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Vimy Ridge Centennial: World War History in Europe

11 days Special Event
Experience the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to participate in the 100th anniversary ceremonies of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, the event that cemented Canada’s national identity. Set out from Amsterdam and cross the former battlefields where brave soldiers gave their lives during the First and Second World Wars in the Netherlands, Belgium and France. Visit historic sites and memorials before ending your journey in Paris, and return home with a new appreciation for our shared heritage.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Tour group size: 18 - 35 travelers

Tour pace: You will walk for about 1.5 hours daily across moderately uneven terrain, including paved roads and dirt paths, with some hills and stairs.

There's still a chance to be at the center of the Vimy Ridge Centennial celebrations. Save your spot on a second departure of this tour.

See the tour

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Your tour includes

  • 9 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 1 lunch, 4 three-course dinners with beer or wine

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Guided sightseeing and select entrance fees

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Amsterdam.

Amsterdam 2 nights Hotel info

Day 2: Arrival in Amsterdam

  Included meals: Dinner

Welcome to Amsterdam! Meet your fellow travelers at tonight’s welcome dinner.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Amsterdam

  Included meals: Breakfast

A panoramic tour introduces you to Amsterdam’s iconic canals and unique character.

• Stroll by the canals and bridges, taking in the houseboats that dot the banks

• View Dam Square, home of many landmarks including the neoclassical Royal Palace, the 15th-century New Church and the National Monument

• Enter the Anne Frank House, where the young girl and her family hid during the Second World War 

Enjoy a free evening in Amsterdam or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Canal Cruise & Dinner $115pp* Details

Cruise along the canals of Amsterdam on a houseboat, enjoying the view of row houses lit up for the night. Your cruise will take you through the center of the city as you enjoy dinner by lantern light.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $125)

Vimy Region 3 nights Hotel info

Day 4: Vimy Region via Bergen op Zoom & Mechelen

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Travel to the Vimy region today, making several stops along the way. 

• Visit the city of Bergen op Zoom to learn about its history as one of the sites of the Battle of the Scheldt, an important military campaign for the Canadian First Army during the Second World War

• Continue on to the Belgian city of Mechelen to enter the Kazerne Dossin, a Memorial, Museum and Documentation Centre on the Holocaust and Human Rights

Day 5: 100th Anniversary Ceremonies of Battle of Vimy Ridge

  Included meals: Breakfast

Travel to the town of Arras today, where you’ll have time to join activities and explore special booths commemorating this historic event. Then, participate in the official 100th anniversary ceremonies of the Battle of Vimy Ridge at the site where the Allied forces fought.

Day 6: Sightseeing tour of the Vimy Region

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Continue your exploration of the Vimy region today on a sightseeing tour led by a local guide.

• Visit the Vimy Ridge Memorial, a national historic site of Canada 

• Participate in the Vimy Pilgrimage Medal Presentation

• Explore the Vimy tunnels

• View the Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial, which honours the sacrifices made by the Royal Newfoundland Regiment

(Please note: The order and contents of activities on today’s itinerary is subject to change due to ongoing 100th anniversary events. If the Vimy site is closed, you will travel to Ypres, Belgium to visit the Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917, In Flanders Fields Museum, Canadian Hill 62 Memorial at Sanctuary Wood and Tyne Cot Cemetery.)

Spend a free evening in the Vimy region or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Menin Gate Last Post Ceremony $59pp* Details

Travel to Ypres, a Belgian town that was hit hard by the First World War. Make your way to the Menin Gates Memorial, where you’ll attend a moving tribute to the more than 300,000 Allied soldiers who fell here. You’ll witness local buglers play the Last Post at a ceremony that happens daily.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $69)

Normandy Coast 2 nights Hotel info

Day 7: Transfer to the Normandy Coast

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Travel through the cities and pristine port towns of France on your way to the Normandy coast.

Day 8: Full day excursion to the Normandy Coast

  Included meals: Breakfast

Set out to explore the Normandy region, making  several stops to uncover historic sites as you go.  

