the 1914 XMAS Truce, Toronto Cemetery - the only all Australian cemetery on the Western Front, Hill 60 ( The movie, Under Hill 60), Polygon Wood and finally back to Ieper for an opportunity to attend the Remembrance Service again at The Menin Gate. Dinner in our Hotel. B/Boxed Lunch/D
20 September 2018 – IEPER: Our last day in the Ieper Salient for tomorrow we head further north to Normandy. Dochy Farm is a good location to view from the starting line for the assault on Passchendaele before heading to Tyne Cot Cemetery which sits on the ground taken by the Australians. There are 11,000 graves in the cemetery including 2 Australian Victoria Cross winners. Following our visit we will travel along the Broodseinde Ridge and then visit Celtic Wood where will hear of an interesting action. We should then move on to Lissenthoek Hospital Cemetery where we can have a late lunch. After lunch we will head back into Ieper for those wishing to visit the Cloth Hall Museum. Dinner will be in our hotel. B/Boxed Lunch/D
21 September 2018 – IEPER to NORMANDY: We say farewell to Ieper as we head west to Saint Omer and then south west towards Normandy. Today we will be travelling quite a distance but with much to see before we arrive at our hotel in the Normandy area. B/Boxed Lunch/D
22 September 2018 – NORMANDY: Today we have the full day in the region and visit, Sword Beach, Pegasus Bridge, Strong Point Hillman, Caen and the Memorial Museum and more. B/Boxed Lunch/D
23 September 2018 – NORMANDY: Another full day in the region where this most important landing onto Germany’s Fortress Europe was the pivotal point that ensured final victory against Germany. However there was still much to do and when Hitler relented and allowed his armoured divisions to counterattack after midday, elements of the 21st Panzer Division drove into the gap between the British 3rd and Canadian 3rd divisions at Sword Beach and Juno Beach and almost reached the sea. Had they done so, the landings might have failed. Fierce resistance by British antitank gunners at Périers-sur-le-Dan turned the tide in late evening. As [part of our day in the region we hope to visit the site of this action. B/Boxed Lunch/D
24 September 2018 - NORMANDY: We stay in the region to visit many more historical sites including Omaha Beach, Pointe du Hoc, Port-En-Bassie and the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery at Bayeux. After another very memorable day we return to our hotel for a well deserved drink before dinner in our hotel. Tomorrow our tour group disperses. B/Boxed Lunch/D
25 September 2018 - NORMANDY to PARIS: This morning after breakfast in our hotel our coach will be returning most to Paris. Paris would be an ideal location to plan to travel on, CDG or Eurostar to London. Otherwise one can hire a car at Bayeux or Caen for individual travel. B
Your Tour Leader Colonel Steve Larkins
Colonel Steve Larkins served 30+ years with the Australian Army. He has hosted battlefield tours since 2008. Steve's military knowledge and familiarity with the sites you will visit is extensive.