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From tragic battles to tales of triumph, this special-interest exploration of two World Wars kicks off in the vibrant British capital of London. Meet your Travel Director and fellow companions this evening for a traditional English pub Welcome Reception.
Towering Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey feature on this half-day introductory sightseeing tour with a Local Specialist, which also includes views of Buckingham Palace. This afternoon, we visit the Imperial War Museum, which tells the story of those whose lives were shaped by war from World War I to today. See extensive archives and recordings, as well as a Spitfire that saw action in the Battle of Britain. Enjoy London after dark, spending your evening at leisure meandering along the Thames, riding the London Eye or watching the Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London.
We journey south to Portsmouth and leave British shores bound for Caen by ferry this afternoon. After dinner on the ferry, transfer to your hotel in Bayeux.
We journey to the historic D-Day Normandy landing beaches and learn about British, Commonwealth and American involvement in this unbelievable battle for supremacy. Later, we see the famous Bayeux Tapestry, depicting the Norman conquest of England.
Take yourself back to June 6, 1944. Imagine the terror and bravery of thousands of soldiers who landed on the beaches of Normandy to free Europe from the Nazis. This morning, we visit the Memorial de Caen to learn about the significance of Normandy and the day that changed World War II. You'll also receive a souvenir D-Day Landing beach booklet, before travelling to Paris, the City of Lights.
Join your Local Specialist to visit the remarkable church of Saint-Sulpice then delve into the lives of Parisians, wandering through the enchanting hidden squares and secret passages of one of Paris's oldest neighbourhoods. Our walking tour concludes in one of the city's loveliest squares which is a real favourite among the locals. Spend the rest of the day on your own to see the sights. Consider an Optional Experience to the opulent Palace of Versailles. This evening, you may wish to enjoy a traditional Parisian Cabaret.
The bloody battlefields of the Somme take centre stage today. Stop at Villers-Brettoneux to visit the memorial to Australian soldiers who lost their lives in WWI. Carry on to Thiepval to see the poignant memorial which honours the 72,337 missing British and South African men who died with no graves. We journey to Amiens for an evening at leisure.
Today we visit the memorial at Vimy Ridge dedicated to the Canadian soldiers, who fought a battle here in 1917. This horrific battle, and the bravery of the men who fought in it, came to symbolise Canada's coming of age as a nation. We then journey to Dunkirk, where Operation Dynamo miraculously saw over 330,000 Allied troops evacuated to Britain. We stop in Fromelles, where there was a combined operation between British troops and the Australian Imperial Force, described as the "worst 24 hours in Australia's entire history".
Some of the biggest battles of World War I are explored at Ypres Salient in Belgium, where we will see such sites as Tyne Cot, Langemark and Vancouver Corner. Stop in Passchendaele for an included visit to the Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917, where you can see a replica trench. See Essex Farm Cemetery where over 1,200 brave servicemen are buried and where Lt. Col. John McCrea wrote his immortal poem, 'In Flanders Fields'. Spend the rest of the day on your own, before making your way to Menin Gate to witness the moving Last Post Ceremony to pay tribute to over 100,000 soldiers who laid down their lives in war more than a century ago.
Travel to Bruges and perhaps try the delicious local chocolate and Belgium's famous frites - the perfect fried chip! Explore the cobblestone streets and medieval façades reflected in the still waters of the canals. Continue to Amsterdam, where we spend the next two nights.
Gabled townhouses dating back centuries and leafy canals provide a beautiful backdrop for our orientation tour. Enjoy free time afterwards to explore the city on your own. Later, we 'Dive Into Culture' and gain insights into the art of making cheese and wooden clogs, before we 'Connect With Locals', joining the Pauw family for a gezellig Be My Guest Farewell Dinner.
Say tot ziens to this magical city and the fields of bravery dotted across Western Europe at the end of a remarkable trip. Airport transfers are available. Conditions apply.
Optional Experiences are subject to change. Your Travel Director will supply you with a final list of Optional Experiences available on your trip. Optional Experiences cannot be booked online; they can be purchased during your trip through your Travel Director.
One of the oldest and most elegant revue theatres in Paris, Nouvelle Eve is a hidden gem, where you’ll meet the Director and two of the cast members before enjoying a four-course dinner with wine. You will then experience unparalleled Parisian entertainment – including the world-famous Can-Can.
Adult Price: €139
Paris at night is a city transformed. Enjoy this superb 'City of Light' on a leisurely cruise along the River Seine. Afterwards, as we drive through this amazing city, we’ll stop at some vantage points for you to capture the fascinating sights on camera. In summer, this trip may take place before sunset.
Adult Price: €38
Built for the Sun King, Louis XIV, the Palace of Versailles was the envy of every European ruler. Your Local Specialist will take you through the State apartments and famous Hall of Mirrors, with free time to stroll the symmetrical tree-lined gardens. Please note: this optional is subject to availability and involves reservation and entrance pre-payments. Cancellation within 24 hours will incur a 50% cancellation fee.
Adult Price: €65
Enjoy dinner and cabaret, including wine and champagne, at the world-famous Moulin Rouge – the original Paris cabaret. Immortalized by the award-winning film of the same name, this Parisian institution features 60 dancers and entertainers and over 1000 costumes!
Adult Price: €162
Join us for a delicious meal of Dutch specialities, including drinks, in the elegant surroundings of this historic house. Later you’ll board our private boat and glide gently along the canals, under picturesque bridges and past elegant town-houses built on the water's edge. This optional involves reservations and entrance prepayments. If you decide to cancel the optional a 50% cancellation fee will be incurred
Adult Price: €69
We'll take a short drive to imposing Muiderslot Castle, which will give us a real taste of Dutch history. It's part of Amsterdam's Defence Line and is UNESCO World Heritage Listed. During your guided tour, through rooms refurbished in 17th-century style, you'll imagine yourself in a Rembrandt painting as it evokes the period when Pieter Corneliszoon Hooft, known as the "Dutch Shakespeare," occupied the castle. We'll also enjoy a garden tour and a refreshment in a typical Dutch Inn is included.
Adult Price: €56
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