David O’Keefe’s Black Watch Battlefield Tour

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1-888-597-3519

905-639-9954

dhtour@dhtour.ca

10 Days / 9 Nights
Availability : July 11 - Only one departure!
Start: Paris CDG Airport, France
End: Amsterdam AMS Airport, Netherlands

David O’Keefe’s Black Watch Battlefield Tour: 2 nts Caen, 1 nt Dieppe, 1 nt Antwerp, 3 nts Nijmegen, 2 nts Groningen

The highly prestigious Royal Highland Regiment of Canada (The Black Watch), one of Canada’s most famous regiments, were virtually wiped out during “Operation Spring” on July 25th, 1944 – but their remarkable story of strength, tragedy, and determination against all odds doesn’t end here.

Join us, with lead tour guide, historian and professor David O’Keefe, and special guest guide Joël Stoppels on this special journey retracing the footsteps of Canada’s most prestigous regiments from the beaches of Normandy to the Liberation in Groningen.

10 DAYS / 9 NIGHTS

LIMITED SPACE AVAILABLE
Maximum: 24 people per 40 seat coach.

Minimum: 15 travellers per 30 seat 

Contact DHTour at 1-888-597-3519 or 905-639-9954 or dhtour@dhtour.ca to book.

Tour Details

Highlights:

  • Join us to explore + honour the story of the Black Watch Regiment – from the shores of D-Day to the Liberation of the Netherlands
  • Enjoy beautiful, independent, superior tourist class accommodation throughout our stay with our favourite hoteliers
  • Extended orientations at Juno, Verrieres, Dieppe, in the Scheldt, Nijmegen, and Groningen
  • A special opportunity to the Liberation of the City of Groningen with our local battlefield host Joël Stoppels 
  • Executive coach transportation, with washrooms, air conditioning, and now ozone filtration!
  • Join our long time Battlefield team, along with the guidance of professor and historian David O’Keefe throughout the tour 

Pick Up Location & TIme

Charles de Gaulle Airport (Paris)  (Google Map)
Time: TBA – Meet your tour manager and David O’Keefe in arrivals

Drop off Location & Time

Amsterdam Schiphol International Airport (Amsterdam) (Google Map)
Time: TBA

Price Includes

  • 9 nights accommodations in Superior Tourist Class Hotels (3-4 star)
  • All Entrances as per your Itinerary
  • Full-Time Manager & Escort
  • Transportation in fully air-conditioned, ozone filtered executive coaches
  • Daily breakfasts (B), 1 lunch (L), 6 dinners (D)
  • Online Custom Map Kit & Tour Resource & Info Guide
  • All service fees, surcharges, fees and departure taxes

Meals

  • 9 breakfasts
  • 1 lunch
  • 6 dinners
  • 0 teas

Price Excludes

  • Airfare - this is a land only itinerary
  • Lunches (L), Some Dinners (D) + and drinks with dinner
  • Gratuities owed to tour staff (may we suggest 5EUR per person, per day)
  • Porterage (luggage handling to your room available upon request)
  • Pre / Post hotel nights
  • Travel Insurance
What to Expect

With over 30 years of experience we provide you with a seamless travel program using trusted accommodation and restaurants that we personally know and love. As well, you’re receiving reliable and insightful information from an experienced and knowledgeable source, gaining one of the most in-depth understandings of the areas you’ll be exploring.

Following the footsteps of our fathers, The Battlefield Tours has had the honour of leading our Canadian Veterans through the Battlefields of Europe. Unique to mainstream tours, the Battlefield Tours are different: This is real history. 

David O’Keefe is a Canadian historian and professor. It’s fair to say that if you’re a fan of History, you’re familiar with David’s work – from History Television’s War Junk to documentaries like The Black Watch Snipers, and Dieppe Uncovered, David O’Keefe may have graced your television screen once or twice. Or perhaps his name graces your bookshelf? His three critically acclaimed books, (The Seven Days in Hell + Dieppe Uncovered), were Amazon’s top 3 Canadian bestsellers this year for Canadian History in the 20th Century. Not only an award-winning historian, during the school year, he teaches at Marianopolis College in Westmount, Quebec. David O’Keefe also served – as an infantry officer in the Royal Highland Regiment (The Black Watch of Canada) in Montreal. He was later employed as their official historian for nearly a decade.

