Tour Status:
TOURSTARTER
Destination(s):
Belgium
Departure Date:
June 15, 2025 (Sunday)
Return Date:
June 23, 2025 (Monday)
Tour Length:
9 Days
Departs From:
Anywhere
Price:
Price: $3,699.00 USD

See full price details.

Special Notice:

GNT’s new Tourstarter tours not only allow you to help build the tour that you want to go on, but also puts money back in your pocket via profit sharing. As the tour grows – tour participants will enjoy a reduction in their fare. Of course, pricing is not fixed as we have yet to build the tour together, but based on past tours tour participants can expect a price reduction at 20 participants of $125.00 USD, at 25 participants that reduction increases to $200.00 USD and at a sell out of 30 tour participants expect a tour reduction of $250.00 USD.

Further, the tour pricing is based on past tour research. It may fluctuate while we build the tour but hopefully will remain close to the indicated rate.

Spread the word and help us put some money back into your pocket…

About this TourStarter Tour

WE HAVE YET TO BUILD THIS TOUR! We are itching to get to it however, and thus have it listed as a Tourstarter project (see the Special Notice notes above and the “I’m Interested” notes to the right)… The dates have not been settled on nor have tour details been arranged. The currently described route shown below is also up for changes although we will have to bookend all dates and details around the celebrations for the 210th anniversary.

Some of the questions we first will have to ask are…

A) Should add a bit more to the Waterloo story and cover Napoléon’s banishment to Elba with a visit to that same island?  Perhaps we could also explore his Italian adventures in Piedmont circa 1800 during his rise to stardom – Marengo etc…

B) Or perhaps we should head further east to Austria and focus on the campaigns around Vienna in 1809 – Aspern / Essling

C) Or perhaps a trip to Spain and Portugal is in order to explore Napoléon’s history there (although he was only there for one campaign – his generals and of course Wellington fought there for six years)

D) Should we decide to do any of the above options should it be a pre or post optional tour?

YOU decide….

Photo taken by Annette Flynn

Geek Nation Tours is proud to announce a return to the third in our series of Signature Battlefield Tours – The Battlefields of Waterloo. We will journey to the battlefields we saw in 2015 and rekindle some of the excitement from our first journey and the 200th anniversary of that battle. Join us as we explore the battlefield, climb the 226 steps of the Lion Monument to see the spectacular view, explore the fantastic Visitor’s Centre and see the Waterloo Panorama painted by Louis Dumoulin. We will visit strong points like the Hougoumont and la Haye Sainte farms, museums dedicated to both Wellington and Napoleon, while also walking as much as the battlefield as possible.

This tour sees Osprey Publishing and Geek Nation Tours joining forces to create tours for the most discerning of travelers. It is our goal to fashion vacations where one can delve deeply into the historic period we are covering with expert guest hosts relating knowledge as they walk along beside us. But while learning is important, we will also seek out fun and cover the more geeky aspects of the journey. We will meld pop culture with history, blend practical knowledge with epic legend and see human struggle and heroic deeds through many lenses. We will also get you on the battlefield and return often to explore this powerful place. Our wish is for you to see the hallowed ground where one of history’s most important battles took place, capturing more vividly in your mind the point in time when nearly 150,000 soldiers joined in battle.

As is customary on our Battlefield Tours we will have knowledgeable guides that take us from place to place to recreate one of the greatest military clashes Europe has ever seen. We will be shuttled in comfort by professional motor coach drivers and personally greeted by our Geek Nation Tours representative upon arrival. What’s more, Geek Nation Tours is pleased to announce that Barry Hilton of the League of Augsburg, Beneath the Lily BannersRepublic to Empire and DonnyBrook will be joining us on our tour as battlefield guide. Barry has visited Waterloo a multitude of times and did extensive research on both the time period and the battle itself. We are very excited about having him aboard as our guest guide. For more information about him and his projects visit his main site and his blog about Napoleonics, or take part in his forum discussion about the tour.

Join us then, as we re-live the battle of Waterloo and have loads of fun while doing it. Together, we will march the fields where Wellington commanded the Anglo-Belgian-Dutch forces and was reinforced by the Prussians led by Blucher and where Napoleon himself attempted to re-build his French Empire.

