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Join historian & bestselling author Ted Barris and Jayne MacAulay as we visit the famous beaches where Canadians stormed ashore in Normandy 80 years ago to begin the liberation of Europe in 1944. Our trip also returns to Dieppe, scene of Operation Jubilee in 1942, and then to historic sites of the Great War, including Vimy and Beaumont-Hamel in France, and finally Canadian battlegrounds and memorials of the Ypres salient (Cloth Hall, Essex Farm, Vancouver Corner, Menin Gate and Passchendaele).

To avoid anniversary crowds and to ensure that our travellers get the most from the tour, our D-Day 80th Anniversary Tour will run from May 15-26, 2024, just prior to the busiest D-Day anniversary first week of June. By visiting in May 2024, we’ll ensure our group enjoys a more leisurely trip with better access to these iconic locations.

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PACKAGE INCLUSIONS:

*Roundtrip direct flights with Air Canada to Paris (return departs from Brussels) *Plaza Premium airport lounge pass *2 Day Lift Ticket *10-nights 3H Superior and 4H hotels with full breakfast - 4-nights stay in Normandy - 2-nights stay in Arras - 2-nights stay in Ypres Salient in Belgium - 2-nights stay in Brussels *7 dinners and 2 lunches *50 seat executive AC Coach with WC/DVD/drinks facilities *Entrances as per itinerary *All taxes

DETAILED ITINERARY

Day 1 Wednesday, May 15, 2024 Overnight air travel from Toronto to Paris.

Day 2 Thursday, May 16, 2024 Upon our arrival in Paris, we’ll board our private coach and travel north to Compiègne Forest, where Allied and German leaders officially signed the Nov. 11, 1918, Armistice ending the First World War and where in 1940 Hitler forced the French to surrender to Nazi Germany in the Second World War. The museum showcases the replica Armistice Wagon and other artifacts. Our coach then makes its way to Normandy and arrival at our hotel for our traditional Welcome Dinner and stay for the next four nights. Meal inclusions: Breakfast, Dinner.

Day 3 Friday, May 17, 2024 During our first full day along the D-Day Invasion area, we’ll depart the hotel for the British (Sword Beach) sector, where we’ll visit Pegasus Bridge Museum, which displays the actual bridge that British infantry (delivered there by gliders) captured just minutes after midnight on D-Day morning. What most of the visitors to the museum don’t realize – but, of course, we do – many of the objectives there on June 6 were captured by the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion who jumped into Normandy with the British Airborne. Following lunch (on own) among the cafés of downtown Ouistreham, we’ll travel to the other British D-Day sector and visit the recently inaugurated British Normandy Memorial offering spectacular views of Gold Beach. Then, on to Arromanches and the renovated Invasion Museum, which showcases one of the wonders of the invasion – the creation of the artificial Mulberry Harbour. On the heels of the invasion forces, Allied ships towed 115 concrete caissons (many still plainly visible off the Arromanches beach) from England to form a five-mile breakwater to enclose an instant harbour for the processing of millions of tons of supplies to keep the momentum of the invasion moving inland. We finish the day enjoying supper (on your own) in restaurants along the Arromanches seaside. Return to our hotel. Meal inclusions: Breakfast.

Day 4 Saturday, May 18, 2024 Continuing our stay in the Invasion beaches, we travel into the Canadian (Juno Beach) sector. We’ll first take ample time to stop and pay tribute at the Beny-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery, where more than 2,000 Canadians who fought and died in the first days of the invasion are buried. Next, we visit the Juno Beach Centre; opened in 2003, this veterans-funded facility gives the visitor a powerful impression of the impact 15,000 Canadians in the D-Day operation made on that longest day. We’ll lunch (on own) amid the cafés up from Juno Beach Centre in Courseulles-sur-Mer, and then join members of the D-Day Academy and their vintage WWII vehicles touring locations in the Canadian sector few tourists ever see, including the B8 Tactical Air Force airfield built by Canadians; the Longuessur-Mer German gun emplacements (where scenes of the movie The Longest Day were shot); and Abbay d’Ardenne (on June 7 and 8, 1944, when members of Kurt Meyer’s Hitler Youth SS regiment captured and systematically executed 20 Canadian infantrymen and tank crew). After a stop at the D-Day Academy Museum, we’ll enjoy supper at La Ferme Billy restaurant in Rots. Return to our hotel. Meal inclusions: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Day 5 Sunday, May 19, 2024 To start another day in the D-Day zone, we’ll depart our hotel for one of the American sectors and explore the Omaha Beach Museum, which spotlights the landings of more than 40,000 U.S. troops. Facing seemingly insurmountable German obstacles and sheer cliffs; members of V Corps sustained in excess of 5,000 casualties penetrating some two kilometres inland on June 6. The museum offers film, soldier profiles and a unique collection of military artifacts from this deadly assault. Following our time at the museum we’ll lunch (on own) in the area, then visit the Normandy American (Omaha Beach) cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer, and then travel to Point du Hoc, a promontory (110-foot cliff intelligence told them was bristling with German guns that could seriously hamstring the U.S. invasion efforts at Omaha and thus became an objective to be taken from the beach by the U.S. Rangers. From an original force of 200, the Rangers were reduced to 90 men who, after two days, finally took the position. Our final stop of the day northwest of Bayeux takes in La Cambe War cemetery, where the remains of more than 21,000 German soldiers involved in the D-Day battles, are buried. Return to hotel. Meal inclusions: Breakfast, Dinner.

Day 6 Monday, May 20, 2024 Departing the Normandy beaches, our journey takes us northeast along the coast of France to the location of Canada’s Second World War crucible – Operation Jubilee on August 19, 1942, at the French seaport of Dieppe. Here, 6,000 troops (most of them Canadian) made a first attempt to crack Hitler’s Atlantic Wall. These were the nine bloodiest hours in Canadian military history; more than half the assault troops became casualties. We will explore Blue Beach and the gun emplacements at Puys (responsible for many of the Cdn casualties); we’ll visit the Dieppe Theatre Museum in the town, where artifacts and images tell much of the story of that day. We’ll also take time to walk Red & White Beaches where chert rock stymied the tank and infantry assault. We’ll pause for lunch along the marina, close to the Hotel Moderne (which recent research has shown was one of the secret objectives of the overall raid). An archaeologist will lead us to a newly discovered bunker in a privategarden; and finally, we’ll stop at theDieppe CanadianCemetery. At day’s end we’ll have arrived at our lodgings in Arras, where we’ll stay for two nights. Meal inclusions: Breakfast, Dinner.

Day 7 Tuesday, May 21, 2024 During our first full day on the battlefields of the Somme, we’ll visit Thiepval and Beaumont-Hamel sites. In the summer of 1916, nearly a year before the historic Canadian Army victory at Vimy Ridge, the allied armies of Britain, the Commonwealth countries (including Canada) and France launched the largest offensive of the war thus far – to relieve the French troops at Verdun, while intending to inflict heavy losses on the German armies and gain ground along that sector of the Western Front. Allied generals set the date for the commencement of the offensive for July 1, 1916. Although thousands of Canadians took part in the operation, they did so as members of Britain’s Expeditionary Force. The offensive, which lasted until November, achieved very little yet cost tens of thousands of lives. Near Albert, France, stands the Thiepval Monument that pays tribute to the nearly 60,000 men lost in the extended battle. Key to the first day of the offensive was the role played by the Newfoundland regiment, which went over the top at Beaumont Hamel. In just 40 minutes of fighting, the Newfoundlanders advanced into German machine-gun fire, and were decimated. Barely 60 of the 700 men answered roll call the next morning. The site of the BeaumontHamel battlefield is considered sacred ground to Canadians, especially Newfoundlanders. We visit both these Somme battleground areas and the related museum exhibits. We’ll enjoy a locally made picnic lunch at theOld Blighty Cafe andwe will continue onto view theLochnagar Crater, one of the largest mine-generated craters on the Western Front. We will also visit the city ofAlbert, where we will explore theSomme 1916 Museum,hidden deep underneath the city’s Romanesque Basilica. Then we return to our hotel in Arras. Meal inclusions: Breakfast, Dinner.

Day 8 Wednesday, May 22, 2024 Another important day begins with our visit to the Vimy Ridge Memorial and accompanying battle sites. On Easter Monday, April 9, 1917, the Canadian Corps of 49 battalions – nearly 100,000 Canadian men serving together as a single fighting unit – rose from the trenches in front of No Man’s Land and accomplished the impossible. Where, for two years, neither the British nor French armies had succeeded in overcoming the German Army occupation of the ridge, the Canadians – in four days – managed to seize and hold the most strategic heights of the Western Front. Some say the event signified the birth of Canada as a nation. There will be opportunity to explore the Visitors’ Centre and some of the extraordinary excavations (miles of trenches and tunnels) the Canadians dug in preparation for the battle. The visit, of course, includes time to walk to, around and onto Walter Allward’s breath-taking sculpture, the 125-foot high Vimy Memorial, with its 11,285 names inscribed (Canadians lost in the Great War, for whom there are no known graves). After lunch, we depart Vimy for Notre Dame du Lorette’s Remembrance Ring (a WWI memorial for the 576,606 soldiers of 40 different countries who died in Nord-Pas-de-Calais) and Hill 70 (location of the Canadian offensive August 15-25, 1917, intended to draw German troops from the Ypres salient). At end of day, we arrive at our lodgings in Ypres, Belgium where we are staying for the next two nights Meal inclusions: Breakfast, Dinner.

Day 9 Day 9– Thursday, May 23, 2024 We continue our exploration of Canada’s role in the Great War. Within weeks of the start of the war in 1914, German armies arrived on the doorstep of all the major cities of France and Belgium. Among them was Ypres, Belgium, where the first Canadians overseas took a stand in defence of the Ypres Salient, a bulge in the Western Front encompassing the city of Ypres, in the Flanders district of Belgium. The 1st Canadian Division exhibited extraordinary valour, particularly in the face of one of the first gas attacks of the war; despite more than 5,000 casualties near where the Menin Gate stands today, Canadians held fast. We will visit important Canadian memorials and cemeteries in the area, including Saint Julien (home of Brooding Soldier monument), and Tyne Cot Cemetery (11,965 burials, of which 8,369 are unnamed). During the Great War, the city of Ypres was virtually levelled. Throughout the siege, the remnants of the spires of the Cloth Hall stood eerily behind the Allied troops. Today rebuilt exactly as it stood before the war, the building has become the In Flanders Fields Museum and offers a tactile, engaging eyewitness account of life in Ypres for soldiers and civilians during the war. The tour will take in the museum and there will be time to take in the shops around the Ypres Grote market or Grand Place. The evening will include witnessing one of the most moving ceremonies of the trip. The Last Post ceremony has been held nightly at the Menin Gate since November 11, 1929 (interrupted by WWII). Every night at exactly 8 p.m., Ypres police halt all traffic through and around the gate. As silence falls, buglers from the local fire brigade arrive and sound the Last Post and Reveille – Ypres’ nightly tribute to all those who fought to defend their ancestors in Flanders Fields. Return to hotel. Meal inclusions: Breakfast, Lunch.

Day 10 Friday, May 24, 2024 Returning to historic sites in the Ypres Salient. Among our stops today will be a fitting tribute to another Canadian of the War, John McCrae, the young physician from Guelph, Ontario, who interrupted his practice to serve in the CEF and who, in 1915, composed among the most enduring pieces of poetry – In Flanders Fields. We will visit McCrae’s memorial on the Canal Bank at Essex Farm. We’ll also take in the extraordinary Langemarck Cemetery, where 44,000 German war-dead are buried. Also in our itinerary are the valleys and ridges of Passchendaele where Canadians made another Vimy-like push against German occupying troops in the fall of 1917. The Passchendaele Museum is newly renovated and expanded and sheds new light on the nature of this critical fall campaign by Commonwealth troops. With our travels through the battlefields and historic sites of both the First and Second World Wars completed, we travel on to our lodgings in Brussels. Meal inclusions: Breakfast.

Day 11 Saturday, May 25, 2024 Discover the wonders that the city of Brussels hides. Our adventure in the dazzling Grand Place or Grote Markt that will dazzle us with its wide variety of architectural styles. There we will find ourselves in front of the imposing City Hall of the city, and then we will move towards the famous “meón boy” or Manneken Pis: The great star of the city. We then continue to the Sablón neighbourhood to see the Church of Notre Dame and a former meeting place for the aristocracy during the 19th century. From there we will go to the royal court district, located in the upper part of the city. After lunch, Waterloo! You will visit the site of the final defeat of Emperor Napoleon I, in 1815. South of town, overlooking the battlefield, the Lion’s Mound is an artificial hill topped by a cast-iron lion. It’s a great place for history buffs, for those of you who are not too keen on exploring the ins and outs of the historical fight, there are plenty of other things to see and do in and around Waterloo such as castles, churches, casinos, panoramic views and many more. Our fun and entertaining guide will make this a memorable experience for you. Farewell Dinner at/near hotel. Return to hotel. Meal inclusions: Breakfast, Dinner.

Day 12 Sunday, May 26, 2024 Air travel from Brussels home to Toronto

A minimum of 25 paying passengers is required for the tour to proceed. Maximum group size of 40 passengers. Rate of $6,629 CAD per person is based on double occupancy. Single supplement of $1,600. A $750.00 nonrefundable deposit is required at the time of booking. Final payment is due 60 days prior to departure on March 15, 2024. Not included: Insurance, personal expenses, any meals, or drinks not mentioned, gratuities and Merit Travel service fee. All other services that have not been mentioned in the inclusions. Hotels: Mercure Caen, Holiday Inn Arras, Styles Kortrijk, Brussels Centre or similar.

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Fall Battlefield Tour 2024

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Fall Battlefield Tour: 2 nts Ypres, 2 nts Arras, 1 nt Dieppe, 3 nts Port en Bessin, 1 nt Paris

Flanders – Vimy – Somme – Dieppe – Normandy – Paris

THE FULL & ORIGINAL CANADIAN BATTLEFIELD TOUR

This is the original Canadian battlefield tour, built upon throughout the years but maintaining a simple goal – an extraordinary introduction to some of the famous Canadian battlefields and memorials of the First, and Second World War.

​ On this original tour program, you get a well-rounded and all encapsulating introduction to both great conflicts in our recent human history. Discover how they are linked to each other, and how they have impacted the world we live in today. This tour is guided by our experienced and knowledgeable battlefield guide, and includes visits with some of our favourite battlefield friends.

10 DAYS / 9 NIGHTS

Maximum Tour Capacity: 25 Travellers per 40 seat coach

Contact DHTour at 1-888-597-3519 or 905-639-9954 or  [email protected] to book.

Looking for more Battlefield tours or are you interested in a private tour ?

Tour Details

Highlights:

  • A visit to Vimy Ridge
  • Explore the Canadian and American beaches of the famous Normandy D-Day invasions in WW2
  • Beaumont Hamel: The largest fully intact, First World War battlefield in the world. It has been kept as it was and maintained by Canada
  • Visit the seaside town of Dieppe and take in where so many Canadians fought and died in what was called Canada’s largest casualty day in WW2
  • Witness the breathtaking Last Post Ceremony at Menin Gate led by the dedicated Ypres Fire Department & World Community honouring those who fought in the Great War
  • ​View the German Cemetery of Langemark as well as Lochnagar, one of the Great War’s largest craters

Pick Up Location & TIme

Brussels International Airport ( Google Map ) TBA – Meet your tour manager in the arrivals lounge.

