Western Front Explorer & Reflections on the Seine

Walk in the footsteps of the Anzacs before cruising the Seine River

Accommodation Cruise Escorted Tours Fly Transfers

14 Nights from $ Per Person

Mat McLachlan Battlefield Tour

  Fly Cruise

  France & Belgium

  14 Nights

  PA1G5570


Description

This 4-day small-group tour provides the perfect opportunity to explore the Australian battlefields of the Western Front in comfort and convenience. We will walk in the footsteps of the Anzacs on all the main battlefield sites in the Somme, Flanders and the Ypres Salient. The itinerary has been personally designed by Mat McLachlan, and the expert historians who escort this tour have been hand-picked by Mat. The Western Front Explorer Tour is the next best thing to being there with Mat himself!

Begin your panoramic French river cruise on the Seine in Paris. See the sights in the heart of the city, including a visit to Notre-Dame Cathedral, or take a tour which will show you the iconic locales of the Louvre Museum, Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, and more. Cruise to Conflans and visit Auvers-sur-Oise or Napoleon and Josephine’s Château de Malmaison. Then, continue on to Vernon to visit the home of master artist Claude Monet at the gardens of Giverny, or visit magnificent Bizy Castle. Your river cruise on the Seine sails on to Les Andelys for guided tours of this picturesque village, and nearby castle ruins. Continue to Rouen for an excursion to Normandy. Tours of the WWII landing beaches, memorials, and monuments are offered today. Next day, your visit to Rouen includes a walking tour of the village where Joan of Arc was martyred, as well as the Notre-Dame Cathedral, and Astronomical Clock. Last stop of your Seine River cruise is Le Havre, where you will enjoy a guided city sightseeing. Your vacation ends with a transfer to Paris. You’ll long reflect on this remarkable river cruise on the Seine, with panoramic views and the remembrances of history, heroes, and artists brought to life.


Your Fly, Stay, Tour & Cruise Package Includes:

  • Return economy class flights from Sydney to Paris
  • 1 night’s accommodation in Paris
  • 4 day Western Front Explorer guided holiday with Mat McLachlan, Paris return
  • Includes 3 nights accommodation, 7 meals, excursions & sightseeing, services of an expert WW1 Historian + more
  • 2 night’s accommodation in Paris
  • 8 night Seine River cruise onboard Avalon Tapestry II, Paris return
  • Includes all onboard meals & selected beverages
  • Port charges, prepaid gratuities onboard your cruise & airline taxes

Extend your flights and stay longer - talk to our travel experts about more options

Western Front Explorer

Your Tour Includes:

  • Services of an expert WWI Historian
  • Central Paris pick-up and drop-off, or pick up in Lille
  • All excursions, scenic drives and sightseeing as described in the itinerary
  • 3 nights’ 3-star to 4-star accommodation
  • Travel by comfortable air-conditioned coach
  • Breakfast daily, 2 lunches and welcome dinner
  • All entrance fees as per the itinerary
  • All tipping
  • Copy of Mat McLachlan’s definitive guide to the Western Front, Walking with the Anzacs
  • Souvenir cap and document wallet

Itinerary:

Day 1 > Paris to Ypres

Welcome to our Western Front tour! The tour group will assemble at the Holiday Inn Express – Canal De La Villette Hotel in Paris at 8.30am for a 9.00am departure. We will leave Paris and drive north towards the Belgian border. Our destination is the town of Ypres, our home for the next two nights. Between 1914 and 1918 Ypres was completely destroyed by shellfire, and came to symbolise the horror of the First World War. In the evening we will enjoy a walking tour with our Historian around the rebuilt town, before coming together for a welcome dinner. (Passengers joining the tour in Lille will be collected from our meeting point en-route to Ypres at midday.) (D)

STAR INCLUSIONS  ★ Central Ypres hotel  ★ Welcome dinner

Day 2 > The Ypres Salient

The Ypres Salient was a bulge in the front line that curved around Ypres for most of the war. More than a million men were killed or wounded trying to gain control of this small patch of ground. Today we will explore the Australian battlefields in the Salient, places where the Anzacs made history in 1917. Our first stop will be the Passchendaele Museum, a provocative collection of relics and displays that chronicles the fighting in Flanders. We will then visit the 5th Australian Division Memorial at Polygon Wood, where we will see the graves of Private Hunter and Sergeant Calder, the two Australian soldiers who featured in Mat McLachlan’s documentary ‘Lost in Flanders’. Lunch is included at a local café. We then get a taste of the devastation caused by four years of continuous artillery fire at the cratered landscape of Hill 60, before visiting Tyne Cot, the world’s largest Commonwealth war cemetery. Tyne Cot sits in the heart of one of the most horrific battlefields of the war – Passchendaele. Our final stop today is at the German Cemetery at Langemark, where we will learn about the men on the other side of the line. As we drive back to our hotel we will see the magnificent Canadian memorial at Langemark, marking the spot where poison gas was first used in the war. This evening we will visit the Menin Gate where the names of 54,000 missing British and Commonwealth soldiers are recorded, for the moving Last Post ceremony. The Ypres fire brigade has performed this bugle ceremony every day and in all-weather since the memorial opened in 1927. The only interruption was during the four years of German occupation during the Second World War – the ceremony recommenced on the day the town was liberated. Two passengers will be invited to lay a wreath on behalf of our group. (B, L)

