Verdun: The Mincing Machine

5 days from £389pp.


Bayonets

Visit: Bayonets, Battlefields

Mont Sec American Memorial

Visit: Mont Sec American Memorial, Battlefields

Fort Douaumont

Visit: Fort Douaumont, Battlefields

The Battle of Verdun, in France, was one of the most costly and terrible of WW1. With more than 770,000 casualties in the fighting there in 1916 it was known as the ‘mincing machine’ or the ‘meat grinder’ to the French troops who served there. On this tour of Verdun join us as we visit the forts and trenches in this fascinating area of the Western Front seeing trenches, shell-holes and bunkers, and some of the iconic battlefield locations such as Fort Douaumont and Fort Vaux.

    Local departure by coach, then to Maizieres-les-Metz for a four-night stay.

    Verdun

    Verdun

    We start at the Bois des Caures where the Battle of Verdun began in February 1916. Here Colonel Driant and his Light Infantry troops bore the brunt of the opening stage of the German assault. We see Driant’s command post and see where he died, then continue to the Fleury Museum which re-opened for the centenary, followed by lunchtime in Verdun. In the afternoon we look at the cost of Verdun seeing the massive Douaumont cemetery and the moving Douaumont Ossuary, under which are the bones of more than 120,000 soldiers who died in 1916. We then look at two of the Ouvrages – defensive redoubts – at Thiaumont and Froideterre where we see the effect of the shelling, and explore bunkers and see gun turrets. We end the day at the Trench of Bayonets memorial and look at the famous story of French soldiers buried alive in their front line trench.

    • Included meals: Breakfast
    Fort Douaumont

    Fort Douaumont

    Returning to Verdun we spend the morning looking at two of the most famous forts at Verdun: Fort Douaumont and Fort Vaux. Now national museums, we visit the top of the forts, see the gun turrets and explore the tunnels inside. After lunch we visit the Citadel Museum where France’s unknown soldier was selected after the war and then look at the ‘left bank’ of the battlefield seeing the high ground at Mort Homme and Cote 304, where there was bitter fighting in 1916.

    • Included meals: Breakfast
    Trenches at St Mihiel Salient

    Trenches at St Mihiel Salient

    The fighting at Verdun was always linked with the ground to the south around St. Mihiel and today we look at the St. Mihiel Salient. We see the hill at Les Eparges, torn apart by mine warfare, and then look at the role of American troops in the area in 1918, seeing the US Memorial at Mont Sec. After lunch in St. Mihiel we explore the rich remains of trench systems in the Apremont area, where we see examples of both French and German positions. We then continue with a look at the role of the ‘Doughboys’ and visit the St. Mihiel American Cemetery.

    • Included meals: Breakfast

    Return home.

    • Included meals: Breakfast

    At a Glance

    Tour Includes

    • 4 nights hotel with continental breakfast
    • Specialist Battlefield Guide
    • Convenient local joining points
    • Travel by Silver Service coach

    Included Excursions & Visits

    • Battlefield visits as described

    Optional Excursions & Visits

    • Entrance fees to museums & places of interest (extra cost)

    Notes

    Single Room Supplement from £119.00 (5 days).

    Certain excursions are included in the price of your holiday. If you choose not to go on an included excursion, for whatever reason, no refunds will be made.
    Yes, you will receive one with your Travel Documents, which are sent 7-10 days before departure.
    We believe that our holidays may not be suitable for children under 8 years old (except for Disneyland Paris bookings) however, we will consider individual requests on application. Customers aged 18 and under at the time of travel must be accompanied by an adult, parent or guardian aged over 18 years old.
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    Accommodation

    You will stay for four nights at the 4-star Novotel Metz Hauconcourt. The hotel is situated on the outskirts of Metz, and offers a restaurant and bar. The hotel also has an outdoor swimming pool (subject to season).