Drop off Location & Time

Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport ( Google Map ) TBA – drop off at airport

Price Includes

  • 9 nights accommodations in Superior Tourist Class (3 - 4 Star Hotels)
  • Full-Time Experienced Battlefield Tour Manager & Escort
  • Transportation in fully air-conditioned, ozone filtered executive coaches
  • Daily breakfasts, 2 lunches, 8 dinners
  • Online Custom Map Kit & Tour Resource & Info Guide
  • All Entrances as per your Itinerary
  • All surcharges, fees, and departure taxes

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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)
  • 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. 

Day 1 - Friday, September 13th A Warm Welcome to Flanders

Upon your arrival at  Brussels International Airport , you will be welcomed by your battlefield tour guide, who will escort you to our coach and driver before we tour the short distance to  West Flanders ,  Belgium . This afternoon we will take an orientation of the  Ypres Salient Battlefields  with visits to the  German cemetery  of  Langemark , and the   ‘Brooding Soldier’   at  St Julien , to commemorate the first gas attacks against the 1st Canadian Corps in 1915. We end our introduction with a visit to   Essex Farm , the place where John McCrae wrote the famous poem “In Flanders Fields”. Lastly, we stop in the medieval city of  Ypres , also known as the ‘City of Peace’, for a brief orientation tour, before continuing back to  Kortrijk  for our  welcome dinner together and an early night’s rest. (D)

Accommodation: Kortrijk/Ypres Area or similar

Day 2 - Saturday, September 14th Exploring the Ypres Salient

We begin our day with a visit to the  Tyne Cot Commonwealth Cemetery  – the largest Commonwealth Cemetery, of any conflict, in the world. We will also explore the Battle of Passchendaele, with visits to the  Passchendaele Museum , in  Zonnebeke , and the   Crest Farm Memorial , in  Passendale . After lunch, we will explore the  Hooghe Crater , and  Hill 62  – a small area of the original battlefield and part of the Canadian Front Line. In the late afternoon, enjoy the chance to explore the historically rich city of  Ypres   at your own pace. We come together again for an early group meal in the heart of the medieval Ypres’  Grote Markt . Tonight, at 8 PM, we will witness the iconic and historic  Last Post Ceremony , at the  Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing , led by the Ieper Fire Department & the Last Post Association. In this last Centennial Year remembering the First World War, the Last Post Association promises their daily act of homage to be among the most memorable acts of remembrance that we will witness on tour. (B, D)

Day 3 - Sunday, September 15th Exploring the Last 100 Days of WW1

We say our farewells to  Flanders, Belgium  this morning and depart for the   Northern battlefields of France  – but first – we will make a significant stop at the  St. Symphorien Cemetery  near the city of  Mons . This is where the first and last actions in the First World War took place. Consequently, this is also where the first and last Allied casualties of the Great War are laid to rest. We continue our story of the Last 100 Days with a visit to the city of  Cambrai , where we will stop for lunch and orientation of the deeply rooted Canadian action, still visible in the scars of the city’s architecture. We continue further still, to  Bourlon Wood , to see the memorial which commemorates the Canadian Corps’ crossing at the  Canal du Nord   on November 11th, 1918. The stairs leading up to the memorial are lined with ancient lime trees that were nursed back to health after having been devastated by shellfire during the battle for Bourlon Wood. We finish our day in the city of  Arras , where we will enjoy a   group dinner   together before our overnight. (B, D)

Accommodation: Arras or similar

Day 4 - Monday, September 16th The Battlefields of 1917: Vimy Ridge & Hill 70

Today we take a tour to  Vimy Ridge Memorial Park . It was on Hill 145, on April 1917, that Canada truly became a nation in the eyes of the world. Its troops combined and stormed Vimy Ridge after all other allied forces had failed to do so. We will tour the tunnels, trenches and memorial, as well as the  new interpretation centre , which opened in Spring 2017 for the 100th Anniversary. Enjoy a locally prepared picnic lunch en route. In the afternoon, we continue to see the new  Canadian Memorial at Hill 70 . Here we will be discussing the Battle of Hill 70 – sometimes dubbed as “Canada’s Forgotten Battle”. When our explorations of the battlefields are through, we head back to  Arras  to explore the French city at our own pace. With its many shops, cafes and restaurants, take the time to also enjoy dinner on your own this evening. (B, L)

Day 5 - Tuesday, September 17th Exploring the Somme Battlefields

We will depart from  Arras  this morning, journeying through the Somme region en-route to the city of  Amiens . Our day will be spent exploring the  Somme  – making visits to the  Memorial to the Missing at Thiepval , as well the preserved battlefield memorial park at  Beaumont Hamel   – dedicated to the Royal Newfoundland and Labrador Regiment who lost so many men on that first day of battle. After enjoying a locally made picnic lunch at the  Old Blighty Cafe  we will continue on to view the  Lochnagar Crater , among one of the largest craters on the battlefields of the Western Front. We will also visit the city of  Albert , where we will explore the  Somme 1916 Museum , hidden deep underneath the city’s Romanesque Basilica. We will then head out to the coast for our dinner and overnight. (B, L, D)

Accommodation: Dieppe or similar

Day 6 - Wednesday, September 18th Dieppe

This morning, we will first explore the  Blue Beach   at   Puys , where we can view the gun emplacements on the cliff tops, which, on Aug 19, 1942, were responsible for such terrible Canadian casualties. We will then visit the   Dieppe Canadian Cemetery   before travelling to  Green Beach  at  Pourville . We will also view the main landing beaches of  Red   and  White   on the  Dieppe seafront . Later, we will continue our journey to  Normandy Landing Beaches for our hotel check-in, dinner, and overnight. (B, D)

Accommodation: Port en Bessin or similar

Day 7 - Thursday, September 19th Normandy Beaches

Today we will focus on the  D-Day Normandy invasion . We will begin our morning with a visit to  Pointe du Hoc   where the cratered landscape of the German battery, taken by the US Rangers in 1944, can be observed. We will continue to  Omaha Beach  and the  American Military Cemetery  to discover the appalling difficulties required for landing on Bloody Omaha. After leaving Omaha, we visit   La Chaos , the German offshore battery, which today sits relatively intact, even after 70+ years. This afternoon, we visit the  Mulberry Harbors  in  Arromanches   before heading back to  Caen  for another evening meal together. (B, D)

Day 8 - Friday, September 20th Juno Beach & The Battle of Normandy

We will begin our day with a visit to the  Battle of Normandy Museum  in  Bayeux , offering the visitor an illustrative understanding of the decisive actions that were taken in the liberation of Western Europe in 1944. With a refreshed perspective, we head to the Canadian battlefields & beaches of Normandy. Our first stop will be to  Verrieres Ridge   to view the area where the Black Watch suffered severe casualties in “Operation Spring”. We continue on to the  Juno Beach Center , dedicated to the 3rd Division landings as well as Canada’s full involvement during World War II. Before heading back for dinner, we will visit the  Queens’ Own Rifles House , the first house liberated by Canadian forces when they stormed the beaches at Juno on June 6th, 1944. Our day will end with a solemn visit to the  Beny-sur-Mer , Canadian Military Cemetery . (B, D)

Day 9 - Saturday, September 21st Journey to Paris

After checking out of our hotel this morning, we will finish our tour of the Normandy region with visits to see the Canadian Memorial Garden in the Abbaye des Ardennes, as well as Pegasus Bridge – where the 6th British Airborne landed, captured and liberated the first house in Europe, the Café Gondree. We will then take the journey down to Paris. As we drive into the city, enjoy a coach orientation tour with our guide, before a river cruise of the Seine and a visit to the Notre Dame of Paris Cathedral . Tonight, we will enjoy an early farewell dinner together at the Jardin du Notre Dame. From here we will say farewell to some of our fellow travellers who are staying in Paris before heading up to Paris’ Charles du Galle International Airport for out overnight. (B,D)

Accommodation: Paris or similar

Day 10 - Sunday, September 22nd Onwards to Your Next Journey!

This morning after breakfast you will take your independent travels onwards to your next journey. We are grateful to have you join us on this powerful journey to the battlefields. Safe travels!  Ask us about Paris Hotel Packages . (B)

Dates and Prices

TOUR PAYMENT SCHEDULE:

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

Your Remaining Balance: Due 60 days prior to departure – Monday July 15th, 2024

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 [email protected]   to book.

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

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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The Fall Battlefield Tour

FLANDERS   -   VIMY   -   SOMME   -   DIEPPE  -   NORMANDY   -   PARIS

 the full & original canadian battlefield tour .

The Vimy Interpretive Centre in the early fall season

Sept 13 - Sept 22, 2024

This is the original Canadian battlefield tour, built upon throughout the years but maintaining a simple goal - an extraordinary introduction to some of the famous Canadian battlefields and memorials of the First, and Second World War.

On this original tour program, you get a well-rounded and all encapsulating introduction to both great conflicts in our recent human history. Discover how they are linked to each other, and how they have impacted the world we live in today. This tour is guided by our founder Ian Cowan, and includes visits with some of our favourite battlefield friends. 

Screenshot 2024-01-18 at 2_edited.jpg

There's something about this memorial that has us taking a picture every time we visit, I have the same picture on my phone for years - there's just something about this memorial. As tour guides, we are constantly in awe of the place.

​ The Fall Battlefield Tour Info

Destinations: belgium & france, flanders – vimy – somme – dieppe – normandy – paris, 10 days / 9 nights, 2 nights ypres, 2 nights arras, 1 night dieppe, 3 nights port en bessin-huppain, 1 night paris, tour dates september 13th - september 22nd, 2024, recent fall tour updates.

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  • Sep 1, 2017

Passchendaele: Canada's Battle

  • Apr 17, 2016

The Somme's Secret Weapon

The Best Guidebook You Can Ever Have to the Fascinating Insights During the Great War at Westhoek

  • Aug 10, 2015

The Best Guidebook You Can Ever Have to the Fascinating Insights During the Great War at Westhoek

Fall Tour Map & Outline

Explore by scrolling through the cities we will be visiting, and zoom in to get familiar with where we will be visiting on this tour.

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

A visit to Vimy Ridge

Explore the Canadian and American beaches of the famous Normandy D-Day invasions in WW2  

Beaumont Hamel : The largest fully intact, First World War battlefield in the world. It has been kept as it was and maintained by Canada

Visit the seaside town of Dieppe and take in where so many Canadians fought and died in what was called Canada's largest casualty day in WW2

Witness the breathtaking Last Post Ceremony at Menin Gate led by the dedicated Ypres Fire Department & World Community honouring those who fought in the Great War

​View the German Cemetery of Langemark   as well as  Lochnagar , one of the Great War's largest craters 

Fall Tour | Itinerary

  Day 1   Friday, Sept 13th | A Warm Welcome to Flanders Upon your arrival at Brussels International Airport , you will be welcomed by your battlefield tour guide, who will escort you to our coach and driver before we tour the short distance to  West Flanders , Belgium . This afternoon we will take an orientation of the Ypres Salient Battlefields with visits to the German cemetery of Langemark , and the 'Brooding Soldier' at St Julien , to commemorate the first gas attacks against the 1st Canadian Corps in 1915. We end our introduction with a visit to   Essex Farm , the place where John McCrae wrote the famous poem “In Flanders Fields” . Lastly, we stop in the medieval city of Ypres , also known as the ' City of Peace' , for a brief orientation tour, before continuing back to Kortrijk for our welcome dinner together and an early night’s rest.  [Overnight – Ypres  (D)]

Day 2 - Saturday, Sept 14th  |  Exploring the Ypres Salient We begin our day with a visit to the Tyne Cot Commonwealth Cemetery - the largest Commonwealth Cemetery, of any conflict, in the world. We will also explore the Battle of Passchendaele, with visits to the Passchendaele Museum , in Zonnebeke , and the Crest Farm Memorial , in Passchendale . After lunch, we will explore the Hooghe Crater , and Hill 62 - a small area of the original battlefield and part of the Canadian Front Line. In the late afternoon, enjoy the chance to explore the historically rich city of Ypres at your own pace. We come together again for an early group meal in the heart of the medieval Ypres'  Grote Markt . Tonight, at 8 PM, we will witness the iconic and historic  Last Post Ceremony , at the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing , led by the Ieper Fire Department & the Last Post Association. In this last Centennial Year remembering the First World War, the Last Post Association promises their daily act of homage to be among the most memorable acts of remembrance that we will witness on tour.

[Overnight – Ypres (B, D)]

Day 3   Sunday, Sept 15th | Exploring the Last 100 Days of WW1 

We say our farewells to Flanders, Belgium this morning and depart for the Northern battlefields of France - but first - we will make a significant stop at the St. Symphorien Cemetery near the city of Mons . This is where the first and last actions in the First World War took place. Consequently, this is also where the first and last Allied casualties of the Great War are laid to rest. We continue our story of the Last 100 Days with a visit to the city of Cambrai , where we will stop for lunch and orientation of the deeply rooted Canadian action, still visible in the scars of the city’s architecture. We continue further still, to Bourlon Wood , to see the memorial which commemorates the Canadian Corps’ crossing at the Canal du Nord on November 11th, 1918. The stairs leading up to the memorial are lined with ancient lime trees that were nursed back to health after having been devastated by shellfire during the battle for Bourlon Wood. We finish our day in the city of Arras , where we will enjoy a group dinner together before our overnight. [Overnight – Arras (B, D)]

Day 4   Monday, Sept 16th | The Battlefields of 1917: Vimy Ridge & Hill 70 

Today we take a tour to Vimy Ridge Memorial Park . It was on Hill 145, on April 1917, that Canada truly became a nation in the eyes of the world. Its troops combined and stormed Vimy Ridge after all other allied forces had failed to do so. We will tour the tunnels, trenches and memorial, as well as the  new interpretation centre , which opened in Spring 2017 for the 100th Anniversary. Enjoy a locally prepared picnic lunch en route. In the afternoon, we continue to see the new Canadian Memorial at Hill 70 . Here we will be discussing the Battle of Hill 70 - sometimes dubbed as “Canada’s Forgotten Battle” . When our explorations of the battlefields are through, we head back to  Arras to explore the French city at our own pace. With its many shops, cafes and restaurants, take the time to also enjoy dinner on your own this evening. [Overnight - Arras (B, L)]

Day 5   Tuesday, Sept 17th | Exploring the Somme Battlefields We will depart from Arras this morning, journeying through the Somme region en-route to the city of Amiens . Our day will be spent exploring the Somme - making visits to the Memorial to the Missing at Thiepval , as well the preserved battlefield memorial park at Beaumont Hamel - dedicated to the Royal Newfoundland and Labrador Regiment who lost so many men on that first day of battle. After enjoying a locally made picnic lunch at the Old Blighty Cafe we will continue on to view the Lochnagar Crater , among one of the largest craters on the battlefields of the Western Front. We will also visit the city of Albert , where we will explore the Somme 1916 Museum , hidden deep underneath the city’s Romanesque Basilica. We will then head out to the coast for our dinner and overnight. [Overnight – Dieppe (B, L, D)]