STAR INCLUSIONS  ★ Passchendaele Museum ★ Polygon Wood  ★ Hill 60 ★ Tyne Cot Cemetery ★ Langemarck Cemetery  ★ Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate

Day 3 > Ypres to the Somme

Today we leave Ypres and travel south to the battlefields of the Somme. We will travel to French Flanders, and the very moving 1916 battlefield of Fromelles, where Australia lost 5533 men during its first action on the Western Front. While here we will visit the Australian Memorial Park, VC Corner Cemetery (the only all-Australian cemetery in France), the site of the Australian mass grave at Pheasant Wood and the Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Cemetery, where 250 Australian and British soldiers were laid to rest in 2010. We will also visit the Fromelles Museum which tells the story of Australia’s disastrous involvement in the battle of Fromelles in 1916. Next is the battlefield of Bullecourt, where Australia lost 10,000 men in two great battles in 1917. We will pay our respects to them at the Slouch Hat memorial in the centre of town and the Australian Memorial Park on the site of the German front line. In the afternoon we will visit Pozieres, scene of the most costly battle in Australia’s history. 23,000 men were killed or wounded here in six weeks of fighting and we will pay tribute to them at the 1st Division Memorial and the Windmill. We will then see Mouquet Farm, where the Australians fought a bitter campaign against the Germans in August 1916. Our final stop is the imposing Thiepval Memorial, which commemorates more than 70,000 British soldiers missing from the Somme fighting. After checking in to our central hotel we will have the evening at leisure. A packed picnic lunch is included today. (B, L)

STAR INCLUSIONS  ★  Fromelles ★  Fromelles Museum ★  Bullecourt ★  Pozieres ★ Mouquet Farm ★ Thiepval Memorial ★ Picnic lunch

Day 4 > The Somme to Paris

Today we will explore the killing fields of the Somme, where Australian troops performed magnificently in 1918. Our first visit is to Adelaide Cemetery and then see the Victoria School in Villers-Bretonneux where a sign entreats that the schoolchildren ‘Do Not Forget Australia’. We will also visit the excellent Franco-Australian Museum at the school. We then travel to the Australian Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux, where the names of almost 11,000 Australians missing in France are recorded and also visit the new Sir John Monash Interpretive Centre, which tells the story of Australia’s achievements on the Western Front. Our next stop is the Australian Memorial Park at Hamel, scene of a great Australian victory orchestrated by General John Monash on July 4, 1918. We then farewell the battlefields and drive back to Paris, arriving at the Holiday Inn Express – Canal De La Villette Hotel at approximately 5pm. (B)

STAR INCLUSIONS  ★ Villers-Bretonneux  ★ Adelaide Cemetery ★ Victoria School Museum ★ Franco-Australian Museum ★ Australian Memorial  ★ Sir John Monash Centre ★ Australian Memorial Park  ★ Hamel

Cruise Itinerary:

Date

Itinerary

28 Jul 20

Paris

29 Jul 20

Paris

30 Jul 20

Conflans

31 Jul 20

Vernon

01 Aug 20

Rouen

02 Aug 20

Caudebec En Caux

03 Aug 20

Le Havre

04 Aug 20

Paris

05 Aug 20

Paris

Terms and Conditions

*Conditions apply. Subject to availability and change without notice. Prices listed are in Australian Dollars, based on twin occupancy/travel, unless otherwise stated. Prices/Offers are correct at the time of distribution. Full travel supplier booking conditions apply.

Prices listed are based on twin occupancy in Australian Dollars, including all discounts unless otherwise stated. The offer is subject to availability at time of booking and shown in the lowest outside category available at the time. Fares are capacity controlled and are subject to change at any time without notice. Prices/Offers are correct as at 27 February 2020 and can be withdrawn without notice. Airfares are based on economy class flights from Sydney and subject to the carriers’ flight schedules and conditions, please call us for prices from other cities. Payments made by credit card will incur a surcharge. Other travel conditions may apply, contact our travel team for more details.

This certificate allows two passengers to travel for the price of one excluding applicable fees and taxes on the cruise portion only. Package is available on this date and departure only. Cabin Category advertised only is available on the 241 Program – Other categories may be available at extra cost. Prices are per person  travelling together.  Airfares, Hotel, Transfers included are not based on 241program.

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