Days
8
Price from
$3,160AUD

Listen to history's echo on a visit to the Western Front's renowned battlefield sites and memorials.

Commemorating the centenary of the Third Battle of Ypres, the battle that would ultimately turn the tide of World War One, this limited edition journey from Paris to Ypres explores the dramatic history and events surrounding the close of the Great War. Visit battlefield sites, museums and memorials on a journey through Northern France and Belgium, with highlights including a talk by an archeologist about discoveries on the Western Front, a private boat cruise on the river Somme, and visits to the Wellington Underground Tunnels and the preserved trenches at Vimy Memorial park – which still contains unexploded munitions today.


Start
Paris, France
Finish
Ypres, Belgium
Countries
Belgium, France
Style
Peregrine
Code
PEWF
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why we love this trip

  • Coinciding with the centenary of the Third Battle of Ypres, this is a special opportunity to learn how the battle shaped the outcome of WWI

  • Learn about recent archeological discoveries in Fromelles from an expert in the region

  • Travel between Albert and Hamel Military Cemetery by bicycle

  • Enjoy a boat cruise through the lush surrounds of the River Somme

  • Experience an emotional Last Post ceremony at Menin Gate

Is this trip right for you?

  • There is a gentle bike ride on Day 4 between Albert and Hamel Military Cemetery. The ride will be approximately 30 minutes each way plus stops. While you won't need to be a cycling expert to take part in the activity, we do recommend you feel comfortable riding a bicycle for approximately 16 kilometres with breaks.

  • On Day 7, you will travel between some locations on foot to allow you to take in your surroundings. The walks will catered to the ability of the group and are expected to take between 1-2.5 hours. There will be a support vehicle available in case of poor weather or for those who don't feel up to the walks.

  • While inclusions on this trip are designed to be informative and educational, the tragic loss of life in this area at the time of the Great War means some experiences can be emotional and quite confronting.

Itinerary

Bonjour and welcome to the charming French capital. Arrive at Charles de Gaulle Airport and be greeted with a hotel transfer. There will be a welcome meeting in the afternoon at 6pm and you are free to explore until then. Check the hotel's reception for details as to where the welcome meeting will take place. After the meeting, head out with the group for an introductory dinner at a nearby restaurant and get to know each other over an aperitif.

Often referred to as the 'City of Lights', Paris earned its famous moniker for its role during the Age of Enlightenment – where many great French thinkers such as Descartes, Locke and Voltaire contributed to the development of ideals such as liberty, progress and tolerance. More literally, Paris was also one of the first cities in the world to start using street lights during the Great Exhibition of 1889. This revolutionised the way the public socialised.
Accommodation
  • Timhotel Opera Blanche Fontaine or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Welcome dinner in Paris
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
Meals Included
  • Dinner
In the morning leave the city and travel to Musee de la Grande Guerre in Meaux. 'The Museum of the Great War' contains an unparalleled collection of exhibits that shed new light on the events of the first World War. Prepare for a confronting and, at times, emotional experience on an exploration of this immersive museum.

Return to Paris for an afternoon at your leisure. Perhaps visit a nearby boulangerie and pack a picnic to enjoy in the manicured gardens beneath the Eiffel Tower. Alternatively, while away the hours exploring the quaint shops and chocolateries along Boulevard Saint-Germain, just near the Notre Dame Cathedral.
Accommodation
  • Timhotel Opera Blanche Fontaine or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Musee de la Grande Guerre entrance
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Board a private vehicle and travel north to Amiens today (approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes). After checking in to the hotel, join your Tour Leader for an orientation walk through the city, passing important monuments such as the gothic Amiens Cathedral. This is one of the tallest cathedrals in France, even dwarfing the famous Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. After seeing more of the city stop for a picnic lunch. Later, hop aboard an electric river taxi and sail between Amiens and Camon to see another side of the Somme.

Amiens was the site of the Third Battle of Picardy, which began on 8 August 1918. The battle was the successful opening phase of the Allied offensive, which gave the Allied forces the tactical advantage required to ultimately put an end to the First World War.

Accommodation
  • Your Peregrine Hotel in Amiens (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Boat cruise on the River Somme
  • Picnic lunch in the Somme Valley
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Board the train to Albert in the morning. Albert was the main town behind the lines for the Allies nearest to the 1916 Somme battlefields. Explore the quiet streets on an orientation walk with your Tour Leader before visiting Museum 1916, which features realistic recreations of the trenches used in the Battle of the Somme.