Day 6  Wednesday, Sept 18th | Dieppe   This morning, we will first explore the Blue Beach at Puys , where we can view the gun emplacements on the cliff tops, which, on Aug 19, 1942, were responsible for such terrible Canadian casualties. We will then visit the Dieppe Canadian Cemetery before travelling to Green Beach at Pourville . We will also view the main landing beaches of Red and White on the Dieppe seafront . Later, we will continue our journey to Normandy Landing Beaches  for our hotel check-in, dinner, and overnight. [Overnight - Port en Bessin (B, D)]

Day 7    Thursday, Sept 19th  | Normandy Beaches  Today we will focus on the D-Day Normandy invasion . We will begin our morning with a visit to Pointe du Hoc where the cratered landscape of the German battery, taken by the US Rangers in 1944, can be observed. We will continue to Omaha Beach  and the American Military Cemetery  to discover the appalling difficulties required for landing on Bloody Omaha . After leaving Omaha, we visit La Chaos , the German offshore battery, which today sits relatively intact, even after 70+ years. This afternoon, we visit the Mulberry Harbors in Arromanches before heading back to Caen for another evening meal together. [Overnight – Port en Bessin (B, D)] Day 8   Friday, Sept 20th  | Juno & The Battle of Normandy We will begin our day with a visit to the Battle of Normandy Museum in Bayeux , offering the visitor an illustrative understanding of the decisive actions that were taken in the liberation of Western Europe in 1944. With a refreshed perspective, we head to the Canadian battlefields & beaches of Normandy. Our first stop will be to Verrieres Ridge to view the area where the Black Watch suffered severe casualties in “ Operation Spring ”. We continue on to the Juno Beach Center , dedicated to the 3rd Division landings as well as Canada’s full involvement during World War II. Before heading back for dinner, we will visit the Queens’ Own Rifles House , the first house liberated by Canadian forces when they stormed the beaches at Juno on June 6th, 1944. Our day will end with a solemn visit to the Beny-sur-Mer, Canadian Military Cemetery . [Overnight – Port en Bessin (B, D)]

Day 9   Saturday, Sept 21st | Journey to Paris  After checking out of our hotel this morning, we will finish our tour of the Normandy region with visits to see the Canadian Memorial Garden in the Abbaye des Ardennes , as well as Pegasus Bridge - where the 6th British Airborne landed, captured and liberated the first house in Europe, the Café Gondree . We will then take the journey down to Paris . As we drive into the city, enjoy a coach orientation tour with our guide, before a river cruise of the Seine and a visit to the Notre Dame of Paris Cathedral . Tonight, we will enjoy an early farewell dinner together at the Jardin du Notre Dame before checking into our hotel to prepare for our early morning flight departure. [Overnight – Paris (B, D)]

Day 10   Sunday, Sept 22nd | Group Flight Departure This morning after breakfast we transfer to Paris’ Charles du Gaulle International Airport for our group flight departure home, [or take a personal travel extension to Paris/Brussels/Amsterdam ].

[(B) Lunch and snacks served onboard]  

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

LIMITED SPACE AVAILABLE

Thinking about arranging a custom pre-tour trip or post-tour trip extension?  We encourage it! 

Contact us at [email protected]  

& we will happily provide suggestions to enhance your experience!

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Exploring the advanced dressing stations, at Essex Farm in   Flanders, Belgium

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The Hooghe Crater near Ypres, Belgium

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The Medieval Gates of Cambrai, France

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The Vimy Ridge Memorial, France 

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The new Hill 70 Memorial (pictured during the inauguration in August 2017) 

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The Somme 1916 Museum in Albert, France 

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The Beaches at Puys, near Dieppe. France 

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Point du Hoc, Normandy, where the American Rangers

landed on D-Day 

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Juno Beach & Memorial at sunset 

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The Notre Dame of Paris, just after sunset 

Fall Tour | Inclusions

Tour pricing comes with the following inclusions & exclusions:

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Round Trip Air Fare

Some Lunches (L) & Some Dinners (D)  

Single Room Supplement

Gratuities to your drivers and guides  

Porterage (luggage handling to your room available upon request)  

Travel Insurance (please contact your travel agent / DH Tour if you need assistance booking medical or trip cancellation insurance)

Accommodations in Superior Tourist Class Hotels throughout (3-4*)

All Entrances as per your Itinerary

Full-Time Tour Manager & Escort

Transportation in fully air-conditioned, ozone filtered executive coaches

Breakfast (B) throughout, Most Dinners (D) and some Lunches (L)

Online Map Kit, Tour Resource & Info Guide

All service fees, surcharges, fees, and departure taxes

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Fall Tour | Pricing

Land only - per person, based on twin occupancy

Land Only - Single Supplement

**Air is available from all major Canadian cities

TOUR PAYMENT SCHEDULE

Initial Deposit: $500, ($300 of which is non-refundable) to guarantee your space is due immediately

Your Remaining Balance: Due 60 days prior to departure  Monday July 15th, 2024  

[email protected]

1-877-449-4652.

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Welcome to Canadian Battlefield Tours

Canadian battlefield tours is a battlefield tour company, specializing in the canadian actions in ww1 and the canadian and british actions in ww2., our aim is to provide to you with a very unique experience while in europe. if you were in the canadian military, have friends or family that have served in the canadian military, or have an interest in military history, our tours will provide you with an unparalleled experience relative to the canadian battles in ww1 and the canadian, british and polish battles in ww2..

Our tours are private , custom tours designed to be intimate and personal. They are available on a first come, first serve basis to anyone and will especially appeal to relatives of Canadian front line soldiers who were at the “sharp edge” and saw action in these theatres. To accomplish this we have restricted the size of our groups to 1 to 3 people. A personal tour, with pick-up at your hotel, may cost more when compared with joining a fixed-itinerary ‘bus’ tour, but the value, attention to detail, and personal touch is priceless. We feel it is by far and away the best way to see the battlefield. This is especially true, when this may be your one occasion to make the visit of your lifetime, making your battlefield visit a seamless experience. A personal tour is also better suited for the quiet exploration and reflection of past events, without the possible distraction of others making up your group – and the need for the tour leader to stick to a fixed time schedule!

Conducted (usually bus) tours, whether large or small, understandably, require you to comply with a fairly strict itinerary. The reason for this, is that the larger bus tours tend to take you primarily, to the better known monuments, museums and cemeteries.

Of course, with us, you will also visit these same monuments, museums and cemeteries, but always, with us, you will see so much more. For example, by the sheer size of their buses or coaches, they are unable to navigate the narrow farm tracks/roads, etc., to where some of the most poignant events took place. We don’t have those problems and our tours by their very nature, will take you through some of the most beautiful, scenic countryside you will ever see, usually on good quality, paved “back roads. We try to avoid, where possible, the extremely busy main highways. If you travel as part of a large group you may become frustrated by not being able to explore the landscape and ‘follow your nose’ to uncover the legacy of the battlefields. It can also be frustrating to be told to get back on the bus, to be herded to the next ‘must see’.

As noted above, our tours include visits to a select number of monuments, museums and beautiful Cemeteries, maintained and operated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. We also include a few select German cemeteries. Our tours are always flexible and will allow you the time you wish, to reminisce at the cemeteries. We will also make sure you have sufficient “free time” to enjoy other local tourist attractions.

