McCrae 150 Memorial Tour:
A Guelph Museums Special Tour

McCrae 150 Memorial Tour: Belgium - France with Guelph Museums
"In Flander Fields" evokes a deep and intense feeling of respect and gratitude for those who gave their lives for freedom.

John McCrae, had seen the horrors of war, but died having written a tribute that we must be proud of for our Military history and accomplishments that includes this poem from the Great War. There is much to learn, great sorrow and respect for a terrible conflict. This summer, join Guelph Museums for our second tour in honour of Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae: a Canadian poet, physician, author, artist and soldier during World War I, and a surgeon during the Second Battle of Ypres, in Belgium.


John McCrae Memorial Tour: Belgium - France with Guelph MuseumsSaturday August 20: Arrival – Paris – Bayeux (D)
Arrival of the group at Paris airport. Meet and greet with our English speaking tour manager Mathilde. Transfer in a modern tour coach to Bayeux, ca. 285 km. Arrive at Bayeux in time for a stroll through the town and visit of the Memorial Museum of the Battle of Normandy (depending on the arrival time). Transfer to Caen, ca. 35 km.
Check-in to our hotel in Caen: Hotel Campanile Centre Caen.
Welcome dinner tonight at the hotel.

Sunday August 21: Juno Beach Centre – Normandy Coast – Arras (B, D)
Breakfast at the hotel
  • 8.30 Transfer to Courseulles-sur-Mer, ca. 25 km
  • 9.30 Guided tour of the Juno Beach Centre created for guests to better understand the contribution of Canada in the Second World War. Free time for lunch.
  • 12:00 Panoramic drive along the Normandy Coast via Dieppe to Arras
  • 19.00 Check-in to our hotel in Arras, Hotel Mercure
Dinner at the hotel and acoustic performance of Second World War-era songs.

Monday August 22: Wimereux – Boulogne-sur-Mer – Arras (B, L)
Breakfast at the hotel
  • 8.00 Transfer to Wimereux, ca. 120 km
  • 10.00 Visit of Wimereux Cemetery for McCrae graveside commemoration (organized by the group)
  • 12.00 Lunch
  • 13.30 Transfer to Boulogne-sur-Mer, ca. 10 km
  • 14.00 Guided walk through Boulogne-sur-Mer and time for independent discoveries
  • 16.30 Transfer back to Arras, ca. 120 km

Rest of the evening is open. Overnight.

Tuesday August 23: Vimy – Beaumont-Hamel – Somme (B, D)
Breakfast at the hotel
  • 8.30 Transfer to Vimy, ca. 15 km
  • 9.00 Visit the Canadian National Vimy Memorial. The memorial site is dedicated to the memory of Canadian Expeditionary Force members killed during WWI. It serves as a place of commemoration for WWI Canadian soldiers killed or presumed dead in France but have no known grave. The monument is the centerpiece of a 100 ha preserved battlefield park.
  • 11.00 Transfer to Beaumont-Hamel, ca. 50 km. On the way we will stop to buy a snack / lunch at shopping center near Arras.
  • 13.30 Visit of the Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial
  • 15.30 Transfer to Somme, ca. 30 km
  • 16.00 Individual WWI visit at Somme Battlefield Cemetery
  • 17.30 Transfer back to Arras, ca. 60 km

Dinner. Evening: Presentation of a “Sons of ´17 performance” in the conference room “Edimbourg” at the hotel with 40 theatre seats (organized by the group). Overnight.

Wednesday August 24: Cemetery – Talbot House – Menin Gate (B, L, D)
Breakfast at the hotel
  • 9.00 Transfer to Langemark, ca. 100 km
  • 10.30 Stop at the Langemark German Cemetery and the statue of the Brooding Solider
  • 12.00 Transfer to Poperinge, ca. 25 km. Picnic lunch at Talbot House. Visit Talbot House. The Talbot House 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'.
  • 15.30 Transfer to Ieper, ca. 15 km
  • 20:00 Menin Gate – Ceremony to lay down a wreath (organized by the group). The Menin Gate is the memorial dedicated to the officers and men of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth Forces who died in the Ypres Salient before 16 August 1917 and who have no known grave. Here 54,896 names of the soldiers are displayed on the gate designed by Sir Reginal Blomfield.

Check-in at our hotel in Ieper, Novotel Ieper Centrum Flanders Fields. Dinner.

