ANZAC Day on the Western Front Tour

10 days only $3,989 pp twin share

  • Leisurely 3 and 4 night stays
  • Escorted by a specialist Tour Manager and an expert War Historian
  • Genuinely inclusive, no additional on tour costs
  • 16 years experience operating Western Front tours
  • Designed for Australians & New Zealanders
  • Guaranteed group departures

Tour Overview

Imagine being there on ANZAC Day in the still of the morning, with the mist and damp air hovering over lines of white gravestones. Then, as dawn breaks, the haunting Last Post is sounded by the bugler. Come join us on the 
Western Front at Villers-Bretonneux as we commemorate the sacrifice and valour of a generation who long ago fought and died so far from home. Over the years we have handled numerous commemorative tours to the  Somme and Flanders battlefields. Both your Tour Manager and War Historian have been specially selected as they are experts in these regions and are well versed in the path our ‘Diggers’ trod nearly a century ago. They separate fact  from fiction and bring to life the whole tragic Western Front campaign. Specially designed by our expert War Historian, this tour offers you a unique and personal experience.
 

Highlights

  • Absorb the full reality and tragedy of the trench warfare and gain a deeper insight into the life of the diggers, with commentary by our expert War Historian and specialist Battlefield Tour Manager
  • All hotels located to access all the major Commemorative sights
  • Experience the ANZAC Day Dawn Service at the Australian National Memorial near Villers-Bretonneux and local Town Service hosted by he village Mayor
  • Be moved by the Last Post at the Menin Gate and visit ‘In Flanders Fields’ Museum
  • Visit the Flanders Commemorative sites including Messines, Hill 60, PolygonWood, Essex Farm Cemetery, Tyne Cot, Toronto Avenue Cemetery, Island of Ireland Peace Park and explore Hooge Crater Cemetery and Museum
  • Visit the Somme Commemorative sites including the Australian National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux, Fromelles Memorials & Museum of the Battle of Fromelles , Vimy Ridge, Bullecourt ‘Digger’ Memorial, Adelaide Cemetery, Australian Memorials at Pozières, the Ulster Tower Memorial, Newfoundland Memorial Park, Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, 2nd Australian Division memorial at Mont St Quentin and Australian Corps Memorial at Le Hamel
  • Visit Franco-Australian Museum at Victoria Primary School in Villers-Bretonneux & Thiepval Interpretation Centre
 
 
The ANZAC Day on the Western Front Tour is just one of many you can enjoy in Belgium or France. Visit each destination page for more information for our other amazing tours!

Tour Itinerary

Day 1: 18 April - Paris

Your tour commences in Paris this evening. We have included a welcome drink and dinner. This is an ideal chance to meet and get to know your Tour Manager and fellow travellers.

Meals:
D
Hotel:
Pullman Paris Montparnasse

Day 2: 19 April - Paris

 This morning we enjoy a Paris panoramic tour which will bring alive the city from the Eiffel Tower, Champs Elysées and Arc de Triomphe (including the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier), to the Louvre and Notre Dame. Your afternoon and evening are at leisure.

Meals:
B

Day 3: 20 April - Ypres

We depart Paris and our first stop is a visit to the Adelaide Cemetery (site of the exhumation of Australia’s Unknown Soldier in November 1993) before arriving at the Australian National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux.  It was here on April 25, 1918, exactly 3 years after the Gallipoli landings, that Australian courage and determination provided a stunning victory that ended the German advance in this area. It is a place to think about how Australia’s story on the Western Front between 1916 and 1918 has been commemorated. Also visited today is the Franco Australian Museum at the Victoria School in the village.  Driving on, across the uplands of the Somme, our next visit is to the Australian Corps Memorial at Le Hamel and finally to the 2nd Australian Division memorial at Mont St Quentin, on the outskirts of the historical town of Péronne.  

All in all, these first battlefield visits provide the perfect context for our touring over the next few days. Later this afternoon we continue to Ypres where we stay the next four nights. Between 1916 and 1918 thousands of Australian and New Zealand soldiers came to Ypres where some of the heaviest fighting in World War 1 took place. Completely destroyed in the war, the town was lovingly re-built carefully restoring the grand old buildings and picturesque square. Tonight, after dinner, you can attend the sounding of the Last Post at the Menin Gate, a moving ceremony repeated every night since 1928.  

Meals:
B
D
Hotel:
Novotel Ieper Centrum

Day 4: 21 April - Ypres

Today will be enjoyed in Ypres.  Our walking tour takes us through the centre of town to the magnificent Cloth Hall, St Georges Chapel and St Martin’s Church. We will also visit the beautiful Ypres Ramparts Cemetery and walk on top of the ramparts to the Menin Gate Memorial, the British Empire’s tribute to the missing from the battles around Ypres.  Highlight of your day will be a visit to ‘In Flanders Fields’ Museum - a remarkable interactive experience of World War 1, located in the Cloth Hall.  The rest of your day is free in this delightful gothic town. 

Meals:
B

Day 5: 22 April - Ypres

A day to discover the battlefields and memorials associated with some of the most costly operations fought in by Australian soldiers – the battles of the ‘Flanders Offensive’ of June to November 1917. In the morning we visit the site of the Battle of Messines, the beautiful Toronto Avenue Cemetery and the Island of Ireland Peace Park. Later we drive up the famous Menin Road to visit Hooge Crater Cemetery and Museum (this small, private museum is in a renovated Chapel and small school), the 5th Australian Division Memorial in Polygon Wood, Hill 60 and the British Commonwealth’s largest war cemetery at Tyne Cot. What happened in this area east of Ypres in 1917 was eventually summed up in one terrible word - Passchendaele! 