Meet Your Guides

Ed Church

Gianni Blasi

Jim Smithson

Jim Smithson

Andy White

Roberto Piccione

Jon Haslock

Jon Haslock

Peter Smith

Peter Smith

Andrew Robertshaw

Andrew Robertshaw

Tim Wright

Bill McQuade

Joël Stoppels

Joël Stoppels

Berry & Yvonne Swarthoff

Berry & Yvonne Swarthoff

Robert Catsburg

Robert Catsburg

Jan Braakman

Jan Braakman

Jonathan Nicholls

Jonathan Nicholls

Mike Scott

Valerie Vaultier

Richard Porter

Richard Porter

Guillermo Alcantara

Guillermo Alcantara

Sonia Hidalgo

Sonia Hidalgo

Edwin Popken

Edwin Popken

wartime

Testimonials

  • Gary - The trip was perfect and we only have great things to say about Jon. I could tell from the first minute when my history-buff father-in-law and Jon started talking as we drove out of town that they were going to hit it off. He took us to all the planned sites and some that were off the beaten track with very personal relevance. He had researched where the fighting was on the day my Great-Great Uncle was killed and was able to show me where he believed he had fallen. It was unexpected and very moving. We give Jon a 10 out of 10! Even in the fourth day when my father in law’s energy was lagging a bit Jon was good enough to trim the agenda (at our request) and be flexible. Thanks for everything. It was exactly what we were hoping it would be. Bill Snider, Pam & Gerry Goddard Toronto, Ontario
  • Hi Gary: We are just back in Istanbul now, after a wonderful tour. Simply put, both tours were fantastic. Both Jon and Robin were very knowledgeable and passionate about their respective eras. Jon seems like a quieter person and Robin is quite the character but both were well-suited to us and our son. I think however that we enjoyed the WW1 tour a bit more because of the family connection to it. Visiting the cemetery where David Milne was buried as well as the possible battlefield where Darin’s grandfather was injured was very emotional. Jon also showed me some Chinese names listed on the Notre Dame de Lorette monument that were the same as my maiden name (Wei) and told me about Asians in WW1. I was not at all expecting this information as the tour was mainly for my husband and son and I appreciated that Jon did this research. We enjoyed Robin’s stories at all the places he took us too. We appreciated his maps and photos as they made the modern sites come alive. We could picture the gliders in the fields and the placement of the men and guns. We were even able to meet Madame Gondree at her family’s cafe next to the Pegasus Bridge. Due to an extremely low tide we were also able to walk out to the remnants of the Mulberry harbour on Gold beach - a highlight for our son. Robin took into consideration our son’s interest in tanks and guns so showed us some tanks on display and visited the Maisy battery. Both Jon and Robin were flexible in their tours and seemed to tailor the amount of info they gave to us based on our level of interest. We would definitely recommend both of them. Robin’s French partner also kindly organized some dinner reservations for us as we don’t speak much French. We stayed in an apartment in Bayeux so didn’t have a hotel reception to help us out. All in all, it was a great 5 days. Very emotional at times and it was eye-opening to see the scale of loss on both sides by visiting the many cemeteries. Our son is 16 and it was sobering for him to see how many 18 &19 year olds were buried in the cemetery plots. I was unaware there were so many Unknown Soldiers and we realized that we were fortunate that David Milne was identified and had his name on a tombstone. Thank you for helping organize the tours! NOTE: This was a pilgrimage tour for Gillian’s husband Darin, following the service of his grandfather David Milne. Gillian Wei-Roberts Istanbul, Türkiye
  • As to our tour, I would start by saying that Robin’s enthusiasm and work ethic are excellent.  Although I haven’t taken a battlefield tour before and didn’t really know what to expect, it was obvious from the start that he had put a lot of work into personalizing our tour.  The specific work he did on the South Saskatchewan Regiment and their specific actions around my relative’s movements and injuries were unexpected.  I wanted to see where my uncle got hurt near Ifs in July 1944 and he did his best to take me to the exact spot.  We did see the main sights for sure in Normandy, but he did a lot of work in making the tour relevant to me and my family.  A highlight was him playing for us a CBC radio broadcast after the Dieppe raid where my uncle was interviewed!  Amazing! He also spent a lot of time trying to show us graves of some of the boys who would have known my relatives, or who they would have commanded.  The visit to Dieppe was a real highlight-we traced the SSR company that my Uncle was CSM of during the day right to the point where he was commanding a company headquarters.  Seeing Dieppe and Green Beach was something I’ve wanted to do my whole life and it didn’t disappoint.  He also ordered a couple of wreaths which were personalized for the SSR from the British Legion and we did a wreath laying at Bretteville and Dieppe which were emotional and very gratifying. One unexpected thing was once my wife indicated she had relatives flying Mustangs with the RCAF, he did some evening research and the next day showed her some flight records and a location of one of the airfields they flew out of in France.  She really appreciated that. I found the days long, but rewarding.  My wife probably would say they were a bit long for her, but she hung in there. We added on Abbey d’Ardenne at my request, and I’m glad we did.  My wife knew nothing about the SS, atrocities, or Kurt Meyer.  She was shocked when she found out it was not an uncommon occurrence and said afterwards she found that part haunting. As we travelled and stopped for lunch I generally picked up the tab, which I was happy to do. He did use his own car which was roomy and comfortable, and tried to get us off the beaten track locations for snacks and meals which we really liked. On the last day after we finished touring, he drove us back to Pourville and we spent some time on a patio discussing the tour, his plans for the remainder of the year, and life in general. Mr. & Mrs. Dan Long Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • Hi Gary, We got home yesterday, exhausted but satisfied with our experience. Basically we had 4 days, on the road by 9AM touring all day and home at 7PM. Our basic tours were Vimy, Hill 70 and Cambria, Ypres & Passchendaele and The Somme  There were added side tours on each day. We were very impressed with Jon, he's a walking encyclopedia and very personable. We felt that he read our understanding of the war and our interests well and was flexible enough to accommodate our interests. For example, our grandsons were quite interested in the tanks, and Jon arranged to visit the tank Dolores? The buried tank found south of Cambrai. We enjoyed the spots he found for lunch and our visits over the meal were very pleasant. Our grandsons are typical  teenagers, but Jon got along with them well and they in turn thought he was great. The various cemeteries presented a solemn reminder of the lives lost . We were very impressed with CWGC work in maintaining them. All in all an educational and enjoyable experience Bob & Edna David Alberta, Canada
  • To cut to the chase we give both tours 10/10. This is interesting in that our two tour guides Jon and Robin have different personalities and styles. The common feature is that both guides are true historians and extremely professional. More important though is that they were able to judge our level of understanding and interest and adjust their itineraries and presentations accordingly. We definitely felt that each day was “ customized” for us. They obviously had more knowledge than we did but only took it as far as  we wanted at a particular cemetery, monument or battlefield. When we wanted more in depth information they gave it to us. They let us wander through cemeteries reading headstones and we never felt there was a schedule we had to keep. We thoroughly enjoyed our three days with Jon Haslock. He was excellent in showing us how the battles were fought. We stood on the grounds at Passchendaele, Vimy and Beaumont-Hamel and he explained the movements of the trenches, the attacks and the positions so we got a real sense of what it must have been like. We also talked about the impact on the civilians-farmers, shopkeepers whose homes and lands were in the occupied zones and what it must have been like to return or not to their village. The impact on civilians is not something that gets proper appreciation. A nice touch was one day when we stopped for lunch and met Jon’s wife and mother in law. Little personal things like this make the relationship special. We would highly, highly recommend Jon as a tour guide. We would be thrilled to come back and tour with Jon. We thoroughly enjoyed our 3 days with Robin Burrows-Ellis. Robin focused on lesser known facts and the true stories such as the Maisy battery and Pointe du Hoc. Robin has done extensive research on individuals, whether a grave marker or a battle leader. By drilling down to the personal side of a conflict he created a closer connection to the individual and turned names into persons. Juno beach was very special we walked in the beach and had our picture taken where wounded Canadians huddled against the sea wall for protection. The 1944 picture of where we stood was chilling. On the last day, Robin brought his partner along and her stories of her village were an appreciated special touch. We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Robin to anyone interested in WW2. We would hire Robin again in an instant. Canadian Battlefield Tours exceeded our expectations - which were high. Over our three days at WW1 and three days at WW2 battlefields we had two professional historians who were able to judge our level of interest and go as shallow or deep as we wanted at a cemetery, monument or battlefield. We were particularly impressed with their expertise on Canadian subject matter. Both tour guides were personable and passionate. The administrative side was seamless with Gary handling all the details. We have already told many of our friends about CBT and how we highly recommend them. We could tell from some friends who had taken tours with other operators that CBT clearly surpassed their experience. Thank you for creating these special days in our lives. Claudia and Randy Findlay Calgary, AB
  • We were delighted with Jon. He was extremely knowledgeable and not only knowledgeable but able to share his knowledge effectively with us. His passion shows. He met us on time and gave us full days that were well organized. He had researched our ancestors and was able to show us the places where they had fought. This was everything we wanted. Overall, an excellent tour and Jon was awesome! Marilyn and John Thornton Victoria, BC
  • The tour certainly met my expectations. Robin was a very knowledgeable and fantastic guide, just as he was in 2019 for the WWII portion of my Normandy tour. The most significant actions in Dieppe were covered within my one-day tour (we covered all five beaches, plus some actions around batteries further inland) and Robin's style gets you to immerse yourself in the setting and provides a good sense of what it would have been like to be there that day. I learned many more details about Canadian actions in Dieppe, but more importantly, Robin was able to cast the battle that day in a significantly different light from what I had learned in school, where it tends to be painted as a military failure/disaster. I have a much better appreciation for the sacrifices made in Dieppe and how the difficult lessons learned that day informed the planning for the D-Day invasion. Robin's tour also challenged my thinking about the raid and its place in Canadian military history. On a side note, Dieppe's natural beauty was also something I had not given much thought to beforehand. I had implicitly assumed it would have looked similar to some of the D-Day beaches, which I had seen before. That underestimation was a pleasant surprise and provided a unique tour backdrop among WWII battlefield locations. The town is certainly worth visiting even without a keen interest in Canadian battlefields. Thanks again to you and Robin for providing another memorable experience that I will cherish and recount for many years. David Catarino Oakville, ON
  • Our three days with Richard was absolutely first class. Richard’s depth of knowledge was remarkable and his use of stories to highlight issues and create a more human scale than the otherwise cataclysmic events permitted really brought things to life. We also appreciated Richard’s ability to share, rather than just air, his knowledge and all this with a sense of humour coupled with insights from his own military experience. Robin & Barbara Rison Cotswolds, England
  • We thoroughly enjoyed our tour and our time with Robin. Robin is very knowledgeable and we appreciate the considerable time he spent researching my Dad's war history. I can honestly say we feel we have walked in my Dad's footsteps, while thankfully not experiencing the horrors of war, we have a better appreciation of his journey and why he was not willing to share much of this part of his life. We are eternally grateful for his and his fellow comrades ultimate sacrifice. Ken Moore and Sharon Pekrul Matlock, MB
  • We had a fantastic trip. It surpassed our expectations. Jon was excellent. He started us with general information using maps and CWGC (troops movements dates, etc.) information to get us on the right thoughts from start to finish. He correlated this information about my family and planned our days with details of the information, and he could pin us down to the locations of the fallen soldiers we were following. He was also able to point us in the right direction to information that is available, and we were not aware of, so we can do some more research. We learned a lot about my family's soldiers that we never knew before. Logistically everything worked out fantastic. The days were busy and full. Trip of a lifetime for us. Thanks again. Rick and Jeannette Atkinson Edmonton, AB
  • Our time with Jon significantly exceeded our expectations for our tour of Canadian WW1 sites! Beginning the tour with a visit to a Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery, really helped to set the scene and provide background on the approach to honouring Commonwealth soldiers. Jon had researched the war records of my great uncle and took us to the field where he was shot, and could point out the area where the German soldiers had their machine guns. He then brought us to the nearby cemetery where we could see the graves of the other 215 Canadian soldiers who fought with my great uncle and are buried with him. This brought me such a sense of comfort to know he was buried with his colleagues. From here, Jon continued to provide a complete history of the Canadian contribution, and loss of life in the area. We were blown away with his detailed knowledge of the battles and very intrigued with stops at various German bunkers and fields where artillery can still (104 years later) be found. Jon really brought the history to life for us and for this we are very appreciative. He also used our lunch visits to share insights on the rebuild of communities in northern France. I would highly recommend Jon as a guide for any other Canadians looking to understand the contribution of Canadians in WW1, and will reach out to you again Gary when we decide to visit sites of WWII. Please let me know if any questions, or if anything more would be helpful. Cindy Dunn and Mark Florence Toronto, ON
  • Gary, It was an excellent day - thank you. Eric Slavens Toronto, ON
  • Jim exceeded our expectations in every way.  He was the ideal guide, and presented all the information in an easy to follow, informative manner. He was exceptionally flexible with the schedule, letting us start and end our days at the times we requested, and made sure we had plenty of time to spend at the key sites we really wanted to see. He always kept an eye on the weather and shuffled the order of events around to help keep us dry and/or warm, as required. His depth of knowledge was incredible, and on the rare occasion where he didn't know the answer right away, he had it for me the next day. He always had detailed maps and timetables of every battlefield we visited so that we could effortlessly orient ourselves to the battlespace. It was really more like travelling with an old friend than a tour guide--he was the absolute perfect choice for the two of us, and we wouldn't hesitate to book again if Jim is made available for a future tour. Matthew and Vince Daluz Ottawa, ON
  • Things exceeded my expectations frankly, largely in part to the personalized context Jon was able to bring based on the information I had about my Grandfather about also by his own research. He actually clarified a few minor inaccuracies of mine but also broadened my perspective on this personal journey of mine. He would take me off our route for 15 minutes just to say my grandfather likely walked a road or passed through a town between his postings. Jon was awesome, he even started looking for chalk and other mementoes from the relevant fields so that my wife could use some of it in her artist works once back in Ottawa. Happy to recommend your firm and Jon, thanks for your flexibility. Cal Kirkpatrick Ottawa, ON
  • Gary, Our time with Jon significantly exceeded our expectations for our tour of Canadian WW1 sites! Beginning the tour with a visit to a Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery, really helped to set the scene and provide background on the approach to honouring Commonwealth soldiers. Jon had researched the war records of my great uncle and took us to the field where he was shot, and could point out the area where the German soldiers had their machine guns. He then brought us to the nearby cemetery where we could see the graves of the other 215 Canadian soldiers who fought with my great uncle and are buried with him. This brought me such a sense of comfort to know he was buried with his colleagues. From here, Jon continued to provide a complete history of the Canadian contribution, and loss of life in the area. We were blown away with his detailed knowledge of the battles and very intrigued with stops at various German bunkers and fields where artillery can still (104 years later) be found. Jon really brought the history to life for us and for this we are very appreciative. He also used our lunch visits to share insights on the rebuild of communities in northern France. I would highly recommend Jon as a guide for any other Canadians looking to understand the contribution of Canadians in WW1, and will reach out to you again Gary when we decide to visit sites of WWII. Please let me know if any questions, or if anything more would be helpful. Cindy Dunn and Mark Florence, Toronto, ON **Cindy was following in the footsteps of her great uncle, on a WWI pilgrimage tour Gary, It was an excellent day - thank you. Eric Slavens, Toronto, ON Hi Gary, Jim exceeded our expectations in every way. He was the ideal guide, and presented all the information in an easy to follow, informative manner. He was exceptionally flexible with the schedule, letting us start and end our days at the times we requested, and made sure we had plenty of time to spend at the key sites we really wanted to see. He always kept an eye on the weather and shuffled the order of events around to help keep us dry and/or warm, as required. His depth of knowledge was incredible, and on the rare occasion where he didn't know the answer right away, he had it for me the next day. He always had detailed maps and timetables of every battlefield we visited so that we could effortlessly orient ourselves to the battlespace. It was really more like travelling with an old friend than a tour guide--he was the absolute perfect choice for the two of us, and we wouldn't hesitate to book again if Jim is made available for a future tour. Matthew DaLuz, Saint John, NB Vince Daluz, Ottawa, ON **This father/son team were kept waiting almost 3 years for their 9 day Canadians Choice tour, because of Covid 19. I am most gratified after reading their testimonial, that the tour (Sept. 19-27, 2022) was well worth the wait. As always Jim, a job well done. Hi Gary, Things exceeded my expectations frankly, largely in part to the personalized context Jon was able to bring based on the information I had about my Grandfather about also by his own research. He actually clarified a few minor inaccuracies of mine but also broadened my perspective on this personal journey of mine. He would take me off our route for 15 minutes just to say my grandfather likely walked a road or passed through a town between his postings. Jon was awesome, he even started looking for chalk and other mementoes from the relevant fields so that my wife could use some of it in her artist works once back in Ottawa. Happy to recommend your firm and Jon, thanks for your flexibility , Ottawa, ON ** Another splendid pilgrimage tour provided by Jon Haslock for an extremely satisfied customer who had waited almost 3 years for his tour Sept. 28 & 29, 2022. Cal Kirkpatrick Ottawa, ON
  • This must have been the most rescheduled tour in the history of CBT! After the original booking I think we had to make 5 different changes to the schedule! Thanks for your patience. This 2-day tour of Ypres and the Vimy area exceeded expectations. The tour guide, Jon Haslock (aka Old Blighty) set a brisk pace and we covered more ground than I expected. Jon had done his homework and made sure we visited the important sites involving my ancestors: Sgt Percy Cote, PPCLI; Sgt James Faulds, 25th Bn.; Sgt James McInnes, PPCLI. I had not expected we would visit the Somme area and Beaumont Hamel was a definite highlight. Vimy was spectacular and we went there twice. Our second visit was early in the morning on day 2 and it was especially moving as there were so few people there. The other highlight was laying a wreath at the Menin Gate. A very moving experience. What was also great about the tour was gaining an understanding of the importance of the ridges. You read about this aspect of the Great War in countless books and hear about it in various lectures, but until you actually stand there you just can’t appreciate how important the high ground was – and as you know it really wasn’t that high! At every stop along the tour we would take a moment to look at the land around us and we really ‘got it’! Maps don’t give you that perspective. I think that covers it. Thanks again for your patience and providing such a great tour. And by all means pass on our thanks to Jon. Cam and Ann Gordon Kitchener, ON
  • Hi Gary, I wanted to let you know, from my perspective, how great the tour was. Jon is an excellent guide. Very knowledgeable, very approachable and extremely nice! Jon went above and beyond. He took us through the footsteps of Mark's uncle, showed us approximately where he had been killed (in the middle of a farmer's field!) and took us to the cemetery where he was buried. He also took us to ALL of the places Mark had wanted to visit. It was such a fantastic, awesome yet sombre experience. He had bits of knowledge that we would never have learned anywhere else and that is priceless. We learned many new facts and Mark had so many questions, which Jon answered or he told us where we could find the answers. Jon is also well known in the area and had many tips for us. Mark and I live in Ladner, BC, which is about 15 minutes south of Vancouver. Mark is a firefighter with Vancouver Fire and he has been very vocal telling his colleagues about how wonderful his tour was! I work for London Drugs at the Head Office. It was Clint Mahlman, the CEO, who originally told me about your company and he raved about how well the tour was run and how impactful it was. I have to agree. Thank you once again. I will definitely be talking about how fantastic our tour was and recommending your company. Sincerely, Gabriela Whincup ** Gabriela and her husband Mark took a WWI Pilgrimage Tour. I’m very pleased that the tour exceeded all their expectations.   Gabriela Whincup Ladner, BC
