Guelph Museums' 2018
In the Footsteps of John McCrae

Both at home and abroad, the First World War had a profound impact on history. In this the 100th year since the end of the conflict and the passing of Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae you are invited to join with a small group, supported by the Guelph Museums, as we explore the sites, museums and monuments that mark Canada’s involvement.

Our Tour Includes:

  • Lt. Col. John McCrae expert Bev Dietrich
  • Mike Ford and Murray Foster, a private performance of the "Sons of '17" and a special acoustic concert
  • Guelph Museums staff to coordinate local activities
  • Return air transportation including all taxes based on present schedules (subject to final confirmation)
  • Local tour manager throughout
  • Private bus transfers in a modern coach
  • 1 x Night in a double/twin at the Bedford Hotel, Brussels
  • 6 x Night in a double/twin at the Hotel Ariane, Ypres (Ieper)
  • Breakfast buffet daily in our hotels
  • 2 x Lunches
  • 4 x Dinners
  • Evening reception day 1
  • Entry at Sanctuary Wood and Hill 62
  • Visit of Essex Field Cemetery
  • Visit at Wimereux Cemetery
  • Visit at Somme battlefield
  • Museum entry fees
  • Visit of Vimy Memorial
  • Guided food tour at Bruges including tasting
  • Guided city tours at Brussels and Ghent
  • 7 days English speaking guide

Not Included:

  • Personal expenses
  • Meals and beverages other than listed above
  • Gratuities
  • Baggage handling at hotels

This tour
is strictly limited
to a maximum of
36 travellers.

Contact Scott to
reserve your spot!

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Day 1, Saturday, April 28, 2018: Brussels (D)

  • 07.20 - Arrival of Flight SN 552 from Toronto at Brussels airport. Meet and greet with our local manager
  • 08.00 - Transfer in a comfortable modern tour bus
  • 09.00 - ½ day guided city tour at Brussels. Free time to discover the Belgian capital Brussels.
    Apart from its famous chocolates and beers there are many attractions that most visitors cannot begin to imagine. It is a centre of European culture, officially nicknamed ‘the European Village’, with almost 90 museums, beautiful parks, fascinating walks, trendy restaurants and bars. Small Manneke Piss statue and shining Atomium, the symbol for peaceful use of nuclear power built for the Expo ’58 or the Parlamentarium a multilingual free entry multimedia presentation about the European Union are further not to miss attractions.
  • 17.00 - Check in to the Hotel Bedford, Brussels. Evening reception (welcome drinks)
  • 18.30 - Dinner in a good local restaurant.

Day 2, Sunday, April 29, 2018: Ypres (Ieper) (B, D)

  • 08.00 - Breakfast buffet in the hotel. Travel to Ypres, ca. 120 km
    Visits this morning will include:
    • Langemark German Cemetery and the Brooding Soldier
    • Sanctuary Wood and Hill 62
      The hill 62 laid within the Ypres bow the frontline that hardly moved within 4 years in the Sanctuary Wood on the top of Mount Sorrel. It was hold especially from the Canadian Expeditionary Force but captured by the Germans in 1916 after the 2nd battle of Flanders. During the 3rd and 4th battle it also played an important role. Today it’s a Canadian memorial.
  • 13.00 - Visit of Essex Field Dressing Station and Essex Field Cemetery Essex Farm got its name from a small cottage nearby. From 1915-17 the concrete bunkers found here comprised a dressing station. The Canadian Medical Officer John McCrae served here. In 1915 he wrote possibly the war's most well known poem, 'In Flanders Fields'. 1.200 servicemen of which 103 are not identified are buried or commemorated in the Essex Field cemetery.
  • 17.30 - Check-in to our hotel for the next six (6) nights at the Hotel Ariane, Ypres
  • 18.30 - Welcome reception and dinner in a local brewery restaurant

Day 3, Monday, April 30, 2018: IFF Museum - Menin Gate (B, L, D)

