Rhineland & the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Arnhem

Free for a veteran and two family members or carers through LIBOR fines funding.

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17 Sep 2019 - 24 Sep 2019
Duration: 7 nights
Ref: 19032
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This trip is not bookable online. Please call us on 01473 660800 to request an application form.

Free for a veteran and two family members or carers through LIBOR fines funding.

RHINELAND AND THE 75TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BATTLE OF ARNHEM

Join us on a Journey of Remembrance honouring the bravery and sacrifice of those who died in the North West Europe Campaign 1944 – 45. In the aftermath of the D-Day landings and the subsequent Allied advance across France, it seemed, for a fleeting moment, that the end of the war in Europe was in sight. Instead, Allied forces faced months of bitter fighting against a tenacious enemy. Operation Market Garden was a daring airborne plan to outflank the Siegfied Line, secure the River Rhine crossings and advance into Northern Germany. One of the largest Allied operations of the Second World War, it was also the only major Allied defeat in the North West Europe Campaign.

This tour honours those who fought and died in what was one of the largest airborne operations in history. Although it ultimately failed to achieve its objectives, Operation Market Garden remains a remarkable feat of arms and led to the liberation of a large part of the Netherlands at a time when many Dutch people were close to starvation. We’ll remember the fallen and pay our respects, recognising the determination and courage shown by Allied airborne troops and the units that assisted them.

This tour is for veterans that served in the North West Europe Campaign 1944 – 45 and up to two family members/carers to travel to the Netherlands under the LIBOR Fines funding scheme. To assist with travel arrangements there is the option of including a pre and/or post tour overnight stay in a hotel near London’s Waterloo station, or Ashford in Kent. In order to qualify the veteran must fulfil the eligibility criteria detailed later.

Places on this tour are limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis with priority given to veterans who have not travelled on a LIBOR funded tour previously.

Please click here to download the eligibility form >>

DAY 1 - TUESDAY 17TH SEPTEMBER

Independent travel to the Union Jack Club near London’s Waterloo Station for an overnight stay. Rooms will be available for check-in from mid-afternoon. Dinner is not included but the restaurant at the Union Jack Club has a modest menu of evening meals should you choose to dine here.

Should it be more convenient you can travel to the Ashford International Hotel in Kent for an overnight stay, or to join the coach on the morning of Wednesday 18th May. Rooms are available for check-in from mid-afternoon and, whilst dinner is not included, there is a restaurant should you choose to dine in the hotel.

DAY 2 - WEDNESDAY 18TH SEPTEMBER

Overnight guests can enjoy an early breakfast before joining the coach for the transfer to Dover. The coach will collect guests staying at the Ashford International Hotel en-route to the port where we’ll take a late morning ferry crossing to Calais. On arrival in Calais we drive through Belgium to the Dutch border and the start line of Operation Market Garden, a daring Allied operation to secure the Rhine crossings and advance into Northern Germany. We follow the advance of the XXX Corps of the British Second Army. Key to the success of the operation were the airborne troops and around Eindhoven we’ll see the landing zones of the 101st US Airborne Division before visiting the Bridge at Graves over the River Maas, which was captured by the 82nd US Airborne Division. Our tour then continues to Nijmegen where we’ll check in to the Van Der Valk Hotel Cuijk – Nijmegen for a 5-night stay. Tonight’s dinner, served in the hotel restaurant, is a great opportunity to get to know fellow veterans and other members of the group.

DAY 3 - THURSDAY 19TH SEPTEMBER

Breakfast is served in the hotel each day.

The River Waal at Nijmegen was an important natural barrier and Allied forces feared the Germans would destroy the road bridge at Nijmegen, which would render Operation Market Garden a failure. Today starts with a visit to the bridge that was captured intact by Allied forces. We’ll continue to Groesbeek where we visit the landing and drop zones of the 82nd US Airborne Division along with key battle sites. We then visit the National Liberation Museum, also known as the Friendship Museum, where you also have time for a light lunch in the museum’s café. Operation Veritable was the codename given to the Rhineland Offensive, the northern part of an Allied pincer movement that took place in the final stages of the Second World War. This afternoon we visit the sites of principal battles for the Reichswald. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery was created after the Second World War when burials were brought in from all over western Germany. It is the largest Commonwealth cemetery in the country. A private Service of Remembrance is a chance to pay our respects to the fallen. Sprawling across hundreds of miles of German countryside, the grey and broken remains of the Siegfried Line we see are yet another reminder of the grim and bloody era. We return to our hotel where dinner is served.