  • We were so pleased with both of our tours. We are still amazed at how knowledgeable and passionate your guides were. Each tour day was well organized and informative. They had researched my father’s regiment and knew each location where he may have encountered a battle. Although these locations looked entirely different today, seeing the landscape made it easier for us to envision what took place. It was nice to talk with the local property owners too as they also knew the history of their properties and were able to tell us even more. The guides were very helpful in translating when needed. We can assure you that you do have the very best guides. They were outstanding not only in their guiding but also their kindness. We really appreciate all the work they do to keep this bit of history from being forgotten. Thank you for making this a memorable moment for us. Scott and Rosalie Brent Toronto, Ontario
  • Gary, We've just finished the WWI Tour. Jon saw to it that I visited all the important sites and battles where my Uncle's would have been involved! Very thoroughly done. We stopped at their Tearoom where I met his wife and even mother-in-law! Nice people! Thank you for setting this up. I could not have accomplished this on my own. The man knows how to drive this part of France, and how! Far from what I could have accomplished If I could help you or Jon with recommends, please don't hesitate to refer to me. Thank you! Frank Bucknum Victoria, BC
  • I thought that I should also send you an email regarding the tour that I had with Jon. I didn’t know that Gabriela had kept this a secret from me for over two years. When I found out that I was going on a private tour to see the battlefield areas of WW1 I still didn’t even know that I was going to the places that my great uncle would have been back in 1917. When I found out that what we were going to do I was so excited. I listened to the stories that Jon was telling us about the different sites that we stopped at, like a kid in a candy store. It was so emotional to see where my Uncle had battled, where he probably died and where he was buried. Jon was exceptionally knowledgeable on all the areas we went to. When we arrived at Vimy Ridge and I stood on the monument I have never felt prouder to be a Canadian. Jon took us to spots that I would have never known or been able to understand what happened at these sites if it wasn’t for him. This trip was amazing and I would recommend this to anyone that wants the best experience to see the WW1 spots. I never found out how much this experience costed or don’t care to know. Seeing this was an experience of a life time and you can not put a price on that. Thank you for this experience and if there is anything else you need from me regarding Jon I’m more than happy to help out. Mark Whincup Vancouver, BC
  • This was a very moving, well lead tour, with important details told in an engaging manner.  It was worth every penny, and then some. Tim and Carolyn Darling
  • The day with Robin, in Normandy, was more than expected, and he was an extraordinary host. We thank you, and Robin, for a very memorable day. Christina and Wayne Bornstein Waterloo, ON
  • Our tour involved two days on the WW I battlefields in France and Belgium and one day exploring WWII battlefields from Juno beach to Caen. Jim Smithson, our guide for the WWI battlefields, was very knowledgeable and entertaining. We had two very full and busy days and learned a great deal about the experiences and sacrifices of the soldiers of the Canadian corps. We spent the first day touring the Somme battlefields, memorials and graveyards, including Vimy Ridge and the Newfoundland memorial at Beaumont-Hamel. The next day we went to Flanders in Belgium and explored the Passchendaele battlefields and witnessed the last post ceremony held every night at 8:00 pm in Ypres, which was a very moving experience.  Jim has a wealth of information on WWI and gave us many insights into the battles and the experiences of Canadian and Commonwealth soldiers. Robin Burrows-Ellis, our guide for the tour of the WWII battlefields, was also very knowledgeable and entertaining. My wife’s uncle Philip (who died before she was born) was killed on July 21st in battle around Mondeville, south of Caen only two weeks after landing in Normandy. He was a private with The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada. Robin did a great job of researching and tracing Philip’s steps from Juno beach to the area where he was killed. We visited the various locations where his battalion engaged the Germans in battle, including the location where he died.  Robin was very well prepared with battle maps and was able to obtain transcripts of radio communications by Philip’s battalion on the day he was killed which gave a blow by blow account of the battle. You could close your eyes and almost imagine the terror of being in this situation. We finished our tour at the Bretteville-sur-Laize  Canadian War Cemetery near Caen where Robin located Philip’s gravestone. We placed a small Canadian flag and some flowers near his gravestone and Robin read a poem. It was a very moving experience for us, even though we had never met Philip. I have no hesitation in recommending your company and Jim and Robin as great guides for those wishing to visit WWI and WWII battlefields and memorials with a focus on the Canadian and Commonwealth wartime experience. David & Michelle Mydske West Vancouver, BC
  • I thought John did a great job of taking us through the tour. He was well researched on our Uncle Jim’s service, I believe in part because we provided him with the 75 pages of service record from Ottawa. Also he did a good bit of research through the Canadian War Dairies to determine where Jim was and where he sustained his wounds. John was barraged by my brother Scott throughout our tour and I thought did a splendid job of answering all our questions. Although I think he was happy to see the last of us as we exhausted him through our many inquiries. Jamie, Scott & Fraser McTavish Vancouver, BC & Markham, Ontario
  • Just a quick note to thank you for the tour. I've had time now to review the war diaries and photo's that Robin provided for us and will be sending copies to my sister and brother in law as well. Robin did some excellent and deep research into the South Alberta's and consequently was able to take us exactly to the locations of where "C" squadron and John Barnett would have been during August of 1944. The planning and level of detail made the trip more than worthwhile. Thank you again for the good work. Todd Lemieux Nanton, Alberta
  • Firstly, we wanted to thank you for the tour, we were quite happy with everything.  John was very knowledgeable and provided excellent opportunities to experience the many different aspects of the conflict.  Being able to see the French memorial at Notre Dame de Lorette, or the Langemark German cemetery provided perspective that we were not likely to get with some other tours. John also was kind enough to order up some glorious weather to enjoy the tour. When we spoke to John about what we wanted to achieve during the tour, we stated that we wanted to visit some less travelled memorials and he managed to find some excellent locations. Again, thank you for everything, and please pass along our thanks to John. Dawn and Joe Barbosa London, Ontario
  • The tours with Robin and Jon were excellent and met all of my expectations. Both guides were extremely knowledgeable and passionate about their respective areas of expertise. I was very pleased with the requested focus on Canadian contributions to the battlefields and war efforts of WWI and WWII. Both guides were also flexible enough to incorporate visits to sites that I showed secondary interest in during the tour (e.g., Omaha beach and a WWI Portuguese war cemetery). Robin's researched storytelling approach to site visits was quite unique and provided me with some of the most poignant moments of my 5-day tour. Jon was a walking WWI encyclopedia and was able to answer all of the questions my curiosity could muster, including some I forgot to ask Robin in the first leg! Thanks again to you and your guides for accommodating me on what I now certainly appreciate was short notice for such a customized experience. The trip provided me with memories that I will recount and reflect on for a lifetime. David Catarino Oakville, Ontario, Canada
  • Our experience with Jim, without a doubt, exceeded our expectations. He was personable, organized, well-prepared and knowledgeable. Each day, Jim arrived at the set time and off we’d go to battlefields, memorials and military cemeteries. The days were full, but well-paced with pleasant stops for lunch. Every excursion was augmented by maps past and present, historic photos and other materials. Jim's passion and sincerity when speaking about WWI and WWII, the experiences and sacrifices of those involved and respect for the fallen are especially noteworthy. We not only learned details, but also gained a deep appreciation for all sides of these gruesome conflicts. David and I really appreciated the added effort to provide more background concerning my grandfather’s and great-uncle’s military service. Visiting my great-uncle’s burial site and the location where he was fatally injured was especially poignant. Brenda & David Barry Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • We were very well impressed with the tour Jim gave us. We came with three different levels of knowledge and he was able to make it so we all got something from each stop. I know what a challenge that can be. Jim went above and beyond keeping up on where the crowds would be and helping us avoid them. Megan Nagtegaal Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada
  • Our two days with Richard were absolutely perfect, exceeded any expectations we could possibly have. What a wonderful, personable, knowledgeable, compassionate man!  It was an amazing, educational and emotional two days! Kim MacKenzie Pipestone, Manitoba, Canada
  • We very much enjoyed our Normandy tour with Robin. It was a full day full of stories which made D-Day come alive. The Canadian cemetery was the most moving spot we visited.  Robin is very well informed and obviously passionate about making history come alive. We learned a great deal more than most tourists would from our day with him. Bev Noble & Brian Field, Lucan (Komoka) Ontario, Canada
  • The tour went very well. Our guide, was very knowledgeable about everything involving the Canadian campaign in Italy. He was also very enthusiastic, friendly, and a gracious host. He took us to several Canadian memorials in the Cassino/Liri Valley area and explained their history. He also took great effort to put special focus on the areas and points of interest that specifically involved where my Dad would have been with his regiment. I was very impressed by that. I truly feel it gave me a closer connection to what my Dad would have experienced, and where he was. Dwaine Balak Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
  • Great day with Robert. He really set it up well and gave us the tour we wanted plus. Would recommend CBT and Robert highly. Glen Wright Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
  • Robin was outstanding. He was engaging and enthusiastic, as well as knowledgeable. Robin brought documents, maps and photos to amplify his explanations. This was really helpful. After the tour, he gave us copies of a number of his papers for us to take, and to read at our leisure after the tour. One the best aspects of Robin’s delivery is the way he was able to personalize the events, by drawing on the stories of heroic acts by Allied soldiers and members of the French resistance. It was brilliant, and he had all the time in the world to spend to help us better understand and appreciate D-day events. Robin also provided directions which were instrumental to getting us to the Dieppe battle site… I don’t think we would have found it without his help. Peter Cameron & Brenda Reid Ottawa, Ontario
  • Jane and I thoroughly enjoyed the 3 day world war 1 tour last week. The tour guide you arranged, Jim, was very knowledgeable on the area and the subject. He customized the trip for us to focus on the Canadian role in WW1, which is what we were interested in. Jim also did additional research for us and identified cemeteries where two of my relatives were buried. He then worked these two cemeteries into the schedule so we could visit them in the context of the battles they fought in. It was a humbling and moving tour, made personal by finding my two relatives. We enjoyed our Canadian Battlefields tour and would highly recommend Jim as a guide for anyone interested in doing a similar tour. Rob & Jane Carrs Calgary, Alberta
  • Our Canadian Battlefields Tour exceeded our expectations.  Jim Smithson, our guide, was outstanding.  We would rate him as our best tour guide ever.  He is a historian with an in depth knowledge and understanding of the history of Canadian WWI battlefields. Jim took us on a personal tour of the Canadian battlefields at Vimy Ridge and Passchendaele where my wife’s father participated and described the conditions, the Canadian battlefield strategy and what happened in each battle. Jim researched the battlefield actions of her father's company and showed us the military maps and documentation.  Jim also gave us a first hand look at the specific area in the Passchendaele battlefield (now a farmer’s field) where he was wounded. He showed us copies of the military reports, battle plans and casualty lists that allowed us to personally follow his footsteps in WWi.  Jim's vast knowledge of the cemeteries, and the soldiers who are buried there helped our understanding and appreciation of their sacrifice in WWI. Jim ran our tour without a hitch. He picked us up promptly each day and drove us to the Canadian battlefields and cemetery locations, some of which were small and would have been impossible for us to find on our own. While we were visiting some of the smaller Canadian WWI cemeteries we met other Canadians who were there on their own in remembrance of the 100th anniversary of a fallen relative. Jim explained the burial rites followed during and after the war and helped our fellow Canadians better understand their relatives final resting place. We were thankful and very pleased  that Jim so graciously shared his knowledge and understanding in such a kind and compassionate way. Would highly recommend CBT and your guide. Paul & Judy Sandulak Sherwood Park, Alberta
  • We are flying home at the moment and are taking the opportunity to send a few words about our tour. To summarize, the tour fully met our expectations and in the case of our time with Robert Catsburg in the Scheldt area, exceeded them. Notwithstanding that we had done research on our own we could not possibly have put together the tours we had with your guides. There is no substitute for local knowledge and the on the ground research that each guide did in relation to “Major Tom” and the Royal Regiment. All three without fail did what they said they would do. They were very good at reading us and pacing the tour appropriately. All were strong at developing a good personal relationship with us and were pleasant companions. All had “done their homework”. Of particular note is the depth of Robert’s scholarship and indeed passion for his subject. We were happy we never had to drive.  It would not have been as good an experience for us had we had to drive. Mark drove our car.  Robert and Berry drove theirs. In addition your suggestions for accommodation were good. We enjoyed the Hotel Bayeux, Tulip Inn and LOVED the Villa Rozenhof. We were spoiled by Berry and Yvonne at the Mondani. Anita at the Villa packed us a breakfast for our early flight from Amsterdam to LHR which lasted for three days! We chose CBT as a result of a recommendation by our friend Bob Lucas. We would not hesitate to recommend CBT to others. Anna Whitley & Fred Blair Ottawa, Ontario
  • I cannot reiterate enough how our tour exceeded all expectations. Jim was exactly the right choice for our wants and needs. At times, we almost felt we were in the battles that our fathers fought!  His skills as a guide were exemplary. It was obvious that his research regarding our individual fathers was extensive and we were pleased to receive copies of that information at the end of the tour. I will highly recommend your tour company without reservation. I might add that the personalized tour was the way to go for us. It certainly eliminated the areas that our fathers never fought in and therefore not pertinent for us. Thank you for helping to guide us through this very emotional but totally rewarding experience. Barbara Scott & Ruth Taylor Windsor, Nova Scotia
  • Thanks for contacting me about the trip.  My sister and I both agreed that it far exceeded our expectations.  It was clearly  customized to our requests - all of them. There was nothing generic about it.  Jim has an inexhaustible depth of knowledge and also an ability to organize the places we visited and the information he presented, in a very coherent way. He also inquired to see what we needed to help us understand.  I particularly wanted to understand the landscape  with respect to the various battles.   At every stop he anchored our discussions with excellent maps and he also kept us updated about our position while we were traveling. It was very satisfying. He never rushed us and answered every question. Whenever he provided perspective he also provided the reasons for his comments. That was also very reassuring. He was  a very well read and informative guide. The logistics of the trip were slick and well planned. There was no fuss about anything and we were never rushed  and yet there were always timely stops for food and loos. You mentioned that, given our interests,  we probably could not do better for a guide. I agree. I will highly recommend your company and Jim Smithson. Note: Pat & her sister took our WWI Tour Patricia Hunt Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • The tour with Jim (Canadian Battlefield Tours) was simply outstanding. It definitely exceeded any expectations we may have had. Jim provided an itinerary before hand detailing the tour timetable, more importantly, it was his in-depth knowledge of the historical facts and local geography which made the 3 days so memorable. He is a very likeable person, which made the travels quite enjoyable. We learned and witnessed so much. The sight of so many thousands of young people etched on graves and the walls will be us with forever. Jim personalized my Grandfather’s days around St Julian in April, 1915. Actually being in the area was moving. I really appreciated the background & the notes of those particular days. The Menin Gate ceremony stood out as one of many highlights. There was the live shell we came across next to a field or the recent burial of 4 Canadians from Hill 70. Would we recommend CBT… absolutely, no hesitation. My wife even suggested a WW2 tour in the future. Thank you again & please thank Jim. Bruce & Glenda Hayzelden Calgary, Alberta
  • The trip was all I expected and more. Ken was very knowledgeable and we had four great days together. I could not recommend him higher than I do. Four days was the right time for me. I would also tell anyone that intended tp go that to do so without a guide would be folly. Finding the places, let alone describing what happened at them, would be impossible. Warren Mitchell Vancouver, BC
  • Connie and I had a great time on the Canadian Battlefields tour.  Our guide was not only friendly and fun to be around, he was also an encyclopedia of knowledge. In fact, his depth of knowledge, and his ability to tell the stories in an engaging manner, made this tour extra special.  The added bonus? Sitting in the only Canadian Legion in Holland having dinner with his family.  We felt so very special. Don & Connie Campbell Vancouver, BC
  • We just got home yesterday and was about to send you a short note about our experience with your company.  Our two tours were great. Our WWI guide JOHN... was exceptional!!  We enjoyed his company immensely. John was so courteous and mindful about my condition (I'm in pain waiting for a hip replacement) and drove ever so careful over speed bumps and pot holes... and took the curvy roads in a very careful way as not to add to my discomfort. He was the best guide we have ever had in all of our travels. We will recommend your company and John to our friends who plan to do the same trip we just did. Our Normandy guide ROBIN was extremely knowledgeable and did a good job informing us on everything. Valerie & Henry Strong Vancouver, BC
  • The Normandy part of the tour was exceptional with Robin, he brings so much energy and pride to his tour. He gives a broad view of certain battles, but will focus on the individual stories, as he says " his-story". At the end of each 10 hour day he gives you a folder with all the information of the many topics covered that day. My dad and I were blown away.   The World War One portion with Jon was also very professional. He has very in depth knowledge of all the specific battles and weaponry. It never failed, every time we walked near a farmers field there was some form of war debris, including a couple of unexploded shells.   All in all a great memorable experience. Jeff Pentecost Burnaby & Vancouver, BC
  • The tour was amazing, far beyond our expectations!!! Andrew and I so enjoyed our time with Robin touring the WW2 battlefields and memorial sites. Today, Andrew and I started our “break day” with a visit to the Bayeux Tapestry, then we went to Dieppe and visited the Canadian War Museum to honour a great uncle of one of Andrew’s close friends. His grandfather, brother of his great uncle also served in WW2 after his brother, but is still alive (late 90’s now) and lives at the Veterans Retirement Residence at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto. Andrew and I were so excited to be able to take this trip/journey together, and extremely grateful to you!! Thank you so very much for making this dream come true for us. A huge thanks again for all your kind attention and amazing effort!! Marianne & Andrew Guizzetti Toronto, ON
  • The tour greatly exceeded our expectations. We had an absolutely fantastic tour with Richard Porter. It was a truly moving experience, especially the last day, during which he took us to the Somme area, where both my grandfathers were. Knowing their battalion number and regiment, he was able to pinpoint their exact location and movements. It was incredible. We will be talking about this vacation for a long time. Will heartily recommend your firm to anyone. Thank you so much!! Dr. Patricia Cairns Toronto, ON
  • The eight-day Canadians Choice Tour tour exceeded my expectations. Your guide Jim Smithson has a passion for and an encyclopedic knowledge of both WW II Normandy and the Western Front of WW I.  I was especially interested in sites associated with Canada.  He took me to many. Special was the “personal touch.”  Jim is a “keeper.”  I’d score him 10  / 10 ++!! Gord Yakimow Abbotsford, BC
  • Thank you for being our conduit to a wonderful educational experience. We met Andy at the train station in Arras and soon learned that we had the best tour guide possible. Andy is a wealth of knowledge and a great personality. After some brief planning and coffee at a local restaurant, we decided to take our journey south toward a number of Commonwealth Cemeteries, which included visits to Sere Road Cemetery No. 2, the Newfoundland Cemetery and of course the Bouchoir New British Cemetery where Gwyn’s uncle is buried. We travelled back to Arras for lunch, then during the afternoon we spent some time at Vimy Ridge Memorial and walked the grounds. We finished off with a visit to a German Cemetery nearby. I give your guide Andy Robertshaw top marks. Could not have been better. Gwyn and I are completely satisfied with this CBT experience, which we will recommend. Syd & Gwyn Perkins Tofield, Alberta
  • Mike was excellent!! Our tour experience was educational and enjoyable. We couldn’t have gained so much from the experience had we attempted it on our own. Mike was very accommodating and flexible to meet our needs. Mike is an excellent story teller and brought history to life. His car was comfortable and he was prompt in his arrival each day. Thanks so much for a tremendous experience!! Deborah Viel Yarmouth Nova Scotia
  • I thought I would let you know that the 3 days with Andy Robertshaw went great! He is extremely knowledgeable besides being fun to be around. The entire family enjoyed his company. He gave us new information and perspective on my Uncle Stuart Siddons’s  military service that I had not expected. I would be happy to give a recommendation to any of your, or his potential clients. Bill Boyd Marina del Rey, CA