    France

    Novotel Metz Hauconcourt

    Novotel Metz Hauconcourt

    Novotel Metz Hauconcourt


    The Novotel Metz Hauconcourt hotel is located 15minutes away from the town of Metz and only 5minutes away from Amneville. The hotel is set in a large park and offers a swimming pool*, restaurant, bar, lounge and Wi-Fi/Internet access. All bedrooms feature air conditioning, T.V with international channels, Wi-Fi/Internet access, hairdryer and en-suite bathroom. *The swimming pool can be closed without prior notice.

    • English Speaking Staff
    • Guest Lounge
    • Bar
    • Restaurant
    • WiFi Available
    • TV
    • Tea and Coffee Making Facilities
    • Hairdryer
    • Bath and/or Shower
    • Telephone

    If you prefer, then you can join the tour at the hotel. To do this, we will require a copy of your passport for identification purposes and you must advise us at the time of booking.

    No reduction will be given if you should choose to do this.

    All hotel rooms benefit from private bathroom facilities.
    Some hotels have tea and coffee making facilities. Please check the tour pages for more information or call our Customer Service Department on 01709 830333.
    Most hotels have a lift, please call our Customer Service Department on 01709 830333 for more information.
    Some hotels have ground floor rooms. Please email for information on individual hotels or call our Customer Service Department on 01709 830333.
    Your hotels will supply towels in your room.

    We are unable to guarantee that the hotel will be able to meet your dietary requirements. We find that the majority of European countries do not generally cater for vegetarians and that the meal supplied may well be what everyone else is having minus the meat.

    We will of course endeavour to arrange for a vegetarian meal at the hotel. We do however suggest that you advise us of your dietary requests at the time of booking and recommend that you speak to the receptionist on arrival with regard to your request.

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    Travel Information

    Departure times given for each region are approximate. Please check your travel documents to confirm the actual timings.

    Front row seats can be reserved for £14pp (up to 6 days duration), £22pp (7 & 8 days duration) and £25pp (9 days duration and over) on all European tours. In addition to this seats on the second row can be reserved for £7pp (up to 6 days duration), £14pp (7 & 8 days duration) and £15pp (9 days duration and over). This offer is only available for bookings of two or four persons on the front row and is subject to availability. Guaranteed front/second row seats cannot be reserved on feeder journeys to/from the U.K. port. Children under 15 years cannot occupy a front row seat due to French Law.

    Please note: On some coaches the legroom on front seats may be slightly less than that available on other seats due to the presence of a modesty board in front.

    If your tour is cancelled for any reason and front/second row seats are not available on your new tour you will be refunded the supplement. No other compensation will be payable.

    Alternatively, we can take seating requests on your booking. However, requests are not guaranteed. All seat numbers are confirmed on travel documents approximately 7-10 days prior to departure.

    We guarantee that all passengers on the same booking will be seated together on the main tour coach. Seats on the transfer coaches to and from the U.K. port are not allocated.
    Hot and cold drinks are served on the main tour coaches. Prices are approximately £1 or 1.25 Euro per drink. Prices will be confirmed by the driver. Drinks may also be served on the transfer coaches but this is not guaranteed.

    Transfer coaches are routed approximately 2-3 weeks before departure and will depend on where passengers are booked to travel from on any particular date as to which route is taken. If you require further detailed information regarding the route to the port you can contact our Customer Service Department on 01709 830333 two weeks before you are due to travel.

    With regard to the route taken by the main tour coach, this is determined by the driver.

    All main tour coaches have on-board toilets. Transfer coaches to and from the U.K. port may not have on-board toilets. When non-British coaches are used on transfers and tours (air or TGV holidays only) an on-board toilet may not be available. However, comfort stops will be made during long journeys.
    All coaches feature air-conditioning. Should the air-conditioning system break down for a period exceeding 12 hours, compensation will be awarded up to a maximum of £10 per fare-paying passenger per tour.
    We operate a passenger interchange at the Channel port. Transfer coaches, including taxis, minibuses, Megabus and National Express operate to and from the U.K. port. You will join your main tour coach at the port.
    One medium sized suitcase per person, which should weigh no more than 20kg when full. We may refuse to carry larger or heavier cases. Hand luggage can be stored in the overhead racks aboard the coach.
    It could be either - This will be confirmed in your travel documents.

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