* This special VALUE 4 night 5 day mainly all-inclusive tour includes the 2017 99th Anzac Day ceremony at Villers-Bretonneux, as well as a number of premium inclusions such as most meals, a dedicated battlefield/historian guide as well as a dedicated driver, high quality tour mementos and a carefully researched itinerary that covers most of the areas and battles where the Australians fought.
IMPORTANT NEWS UPDATE: 02 February 2017
Revised Security Arrangements France & Belgium: Pre-Registration is now MANDATORY!
We have just received new advice from the Australian DVA (Dept of Veteran Affairs) regarding revised French security arrangements for all future official DVA Australian Remembrance events for WW1 in France and Belgium.
These security arrangements are ONLY for official DVA events: Anzac Day Villers-Bretonneux 2017 (25 April), Bullecourt Centenary 2017 (25 April), Polygon Wood Centenary 2017 (26 September), Villers-Bretonneux Anzac Day Centenary 2018, (25 April) Le Hamel Centenary 2018 (4 July) and the 2018 Armistice Centenary ceremony (11/11) Further details:
Dawn Service Villers-Bretonneux 2017
Frequently Asked Questions
Powerpoint Briefing: 2017/2018 Villers-Bretonneux Anzac Day/Polygon Wood/Le Hamel (Maps)
Please NOTE that you MUST register DIRECTLY with DVA for SECURITY CLEARANCE if you are attending ANY of these events. Registration for 2017 Villers-Bretonneux and Bullecourt Anzac Day is now open for registration HERE:
When The Great War came to an end in 1918 Australia was left to come to terms with a war which, on the Western Front alone, had cost Australia 48,000 dead (* and including Gallipoli, over 60,000 dead) and over 156,000 wounded. Militarily, the ANZAC reputation stood sky-high at the end of the war and along with the Canadians, they were regarded as among the most elite fighting troops in the British Expeditionary Force – tough, battle hardened and ruthless, they were greatly feared by the Germans and grudgingly admired even by their nemesis - the British High Command.
On this very special tour we follow in their footsteps to the places where the Australian reputation was established on the Western Front between 1916 and 1918. Along the way we shall hear tales of enormous courage, endurance and sacrifice that will both inspire and humble, culminating in the amazing and very moving Villers-Bretonneux Anzac Day Ceremony.
At a Glance...
Your guide: Maj. (Retired) Simon Hopkins
Dates: Friday 21 – Tue 25 April 2017
Duration: 4 Nights/5 Days
Starts: Lille (France) Finishes: Arras/Lille
Tour Code: VB175LIL-S
Tour Cost: Euro €1390.00 (Approx A$1930.00) Per Person Share Twin/Double (Payment in €)
Single Room Supplement: Euro €418.00 (Approx A$580.00 (Payment in €)
CRUISE BONUS! "Tulip Cruise" Amsterdam-Amsterdam: 13-4-2017 - 20-04-2017
Early Bird 3% Discount on all cruise prices! More Information
(** Note 2 Feb 2017: Due to changes to security for 25th April this itinerary is now subject to slight changes. Details to be announced shortly.)
Day 1 – Friday 21 April 2017
Arrive at your Lille hotel for overnight accommodation prior to departure after breakfast the following morning on your tour.
Accommodation: *4 star Lille Hotel
Day 2 – Saturday 22 April 2017
9.00 am – After breakfast and loading baggage we depart hotel for our short drive to the Ypres Salient. During our day we will have visits to:
Messines Ridge – 3rd Australian Division attack
Ploegsteert Visitor centre (new) (entry included)
Toronto Avenue Cemetery (The only all Australian cemetery in Belgium)
Hill 60 - Australian Tunnelling Corps Memorial
Menin Road & Polygon Wood - 5th (Australian) Division Memorial
Broodseinde NZ Memorial
Passchendaele Memorial Museum, Zonnebeke – entry included
Tyne Cot War Cemetery 3 VC winners are buried here.
Lunch at restuarant en route.
Late afternoon/evening check-in to our 3* Ypres Hotel.
Early dinner before Menin Gate ceremony or late dinner after (own expense).
8.00 pm - This evening we experience the Menin Gate Last Post ceremony. After the ceremony free to wander around this beautiful Flemish market town completely rebuilt after WW1.
Accommodation: *3/4 star Ypres Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 3 – Sunday 23 April 2017
After an early breakfast and checkout we depart in our coach to the battlefield of Fromelles where we visit the tragic battlefield of 19 - 20 July 1916, where Australia incurred the greatest loss in its history.
