Combined WW1 & WW2 Tour 12 days/ 11 nights

This 12 day tour will cover the Major Sites and Battles of northern France & Belgium and Normandy, France

Learn all about the important battles of WW1 & WW2 with your private guide/historian. This is an extensive tour that covers both Wars in one single tour. You will visit Hill 60, Tyne Cot, Essex Farm and be at the Menin Gate for the 8pm Last Post bugle. Visit the Somme, Villers Bretonneux and the region of Picardie.

From here you will head to Normandy for a visit to the D-Day Beaches and learn about the WW2 Battles that took place here. We’ll also take a day tour to Le Mont Saint Michel, a truly magnificent cathedral to see.

Groups of only 8 people. Give Destination Artisans a call today.

DAY 1 – Arrival

Upon your arrival at Paris CDG airport, you will make your own way to your hotel, the Hotel Mercure Paris CDG Airport & Convention. Tonight you will meet your WW1 guide and tour escort for the first half of your tour.

Enjoy a welcome dinner tonight (included).

DAY 2 – Full day touring transfer to Belgium

After breakfast and checking out, today’s itinerary includes :

Messines (Mesen, Belgium) – The Battle of Messines from 7-14 June 1917 was one of the most successful Allied battles of the war on the Western Front. Troops from across the British Empire took part and the 16th (Irish) and 36th (Ulster) Division fought alongside one another for the first time.

Hill 60 – The Battle of Hill 60 took place near Hill 60 south of Ypres on the Western Front, during the First World War. Hill 60 had been captured by the German 30th Division on 11 November 1914, during the First Battle of Ypres

 

Polygon Wood – The Battle of Polygon Wood took place from 26 September to 3 October 1917, during the second phase of the Third Battle of Ypres in the First World War. The battle was fought near Ypres in Belgium, in the area from the Menin road to Polygon Wood.

 

Tyne Cot – Tyne Cot Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery and Memorial to the Missing is a Commonwealth War Graves Commission burial ground for the dead of the First World War in the Ypres Salient on the Western Front. It is the largest cemetery for Commonwealth forces in the world, for any war.

 

Langemarck – The Battle of Langemarck (16–18 August 1917) was the second Anglo-French general attack of the Third Battle of Ypres, during the First World War. The battle took place near Ypres in Belgian Flanders, on the Western Front against the German 4th Army.

Essex Farm – Near a village called Boezinge, north of Ieper in Belgium is Essex Farm Cemetery where more than 1,000 servicemen of the First World War are buried.

 

At the end of the touring day we will check in to the Ariane Hotel in Ypres.

 

Ariane is a family-run hotel offering modern rooms including a buffet-style breakfast, a 7- minute  walk  from Ypres’  historical  centre  with  the Menin  Gate and  the  In  Flanders Fields Museum. This hotel is surrounded by gardens with a pond, a secluded terrace and a petanque square. The air-conditioned rooms at this hotel feature classic décor and cable TV. All of the rooms at Ariane Hotel also include a minibar, a Nespresso coffee machine and tea facilities.

 

The Menin Gate, where the Last Post is played each evening, is 750 m away.

 

8.00 PM Menin Gate Ceremony – After dinner we will attend the Last Post ceremony which takes place every evening at 8 o’clock at the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing in Ypres (Ieper)

 

DAY 3 – Full day touring of the Somme

After breakfast and checking out, today’s itinerary includes :

Fromelles (VC Corner, Cobbers Sculpture, Australian Cemetery,  Memorial Museum) –

The attack on Fromelles on 19 July 1916 was the first major battle fought by Australian troops on the Western Front. It was designed to prevent the Germans reinforcing their troops on the Somme, where the Allies had launched a major offensive on 1 July.

Vimy Ridge – The Battle of Vimy Ridge was part of the Battle of Arras, in the Nord-Pas-de- Calais region of France, during the First World War. The main combatants were the four divisions of the Canadian Corps in the First Army, against three divisions of the German 6th Army

Bullecourt – In the Second Battle of Bullecourt, the Australians and British fought alongside each other. They took the German trenches, despite counter-attacks and artillery bombardment. The two battles had a significant impact on the Australian Imperial Force.

Tonight you will overnight in Albert, at the Hotel Royal Picardie. Set in the heart of the Picardie region, Hôtel Royal Picardie offers accommodation with free WiFi, a garden and a restaurant.

The soundproofed rooms feature a TV with satellite channels and a desk. The en suite bathrooms are equipped with a bath or shower and a hairdryer.

Guests can relax at the bar with a drink or play a game of billiards. The hotel offers boat excursions on the river Somme and bicycle rental is also available on site. There is also an onsite restaurant. 

Nearby attractions include the Somme 1916 Museum which is a 10-minute walk away from Hôtel Royal Picardie.

DAY 4 – Full day touring of the Somme

blankToday’s itinerary includes :

Somme 1916 – The Battle of the Somme, also known as the Somme Offensive, was a battle of the First World War fought by the armies of the British Empire and French Third Republic against the German Empire. It took place between 1 July and 18 November 1916 on both sides of the upper reaches of the River Somme in France.

