If you book a tour via my Canadian Battlefield Tours website, you will at all times be a private guest during one or more days of unique battlefield exploration.
That means also that we will personally take care of all communication regarding your choice of tour, number of visitors, dates, prices, and payment.
Simply set in motion your unique experience on Europe’s biggest battlefields via this website by clicking ‘contact me’ or sending a message to the email address on our contact page
Please note, however, that I am a tour guide and not a travel agent. In other words, I do not in any way take care of hotel or other travel arrangements.
To facilitate matters for you before you send your first email, please have a glance at some of the most frequently asked questions below.
Are your tours priced on a per tour basis or per person basis?
We cost our tours on a per tour basis for groups of 1 to 3 guests. We have many single travellers, but it is clearly cheaper if there are more people touring. For groups of 4 or more up to 8 people we will negotiate a rate.
Do you book larger group tours or coach tours?
We do not offer larger coach tours. Our niche market is 1 to 3 guests, up to a maximum of 8.
If I have a relative or other connection to WWI or WWII, do provide research to personalize the tour?
Absolutely, that’s what sets us apart from other tour operators. Just send us any information you have; name, service number, unit served with. We will undertake, at no cost, further research to customize and personalize your tour, following in the footsteps.
What languages do you offer tours in?
Do I need to be a World War i or WW II buff to enjoy your tours?
Absolutely not. While many of our guests have a personal connection through a relative, an equal number do not. They just have an interest and passion for Canadian Military History.
With so many tours available, where are your guides located?
Our guides are largely locally based and share the language and culture of their region; Our Normandy guides live in the area; Our WW1 guides live in the area; Our Holland and German guides live in Holland; your Italian guide lives in Italy. We occasionally use British based guides, when circumstances dictate. They share the same knowledge and passion for the Canadians. They have all been carefully vetted and all have a profound knowledge of, and passion for, Canadian Military History.
I don’t see a Dieppe Tour on your tour options. Why?
Unfortunately, we don’t offer Dieppe, clearly one of the more important events in Canadian Military History. For many years, we have been unable to locate a knowledgeable local guide who speaks English. To bring in a British guide and pay for his costs to get there, his accommodation and other expenses, especially his guiding fee, for a 1 day tour simply makes it unaffordable. Sad, because it clearly belongs as one of our tour options.
Do you require prior notice of any disabilities or health conditions?
Absolutely. With prior notice we can make any necessary arrangements to cater to those needs or requirements.
Will I receive a finalized itinerary prior to booking and paying for the tour?
No, you will not receive a finalized tour until full payment for the tour has been made. You will see many draft itineraries on our website, which are helpful with your decision making.
Where will we meet to start the tour?
The private tours with our guests always commence on the battlefield. Guests will have to travel to their specified area of interest with their own or a rented vehicle or use public transportation and arrange accommodation in the vicinity. We do pick up guests at train stations as part of our service. Details regarding the exact meeting place will be discussed in our email communications.
How long does a tour take?
To some degree that depends, of course, on the season and the amount of daylight time that is available. But, generally speaking, tours will run from 9am to 5pm. We offer tours from 1 day to 12 days.
What is the composition and size of the tour group I am in?
We provide private tours only. This means that you will be our one and only guest or that you will explore the battlefield in the company of those people you have chosen to travel with, be it a small group of relatives and/or friends or a larger group of colleagues from work or acquaintances from an organization that you belong to. In other words, my private tours will never mix you and your fellow travellers with other kinds of company. I find that this concept ensures a more intimate and relaxed atmosphere, regardless of the size of the group.
What kind of transportation will be used to explore the battlefield?
The answer to that is closely related to the previous question. Most of my guests tend to travel in small groups of no more than four people. This allows for the most personalized and relaxed atmosphere. Even more so because it makes it possible for us to drive our guests around in our own vehicle, with comfortable seating, lots of head and leg room, and large scenic windows that can carry a maximum of four passengers in addition to the driver.
However, for those traveling in larger groups who are looking for a private battlefield guide, we can switch to a van or minibus. The guests then take care of the driving themselves while we focus on the guiding.
Do I require my own vehicle for a tour?
Having your own or rented vehicle is always recommended, especially when combining tours which cover a wide area and moving from one theatre to another. Having your own vehicle allows for much more freedom to visit local restaurants or local tourist attractions, at night or when not touring. However, once you reach your start point for a tour, you will travel with our guides, in our vehicles, While the train service is usually good in Europe, it is not always reliable or foolproof.
Are your private battlefield tours suited for children?
We do not take children under the age of twelve on tours. Tour days are long and intense and the subject matter is tailored for more adult audiences.
Do you take pets along?
No, we do not.
What should I wear?
Even when we are not exploring the battlefields in the dead of winter, the weather in Europe can be very changeable with gusts of wind, crisp temperatures, and regular downpours of rain and sleet, especially in (late) autumn and (early) spring. So be prepared for all of these circumstances with layered clothing and a waterproof jacket with a hood.
Also, we will, of course, be getting out of the vehicle at regular intervals and be heading off to the occasional meadow or forest that can be soggy and muddy. In other words, do select sturdy footwear for our day or days of battlefield exploration.
What are the things I should carry?
The simple answer is: not too much. Do note, however, that we have many things to see during what for many is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. That is why we take only limited breaks for a light lunch and a few bathroom stops. In such circumstances it is good to carry some nut bars or bananas or any other snacks that can give you an energy boost fast. Above all, make sure to carry plenty of water. Please note that the cost of meals is not included in the price of our private tours.
How much does a private tour cost?
Prices differ for the various kinds of tours on offer. And they vary also according to the number of guests in your group. So the best way to find out the cost of a tour is to contact me via email and to let me know what your specific interest is and how many people will be taking part in the tour.
How do you take payment?
Most of our guests are Canadian so for them we accept internet e-transfer, which is the most efficient with minimal bank charges. We also accept PayPal or personal cheques. Guests who have a bank account within the EU can transfer money from their EU account into my Dutch account. As soon as a booking date has been decided on, I will via email provide you with the account details, including BIC and IBAN codes.
Do I need to make advance payments?
The full cost of the tour is required at the time of booking. The only exceptions are those tours more than a year hence.
When can I be certain that a booking is confirmed?
Upon receipt of the full payment, I will send you an email confirming that you are definitely booked for the day(s) agreed upon. After that, I will see you at the place and time of appointment agreed upon.
What is your cancellation policy?
We do not have a cancellation policy. I think it is important to make clear arrangements here. I run private tours only. This means that whenever guests book a tour with me in advance (often quite some time in advance), I will not accept any other guests for those same days. But this also means, of course, that if guests cancel a booking, more often than not I can no longer make up for lost customers for those same days.
It is, of course, always a good idea to take out travel cancellation insurance for exactly such occurrences.
Can Canadian Battlefield Tours cancel a booking?
It might – on a rare occasion. However, should that happen at all, I will make sure that this is addressed as soon as possible, that you receive a full and quick refund, and that hopefully we can set up another tour for a future date.