DAY 4 - FRIDAY 20TH SEPTEMBER

Our focus on the Rhineland Offensive continues as we visit the site of strategic battles that took place in early 1945. The Rhine was considered the last barrier between advancing Allied forces and the conquest of Germany. In March 1945 Allied forces launched Operation Plunder, considered the greatest assault river crossing of all time. We visit the crossing points near Wessel and Rees before free time for lunch. In the afternoon we visit sites associated with air support including the landing and drop zones of the 6th and 17th US Airborne Divisions, Hamminkeln Station, which was the objective of the 2nd Ox and Bucks, and Kopenhof Farm, the intended HQ of the 6th Airborne Division. Some of the hardest fighting was seen by the 51st Highland Divisions and we’ll visit the area around Schloss Moyland before returning to our hotel where dinner is served.

DAY 5 - SATURDAY 21ST SEPTEMBER

This morning we visit the battle sites around Oosterbeek where the remnants of the 1st Airborne Division fought against Kampfgruppe’von Tettau’, 9th SS Panzer Division. We also visit the Airborne Museum in Hartenstein that during the Battle of Arnhem was Major-General Urquhart’s British Headquarters. After time at leisure for lunch in Oosterbeek we follow the route taken by 2 Para to John Frost Bridge over the River Rhine and hear about the battles that were fought for its ownership. Arnhem was the iconic ‘Bridge Too Far’ and we’ll join the 75th Anniversary activities around the city of Arnhem. Dinner will be served in our hotel.

DAY 6 - SUNDAY 22ND SEPTEMBER

Today we visit the Commonwealth War Cemetery to honour the fallen in a special Service of Remembrance commemorating the 75th anniversary of the campaign. A farewell dinner will be served in the hotel this evening.

DAY 7 - MONDAY 23RD SEPTEMBER

After breakfast in the hotel we’ll retrace our route through Holland and Belgium to Calais for a late afternoon ferry to Dover. On arrival we return via the Ashford International Hotel to London where you have the option of an overnight stay with breakfast in the Union Jack Club.

DAY 8 - TUESDAY 24TH SEPTEMBER

Breakfast in the hotel restaurant
Independent travel home

LIBOR FINES FUNDING

Funding for this tour is available for one veteran plus 2 family members or carers.

In order to qualify for this tour, the veteran must fulfil the eligibilty criteria described:

  • Must be a British National and hold a British Passport
  • Applicant must have served in the British Forces in France, Belgium, Holland or Germany during the Second World War period of September 1944 until May 1945. veterans who served in the area outside of these dates will be assessed on a case by case basis
  • British Forces includes: Royal and Merchant Navy, Royal Marines, Army and RAF.
  • Priority will be given to Paratroopers who fought at Arnhem
  • Applicant must have their service details – Regiment, Unit etc

Please click here to download the eligibility form >>

PRICES:

Anyone not eligible for a place under the LIBOR fines funding scheme may join the tour (subject to places being available). Please call us to enquire about pricing.

TOUR INCLUDES:

  • Executive coach travel throughout
  • Cross Channel ferry crossings
  • 5 nights’ accommodation at the Van Der Valk Hotel Cuijk – Nijmegen on a Dinner, Bed and Breakfast Basis
  • Overnight accommodation pre & post tour at the Union Jack Club or Ashford International Hotel on a Bed and Breakfast Basis
  • Sightseeing and entrances as per itinerary
  • Medic, who will accompany the tour throughout
  • Royal British Legion guide who will accompany the tour throughout

PLEASE NOTE: A £50 per person travel allowance is available for travel to and from London.

NOT INCLUDED:

  • Lunches unless specified above
  • Items of a personal nature such as drinks etc.
  • Travel Insurance
  • Any items not listed above

PASSPORT INFORMATION:

A full 10-year passport is required for this tour. In recognition of the sacrifices made by WWII veterans, all British citizens born on or before 2nd September 1929 are eligible for a free passport. For further details, please apply online at www.gov.uk/apply-renew-passport or by collecting an application form at the Post Office.

VAN DER VALK HOTEL CUIJK – NIJMEGEN

Van der Valk Cuijk - Nijmegen is situated in the old town of Cuijck, a charming town along the banks of the Maas River.

Rooms are spacious with tea and coffee facilities, Free Wi-Fi and a flat-screen TV.

The extensive breakfast buffet caters for a wide range of tastes, offering everything from scrambled eggs to French croissants and cereals. International meals and snacks are also prepared by the restaurant & brasserie which can be enjoyed on the terrace in sunny weather.