 

Lochnagar Crater – The Lochnagar mine south of the village of La Boisselle in the Somme département was an underground explosive charge, secretly planted by the British during the First World War, ready for 1 July 1916, the first day on the Somme.

 

Pozieres, Thiepval – The Battle of Pozières (1916 (Newfoundland Memorial Park) costly fighting ended with the British in possession of the plateau north and east of the village, in a position to menace the German bastion of Thiepval from the rear.

 

Newfoundland Memorial Park – Newfoundland Memorial Park is a site on the Somme battlefield near to Beaumont Hamel. It’s tragic part in the action of 1 July 1916 is remembered through this memorial park. The site is also a memorial to all the Newfoundlanders who fought in the First World War, most particularly those who have no known grave. The park does, nevertheless, preserves the memory of the men of the many other regiments from the French, British and German Armies who fought and died on this part of the Somme battleground from September 1914 into 1918.

 

Fricourt German Cemetery – Fricourt German war cemetery is near the village of Fricourt, near Albert. Most of the fallen were members of the Imperial German 2nd Army.

 

If you wish to visit the Musée Somme 1916. This is an underground museum exploring a soldier’s life during WWI with tours, battlefield artifacts & a shop.

 

Overnight at the Hôtel Royal Picardie.

DAY 5 – Full day touring of the Somme

blankAfter breakfast and checking out, today’s itinerary includes:

Villers Bretonneux (Victoria School, Memorial, Sir John Monash Centre) – One small village in France will forever remember the sacrifice of the young Australians who saved them from German occupation and potential destruction in 1918.

Le Hamel – The Battle of Hamel (4 July 1918) was a successful attack by Australian Army and US Army infantry, supported by British tanks, against German positions in and around the town of Le Hamel.

Mont St Quentin 2nd Division Memorial – Mont Saint-Quentin Australian war memorial, located in Mont Saint-Quentin region of Picardy, is an Australian First World War memorial.

Overnight at the Hôtel Royal Picardie.

DAY 6 – Transfer to Rouen

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After breakfast and checking out, this morning we say goodbye to our WW1 guide Jon and head off to Normandy with an overnight stop in Rouen.

Upon arrival in Rouen, the remainder of the afternoon is at your leisure.

See the Cathédrale, the Eglise Sainte-Jeanne d’Arc and the médiéval clock. Rouen is the historic capital city of Normandy, in northern France on the River Seine, and currently the capital of the Haute-Normandie (Upper Normandy) region. Once one of the largest and most prosperous cities of medieval Europe, Rouen was the seat of the Exchequer of Normandy in the Middle Ages. It was one of the capitals of the Anglo-Norman dynasties, which ruled both England and large parts of modern France from the eleventh century to the 15th century. It was in Rouen where Joan of Arc was burnt in 1431.

You will overnight at the Best Western Hôtel Littéraire Gustave Flaubert. Situated in the historic centre of Rouen, Best Western Hôtel Littéraire Gustave Flaubert offers accommodation with a literary theme in honour of the writer Gustave Flaubert.

A flat-screen TV with satellite channels is included in each of the elegant rooms. All rooms have private bathrooms, and some feature iPod docking stations.

Breakfast is served every morning and can be enjoyed in the breakfast area or in the comfort of guest rooms. Guests are invited to relax in the hotel’s cocktail lounge. The hotel is situated across the street from a number of French and international restaurants.

Notre Dame Cathedral of Rouen is just a 10-minute walk from the hotel and the Musée des Beaux Arts de Rouen is 800 m away.

DAY 7 – Transfer to Caen

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After breakfast and checking out, we will make an early start to Caen where we will meet your WW2 guide and start our tour of the WW2 Battlefields.

 

First up you will visit the Caen Memorial Museum which will give you a good overall understanding and the best transition to go from WW1 to WW2.

 

From Caen you will be transferred to Bayeux, check in to your hotel, and then you will have free time to visit the Bayeux Tapestry and Cathedral.

 

The Hotel Churchill. Situated on a pedestrian street in the heart of the historic centre, this hotel is just 400 m from the Bayeux Tapestry Museum. It offers 24-hour reception, an on-site bar and a gift shop with gourmet products from the region.

 

The guest rooms have a flat-screen TV with international channels. Each has free WiFi, air conditioning and a private bathroom.

A continental breakfast is available every morning. Guests can also sample dishes from a range of cafes and restaurants in the streets surrounding the hotel.

DAY 8 – Full day touring of the D-Day Beaches

blankToday’s itinerary includes :

UTAH Beach – Utah beach where the 4th Division headed by General Barton and Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt, assistant divisional commander who accompanied the first wave, were beached.

Pont du Hoc – The German battery at La Pointe du Hoc was considered to have been one of the most important targets for the Allies on D-Day. The battery here was strategically positioned halfway between the US landing beaches of Omaha and Utah. Pointe du Hoc was with a 30-m straight cliff face the highest point between these two beaches – silencing the guns here would have been vital for the landing operation’s success.