• Visit the Bény-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery, the burial place of many Canadian soldiers who fought during the beginning of the Battle of Normandy

• Enter the Juno Beach Centre

• Explore the seaside town of Arromanches

• Enter the D-Day Museum, which highlights the events of June 6, 1944, when Allied forces landed on the beaches of Normandy

Paris 2 nights Hotel info

Day 9: Paris via Dieppe

  Included meals: Breakfast

Travel to Paris today, stopping en route to visit the town of Dieppe with your Tour Director leading the way. 

• See the Canadian Memorial, which chronicles the events of the Dieppe Raid in August of 1942

• Visit the Dieppe Canadian War Cemetery, where Allied soldiers killed in the Dieppe Raid were laid to rest

Later, arrive in Paris and enjoy a free evening or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Dinner in Paris & Seine River Cruise $115pp* Details

Take in the nighttime allure of the City of Light on a special evening excursion. The event begins with dinner at a local restaurant. After you dine, board a boat cruise along the Seine. As you coast along the river and under Paris’ bridges, you’ll behold the illuminated monuments of the city glittering alongside the riverbanks. Please note: The dress code may vary depending on the restaurant for your dinner. Your Tour Director will advise you on what to wear, but shorts and sneakers are likely to be considered inappropriate attire.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $125)

Day 10: Sightseeing tour of Paris

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

A guided tour introduces you to the architecture, scenery and history of the City of Light’s many neighborhoods, called arrondissements.

• Drive down the sycamore-lined Champs-Élysées to view the Arc de Triomphe

• Pass Pont Neuf and the legendary Notre-Dame Cathedral, located on an island in the Seine River

• See the Eiffel Tower, the Palais Garnier opera house and Place de la Concorde, the city’s grandest square

• Marvel at the iconic architecture of the Louvre and Hôtel des Invalides

Enjoy a farewell dinner with your fellow travellers this evening.

Day 11: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Add London Starting from $459 pp

Please note: Extension is not available on all departure dates.

A city that loves to be explored, London beckons with world-class (and often free) museums and galleries, quirky shops, outstanding restaurants, royal pageantry, charming neighborhoods, and an unconquered heritage with more than 2,000 years of history.

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to London today

London 3 nights

Day 2: Arrival in London

  Included meals: Breakfast

Welcome to England! Today is free for you to begin your discoveries in London.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of London

  Included meals: Breakfast

Take a guided tour of London’s regal landmarks with a local expert leading the way.

• Pass the grand Trafalgar Square and Baroque-style St. Paul’s Cathedral, perched atop Ludgate Hill

• See Westminster Abbey, the setting for royal coronations and weddings

• View icons like Big Ben, the London Eye and the Tower of London

• Stop by Buckingham Palace, where you may catch the Changing of the Guard

Enjoy a free afternoon in London or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Windsor Castle $99pp* Details

Led by a Blue Badge Guide, you’ll travel to Windsor for a guided tour of the world’s largest and longest inhabited castle. Founded by William the Conqueror in 1070, Windsor has been the British Royal Family’s preferred retreat for the past 900 years. Step inside the State Apartments and St. George’s Chapel, where the Knights of the Garter ceremony takes place. View the exhibit of royal treasures on display within the castle. You’ll then have time to stroll through the town of Windsor and have a look at Eton College, a prestigious prep school attended by Princes William and Harry. Please note: Windsor Castle is occasionally closed when in use by the Royal Family; a visit to Henry VIII’s Hampton Court will be substituted when necessary. Additionally, St. George’s Chapel is closed to the public on Sundays. This excursion requires advanced reservation and must be booked by 20 days prior to departure.

Must be booked 20 days before departure

Day 4: Free day in London

  Included meals: Breakfast

Spend a full free day in London or add an excursion.

