Canadians to be Welcomed to 70th Anniversary of Holland Liberation


The emotional connection between the Dutch and Canadian peoples is no coincidence: since Canadian troops liberated the country at the end of World War II, Canadians have been guaranteed a warm and appreciative welcome in Holland. The Dutch have always considered the Canadian veterans as “their liberators” and amazingly enough that sentiment is as strong today as it was 70 years ago.

And none warmer than what is predicted for May 2015, the 70th anniversary of the liberation, to be marked by commemorative services and special events across the country.

To make travel to the events easy, affordable and inclusive of all the special activities, Canadian travel agency Verstraete Travel has put together convenient pre-packaged tours, officially endorsed by both the Welcome Again Veterans ( group and the Royal Canadian Legion  ( branch in Holland.

Verstraete Travel and its Dutch-born founders have decades of experience in arranging tours to Holland for Canadian veterans, their families and their descendants.

“These tours are more than just a holiday,” says Baldwin Verstraete of Verstraete Travel. “The genuine gratitude of the local people of all ages is so apparent and the connection between the Dutch and the Canadians is extremely moving to see” Baldwin added

“Veteran Affairs Canada has pledged an allowance of $2,000.00 for Canadian veterans who wish to travel to the Netherlands for the 70th Anniversary of the Liberation of Holland, which makes the tour totally affordable for Canadian veterans” Baldwin mentions that limited seats are still available and advises to book soon.  Verstraete Travel will send the Veteran Affairs application form with the booking documents.

For the 70th anniversary tours, travellers have two tour options, both departing May 1 and returning May 10, 2015 and including airfare from Toronto, accommodation with daily breakfast, coach transportation to all activities and a warm welcome at several special events.

The hotel package includes a choice of historic 3 to 4 star properties in Apeldoorn, Zutphen or Deventer. Or, each veteran (or veteran’s child) plus one guest will be welcomed to stay with a Dutch family for the duration of the trip.  The hotel package is priced at $2,185 per person, double; the home stay package is $1,295 (each package price excludes taxes of $575).

Special events will be held at the Groesbeek (Arnheim) Canadian War Cemetery and the Holten Canadian War Cemetery as well as on National Liberation Day.  The Canadians will also visit the Memory International War Museum, enjoy ceremonies and festivities in Apeldoorn and a farewell party in their host town.

There are also three tours offered as optional extensions, including transportation, accommodation and sightseeing:  3 nights in Dusseldorf ($995), 5 nights in Normandy and Paris ($1,785 – escorted) and an 8 day Scenic Jewel of the Rhine cruise from Amsterdam to Basel, Switzerland (from $3,400).

Adds Verstraete, “We know these 70th anniversary celebrations will be a huge event in Holland and we’ll be doing all we can to make sure these tours are memorable for everyone taking part.”

For more information, visit or call them at their office in Aurora, Ont., at 416-969-8100 or 1-800-565-9267.


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