Itinerary

Day 1 - Thursday, July 11Pegasus Bridge,  Café Gondree

This morning, upon arrival at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport you’ll greet the team, including our guide, historian and professor David O’Keefe. Together, we begin our journey to Normandy, with a stop en route to visit the place where “D-Day” began. Pegasus Bridge, located in the small town of Benouville, was assaulted in the early morning hours of June 6th,1944 by the British 6th Airborne in an incredibly daring mission to gain control of its vital position. A full orientation will be provided at the bridge – take a look at the first house liberated in France, the Café Gondree. We then head to the city of Caen for our hotel check-in. Tonight, enjoy a welcome dinner and reception. (D)

Accommodation: TBA, Caen

Day 2 - Wednesday, July 12thAbbayes des Ardennes, Point 67, CWGC Canadian Cemetery, Juno Beach Center, Queens Own Rifles House

After an early breakfast this morning, we’ll head out to explore the Canadian beaches and battlefields of Normandy. We will start with a visit to the darkly notorious Abbayes des Ardennes. This 11th Century Gothic Structure became the Headquarters of the 12th SS Hitler Youth Division in the time leading up to the Allied Invasion. We continue on to Point 67. This strategic position overlooks the Battlefield of Verrieres Ridge, one of the enemy’s strongest lines of defense in all of Normandy. During Operation Spring on July 25th, 1944, The Black Watch of Montreal was virtually wiped out. A complete overview of this highly controversial action will be explained from different angles. We continue from Verrieres to the CWGC Canadian Cemetery of Bretteville-sur-Laize to pay our respects. This afternoon, we visit the exhilarating and informative Juno Beach Center, located right off the dunes where the Royal Winnipeg Rifles landed under heavy fire on the early morning of June 6th. Here we will meet with the Juno Beach staff, see the original enemy bunkers, museum, and memorials along the beach. After lunch, we visit the first house liberated by Canadians, the Queens Own Rifles House. This home is a pilgrimage point for all Canadians to see. By midday, we will pay respects to the Canadian men who lost their lives fighting in the early weeks of the Normandy campaign at Beny-sur-Mer Canadian CWGC Cemetery. Two thousand forty-eight of our country’s bravest lie in peace at this immaculately kept sacred ground. Personal stories and accounts of a few of these individuals will be told for all to contemplate and reflect on. Tonight, enjoy a meal out on your own in the city of Caen. (B)

Accommodation: TBA, Caen

Day 3 - Thursday, July 13thDieppe, Green Beach

Saying our farewells to the Normandy region, we head east to the seaside resort town of Dieppe with a rest en route in the commune of Bourgtheroulde. Upon arrival in Dieppe, we’ll visit Green Beach at Pourville. We will also view the main landing beaches of Red and White on the Dieppe seafront. This evening, enjoy our welcome dinner in Dieppe. (B,D)

Accommodation: TBA, Dieppe

Day 4 - Friday, July 14thDieppe Canadian War Cemetery , Blue Beach, Spycker

This morning, we will pay our respects at the Dieppe Canadian War Cemetery before continuing to Blue Beach at Puys. After exploring the bunkers, gun emplacements, and cliff tops, which, on Aug 19, 1942, were responsible for such terrible Canadian casualties, we say our farewells to Dieppe. We then drive up the coast to Antwerp, just as the Canadians cleared up the coast in September 1944. We’ll make a stop outside of Dunkirk in the small town of Spycker to speak of the difficult events that took place here in September 1944 as the Black Watch liberated the town. Tonight, we continue to Antwerp for our hotel check-in and dinner. (B,D)

Accommodation: TBA, Antwerp

Day 5 - Saturday, July 15thLiberation Museum of Zealand and Liberation Park, Woensdrecht, Canadian CWGC Cemetery

After breakfast, we take the drive to Zeeland to visit the Liberation Museum of Zealand and Liberation Park to discuss the Battle of the Scheldt. Zeeland was the hardest-hit province in the occupation, and the effects of the Battle for the Scheldt were felt far beyond. This single operation cost the Canadians more casualties than any other operation during the whole of WWII. We then head to the small village of Woensdrecht. Here, the Black Watch and the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry engaged with the German 6th Paratrooper Regiment in a fierce battle on October 13th, 1944 – “Black Friday” as it is known, due to the high losses of men from both Canadian units – however, victory was achieved, and it paved the way in cutting off a large number of German forces in the Battle of the Scheldt. We end our day with a solemn visit to the Canadian CWGC Cemetery of Bergen-Op-Zoom before heading to Nijmegen to enjoy our welcome dinner and overnight. (B, D)