  • Breakfast buffet in the hotel
  • 09.30 Transfer or walk to the IFF Museum and the square
  • 10.00 Visit of the In Flanders Fields (IFF) Museum – full day program including a performance by the Sons of 17. Return to the hotel
  • 18.00 Dinner
  • 20.00 Menin Gate – Last Post - Ceremony to lay a wreath. The Menin Gate is the memorial dedicated to the missing from the outbreak of WWI to 15. August 1917. 54.896 names of soldiers are displayed on the gate designed by Sir Reginal Blomfield. A further 34.000 names of missing after this date are commemorated on the panels of the Tyne Cot Memorial in Passendale. Every evening at 8.00 pm the Last Post is sounded.

Day 4, Tuesday May 1, 2018: Passchendale – Bruges (B, food tour)

  • Breakfast buffet in the hotel
  • Early transfer to Zoonebeeke
  • Short stop and visit at the Tyne Cot Cemetery
  • 10.00 Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917. The museum is a gateway to this rich heritage. We are an ‘open museum’: everything you learn during your museum visit is reflected in modern Zonnebeke and the landscape. We make a direct link to the vast war heritage in the surroundings. The descriptions you receive with these relics in the museum help to increase your understanding, just like the information found at the locations themselves. Besides the MMP1917 and the chateau park, which houses the museum, there are two important war sites in Zonnebeke: Tyne Cot Cemetery and the Polygon Wood.(
  • 12.00 Transfer to Bruges
  • 13.30 Guided Food Tour in Bruges including tastings. Belgium is famous for its food specialties including beer, chocolate, waffles and French fries.
  • 17.00 Return to Ypres

Day 5, Wednesday, May 2, 2018: Vimy – Amiens (B)

  • Breakfast buffet in the hotel
  • 09.00 Transfer to Souchez
  • 10.00 Visit of the Canadian National Vimy Memorial (duration ca. 4 hours). The memorial site is dedicated to the memory of Canadian Expeditionary Force members killed during WWI. It serves as the place of commemoration for WWI Canadian soldiers killed pr presumed dead in France but have no own grave. The monument is the centrepiece of a 100 ha preserved battlefield park. Transfer to Amiens - Free time in Amiens for individual discoveries.
  • Late afternoon return to Ypres

Day 6, Thursday, May 3, 2018: Wimereux – French Atlantic coast (B, L)

  • Breakfast buffet in the hotel
  • 09.00 Drive to the Boulogne region, ca. 125 km
  • 11.00 Visit of Wimereux Cemetery. Time for a 30 min ceremony by the group. Lunch
  • 15.00 WWI visits at Somme Battlefield. Return to Ypres. Night at Ypres

Day 7, Friday, May 4, 2018: Ghent – historic town (B, D)

  • Breakfast buffet in the hotel
  • 08.00 Transfer to Ghent
  • 09.00 Guided city tour. Ghent is a historic city, yet at the same time a contemporary one. The modern daily life of the city’s active inhabitants plays itself out against a gorgeous historical backdrop. In Ghent, they live, work and enjoy life over and over each day.
  • 11.30 Return to Ypres. Free afternoon e.g. for shopping explorations. Transfer to Poperinge - visit the Talbot House. The Talbot House, known as 'Toc H', was a very special place during WWI. It was established by the Reverend 'Tubby' Clayton in December 1915 as an 'Everyman's Club' for soldiers and officers of the British Army. Now it is a 'living museum'.
  • Farewell Dinner in a nice local restaurant. Return to Ypres

Day 8, Saturday, May 5, 2018: Departure (B)

  • Breakfast package from the hotel
  • 06.30 Transfer to Brussels airport, ca. 135 km
  • 08.15 Arrival at the airport
  • 10.45 Departure of flight SN 551 to Toronto