Amsterdam for a day

Day 5: Transfer to Amsterdam

  Included meals: Breakfast

Board the Eurostar high-speed train and be whisked off to Amsterdam, where you will meet up with the rest of your group today (day 2 of the regular itinerary).

How's the weather?

  • Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Paris, France
Temperature Precipitation
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Passport & visa requirements

This tour includes the following countries: The Netherlands, Belgium and France. In order to enter these countries, Canadian and U.S. citizens need a valid passport. The expiration date must extend at least six months beyond the date of your return home. No visa is required for Canadian or U.S. citizens. If you are not a Canadian or U.S. citizen, you must contact each country’s consulate for your particular entry requirements.

Airport & departure taxes

If you’ve purchased your flights with Go Ahead, all airport and departure taxes for this tour are included in the total trip cost printed on your invoice.

Baggage allowance

Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage; be advised that you are responsible for any such costs. Contact your airline for detailed information regarding luggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but please note that Go Ahead travellers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other internal transfers, which may include train connections or flights. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 total inches (length + width + height). Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on bag.

Clothing & packing tips

To ensure you’re comfortable while out exploring, we recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered. For sightseeing, we suggest bringing a sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers, as well as a lightweight sports jacket or rainwear. If you’re planning a visit to a high-end restaurant or performance, you may also want to bring dressier attire. Also, please remember that it’s preferable to avoid showing bare legs or shoulders during visits to churches or other religious sites (entrance may be denied on this basis). 

During the 100th anniversary ceremonies on day 5 of this tour, you may be standing for over an hour. We recommend packing a folding travel chair if you’d like to get off of your feet during the event. You can purchase a collapsible stool that fits in a standard suitcase online or in the camping section of your local department store.

Health

There are no major health risks associated with travelling on this tour. However, it is always advisable to check with your doctor or health care provider for the latest updates.

Cuisine

In the Netherlands, the universal staples of beef, chicken and fish are prepared in a simple fashion, and substantial soups and stews are also very popular. Snack food might be less familiar, where the emphasis is on fish. You might try maatje, raw green herrings served with onions. Also popular are pancakes, french fries, doughnuts and waffles served from street stands. 

Cuisine in the Normandy region of France is known for its fresh flavors. Chicken, rabbit and duck are staples, and you can find fish and shellfish in its coastal towns. The abundance of dairy farms throughout the region means many dishes are accompanied by cheeses and creams. Normandy is also famous for its apples, which are used to create cider and calvados, or apple brandy. 

In Paris, you’ll find endless opportunities to sample wonderful food at every price range. For the most casual snack or picnic, stop at a small grocery store for cheeses, patés, cured meats, fresh-baked bread and fruit. Sidewalk vendors are known for their steaming crepes, filled with cheese, ham, fruit or chocolate. Mouthwatering pastries and hot café au lait beckon from the cafes.

Transportation

Flights arrive in Amsterdam and depart from Paris. Included transportation on this tour is by private motor coach. In your free time, most locations are best accessed on foot. Amsterdam has a user-friendly bus and tram system. Paris’ massive Métro is world-class, easy to navigate and efficient. Make sure to take time and look for the best deal on travel passes. Ask your Tour Director which one might work best. Often the daily passes are not actually the best deal. 

Electricity

All destinations on this tour operate on the European standard 220 volts.

Time zones

The Netherlands, Belgium and France are one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and six hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST). When it’s noon in Toronto, it’s 6pm in these countries.

Currency

The euro is the currency you’ll be using on your tour. Better rates of exchange are usually available overseas, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. We strongly advise that you take debit/bank cards and credit cards, which can be used to withdraw cash at local banks, as needed. You can use most debit/credit cards at ATMs on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees. We suggest that you inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.

Tipping

At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity. We recommend tipping in your tour country’s currency, the equivalent of $3CAD/USD per person per day for your driver and $6CAD/USD to $9CAD/USD per person per day for your Tour Director. If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD/CAD per local guide. Tips can only be paid in cash. Please keep current local currency exchange rates in mind when tipping.

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