If you book a tour via my Canadian Battlefield Tours website, you will always be a private guest during one or more days of unique battlefield exploration.
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. We are always happy however, to assist in your travel planning by making suggestions on where to stay and how to get around- train or bus connections, renting a vehicle, etc.
Prior to sending your ‘contact form’ or your first email, please have a glance at some of the most frequently asked questions below.
Are your tours costed on a per tour basis or per person basis?
We cost our tours on a per tour basis for groups of 1 to 4 guests. We have many single travellers, but it is clearly cheaper if there are more people touring. For groups of 5 or more up to 8 people we will negotiate a rate.
Do you book larger group tours or coach tours?
No, we do not offer larger coach tours. Our niche market is 1 to 4 guests, up to a maximum of 8.
If I have a relative or other connection to WWI or WWII, will you provide research to personalize the tour?
Absolutely, that’s what sets us apart from many 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 do you locate your guides?
Our guides are 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; your Spanish Civil War- ‘Mac-Pap’ guide lives in Madrid, Spain. We occasionally use British based guides, when circumstances dictate. 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?
We don’t offer Dieppe, on a stand-alone basis, Dieppe is clearly one of the more important events in Canadian Military History. Dieppe and ‘Operation Jubilee’, is only available as part of a larger tour- in combination with a Normandy tour.
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.
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?
Our private tours 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 is a typical tour day?
To some degree that depends, of course, on the season and the amount of daylight time that is available. Tours will generally run from 9 AM to 5 PM.
We offer tours from 1 day to 12 days. Most individual tours are ideally designed as a 3 or 4-day tour.
Do you mix groups?
No. We provide private tours only. This means that you and/or your group will be our one and only guest(s). In other words, our private tours will never mix you and/or your group with another group. I find that this concept ensures a more intimate and relaxed atmosphere.
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 of 5-8 people we can upgrade to a van or minibus.
Do I require my own vehicle for a tour?
Having your own or rented vehicle is only recommended, when combining tours which cover a wide area, to travel 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?
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 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 or direct bank wire 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 (Swift Code) 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 9 months hence.
When can I be certain that a booking is confirmed?
Upon receipt of the full payment, or a deposit if more than 9 months out, your tour will be confirmed and that you are booked for the day(s) agreed upon. I will immediately send you an email introducing you to my guide, who will become your primary contact. He will contact you directly to introduce himself, finalize your itinerary and answer any questions.
What is your cancellation policy?
We do not have a cancellation policy. It is highly recommended that you arrange for travel, medical and cancellation insurance with your travel agent.
It is extremely unlikely that we ever cancel a tour. It has never happened in 10 years of running tours. In the unlikely It could happen; I will make sure that you receive a full and quick refund.
As to a customer cancelling a tour, please understand this. We run private tours only. This means that if you book a tour with us in advance (often quite some time in advance), we won’t accept any other guests for those same days. That means, of course, that if you cancel a booking, often I can no longer make up for lost customers for those same days.