    Tour Cost
  • $3,895 Canadian
  • Single (very limited): $4,130 Canadian
Deposit Requirements
  • Per Passenger deposit requirements:
    $750 Canadian per person
  • Final Payment Due: February 16, 2018
Cancellation Penalties
Penalties will vary based on the time at that the cancellation is received by Frederick Travel Waterloo:
  • From date of booking to February 15: Loss of deposit paid
  • From final payment date to departure: 100% non-refundable

In the event that we are able to find a replacement from wait-lists or other requests received for the land tour between date of booking and 31-days prior to date of departure, a flat $50.00 p.p. administration charge will be accessed. Within 31-days prior, we regret that all payments become non-refundable with or without a replacement. We cannot guarantee a replacement for any cancelled passenger regardless of the date the cancellation is received in our office.


Toronto - April 27
SN 552
Depart: 18:00
Brussels - April 28
Arrive: 07:20
Brussels - May 5
SN 551
Depart: 10:45
Arrive: 13:00


The Bedford Hotel, Brussels

The Bedford Hotel & Congress Centre is conveniently located in Brussels, not far from the Grand Place and other hotspots. Walk into an impressive high ceiling lobby and choose your favorite lounge to relax, either on the ground floor or the mezzanine. This affordable and elegant conference hotel is ideal for business and city breaks. This sophisticated hotel in central Brussels is 300 m from the iconic Manneken Pis fountain, and 1 km from both the Grand Place and a metro stop. Featuring parquet floors, the muted, contemporary rooms come with flat-screen TVs and minifridges. Some rooms offer free Wi-Fi. Complimentary buffet breakfast is offered in a casual restaurant, and there's also a high-end dinner restaurant and a piano bar.

The Hotel Ariane
Ypres (Ieper)
Superior 4 star

In 2016, Ariane Hotel was awarded first place again (4th time in a row) in the Top 25 4-star hotels in Belgium by the Trip Advisor Traveller’s Choice Awards. In an unassuming building at the edge of the town center, this refined hotel is 6 minutes' walk from WWI exhibits at the In Flanders Fields Museum and 5 km from Bellewaerde amusement park. Contemporary rooms with wooden furnishings offer limited free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs, plus minibars and Nespresso machines. Room service is available. Property includes parking, and hot and cold breakfast buffets. There's also a modern eatery and a bar, plus a petanque court, a garden and a seasonal outdoor pool. Rental bikes are available.

About The Sons of 17

The two-man play features Mike Ford and Murray Foster as a pair of musicians that meet to rehearse songs for soldier recruitment.

The show was originally written by Ford in 2014 but has been updated and adapted. The show had some McCrae material in it and definitely some elements of In Flanders Fields.
"The entire show is period. We're acting like it's spring 1917, so anything that's used musically would have already been known to these characters."
Ford and Foster have collaborated on a number of projects since their early days as members of Canadian '80s band Moxy Fruvous. Foster also plays with Great Big Sea. "We do music with some theatrical elements sometimes, and we've both done theatre on and off, but never something like this before," Foster said. "It's hugely challenging."
Ford said that McCrae House curator Bev Dietrich was very helpful in making sure the play was as historically accurate as possible. "She noticed a number of things in the script that needed some revision, so we've done some of that" Ford said.

About Bev Dietrich

Bev Dietrich is the recently retired Curator of Guelph Museums which includes the Guelph Civic Museum and McCrae house, birthplace of First World War poet John McCrae of In Flanders Fields fame.

Bev graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University with a B.A. in history and attended the Museum Technology Program at Algonquin College. She completed the Ontario Museum Association’s Certificate in Museum Studies of which she is now a course director for the Collection Management course. Bev was recently honoured with the Award of Excellence for Lifetime Achievement from the Ontario Museum Association for her outstanding contribution to the Ontario museum community.

Bev was special guest in Belgium in 1995 for the 80th anniversary of the writing of the poem “In Flanders Fields” and is looking forward to sharing her expertise on John McCrae during our special tour commemorating the 100th anniversary of John McCrae’s passing and the end of the First World War.

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