We also visit:
VC Corner Australian Cemetery
Pheasant Wood military cemetery (Fromelles) – including the *new WW1 Museum (*entry included)
We then travel onwards to the breathtaking Canadian Vimy Memorial at Vimy Ridge for a quick stop, before travelling on to the lovely city of Arras for lunch, virtually destroyed in WW1.
In the afternoon we visit:
Pozieres – Windmill Memorial & Tank Memorial & 1st Division Memorial
Dernacourt- Dernancourt and Villers-Bretonneux: Halting the Germans (if time allows)
We then travel north to the Bethune area and our hotel for the next two nights - La Maison Rouge. This lovely 3-star hotel is in an old 19th century townhouse combining the past with modern-day decor and is close to Arras and *Lens (13 klm) (*Lens is the location of the amazing new 2nd Louvre museum) as well as being close to Bιthune. Dinner tonight is not included, and you are free to eat in the modern hotel bistro or take taxi to nearby Bethune (10 mins). Bethune has a great choice of authentic French bistros and restuarants for dinner.
Accommodation: *3+ star: La Maison Rouge:
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 4 – Monday 24 April 2017
After breakfast at our hotel we then depart for Mont St. Quentin to learn about the bitter battle in 1918 and see the inspiring Mont St Quentin Australian Memorial.
Sites of the American & Australian attacks on the St Quentin Canal line
The mouth of the St Quentin Canal tunnel
We then return to our hotel for a relaxing afternoon before an early dinner (included) in the hotel as it is a very early start tomorrow. (Note: The breathtaking new Louvre Museum at Lens is only 13 klm away, and if enough people are interested we can arrange for our coach to take you there and return in the afternoon.)
Accommodation: *3+ star: La Maison Rouge:
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 – Tuesday 25 April 2017: ANZAC Day
Leave the hotel this morning very early at 1am sharp. Security is very strict at the ceremony and we want to arrive with plenty of time for security processing. We anticipate arriving at the Australian National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux and cemetery around 2.30-3am so we have time to give you an opportunity to experience the full commemorative programme for the Anzac Day ceremony. It is usually very cold before dawn at the memorial so be prepared and wear layered clothing as the day will change from sub freezing temperatures in the early morning to usually quite a warm day.(You will have a Spirit rainproof poncho/thermal blanket in case it rains). Full details of the ceremony here:
Once the service is over we will then visit nearby Adelaide Cemetery (where our unknown soldier came from) on our way to a well deserved full breakfast at the delightful Le Moulin des Ecrevisses restaurant. After breakfast we head back north to visit the newly refurbished *Franco- Australian (Victoria School) Museum in Villers Bretonneux, then onto Monash's greatest victory at Le Hamel Memorial Park. We then travel north again to Bullecourt for the official DVA centenary service. Here we will enjoy a packed picnic lunch before the ceremony starts at 2pm. This will finish about 4.00 pm then we depart for Lille via Arras where our tour finishes (Lille). At this time there will be an option to leave the tour at Arras or continue through to Lille. (Arras is a 1 hour fast train trip from Paris or Lille). We also suggest that you *stay the night in Arras or Lille before you resume your travels the next morning as today is a very long day. (*Overnight accommodation 25 April in Arras or Lille is not included)
Meals: Full breakfast, packed lunch
Highly experienced and knowledgeable military historian and guide throughout
Executive standard coach used throughout the tour
Dedicated experienced coach driver throughout tour
1 nights 3/4 star accommodation in Lille
1 nights' 3 star accommodation in Ypres
2 nights' 3+ star accommodation: La Maison Rouge:
Breakfast daily whilst on tour
Museum entrance fees:
Ploegsteert visitor centre
Passchendaele Museum, Zonnebeke
Fromelles WW1 Museum
Franco-Australian Museum (Memorial School), Villers-Bretonneux
Special deluxe souvenir colour tour booklet
High quality commemorative clothing: hat and backpack including unique travel blanket
Rainproof Poncho/Heat blanket
Twin/Double Room: Per Person: £990.00 (AUD $1930)
Single Supplement: £295.00 (AUD $580)
(*Final tour price is subject to currency fluctuation(s) adjustment(s) at all times prior to full payment.)
Costs do not include:
Lunches, dinners and beverages not detailed above
Tips, porterage and all personal extras
Transport/trains to and from start and end point (Start Tour: Lille. End Tour: Arras/Lille)
* Subject to currency fluctuation & confirmation at time of booking. Minimum passenger numbers apply
Terms & Conditions:
Deposit of AUD $400 per person to confirm booking
Final Payment 100 days prior to departure
Please see website for full Terms & Conditions
Note baggage is generally restricted to 1 large suitcase and 1 item of hand baggage per person.
* Further information for baggage on tours are shown in our Terms and Conditions
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