Meals:
B

Day 6: 23 April - Ypres

We have included a delightful excursion today to the charming city of Bruges. Recognised as one of Europe’s best preserved medieval cities, Bruges is riddled with canals, bridges and quiet back streets.  On arrival we are joined by a local guide for a walking tour around the quaint and picturesque cobbled stone streets.  Later, take time to relax in one of the pavement cafes on the glorious old market square.  This afternoon we also visit the Essex Farm Cemetery, a site forever associated with the composition of the poem ‘In Flanders Field’.

Meals:
B

Day 7: 24 April - Amiens

Today we journey through the old Western Front battlefields from Ypres in Belgium to Amiens in France. After crossing the border, we will stop at Fromelles, scene of Australia’s first major battle on the Western Front, to visit VC Corner (Australian Cemetery), Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery and the Australian Memorial Park at Fromelles.  We also visit the Museum of the Battle of Fromelles. From there we visit the most spectacular British Commonwealth memorial in France – the Canadian National Memorial on Vimy Ridge.  Before heading into Amiens, we will travel across the old Bullecourt battlefield and view the moving statue of an Australian soldier at the Bullecourt ‘Digger’ Memorial.  A packed lunch, and dinner has been included today. Your hotel for the next three nights is located in the very heart of town. 

Meals:
B
L
D
Hotel:
Mercure Amiens Cathedrale

Day 8: 25 April - Amiens - ANZAC Day

ANZAC Day will be special! A ceremony with military uniforms, slouch-hats, Ambassadors and dignitaries, army bands, national anthems, the Last Post, crowds of visitors as well as the local population of this small French village which will “never forget Australia”.  This morning we attend the Dawn Service at the Australian National Memorial near Villers Bretonneux.  At the conclusion of the Dawn Service, we attend the local wreath laying ceremony, hosted by the Mayor, at the French monument near the town hall in Villers Bretonneux. A breakfast pack has been included today.  Return to your hotel mid morning.  In 1918 Australian soldiers played a prominent part in the defence of the city of Amiens.  Today we visit one of the gems of French medieval architecture - Amiens Cathedral, where the Australian and New Zealand soldiers have been honoured.   The rest of your day and evening are at leisure in the delightful town of Amiens. 

Meals:
B

Day 9: 26 April - Amiens

  Today we experience the tragedy of the 1916 Somme battlefield including the Australian memorials at Pozières, which recall the loss of 23,000 men in six weeks.  Later we visit the vast and tragic Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, including entrance to the Thiepval Interpretation Centre which details the battles of the Somme between 1914 and 1918, the Ulster Tower Memorial to the 36th Ulster Division and the Newfoundland Memorial Park. A snack lunch is included today. Return to Amiens where this evening you enjoy a farewell dinner in a local restaurant.

Meals:
B
L
D

Day 10: 27 April - To Paris

Sadly your Western Front Tour ends this morning after breakfast as you  are transferred to Paris to arrive around midday. Drop off points will be Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport and Paris Gare du Nord station. We recommend that you book flights or trains that depart Paris after 2pm today.

Meals:
B

Incredible Value Inclusions

•   All excursions, scenic drives and sightseeing as described in the itinerary
•   Fully escorted by our specialist Battlefield Tour Manager and War Historian
•   Personal audio system whilst on tour
•   Travel in a first class air conditioned touring coach
•   End of tour tips to Tour Manager and Driver, tips for local guides
•   9 nights specially selected hotel accommodation
•   Breakfast daily, 2 snack lunches 
•   4 dinners including welcome dinner in Paris and farewell dinner in Amiens
•   Welcome drink Paris
•   All entrances as per itinerary
•   Extensive touring of the WW1 Battlefields

 

 

Tour Reviews

The credibility and empathy of the war historian on this tour was excellent. The travel arrangements provided were very good.

Peter

Ypres, Belgium

Tour Rating 5-Star

Historian Richard Reid was fantastic. His knowledge of each cemetery and/or related battles was unbelieveable and coupled with stories about individual soldiers added a very moving and personal note to each site. All the locations we visited were worthwhile. Choice and location of the hotels and the balance of touring and free time was great.

David

Ypres

"The War Historian brought the whole tour alive as a pilgrimage not just a sightseeing tour.  His passion and stories made the tour special.  He was a gem. The Tour Manager was very organised and provided good commentary when visiting the non military sites.   One of the best value for money tours we have taken" Ray & Angela 

Tour Rating 5-Star

Tour Leader Karen is a caring, extremely capable, and knowledgable lady. Richard the historian on board has extremely impressive credentials and his commentary enabled you to fully understand the enormity of what we were experiencing.
 
Together, they ensured all on board had a fun and trouble free tour.
 
Kerry

Tour Rating 5-Star

Dates and Prices

Start Date End Date Price Per Person Availability
18 Apr 2017 27 Apr 2017 AUD $3,989 Space Available

Save with Club Albatross

Have you travelled with Albatross Tours previously? Save $200 on our European Summer tours or $100 on our Christmas and ANZAC tours.

Expert War Historian

Gain a deeper insight into the life of the World War 1 diggers with expert commentary from Australian War Historian, Dr Richard Reid.

No Additional ‘On Tour’ Costs

Over $100 value of extras per day are already included. There are no additional ‘on tour’ costs—even your end of tour tips are included!