Thursday August 25: Flanders Fields Museum – Cemetery (B, D)
Breakfast at the hotel. Walk to the museum (ca. 5 minutes)
  • 9.30 Guided visit at the In Flanders Fields Museum (IFF). Visitors are invited to reflect on the major historical events and also experience the personal stories of individuals. Additionally the museum shows how the First World War affected the lives of thousands of people of many different nationalities. Time for the “McCrae in the Mirror” presentation (organized by the group – final details and time to be advised). Open for independent lunch at the IFF Museum cafeteria
  • 13.00 Short ride to the Essex Farm Cemetery, ca. 5 km. Individual 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 and, in 1915 he wrote possibly the war's most well known poem, 'In Flanders Fields'. 1,200 service men of which 103 are not identified are buried or commemorated in the Essex Field cemetery.
  • 15.00 Transfer back to our hotel, ca. 5 km

Open until dinner this evening. Overnight.

Friday August 26: Passchendaele – Bruges – Ieper (B, food tour)
Breakfast at the hotel
  • 8.30 Transfer to Passchendaele, ca. 10 km
  • 9.00 Visit the Memorial Museum Passchendaele - an ‘open museum’: everything we learn during our museum visit is reflected in modern Zonnebeke and the landscape. We can see a direct link to the vast war heritage in the surroundings. The descriptions received with these relics at the museum help to increase our understanding, similar to the information found at the locations themselves. Aside from 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.
  • 11.00 Transfer to Zoonebeeke, ca. 5 km. Short stop at the Tyne Cot Cemetery for individual cemetery visits.
  • 12.00 Transfer to Bruges, ca. 50 km
  • 13.00 Discover the culinary Bruges during a walking food tour.
  • 17.00 Transfer back to Ieper, ca. 75 km

Open evening and overnight.

Saturday August 27: Groesbeek – Apeldoorn – Amsterdam (B, L)
Breakfast boxes
  • 7.00 Transfer to Groesbeek, ca. 290 km
  • 11.30 Light lunch at the Freedom Museum. Afterwards we tour through the museum that tells the cross-border and multi- perspective story of War and Freedom. Short transfer, ca. 2 km. Stop at the Canadian War Cemetry of Groesbeek.
  • 14.30 Transfer to Apeldoorn, ca. 65 km
  • 15.30 Audio tour on “The Canadian Walk”. On the way we follow the soldiers who fought for the liberation. Experience 26 personal stories of veterans and resistance fighters. Brief stop at the national Canadian Liberation Monument.
  • 17.00 Transfer to Amsterdam, ca. 90 km
  • 18.30 Check in to our hotel, Casa Hotel in Amsterdam.

The evening is open for individual discoveries.

Sunday August 28: Amsterdam – Farwell dinner (B, D)
Breakfast at the hotel
  • 10.00 In the morning we enjoy a boat tour on the famous Grachten through Amsterdam.

Rest of the day is open for sightseeing or shopping or simply for a stroll. Farwell group dinner and exclusive Ford-Foster acoustic performance.

Monday August 29: Departure (B)

Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the airport of Amsterdam Departure of the group back to Toronto.


Tour Price
  • Tour Price: $4,735 Canadian
    (3% reduction if paid by cheque)
  • Single Supplement: $5,405 Canadian
    (3% reduction if paid by cheque)
Payment Requirements
  • Deposit Requirement:
    $750 Canadian per person
  • Final Payment Due: June 10, 2022
COVID: We realize the issues and uncertainty still surrounding COVID and travel and have arranged specific special terms with our suppliers. We have been able to have limited cancellation penalties through to July 1, 2022. Optional COVID covered travel insurance will be provided for your consideration at the time of booking that includes Covid coverage.

Strictly Limited Availability:
This tour is strictly limited to a maximum of 36 travellers.

SHOULD WE CANCEL THE TOUR: For the safety of our clients, full refunds of any funds received will be made to all travelers.