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CBC broadcaster and historian to visit the Nelson Museum

 Nelson, BC (February 20, 2023) – Renowned journalist, CBC broadcaster, and history author Ted Barris will be visiting the Nelson Museum, Archives & Gallery to discuss the latest addition to his catalogue of Canadian history books, Battle of the Atlantic: Gauntlet to Victory.

 Nelson, BC (February 20, 2023) – Renowned journalist, CBC broadcaster, and history author Ted Barris will be visiting the Nelson Museum, Archives & Gallery to discuss the latest addition to his catalogue of Canadian history books, Battle of the Atlantic: Gauntlet to Victory.

Battle of the Atlantic tells the story of the Royal Canadian Navy’s entry into World War II in 1939, which proved to be Canada’s longest continuous  military engagement, and a critical turning point of the war. 

Barris, who has worked in the Canadian media since the 1960s, was appointed Member of the Order of Canada in December 2022, and has earned numerous literary awards for his writing, which includes a dozen non-fiction titles about Canadian Military history. The multi-media presentation will be held on Thursday, March 16 at 7pm at the Nelson Museum. The event is free, and books will be available for purchase and signing. 

For more information on this and other events and exhibitions, please visit nelsonmuseum.ca.

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Moscow Bike TOur

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Description

Highlights:.

  • Find adventure at every turn
  • Take pride in covering Moscow in record time
  • Enjoy the icons in style
  • Explore off the beaten path routes of Moscow
  • Expert commentary as you travel around the city
  • Test your nerve, driving on crazy Russian roads
  • Get an Endorphin Rush
  • Savour delicacies from different regions of Russia in a traditional restaurant

Only in Moscow for a short time and want to get the most out of the city and have fun? Then a 3-hour bike tour in Moscow is what you need! You won’t hear much about Russian history or become an expert on Russian art, but you will experience all the rest of Russian culture! This tour gives you a unique perspective of a little bit of everything in 3 or 5 hours: must-see tourist sights, local hangouts, Russian food, a glimpse of the modern Moscow life, amazing photo opportunities, a bit of Russian history, and a lot of fun!

This is a great opportunity to cut the usual all day tour down to only 3 or 5 hours and get the most out of the city while having fun and being fit in the greatest locations around Moscow!

A bike trip is sure to capture your heart. It enables you to see the heart of Moscow within the Boulevard Ring and to explore some non-touristic areas of the city, to get an image of the city centre and to work out at the same time.

Our tours differ and depend on whether you are interested in city scenery or nature-like landscape. A variety of places in Moscow are great for riding a bike: these are large parks, yards with old mansions, and historical streets in the centre.

Let’s see what’s waiting for you!

Here are 4 suggested itineraries for a 3-hour tour:.

Moscow Bike Route #1

St. Basil's Cathedral, GUM, Kazan Cathedral, State Historical Museum and Lenin's Mausoleum

Revolution Square and Theatrical Square

Bolshoy Theatre, Metropol Hotel, Chinese Wall, State Duma of Moscow

Alexander Garden

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, fountains, the Grotto, Central Exhibition center, Kutafya tower, Kremlin wall and towers

Historic City Center

Tverskaya street with its beautiful historical architecture, China town (Kitai-gorod), an old historical area of Moscow

Beautiful  City bridge  leading to  Gorky Park  with scenic views of  Christ the Savior  cathedral and the Moscow River. Explore all the beauties riding a bike along the riverside pathways.

Sculpture Park

Peaceful  Crimean embankment  is one of the quietest area of Moscow city with painters' works at the  Vernisage , close proximity to new  Tretyakov Gallery  and good views of  Christ the Savior Cathedral ,  Peter the Great  monument and the Crimean bridge.

Delicious lunch at a café/restaurant

Arbat street + Stalin Skyscraper

The  Arbat  has existed since at least the 15th century and is proud of being the oldest surviving street of the Russian capital. Nowadays, it is now an entertainment and event mecca for Muscovites and tourists alike.

Victory park

Get thrilled with 142 metres  Obelisk  and  Victory Park museum , which is an open-air museum dedicated to the Russian victory of 1945, built in 1995 to celebrate 50 years of victory

Moscow Bike Route #2

Pyatnitskaya street - the Tretyakov Gallery - Luzhkov Bridge - the Cathedral of Christ the Savior - the Gogolevsky Boulevard - the Nikitsky Boulevard - the Tverskoy boulevard - Teatralnaya street - the Bolshoi Theatre – the Kitai - Gorod - Red Square and GUM store - the Bolshoi Moskvoretsky Bridge

This route is the best one if you want to see the heart of Moscow. It goes right through the major places of interest and touches upon the most exciting and vibrant areas of Moscow such as part of the Boulevard Ring, which is absolutely loved by everyone.

Cozy streets of Zamoskvorechye will never leave you indifferent. This district has a long and vivid history and is full of old baroque houses along with Stalinist buildings. It includes three theatres, three museums and sixteen churches.

Back in the 18 th century Zamoskvorechye was known as a quiet, country-like land of single-storey houses and conservative businessmen. It remained country-like and is much more filled with business than before, as this area is just right in the city centre.

You’ll learn:

  • what was previously on the site of the Novokuznetskaya metro-station;
  • names of four abandoned metro stations and how to find these stations;
  • what is the oldest bridge among all the bridges in Moscow;
  • how old was Pavel Tretyakov when he decided to collect paintings, that are now exhibited in the Tretyakov gallery;
  • what does the real form of the Boulevard Ring in Moscow look like;
  • what tricks did the Russian government used to save the houses and buildings from bombing during the World War II;
  • what unofficial name the Bolshoi Moskvoretsky bridge has

Moscow Bike Route #3

View over the Kremlin - The Luzhkov Bridge –  The Strelka Institute –  The Muzeon Park –  The Gorky Park –  Neskuchny Garden –  Sparrow Hills –  The Luzhniki Stadium -  Novodevichy Convent – The Arbat Street – The Gogolevsky boulevard - The Cathedral of Christ the Savior –  The Bolotnaya Square

This route includes the most popular city-sights and goes along the Moskva-River. It starts with an observation point, from which you may enjoy the view over the Kremlin, and covers all the most beautiful green areas of Moscow. Historical sites are included into the route so you can feel the historical vibes of ancient Moscow.

  • where is hidden an island Moscow;
  • where in Moscow you can get printed music of the most sweet masterpieces like “Chocolate waltz” and “Cake-gallop” along with a box of chocolates of the 18 th century;
  • why the Luzhkov bridge is also called “the bridge of kisses”;
  • the place where the famous Olympic symbol – the Olympic Bear of the Olympics-1980 was flown from;
  • the stage where Rolling Stones and Madonna performed when they came to Moscow;
  • why the Krymsky bridge was Stalin’s favourite bridge and what musical instrument it represents;
  • where living statues in Moscow could be found in 1740s;
  • myths and legends about inhabitants of the main building of Moscow State University;
  • story about why Sparrow Hills were called that way;
  • how Napoleon was cheated when he was going to burn down the Novodevichy convent;
  • what was supposed to be on the site where the Cathedral of Christ the Savior is now;
  • why Moscow was nearly burnt down in the 15 th century and which role the Arbat street played in it.

Moscow Bike Route #4

Starting with wide area of the VDNKh, you are to learn interesting and fun facts about this spectacular part of Moscow.

  • where is a hidden the secret bunker under Moscow (and no, it’s not a famous Bunker 42 everybody knows about;
  • why the number of golden statues at the fountain is more than the number of Soviet republics, although it is said to correspond them;
  • why one of the Stalin statues was called “matryoshka” (Russian doll);
  • what was Picasso’s favourite statue at the exhibition in Paris in 1937.

You’ll see:

  • the world’s first light-music fountain that was built in 1950-1954;
  • pavilions that symbolize Soviet republics;
  • the Botanic garden which is twice as big as the Principality of Monaco;
  • the largest green-house in Europe (for the opening day in 1945);
  • English garden at the Ostankino mansion;
  • Ostankino Tower, one of the tallest structures in Europe;
  • the most beautiful flowers in hidden places of the parks.

Biking through VDNKh, Botanic garden and the territory of the Ostankino park will definitely be appreciated by nature-lovers and all those who are keen on speed, who knows no limits and want to explore off the beaten path of Moscow.

We can customize your bike adventure to meet your individual interests.

Our bicycle tour in Moscow gives you a chance to have a s pectacular ride  with  wonderful photo opportunities  and an  unforgettable cultural experience!

What you get:

  • + A friend in Moscow
  • + Private & customized tour
  • + An exciting tour, not just boring history lessons
  • + An authentic experience of local life
  • + Flexibility during the tour: changes can be made at any time to suit individual preferences
  • + Amazing deals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the very best cafes & restaurants. Discounts on weekdays (Mon-Fri)
  • + A photo session amongst spectacular Moscow scenery that can be treasured for a lifetime
  • + Good value for souvenirs, taxis, and hotels
  • + Expert advice on what to do, where to go, and how to make the most of your time in Moscow

*This tour can be modified to meet your preferences

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ted barris tours

10 Of The Coolest Custom Cars Ever Built By George Barris

C ars have been status symbols ever since they were invented. Initially, only the rich could afford cars, but as manufacturing techniques and technologies became cheaper and more widespread, so did cars. But even though cars are now the de facto form of transportation, you can often tell how rich someone is just by looking at their car. A clunker sometimes means the driver probably can't afford much else, while a  Lamborghini  often implies they've got cash to spare. And then there are custom cars.

Most cars roll off assembly lines and are built by both technicians and automated robots, which does wonders for affordability. Even prohibitively expensive luxury cars are built on factory floors, but custom cars are constructed one at a time. Usually, a crack engineer or team of automotive experts takes an existing car and alters it. The show " Pimp My Ride " was a popular source of custom vehicles, but people who wanted true masterpieces on wheels went to the likes of George Barris. Who was George Barris, you ask? Essentially, he was to car customization what  Andy Serkis  is to motion capture. Barris and his company, Barris Kustom Industries, crafted numerous iconic cars for TV and the movies from the 1960s to the 1980s, but he also customized plenty of vehicles for personal collections.

George Barris passed away in 2015. Here are some of the coolest cars to ever host his genius.

Read more: The Garage Essential That Makes For Easy Rust Removal

Jurassic Park Tour Vehicles

In Hollywood movies, technical experts are usually listed in the credits. This lets audiences know who worked on what and acts as both resume and demo reel. Sometimes crew members and actors refrain from taking credit if they are embarrassed by their work or the final product, but why would anyone not take credit for creating one of the most famous custom cars in movie history?

The Tour Vehicles from Jurassic Park are the quintessential safari vehicle. Each car sports a yellow-green gradient paint job topped with blackish-brown stripes that evokes early concepts of dinosaurs, before paleontologists learned many were covered in feathers. And we can't forget the Tour Vehicle's multitude of lights, designed to help spot dinosaurs during the fictional Isla Nublar's tropical storms. These cars scream "we're going dinosaur sightseeing" and are just so elegant in their simplicity and realism. It makes the iconic T-rex attack that demolishes the cars all that more visceral.

In the original "Jurassic Park" novel, the Tour Vehicles were Toyota Land Cruisers , but for the film, 1992 Ford Explorers were used. While George Barris is uncredited in the film , it is widely recognized that he transformed the Ford Explorers into the cars film buffs the world over love. Not only did Barris provide the iconic paint job and install the extra lights and glass roof, he also helped propagate the illusion that the cars were autonomous. Barris allegedly set up a system that let literal backseat drivers control the Tour Vehicles while remaining out of view from the cameras. Not only was George Barris a talented automotive customizer, he was also wise in the ways of movie magic.

The Batmobile

In 1965, the TV studio Greenway Productions asked the automobile customizer Dean Jeffries to start reshaping a 1959 Cadillac for a then-upcoming show. He started work, but when Greenway Productions asked that it be completed faster than expected, Jeffries passed it on to George Barris. While Jeffries eventually went on to build the iconic Black Beauty from "The Green Hornet," Barris' creation turned into one of the most recognizable superhero vehicles of all time.

The 1966 "Batman" show is one of the best superhero series of all time (the absolute best being 1992's " Batman: The Animated Series ," no contest). While Batman was always a beloved comic book hero, the 1966 live action series increased that popularity tenfold thanks to its camp and casting. The show's iconic Batmobile also helped. The vehicle looks silly and is bursting at the seams with every bat-gadget, bat-gizmo, and bat-gewgaw the caped crusader would ever need. The Batmobile is as much a character as the main cast, and we have George Barris to thank for it.

The 1966 Batmobile began life as a 1955 Ford Lincoln Futura . While the Futura didn't initially leave the impact its designers hoped for, Barris and crew transmogrified and immortalized the car in as little as three weeks. Almost every inch of the car was altered, from the front grill to the rear fins. Oh, and a five-gallon paint can was added to create the Batmobile's exhaust . Technically, Barris created four Batmobiles : One for racing, one for stunts, one for crashing, and one for effects. While the Futura cost $250,000 to make, George Barris bought it for a buck and later sold it at auction for $4,200,000. Crime might not pay, but customizing cars for fictional crime fighters sure does.

The Emperor

Roadsters are defined as luxury two-seater cars without roofs. Unlike convertibles and their fold-away roofs, if you get caught in the rain while driving a roadster, you're gonna get wet. Many car manufacturers sell roadsters, but plenty of customizers design their own roadster hot rods -- hot rods are by definition custom jobs. And since hot rods are some of the coolest vehicles on the road, of course George Barris' roadster hot rod would leave the rest in the dust.

The Emperor is a fitting name for Barris' coolest roadster. The car has a sleek, simple body with an exposed engine, large custom grill, and luxurious air foam upholstery. Like any true roadster, The Emperor is built for power and speed, and when the engine starts up, you can hear its symphony of horsepower . Of course, we are far from the only people to praise Barris' hot rod: According to mecum.com, the Emperor was featured on the July 1960 cover of Hot Rod Magazine and won the award for "1960 America's Most Beautiful Roadster."

While The Emperor is primarily associated with Barris and his crew, Chuck Krikorian worked on the car first. He began by combining a 1929 Ford Model A roadster body with 1931 Ford Model A frame rails and a modified 1957 Cadillac 365 CI V-8 engine. Krikorian wanted to create a drag racer, but his brother-in-law and best friend convinced him to change gears and create a show car, after which Krikorian handed the project over to Barris Kustom Industries. Barris finished the job and painted the car with 40 coats of translucent Kandy Burgundy, pure Swedish pearl of essence, and crushed diamond dust. Depending on the lighting, The Emperor can look either red and white or magenta and pearl.