Accommodation: TBA, Nijmegen

Day 6 - Sunday, July 16thNijmegen, Canadian War Cemetery

After breakfast this morning we spend some time exploring Nijmegen. Here, Canadian units faced fierce German counter-attacks and infiltrations, artillery shelling, dangerous patrols, rain, wind, and bitter cold. See the remains of the Canadian foxholes. After lunch, we will enter Germany from Groesbeek to discuss the Battle for the Reichswald during Operation Veritable. British and Canadian units attacked from the north, while the Americans closed the trap from the south. To conclude our day, we’ll pay a visit to the Canadian War Cemetery in Groesbeek. Tonight, enjoy exploring this historic city with dinner on your own. (B)

Accommodation: TBA, Nijmegen

Day 7 - Monday, July 17th Airborne Museum, Commonwealth Military Cemetery, Canadian Clubhouse, Liberation Museum

After breakfast, we depart for Wageningen to see the Airborne Museum before an extended visit at the Commonwealth Military Cemetery in Holten with a chance to see the extended information center. Before returning to our hotel, enjoy lunch at the Canadian Clubhouse, home to the 005 Canadian Legion of the Netherlands. We’ll end the day with a private visit of the ​​Liberation Museum in Lochem before returning to Nijmegen. Enjoy exploring this historic city with dinner on your own. (B, L)

Accommodation: TBA, Nijmegen

Day 8 - Tuesday, July 18thGorssel, Canada’s National Monument

After breakfast, we say our farewells to Nijmegen before making a stop in Gorssel to discuss Operation Cannonshot and the crossing of the River IJssel. In Apeldoorn, liberated on April 17, we will take a moment at theThe Man with Two Hats, Canada’s National Monument. After lunch, we continue the drive up to Groningen, where we will pay attention to Operation Amherst, the last airborne operation carried out by French SAS paratroopers to support the Canadian advance. (B, D)

Accommodation: TBA, Groningen

Day 9 - Friday, July 19thGroningen , Canadian Liberation Forest, Delfzijl

After breakfast, we walk through Groningen with our fellow friend and battlefield guide Joël Stoppels, learning more about the Battle of Groningen. After lunch, we’ll visit the Canadian Liberation Forest in Groningen. Opened in 1995 on the 50th Anniversary of the Liberation of the Netherlands, you’ll find 30,000 maple trees here, planted to pay tribute to the Canadian troops who liberated the City. We then drive via Appingedam to the port of Delfzijl where the last fighting in the Netherlands took place during the Battle for the Delfzijl Pocket in April and May 1945. Tonight, enjoy our farewell dinner before we prepare for tomorrow’s journey home. (B, D)

Accommodation: TBA, Groningen

Day 10 - Saturday, July 20thGroningen, Amsterdam

This morning, after breakfast, we say our farewells to Groningen and head back to Amsterdam AMS Schiphol International Airport for our return flights home… unless extending your stay. (B)

Dates and Prices
Departure Date Double/Twin (pp) Single Rate
2023: July 111 $5,747 $7,027

 

Group Air:

Please request air rate from your gateway and/or if you are extending your stay. 

TOUR PAYMENT SCHEDULE:

Initial Deposit: $500.00 (of which $300 is non-refundable) to guarantee your space is due immediately

Your Remaining Balance: Due by Wednesday, April 12, 2023 (90 days prior to departure)

Pricing

Pricing is per person (pp) based on twin/ double occupancy.
Rates are in $ CAD.


Contact DHTour at 1-888-597-3519 or 905-639-9954 or dhtour@dhtour.ca  to book.

Ask us for the best available pricing for your dates & choice of airline.

 

Notes:

***This itinerary is subject to changes*** 

Rooms:
Please specify if you prefer a double (shared) or twin beds. Most rooms are doubles and twins may be on request. Single rooms are in short supply and early booking is advised. All rooms have private facilities which will be either bath or WC or shower & WC. We will try to meet your request but cannot guarantee your preference will be met.
 

Luggage:
We ask that those of you on the motor coach tours, limit your luggage to one suitcase plus a carry on. Please be sure that you are aware of current airport and airline weight and carry-on restrictions.
 

Wheelchairs:
We are able to carry your folding wheelchair in the luggage compartment but not battery powered wheelchairs. Please advise the Battlefield Tours if you intend to bring one. If you are disabled in any way please ask our staff about the suitability of any particular tour or hotel.

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