PASSPORT: A valid Canadian passport is required to travel to Europe. Your passport must be valid for at least 3 months beyond the date you expect to return home. We strongly recommend a minimum of 6 months validity to avoid any possible issues.
Tour Includes:
  • Interpretation by Guelph Museums curator Dawn Owen and curator emerita 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
  • Local tour manager Mathilde throughout (previous expert guide!)
  • Private bus transfers in a modern coach
  • 9 x Nights in a double/twin with breakfast buffet daily in our hotels
  • 4 x Lunches (one a picnic lunch and a food tour)
  • 6 x Dinners
  • Museum entry fees
  • Boat tour on the famous Grachten through Amsterdam
Visits Include:
  • The Memorial Museum of the Battle of Normandy
  • Guided tour of the Juno Beach Centre
  • Wimereux Cemetery for McCrae graveside commemoration
  • The Canadian National Vimy Memorial
  • The Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial
  • Individual WWI visit at Somme Battlefield Cemetery
  • The Langemark German Cemetery and the statue of the Brooding Solider
  • Visit Talbot House
  • Menin Gate – Ceremony
  • Guided visit at the In Flanders Fields Museum (IFF)
  • Visit of Essex Field Dressing Station and Essex Field Cemetery
  • Visit the Memorial Museum Passchendaele
  • Stop at the Tyne Cot Cemetery for individual cemetery visits
  • The Freedom Museum
  • Stop at the Canadian War Cemetry of Groesbeek
  • Audio tour on “The Canadian Walk”
  • Stop at the national Canadian Liberation Monument
Not Included:
  • Personal expenses
  • Meals and beverages other than listed above
  • Gratuities
  • Baggage handling at hotels
Cancellation Penalties
  • From date of booking to June 30, 2022: $200
  • From July 1, 2022 to 31 days prior: Loss of deposit paid
  • Within 30 days to date of departure: 100% non-refundable
Special Tour Concession:
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 August 19
Paris CDG August 20
Air Transat 188
Depart: 21:10
Arrive: 10:35
Amsterdam August 29
Air Transat 341
Depart: 14:55
Arrive: 17:10


Hotel Campanile Centre Caen
Hotel Campanile Centre Caen

The Hotel Campanile Caen Centre - Gare was completely renovated in 2021, to welcome you in pleasant and comfortable spaces. Single and family rooms are available at the property. The hotel is located 5 minutes walk from the SNCF train station, Caen city center, and is right next to the MOHO center and the Rives de l'Orne shopping center.

Hotel Mercure - Arras
Hotel Mercure

Ideally located in the city center opposite the TGV station, near the squares and Beffroi d'Arras, and close to the Musée des Beaux-Arts and the Carrière Wellington. The Mercure Arras Centre Gare is ideal for visiting Vimy, Notre-Dame de Lorette and other First World War memorials. It is also close to the Louvre-Lens Museum and the Stade Bollaert-Delelis.Have an enjoyable time at our bar and restaurant. Sporty guests can work out in our fitness center.

Novotel Ieper Centrum Flanders Fields - Iper
Novotel Ieper Centrum Flanders Fields

Situated in the old town, a short walk from Menin Gate. Perfect for visiting not only the beautiful city centre of Ypres, but also the nearby cities of Ghent, Bruges and Lille. Ypres is a great location for business or leisure. The hotel features family rooms for four, so you can enjoy a weekend away with your loved ones at Novotel.

Accommodations - Amsterdam
Casa Hotel

The legendary story of Casa starts with four friends and a mission. Casa was founded in the late ‘50s, to help solve the housing shortage for students. By also offering rooms to hotel guests in the building, Casa is – to this day – able to provide students enjoyable and affordable student housing. This smoke-free hotel features a restaurant, a bar/lounge, and a conference center. WiFi in public areas is free.

About MF2 Musicals

About MF2 Musicals Mike Ford and Murray Foster first partnered with Guelph Museums for a production of Sons of 17, portraying a pair of musicians that met to rehease songs for soldier recruitment. The show was originally written by Ford in 2014 but has been updated and adapted, with McCrae-inspired material and elements of In Flanders Fields.

In honor of the 150th anniversary of the birth of John McCrae, Ford has penned a new show, McCrae in the Mirror, reflecting on John McCrae’s story within a contemporary narative.

Ford and Foster have collaborated on a number of projects since their early days as members of Canadian '80s band Moxy Fruvous. Foster also played 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 former McCrae House curator Bev Dietrich was very helpful in making sure both plays were as historically accurate as possible.

Contact Scott to reserve your spot!

Email:    Telephone:

Please enter the text from the image

[ Refresh Image ] [ What's This? ]


Exclusive Reservations:
We pleased to offer these EXCLUSIVE travel arrangements!

Worldwide Central Trips