Every car is essentially a billboard in motion. Different car models advertise the engines, safety features, and aesthetics of their respective manufacturers; well-kept used cars show you can purchase quality vehicles at less than market cost; and custom cars tell the world what an imaginative engineer and a boatload of cash can create. In certain cases, custom cars can serve as literal billboards for products such as electric guitars and amps.

The  Voxmobile  is a simple name for a not-so simple car. In 1967, George Barris built the vehicle at the request of Vox -- the guitar manufacturer, not the news outlet. This roadster was designed to look like a Vox guitar when viewed in silhouette. Barris achieved this goal by fabricating giant fake Vox guitars,  specifically Vox Phantoms , and attaching them to the roadster's sides. Looks silly, but wait until you hear what it sounds like.

Vox didn't want the Voxmobile to serve as just a car-shaped advertisement for the company's products; Vox wanted it to  be  a fully functioning Vox product, too. To this end, Barris installed numerous speakers, including three  Vox Beatle amps , and a grand total of  32 audio jacks  along the faux Phantom sides. Barris also installed a small performance stage at the rear of the Voxmobile that could accommodate up to three guitarists and one organist. Since Vox amplifiers are  some of the best on the market , anyone who witnessed the Voxmobile in its prime could have seen it drive down a parade route while musicians belted out some serious rock 'n' roll.

NOTE: Above you'll see a video running down Barris' custom vehicles. At around the 1:17 mark, you'll catch a peek at the original Moonscope custom concept car.

Many car customizers know their way around a vehicle. But not many are so confident in their grasp of mechanics that they would try to design a working vehicle intended for use on the Moon. But George Barris believed.

Barris' Moonscope  -- not to be confused with a model toy car of the same name that Barris also designed -- is a concept car intended for lunar transportation. We don't mean Barris created something vaguely space-themed; he did his research and crafted a rover that hypothetically could function on the Moon if ever given the chance. And yes, this Moonscope was also adapted into its own plastic model kit . 

The Moonscope rover broke from customizer tradition and didn't use any car parts. Instead, some components were supplied by manufacturers, and others were built by hand. For instance, since the Moon doesn't have any oxygen to facilitate standard gas combustion, Barris opted for an electric platform by General Electric. To properly navigate the moon's dusty, crater-pocked surface, Barris and his team crafted a six-wheel design, complete with specialized shocks. The Moonscope even went beyond pure mobility, as it also included a storage compartment for extra oxygen bottles, so astronauts wouldn't run out during extended trips. While the Moonscope never made it to the lunar surface, NASA allegedly contacted George Barris to use his designs for the Mars mission. If true, the spirit of Barris and the Moonscope might very well live on in the Mars Rover and all future Mars probes.

George Barris had a love-hate relationship with hearses. When he started working on the Munster's Koach for the show "The Munsters," (more on that later), he was against using a hearse for their vehicle. However, when Barris eventually customized a hearse for either the 1980 film "Terror on Wheels" or "Gargoyles" -- sources differ on which -- he birthed a car worthy of a Meat Loaf album cover .

The Kargoyle not only sports an awesomely punny name but is a sight to behold. Just like the gargoyles that serve as its namesake, this vehicle is an unholy fusion of several vehicles, specifically a hearse and a hot rod. The car sports the elongated shape of most hearses, but its engine block is much larger, almost cartoonishly so, and that's to say nothing of the giant air scoop in the middle of the engine. Combined with a deliciously dark purple paint job and gargoyles on the side, the Kargoyle could easily be confused for a car designed by Ed Roth in the best way possible.

To create the Kargoyle, George Barris started with a 1967 Cadillac Funeral Coach Miller-Meteor and added a 427-CID V8 engine. The Barris team also added lake pipes (exhaust pipes under the doors that blow outward) and suicide doors (doors that hinge to the back of the car instead of its front). 

To make the car truly ghoulish, Barris and crew installed custom spider-web wheel hubcaps and steering wheel, topped the car off with a custom metal flask paint, and airbrushed the aforementioned gargoyles. While the Kargoyle was initially crafted for a movie, it also served as the personal Halloween conveyance of Playboy girls in "The Girls Next Door," as well as the PR hearse for Mӧtley Crüe's final tour.

X.P.A.C. 400 Air Car

The Greek philosophers Plato and Diogenes once had an argument over how to describe "man." When Plato defined man as a "featherless biped," Diogenes presented him with a plucked chicken. While Diogenes was technically correct, as the chicken was indeed a biped without feathers, it was certainly not a man. Moral of the story: Nailing down definitions can be tricky. Just look at George Barris' air car, which doesn't have wheels.

The X.P.A.C. 400 Air Car (or XPAK 400 ) was a "car" that ran on a cushion of air. This would make it more of a hovercraft than anything else. The vehicle didn't have any transmission, and was powered by two aircraft starter motors tied to twenty-inch aluminum fans. Built for a 1960 New York auto show , the car was designed to look as futuristic as possible, complete with flying-saucer shape and huge side fins. The X.P.A.C. 400 looked like something you would find at a "Jetsons"-themed bumper car ride.

NOTE: Above you'll see an episode (S1E12) of "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour" called "Hangover." This episode uses the X.P.A.C. 400 Air Car as a prop starting at around the 21:39 mark.

Like the Moonscope, to say George Barris customized the X.P.A.C. 400 would be a misnomer because that would imply he used an existing car as the skeleton. The main body was handmade and formed out of aluminum and plexiglass. As for the paint job, Barris allegedly used a mix of diamond dust and fish scales to achieve a pearlescent finish. While the final product didn't have enough lift to ferry an actual person -- it paraded around a mannequin for demonstrations -- it still won awards and is recognized as George Barris' most novel creation.

El Capitola

While George Barris was the face of Barris Kustom Industries, he wasn't the only key member. George was actually part of a team with his older brother Sam , who got into customizing before George. Together, they worked on numerous projects, but eventually they parted ways. Before they did, the Barris brothers customized one of their cooler vehicles.

The El Capitola looks like the kind of car Barbie should drive, or at the very least the kind of car the Autobot Arcee should transform into. This vehicle is a lengthy and stylish two-door sedan with a pink and white paint job. Arguably the most recognizable part of the El Capitola is its sleek Lincoln fins (tail fins that encompass brake lights), which seemingly stretch to the front. The effect gives off an early jet plane vibe, and that's just the exterior. The car's interior houses four swiveling bucket seats, a pole-mounted TV, and a phone. Truly the El Capitola leaves an impression on passersby and passengers alike.

In order to create the El Capitola, the Barris brothers started with a 1957 Chevy 210. Sam did most of the body work. He adjusted the car's suspension, added and altered fins, reshaped fenders, and attached grille pans. After Sam was finished, George and his team were responsible for the smaller details, including the glass windows, mesh and metal inserts, and swiveling seats. In the end, the El Capitola looked like a completely different beast, but the labor was worth it; the Barris brothers and their crews walked away with numerous awards, including the grand prize at the 1960 Sacramento Autorama.

Munsters Koach

" The Munsters " is a classic 1960s sitcom featuring a family of, well, monsters. The father, Herman Munster, is a Frankenstein's creature; his wife, Lily, and her father are vampires; the son, Eddie, is a werewolf; and the niece Marilyn is human, or at least human-looking. Given the show's theme, it was only fitting that the Frankenstein's monster would drive a car George Barris Frankensteined together.

The Munsters Koach is a ghoulish cross between old, almost Victorian fashion and all-American traditions such as the roadster, while also providing ample seating for the whole family. The vehicle looks old and new (for its time) and is tied together by its paint job. While "The Munsters" broadcast in black and white, on set, the Koach continued the show's Halloween theme with a beautiful black paint job, blood red velvet seats (that's literally what the color was called) and a coffin's worth of brass and chromed steel.

To call the Munsters Koach the result of a monstrous undertaking would be an understatement. Barris and crew hand-made the vehicle's 133-inch frame, radiator, and fenders. Meanwhile, three Model Ts were sacrificed to form the car's signature shape. Barris also added a 289 Ford Cobra engine and internal details such as telephones, a stereo tape deck, and an electric shoe polisher. Also, even though TV audiences couldn't appreciate it, the Munster's Koach was topped off with 40 hand-rubbed coats of Black Spyder Pearl paint. While George Barris only had 21 days to finish this monsterpiece of a car, he put his blood, sweat, and tears into it, and it shows.

The Drag-U-La

While "The Munsters" is often described as a typical 1960's sitcom, the show wasn't afraid to satirize the genre. The characters were constantly caught in a culture clash with the rest of the world because of their ghoulish tastes and appearances, yet they still got into the same shenanigans as your average sitcom family. Take, for instance, the episode Hot Rod Herman , where Herman Munster bets his Koach in a race against a professional driver and loses. To win it back, Grandpa builds his own race car, or should we say George Barris built it for him.

The fruits of Grandpa Munster's off-screen labors, the Drag-U-La (sometimes spelled Dragula) is every bit as terrifically Transylvania-themed as the Munster's Koach. The vehicle looks like it was thrown together using random parts , but that's the point. In the show, Grandpa and Herman used bicycle parts, organ pipes, and of course a coffin. The Drag-U-La doesn't look like it could even participate in a race without falling apart, but it does look comically stylish. And in typical sitcom fashion, Grandpa and his Drag-U-La win.

While the Drag-U-La was built out of recycled scrap in the show, one might assume Barris and his team wouldn't use sitcom logic to construct the real thing. The truth lies somewhere in the middle. According to the Drag-U-La project engineer, Richard "Korky" Korkes , Barris' team used a real fiberglass coffin for the vehicle's main body, and the engine was a 350 horsepower 289CI Ford Mustang V8. The rear tires were 10.5-inch Firestone racing slicks, and the front tires were 4-inch Italian tires, not bicycle tires. The organ pipe exhausts, meanwhile, were allegedly legit. But even though Grandpa claimed otherwise, it's unlikely the Drag-U-La could actually play " Oh Promise Me " in second gear.

Read the original article on SlashGear .

Car customizer George Barris

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Russian Tours and Cruises from Express to Russia

  • Moscow Tours

Our 20 Best Moscow Tours of 2022

Join us on an unforgettable tour to Moscow, the capital of Russia. Imagine visiting Red Square, St. Basil’s the Kremlin and more. Moscow is one of Europe’s most vibrant cities and one of Russia’s most historical. All of our tours to Moscow are fully customizable and can be adjusted to fit any budget. Our most popular tours are listed below. Please click on the tour details to learn more or contact us for more information about our Moscow tours using the form at the side of the page. You can also schedule a call with one of our Russian travel specialists to learn more.

Moscow Kremlin, photo by Walkerssk on Pixabay

Classic Moscow

This is our most popular Moscow tour that includes all the most prominent sights. You will become acquainted with ancient Russia in the Kremlin, admire Russian art in the Tretyakov Gallery, listen to street musicians as you stroll along the Old Arbat street, and learn about Soviet times on the Moscow Metro tour.

Accommodation

PRIVATE TOUR

St. Basiils Cathedral, Moscow, Photo by vierro from Pexels

A Week in Moscow

This tour is a perfect choice for those who wish to get to know Moscow in depth. One of the highlights of this package is the KGB history tour which gives an interesting perspective on the Cold War. You will also have time for exploring the city on your own or doing extra sightseeing.

Photo by Andrey Omelyanchuk on Unsplash

Weekend in Moscow

This tour is a great way to get acquainted with the capital of Russia if you are short of time. You will see all the main attractions of the city, the most important of which is the Kremlin - the heart of Russia. The tour starts on Friday and can be combined with a business trip.

ted barris tours

Group Tour Moscow Break by Intourist

Russia's capital has so much to offer, from the Kremlin and the Metro to the Old Arbat street and the Tretyakov Gallery. Besides these sites, you will also visit a fascinating country estate which today is quite off the beaten path, Gorky Estate, where the Soviet leader Lenin spent the last months of his life.

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Kolomenskoye Tour with transport

The history of Kolomenskoye stretches back for centuries. In 1380, Dmitri Donskoi’s army passed through Kolomenskoye on their way to the Kulikovo battlefield, and it was...

Tours by car

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Kremlin, Red Sq., Cathedrals & Armory Tour

The Kremlin is truly a fascinating structure, at the same time it is an ancient tower, the city’s former military fortification, a palace, an armory, the sovereign treasury...

Walking tours

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Kremlin, Red Sq., Cathedrals, Armory, Diamond Fund Tour

ted barris tours

Old Arbat walking tour

You will be told of the street’s interesting history and view the street’s artisan culture. You will also have the opportunity to view and purchase souvenirs from the...

ted barris tours

Tour to Sergiev Posad with transport

Considered by some to be the Russian Vatican, Sergiev Posad is the temporary residence of the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church. The Trinity St. Sergius Monastery (Lavra)...

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Tour to Kuskovo with transport

The Kuskovo Estate often called the Moscow Versailles due to its perfectly preserved French park, is an example of an 18th century, luxurious Moscow summer residence. Its history...

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Tour to Tsaritsyno with transport

The Tsaritsyno Estate is located in the southern part of Moscow. The estate was constructed for Catherine the Great by the Russian architects Bazhenov and Kazakov in a romantic...

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Moscow Metro and Old Arbat Tour

The Moscow Metro is one of the largest and most grandly built metro systems in the world. It was meant to be a showcase of the Soviet Union’s achievements for both the Russians...

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Vodka Museum Tour with transport (excursion and vodka tasting)

Vodka is an important component of Russian life, an element of national identity and everyday culture. We invite you to visit the Vodka Museum and feel the atmosphere of long-gone...

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Mikhail Bulgakov Apartment Museum

This apartment museum located close to Patriarch Ponds became the prototype of the "bad apartment" described in the novel "The Master and Margarita." Currently the museum's...

Spasskaya Tower,Moscow Kremlin, Russia, image from Shutterstock

Kremlin, Red Sq., Cathedrals & Diamond Fund Tour

Portrait of Leo Tolstoy by Ilya Repin (1887)

The State Museum of Lev Tolstoy Tour

Take this opportunity to learn more about the Russian writer Lev Tolstoy. During the visit to the museum you will see part of a vast collection of exhibits connected to Tolstoy...

Novodevichy convent, Moscow, Russia, image from Shutterstock

Novodevichy Convent Tour with transport

Tour of the Novodevichy Monastery. Founded in 1524 by Grand Prince VasiliIoanovich, the original convent was enclosed by fortified walls and contained 12 towers. The structure...

St. Basil's Cathedral, Moscow, Russia, image from Shutterstock

City Tour with Visit to St. Basils & Red Sq. with transport

Panoramic City Tour. This Moscow tour is a great start to your trip and the best way to get acquainted with many of the city’s major highlights. Our professional guide will...

ted barris tours

City Tour of Moscow

Head to the heart of Moscow with a professional guide on a 4-hour private walk through the city center. See Tverskaya and Old Arbat streets, Theatre Square with the world-famous...

ted barris tours

Moscow Metro walking tour

The Kremlin, Moscow, Russia, image from Shutterstock

Kremlin, Red Square and Cathedrals Tour

ted barris tours

KGB Tour with transport

This is a very interesting and insightful tour. You will visit places connected with Stalin’s terror - a time of great repression and fear. You will be shown monuments to...

ted barris tours

Soviet and Post-Soviet Moscow Tour

The tour begins with a drive or walk down Tverskaya Street – a Soviet masterpiece. In the years of Soviet power, Tverskaya began to undergo a transformation: it was widened...