Omaha Beach – Omaha beach where you will have two stops at the location of German gun locations and we will see the guns still there including the deadly 88 mm.

American Cemetery – You will end this day program at the Normandy American Cemetery at Colleville-Sur-Mer, which will be the most significant part of the tour, where almost 10,000 American casualties are at rest.

DAY 9 – Full day touring of the D-Day Beaches

blankToday’s itinerary includes :

Bayeux War Cemetery – The Bayeux War Cemetery is the largest Second World War cemetery of Commonwealth soldiers in France. The cemetery contains 4,648 burials, mostly of the Invasion of Normandy.

 

Mulberry Harbour at Arromanches – Remains of the artificial harbours invented for the Allied invasion of Normandy can still be seen at sea.

 

Landing Beaches (Gold Beach, Juno Beach, Sword Beach ) – The major D-Day Landings began in the early morning of 6 June. The Allies had divided the 60-mile coastal stretch chosen for the invasion into five sectors, codenamed Sword, Juno, Gold, Omaha and Utah. On the eastern side, British forces were predominant at Sword and Gold, while Canadians led at Juno. Out west at Omaha and Utah, it was American forces who landed. D-Day has come to be seen as a great triumph, but that didn’t mean the Allies who landed here didn’t encounter tough German resistance and suffer some terrible tragedies from the start.

Pegasus Bridge – The Pegasus Bridge at Bénouville was renamed in honour of the British soldiers who captured it, making the bridge the first objective taken by Allied troops after the Landing in Normandy on June 6, 1944.

DAY 10 – Full day touring to Le Mont St Michel

blankMeet your guide for your day trip to Le Mont Saint-Michel. Built from pure hard granite, it has resisted the passage of time. Le Mont Saint Michel was built as a medieval castle. It has two large towers to defend the entrance to the castle. St. Michael is a surety for freedom and thus this sanctuary also became a symbol of the allied landing in Normandy during the Second World War.

DAY 11 – Full day touring transfer to Paris

blankBritish 6th Division Landings – Operation Tonga was the codename given to the airborne operation undertaken by the British 6th Airborne Division between 5 June and 7 June 1944 as a part of Operation Overlord and the D-Day landings during World War II.

Merville Battery – The Battle of Merville Gun Battery occurred on 6 June 1944, as part of Operation Tonga, part of the Normandy landings, during the Second World War. Allied intelligence believed the Merville Gun Battery was composed of heavy-calibre guns that could threaten the British landings at Sword Beach, only 8 miles (13 km) away.

Enjoy a seafood lunch at Trouville (included) on the Flower Coast and some free time to look around before we head back to Paris. Time to say farewell to your guide Geoffrey.

Tonight you will overnight in Paris at Les Grands Hommes. Set in an 18th-century building opposite the Panthéon, this hotel is 400 m from the Luxembourg Garden. It has a 24-hour reception with a tour desk and a ticket service. Each air-conditioned guest room is equipped with cable TV, free Wi-Fi access and a minibar. All of the soundproofed rooms have an Empire- style décor and some feature a balcony. A continental breakfast is served every morning at the Hôtel des Grands Hommes Panthéon. Guests can enjoy a drink in the hotel bar.

DAY 12 – Farewell

Tour package includes

  • Tour Escort throughout the trip
  • Private WW1 and WW2 war historian guides
  • Entrance tickets to Bayeux Tapestry, Caen and Arromanches Museums
  • 1 dinner + 1 lunch
  • 1 nights accommodation in a Superior room in a double/twin share basis at the Mercure CDG hotel including breakfast and city tax
  • 1 nights accommodation in a double/twin share room at the Ariane Hotel in Ypres including breakfast and taxes
  • 3 nights accommodation in a double/twin share room at the Royal Picardie Albert including daily breakfast and taxes
  • 1 nights accommodation at the Best Western Rouen in a Comfort room in a double/twin share basis including daily breakfast and city tax
  • 4 nights accommodation at the Churchill Hotel Bayeux in a Superior room on a twin/double share basis including daily breakfast and city tax
  • 1 nights accommodation at Les Grands Hommes in a Superior room in a double/twin share room including breakfast and city tax
  • Minivan throughout entire itinerary
 

Tour package does not include

  • Minibar charges, meals and beverages unless otherwise noted in the itinerary.
  • Entrance Fees (unless otherwise noted in the itinerary)
  • Guide and Driver gratuities (discretionary)
  • Single supplement (price on demand)
 

Payment / Cancellation Terms

  • 35% deposit at time of booking and 100% payment 60 days prior to trip
  • Cancellation penalties: 35% over 61 days, 50% 31-60 days and 100% 30 days or less prior to commencement of trip.
  • Travel Insurance is recommended.
 

Please Note: If you have problems with allergies or dietary restrictions, please advise at time of booking.