Afterwards there will be some free time for lunch, followed by a bicycle ride to and from the Hamel Military Cemetery to pay your respects (approximately 30 minutes ride or 8 kilometres each way, with stops). The Cemetery is the final resting place of nearly 500 casualties, 80 of whom remain unidentified. Return to Amiens in the afternoon.
Accommodation
  • Your Peregrine Hotel in Amiens (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Musee de la Somme 1916 entrance
  • Bike ride between Albert and Hamel
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
After breakfast catch the train north to Arras, France’s fourth most populous region. See the city's incredible gothic architecture on an orientation walk, passing the Place des Heros and its impressive bell tower. Then prepare to go underground on a trip to Carriere Wellington, a network of tunnels used by Commonwealth forces during the First World War that is now a museum. Afterwards visit the haunting Memorial of Arras, which commemorates 34,785 soldiers from the United Kingdom, South Africa and New Zealand who died in the Arras sector.

In the afternoon, travel to Vimy Memorial Park, a memorial for slain Canadian soldiers, and see the preserved trenches and craters. The site still contains unexploded munitions, which means it remains largely closed off for public safety. Return to Amiens for the night.
Accommodation
  • Your Peregrine Hotel in Amiens (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Wellington Tunnels
  • Vimy Memorial Park Visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Cross the border today, travelling from Amiens to Ypres in Belgium. The town was largely destroyed in the conflicts of World War I but its most important buildings were meticulously reconstructed after the war ended, including the Gothic-style Sint-Maartenskathedraal (St. Martin's Cathedral) and its soaring spire. The town of Ypres is almost a museum in itself, being surrounded by many cemeteries, memorials and war museums to honour the German-Allied battles that unfolded in this area.

Take an orientation walk with your Tour Leader before visiting the Flanders Field Museum. The museum tells the story of how the war impacted West Flanders and is found in the renovated Cloth Halls of Ypres, which is an important symbol of wartime hardship and recovery. After learning the history of the area, pay your respects by attending the Last Post ceremony at Menin Gate.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Albion or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • In Flanders Field Museum Entrance
  • Last Post Ceremony
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
The second last day is a big one so be prepared for some travel. In the morning travel by coach to Tyne Cot Cemetery and see the rows of white headstones that form the largest cemetery for Commonwealth forces in the world. Afterwards, visit Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917, which is dedicated to the half million soldiers who perished to capture eight kilometres of territory.

Take a break from the history lessons with an included bread lunch at Hooge Crater Museum, followed by the opportunity to explore the museum. Drive to Hill 60 and Lochnagar Crater – a grass-filled crater that was once a mine dug by the Allied forces under a German fortification. Afterwards, visit VC Corner and the Australian Memorial Park in Fromelles. While here, the group will be met by an archealogical expert who'll talk about recent discoveries in this area. Also visit the nearby Pheasant Wood Cemetery.

In the afternoon travel to the Essex Farm Cemetery. This location is believed to be the place in May 1915 where the Canadian Army Doctor and artillery brigade commander Major John McCrae composed his now famous poem “In Flanders Fields”. The red poppies growing among the military graves in the warm spring weather, which were near the makeshift medical bunker McCrae was working in at that time, are believed to have been the inspiration for the poem. The symbol of the red poppy and the death of a friend, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, deeply affected John McCrae during the time of his involvement in the Second Battle of Ypres. In the evening return to the hotel in Ypres, where there is an opportunity to freshen up ahead of an included dinner. 

Please note that there will be some walking involved from site to site of between 1-2.5 hours, depending on the group’s ability and the weather.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Albion or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Passchendale 1917 Memorial Visit
  • Farewell Dinner
  • Tyne Cot Cemetery Visit
  • Hooge Crater Museum - entrance and light lunch
  • Visit Hill 60 & Lochnagar Crater
  • VC Corner & Australian Memorial Park Fromelles
  • Pheasant Wood Cemetery visit - Fromelles
  • Essex Farm Cemetery Visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
This tour of the Western Front comes to an end after breakfast today and you are free to depart at any time.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

7 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners

Transport

Private vehicle, Taxi, Train, Metro, Bicycle

Accommodation

Comfortable Hotel (7 nights)

Included Activities

  • Welcome dinner in Paris
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
  • Musee de la Grande Guerre entrance
  • Boat cruise on the River Somme
  • Picnic lunch in the Somme Valley
  • Musee de la Somme 1916 entrance
  • Bike ride between Albert and Hamel
  • Wellington Tunnels
  • Vimy Memorial Park Visit
  • In Flanders Field Museum Entrance
  • Last Post Ceremony
  • Passchendale 1917 Memorial Visit
  • Farewell Dinner
  • Tyne Cot Cemetery Visit
  • Hooge Crater Museum - entrance and light lunch
  • Visit Hill 60 & Lochnagar Crater
  • VC Corner & Australian Memorial Park Fromelles
  • Pheasant Wood Cemetery visit - Fromelles
  • Essex Farm Cemetery Visit

Dates & availability

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Essential Trip Information

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