Girl with Peaches by Alexander Serov

Tretyakov State Gallery Tour

This world-famous gallery contains masterpieces of Russian art beginning in the 10th century up until today. You will view exquisite Russian icons and paintings from the 18th and...

ted barris tours

Jewish Heritage of Moscow Tour

This tour offers a detailed look into the history and present-day life of the Jewish community of Moscow. On the tour, you will visit sites connected with the cultural and religious...

Vodka, photo by Detonart at Pixabay

Vodka Museum Tour with transport (excursion only)

Customer

Lena, our guide in Moscow was excellent. She was very knowledgable and could answer any question we had for her. We liked that she could pick up on our interests and take us places we might not have thought of to go. When we realized that one of the places we had chosen to see would probably not be that interesting to us, she was able to arrange entry to the Diamond Fund and the Armoury for us. Riding the Metro with Lena was a real adventure and a lot of fun. In Saint Petersburg we found Anna well versed in the history of the Tsars and in the Hermitage collection. Arkady in Veliky Novgorod was a very good guide and answered all of our questions with ease. Novgorod was perhaps a long way to go for a day trip, but we did enjoy it. Vasily was a great driver to have and kept us safe with good humour and skill. We enjoyed ourselves so much, my daughter says she is already planning to return. We would both have no hesistation to recommend ExpresstoRussia to anyone we know.

Just wanted to let you know that My grandson Bruno and I couldn´t have been more pleased with our week in Moscow (6/15 - 6/21). We were absolutely enchanted with the whole experience, including getting lost a couple of times in the Metro during our free time. Although both our guides (both Eleanas) were excellent, I would particularly commend the first one (she took us to the Tatiakov, the KGB tour, and to that beautiful cemetery where so many great Russian artists, authors, composers, musicians, militarists, and politicians are buried). Her knowledge is encyclopedic; and her understanding of today´s Russia as a product of its past was, for us, truly enlightening. I will be taking another tour in Russia, with my wife, within the next two or three years. I will be in touch with you when the time comes. Meanwhile, I will refer you to other potential visitors to Russia as I meet them.

Tours to Moscow

Our Moscow tours are land only meaning that you arrange your own air travel to Russia and our expert staff meets you at the airport and handles everything else from there. Our online Airline Ticket booking system offers some of the most competitive rates to Russia available on the web so if you need tickets, please visit our Russian air ticket center . Rest assured that you will be taken great care of on one of our Moscow tours. Express to Russia has a fully staffed office in Moscow that will help to make your visit fun, informative and unforgettable. Please remember that of all these tours are private and can be adjusted to your taste. You can add, replace or skip some sights; you can add more days to the package or cut the tour short. Our specialists will be glad to help you create the tour of your dreams!

Novodevichy Convent, Moscow

Moscow, a City Like No Other

Moscow is Russia’s largest city with a population of between 12 and 13 million. It is also Europe’s largest city and when you visit Moscow, you can feel it. The layout and architecture of the city is eclectic, ranging from crooked, ancient streets and alleyways to wide, bustling boulevards, from medieval churches to Stalin skyscrapers and to modern, glass buildings towering over everything and of course in the center of it all is the Kremlin and the magnificent Red Square. Moscow is also home to a fantastic, efficient and very beautiful metro system – each station having its own special design. In fact, Express to Russia’s Moscow metro tours and excursions are some of our most popular attractions that we offer. On our Moscow tours, you will see this and more.

Moscow Kremlin in the times of Ivan III

Moscow Tours centering on Russian History

Moscow has a long and interesting history and has been the capital of Russia in many of its different iterations – capital of the Grand Duchy of Moscow , the Russian Empire and of course the Soviet Union (who could ever forget the Soviet Union?). Moscow, was founded in the 12th century by Prince Yuri Dolgaruki (Yuri of the long arms – he really did have long arms!). From that time on, it was home to the Russian Tsars until Peter the Great moved the capital to St. Petersburg in 1703. The city has survived invasions and sieges from the Mongols, the Tartars, the Poles, Lithuanians and Napoleon but has always persevered. Our Moscow tours will enlighten you on this great history and give you insights into Muscovites and their unique culture. Our Moscow tours show you what the city is like today but also brings to life the past. Moscow never seems to sleep and is bursting with energy. A Moscow tour with Express to Russia is truly the best way of getting to know Russia’s largest and most vibrant city.

Frequently Asked Questions From Our Travelers

What is the best time to visit moscow.

Any time of year is fine depending on what you plan to do. Summertime is pleasantly warm, ideal for exploring the city and its vibrant atmosphere, but Moscow will be much busier and accommodation is more expensive. Winter can be quite cold but beautiful nonetheless, and this is unproblematic if you intend to spend most of your trip in museums and galleries. There are also various festivals and events organised throughout the year. For more information about the best time to visit, read our guide

How many days are enough in Moscow?

If you plan your itinerary strategically and aren’t averse to a packed schedule, you can cover Moscow’s main sights over a long weekend. Most popular attractions are in the city centre, and the Moscow Metro allows you to cover much ground in a small amount of time. Ensure that your accommodation is fairly central and book tickets in advance, so that you can make the most of your days. For an informative and well-organised day out, check out our Moscow day tours with options to suit all interests.

Do they speak English in Moscow?

As Russia’s capital city, tourists are well accommodated in Moscow. There should be English-speaking staff in restaurants, bars, hotels, shops and attractions in tourist hotspots, and there are also English-speaking tourist police. Transport services have English translations on their maps and English announcements via intercom; alternatively, order taxis from the Yandex Taxi app (Russian Uber), though it’s unlikely that your taxi driver will speak English. If you get stuck and cannot communicate, it’s fine to use Google Translate.

Is it safe to travel to Moscow?

It is no less safe to travel to Moscow than to any European city if you exercise common sense and look after your belongings. As with every city some regions can be more unsavoury than others, but no tourist attractions are located there. The traffic in Moscow is notorious, so exercise caution when crossing roads. Do not take unlicensed taxis; book in advance or take public transport, which is widespread and perfectly safe. If you encounter any problems, look for the special tourist police who can help you. For more information, read our guide about staying safe in Russia .

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IMAGES

  1. Tour guiding 101 • Ted Barris

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  2. Tours Archives • Ted Barris

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  3. Tours Archives • Ted Barris

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  4. D-Day focus as Ted Barris addresses 2011 Remembrance event at Shedden

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  5. Ted Barris Ken Mcoogan Carousel

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  6. Acclaimed author Ted Barris visits CFB Esquimalt

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VIDEO

  1. Olaf Polziehn 'Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams'

  2. Ted Tours

  3. Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams

  4. My brother, the other & tea

  5. Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams

  6. Why Travel?

COMMENTS

  1. Join our D-Day 80th Anniversary Tour with historian

    Join our D-Day 80th Anniversary Tour with historian. and bestselling author Ted Barris. Departure Date: May 15-26, 2024. PLEASE REGISTER HERE. Join historian & bestselling author Ted Barris and Jayne MacAulay as we visit the famous beaches where Canadians stormed ashore in Normandy 80 years ago to begin the liberation of Europe in 1944.

  2. All Tours

    TED BARRIS. DIEPPE, WWII SOMME, VIMY, YPRES . D-DAY 80 TOUR. D-DAY80th Anniversary Tour. MAY 15 - 26 2024. THE UK D-DAY 80th TOUR. JUN 1 - 12 2024. NORMANDY to HOLLAND. ... Tours combine an in-depth history, with well-designed itineraries. Travel alongside a passionate and experienced team that you know and trust, in seamless comfort. ...

  3. Battlefield Tour

    Discover how they are linked to each other, and how they have impacted the world we live in today. This tour is guided by our experienced and knowledgeable battlefield guide, and includes visits with some of our favourite battlefield friends. 10 DAYS / 9 NIGHTS. Contact DHTour at 1-888-597-3519 or 905-639-9954 or [email protected] to book.

  4. The Battlefield Tours

    Proudly Serving Those Who Have Served for Us. Since 1986, the Battlefield Tours have been providing Canadian war veterans and their families with the opportunity to return to battlefields around the world. We were fortunately wrong to think that visitors to the battlefields of Europe would dwindle after the memories of the war veterans and ...

  5. The Original Canadian Battlefield Tour (Fall Tour) 2024

    Explore the Canadian and American beaches of the famous Normandy D-Day invasions in WW2. Beaumont Hamel: The largest fully intact, First World War battlefield in the world. It has been kept as it was and maintained by Canada. Visit the seaside town of Dieppe and take in where so many Canadians fought and died in what was called Canada's largest ...

  6. The Battlefield Tours

    The prestigious Royal Highland Regiment of Canada (The Black Watch), one of Canada's most famous regiments, was 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 ...

  7. Register

    All Tours; Vietnam; Ted Barris D-D 80th Tour; D-Day 80 Tour: The UK to Belgium 2024; D-Day 80 Tour: Normandy to Holland 2024; Founders D-Day 80th Small Group Tour; The Fall Battlefield Tour; The Liberation of the Netherlands: 80th; Pre-Tour Amsterdam; Custom Tours

  8. The Fall 2022 Tour

    Sept 13 - Sept 22, 2024. This is the original Canadian battlefield tour, built upon throughout the years but maintaining a simple goal - an extraordinary introduction to some of the famous Canadian battlefields and memorials of the First, and Second World War. On this original tour program, you get a well-rounded and all encapsulating ...

  9. Remembering D-Day on the 80th Anniversary

    Join us for a special presentation by Canadian author and historian, Ted Barris on the WWII Battle of June 6, 1944. Ted has written 19 non-fictional books, many of them about our 20th Century Canadian military history. His talk will speak to Canada's involvement at Juno Beach, one of the 5 beaches where the Normandy, France invasion occurred.

  10. 80th Anniversary of WW2 D-Day

    Historian & Author Ted Barris presents the story of Canada's involvement in the WW2 Battle - D-Day! Apr 19 2024. June 6th 2024 - D-Day Parade & Ceremony. ... Canadian War Museum Virtual Tour. A new video release. Learn More. FRIDAY DINNER JUNE 7TH. BREADED FISH/WAFFLE FRIES/BUN, COLESLAW & DESSERT $15 per person. Learn More. Friday Night JUNE 7 ...

  11. Canadian Battlefield Tours

    Canadian Battlefield Tours is a Battlefield Tour Company, specializing in the Canadian actions in WW1 and the Canadian and British actions in WW2. Our aim is to provide to you with a very unique experience while in Europe. If you were in the Canadian Military, have friends or family that have served in the Canadian Military, or have an interest ...

  12. PDF for the experience BOMBER COMMAND COUNTRY TOUR

    BOMBER COMMAND COUNTRY TOUR WITH TED BARRIS | HOSTED *CDN$ p.p. dbl. occ. Single supplement: $1,100. Airfare available from most Canadian airports, please enquire. *Minimum 30 passengers required for a Merit Travel Tour host.ON-4499356/4499372 | BC-34799 | 111 Peter Street, Suite 200, Toronto, ON. M5V 2H1 ®Merit Travel is a registered ...

  13. Battle of the Atlantic, Gauntlet to Victory

    Ted Barris has published 19 non-fiction books, half of them wartime histories. His book The Great Escape: A Canadian Story won the 2014 Libris Award as Best Non-Fiction Book in Canada. His book Dam Busters: Canadian Airmen and the Secret Raid Against Nazi Germany received the 2019 NORAD Trophy from the RCAF Association.

  14. Ted Barris Tickets, 2024 Tour Dates, Ticket Prices

    More Ted Barris Venues. Buy Ted Barris tickets and view upcoming Ted Barris tour dates. Compare ticket prices, view seating charts, seat maps, and get the best Ted Barris tickets at the best price.

  15. Award-Winning Historian Ted Barris Uncovers the Truth About His Father

    Alex Barris, as a journalist post-Second World War. Photo courtesy of Ted Barris . Not until I was nearly 15 did I learn anything about my father's war. On my final day of Grade 9 classes in 1964, the phys-ed teacher gave us a bat and ball and told us to kill time with some pick-up baseball.

  16. Events

    An evening with author Ted Barris. In the 20th century's greatest war, one battlefield held the key to victory or defeat - the North Atlantic. ... VW tour guides will be on hand to answer questions about the aircraft in the collection. Weather and maintenance permitting you might witness a few flights, not to mention the arrivals and ...

  17. Ted Barris

    Ted Barris CM (born July 12, 1949 in Toronto, Ontario) is a Canadian writer, journalist, professor and broadcaster. He writes a weekly column, "The Barris Beat", and is a regular contributor to The Globe and Mail and the National Post. His non-fiction works focus on Canada's military heritage. Barris has authored 18 books.

  18. Ted Barris talks about The Great Escape

    94th Infantry Division Historical Society Battlefield Tour 2017 | Chapter 6: The great EscapeIn this sixth chapter of this short series about the 94th Infant...

  19. CBC broadcaster and historian to visit the Nelson Museum

    Nelson, BC (February 20, 2023) - Renowned journalist, CBC broadcaster, and history author Ted Barris will be visiting the Nelson Museum, Archives & Gallery to discuss the latest addition to his catalogue of Canadian history books, Battle of the Atlantic: Gauntlet to Victory. Battle of the Atlantic tells the story of the Royal Canadian Navy's entry into World War II in 1939, which proved to ...

  20. TEDx

    TEDx events. In the spirit of TED's mission, "ideas worth spreading," the TEDx program helps communities, organizations and individuals produce TED-style events at the local level. TEDx events are planned and coordinated independently, on a community-by-community basis, under a free license from TED.

  21. Moscow and St. Petersburg Tours

    8 days and 7 nights. This tour is a perfect combination of the 'Two Capitals' of Russia - Moscow and St. Petersburg, and the charming ancient towns of Suzdal and Vladimir located in the Golden Ring area of Russia. The tour is highly recommended to those interested in Russian history. $ 1540 From/Per person.

  22. Moscow Bike TOur

    Our tours differ and depend on whether you are interested in city scenery or nature-like landscape. A variety of places in Moscow are great for riding a bike: these are large parks, yards with old mansions, and historical streets in the centre. Let's see what's waiting for you! Here are 4 suggested itineraries for a 3-hour tour:.

  23. 10 Of The Coolest Custom Cars Ever Built By George Barris

    George Barris passed away in 2015. Here are some of the coolest cars to ever host his genius. Read more: The Garage Essential That Makes For Easy Rust Removal Jurassic Park Tour Vehicles

  24. The 20 Best Moscow Tours for 2022

    This tour is a perfect choice for those who wish to get to know Moscow in depth. One of the highlights of this package is the KGB history tour which gives an interesting perspective on the Cold War. You will also have time for exploring the city on your own or doing extra sightseeing. $ 941 From/Per person. Details.

  25. Daytime Emmy Awards Red Carpet 2024: See Fashion, Outfits

    The 51st Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, hosted by ET's Kevin Frazier and Nischelle Turner, takes place tonight live from the Westin Bonaventure in Los Angeles, honoring outstanding work in daytime ...