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ITINERARY 2025

Day 1 : Sunday April 27

Overnight flight from Toronto to Amsterdam.

Day 2 : Monday April 28 - Arrival and orientation
 

Arrive at Amsterdam Schiphol and transfer to the hotel in Zeeland near Vlissingen (Flushing). Learn en route about the famous Delta Works protecting the low lands from flooding. IOFF group “meet and greet.” Orientation. Receive platoon assignments and associated gear.

Day 3 : Tuesday April 29 - Battle of the Scheldt 1944

Learn with professional guides about Operation Switchback. Explore the Breskens Pocket, see selected villages, and visit German bunkers along the Atlantik Wall. Take the ferry across the Scheldt Estuary to Uncle Beach (Vlissingen). Visit the Liberation Museum Zeeland. Walk the historic Causeway and participate in an IOFF ceremony at Sloedam Monument.

Day 4 : Wednesday April 30 - Battle of the Scheldt 1944

Learn about Canadian operations around Woensdrecht, including Black Friday. See the battlefields and walk the famous main street to our ceremony at the monument. Visit Bergen op Zoom Canadian War Cemetery and participate in an IOFF ceremony. Learn about the Battle of Kapelsche Veer and Operation Elephant. Later, in Nijmegen, walk the famous Sunset March, a tribute to fallen soldiers crossing the Waal during Operation Market Garden.

Day 5 : Thursday May 1 - Operation Veritable, Reichswald Forrest (Germany), Groesbeek Cemetery (NL)

 

In Germany, learn about Operation Veritable and Blockbuster, the heaviest battles along the western front in February 1945. See the bridgehead site of the Rhine crossing at Rees. Returning to the NL, participate in an IOFF ceremony at Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery.

Day 6 : Friday May 2 - IOFF’s Liberation Walk (20 km; 5 km x 4)

Walk through fields and forests along the liberation routes of the Canadian regiments from Megchelen (the first liberated Dutch village) to Vorden. Together with a military band, walk the towns’ main streets as a large Canadian contingent. See Castle Hackfort (a Canadian field hospital during the war) and other highlights. Participate in IOFF ceremonies along the way. In the village of Almen, check into Landgoed Ehzerwold (also a former Canadian war hospital) for the duration of the trip.

 

Note: To fully appreciate the IOFF experience, we expect that all participants will walk the Liberation routes.
(A bus will follow the group for those who require it.)

Day 7 : Saturday May 3 – A unique IOFF highlight!

Apeldoorn Street Parade, Princess HRH Margriet and Professor Pieter van Vollenhoven, Operation Cannonshot

 

After a musical welcome in Gorssel, learn about Operation Cannonshot from a local family. Cross the IJssel River by ferry and walk 3 km on the dikes to Wilp. As guests of honour, participate in Apeldoorn’s Liberation Parade together with young children of Dutch veterans, and over 25 pipe and drum bands known as “United Pipes for Peace.” (This event will be watched by tens of thousands of spectators!)

 

Attend the “80 Years Liberation” tap toe (military tatoo), followed by a private meeting with HRH Princess Margriet and her husband, Professor Pieter van Vollenhoven.

Day 8 : Sunday May 4 – Remembrance Day - Holten Cemetery, Apeldoorn Ceremony, Torch Walk to Almen

Attend the largest Dutch/Canadian remembrance ceremony at Holten Canadian War Cemetery. In Apeldoorn, participate in an IOFF ceremony with Canadian pipes and drums bands at the Dutch/Canadian friendship monument, “The Man with 2 Hats” (counterpart to the same monument in Ottawa). At sunset, join The Canadian Remembrance Torch and a pipes and drums band in an emotional candle procession to Almen where Canadian soldiers were temporarily buried. Participate, under the stars, in a heartfelt event with local villagers and musicians.

Day 9 : Monday May 5 – Liberation Day - National Liberation Flame, Wageningen Dutch Veterans’ Parade, Liberation Festivities

In Wageningen, see the National Liberation Flame (lit the night before at midnight by The Canadian Remembrance Torch flame brought from Canada by IOFF’s founder). Walk (as honoured guests and the only civilian group from abroad) in the large Dutch Veterans’ Parade in front of HRH King Willem Alexander. (To be confirmed.) In the towns of Etten and Doetinchem, be welcomed and entertained by cultural displays and festivities. Later, enjoy a Liberation Party with the locals in Almen.

Day 10: Tuesday May 6 - Free day

 

Choose to visit the capital city of Amsterdam, the Liberation Museum in Nijverdal, or the medieval town of Zutphen with its beautiful canals. Have lunch at Mondani restaurant, also the HQ of the Royal Canadian Legion Br 005. Or, create an itinerary of your own. Leisurely activities on the picturesque grounds of the Ehzerwold estate are also an option.

Day 11 : Wednesday May 7 - Operation Market Garden, Doesburg, or Rha and Bronkhorst

In Arnhem, learn about Operation Market Garden and the Canadian Engineers’ evacuation role during Operation Berlin. Walk the John Frost Bridge and see the Airborne Museum “Hartenstein” in Oosterbeek. Cross the river by ferry for an IOFF ceremony at the Canadian Engineers’ monument. Visit the medieval city of Doesburg, known for mustard and famous for its pub, the oldest in the Netherlands. Participants related to the 3rd Cdn Div/Queens Own Rifles will visit Rha and its QOR monument, then walk to Bronkhorst, the smallest city in the Netherlands. Attend a farewell gathering.

Day 12 : Thursday May 8 - Return to Canada

 

Check out, transfer to Schiphol, for the flight home.

IOFF’s booking and itinerary arrangements will be handled by
Verstraete Travel & Cruises.

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