The stage was set and the players in position; the weather began to improve and fires flared-up; the first notes of the overture hung on the air as irregular fusillades proclaimed the cleaning and drying of muskets – Donald Featherstone

This tour is dedicated to the memory of a father of modern wargaming Donald Featherstone (1918 – 2013)

TourStarter Itinerary

Day 1 - Brussels, Belgium (Sunday, Jun. 15, 2025) / Arrival Day

Today we will arrive from all around the world to Brussels. You will be given detailed instructions on how to meet up with the rest of the tour participants at our hotel (note that you’ll always be in constant contact with our representative). From there you will have a free day to explore all that Brussels has to offer. Belgium is known not only for some of the finest cuisine in the world but for their first class beer. Or perhaps you would like to visit the Grand Palace or the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History. Or maybe you would like to do something lighter and visit the Moof Museum dedicated to cartoon characters!

Whatever your pleasure you’ll find it in Brussels – and when everyone has arrived, your Geek Nation Tours representative will join you on our first day’s exploration of Belgium.

Don’t be too late getting in or back to the hotel however. We will be having our “Welcome Dinner” tonight. Evening meals are very important to us at Geek Nation Tours. They provide an opportunity to review the events of the day, build friendships and enjoy the camaraderie of your fellow tour-mates.

Overnight Location: Brussels, Belgium

Day 2 - Belgium (Monday, Jun. 16, 2025) / First Day on the Battlefield

Today will be our first day on the battlefield. We will leave our Brussels hotel via motor coach to start our exploration of the area. Our goal today is two-fold. First to examine the days leading up to the battle at Waterloo and second to explore the Prussian manoeuvres earlier in the campaign. On our way to The Gérard Museum - an old farm that served as a hospital after the battle that tells the story of Napoleon’s final victory – we will discuss the windmill at Bussy where Blucher and Wellington met to talk about the coming battle. If possible we will also discuss Napoleon’s HQ and the Fleurus Windmill.

From Ligny we will travel to the second battle that took place on June 16th – Quatre Bras – where the French under Marshal Ney first met Wellington. We hope to visit the area where Van Bijand defended the Gemioncourt Farm, the remnants of the Bossu Woods and the Brunswick, British, Belgian and Dutch army monuments.

Our next stop will be Genappe where a brief but dramatic cavalry skirmish which marked the only real engagement of June 17th. Here we will visit The Caillou Museum which was Napoleon’s bivouac on that night where we can see his bed and map table, and where breakfast was set for the Marshals of France. The museum also commemorates the Dutch and Belgian participation in the war. The village itself has a rich history in this campaign as it is not only on the route of Wellington’s withdrawal to Waterloo but also where the French army retreated to after the main battle on the 18th.

We will follow the Prussian retreat to Wavre where the army was forced to withdraw on the 17th prior to advancing on Waterloo the next day. We will lunch here before moving on to the Bois de Paris where the Prussians entered the battlefield. Here we will discuss the difficulties experienced during the Prussian advance and view the challenging ground they encountered as they hurried to the main battlefield.

After that, we will head off from the Bois de Paris on our first walk around the battlefield. We will visit monuments and have our first real glimpse of the Anglo-Dutch left flank. We will eventually be picked up at Papelotte by coach and we will visit a local restaurant for dinner prior to making our way back to Brussels.

Overnight Location: Brussels, Belgium

Day 3 - Brussels, Belgium (Tuesday, Jun. 17, 2025) / Exploring a Brewery

Today we will explore a Belgium brewery to experience some of the best beer in the world. Beer will be the drink of the day and we will even have a contest or two. Perhaps we will set-up a battle using nationally appropriate beer from all the combatants of the original Waterloo...and perhaps we will help you drink your way to victory. Don’t worry it will all be in good fun and non-drinkers will be able to take part also.

This is a great day to have some free time too! For those not wishing to join us on the day’s excursions you will be free to explore Brussels on your own. We will get together for more Belgium beer and cuisine later in the evening (dinner on own).

This is the first of many days that we will have to discuss as a group. Should we explore Belgium beer or should we compact the main tour and perhaps use the day to explore more of Napoléon's history in a pre or post tour?

Overnight Location: Brussels, Belgium

Day 4 - Belgium (Wednesday, Jun. 18, 2025) / Second Day on Battlefield (French Line)

This day commemorates the anniversary of the battle and as such we are hoping to take in many of the celebrations occurring today. But first we march! We will start at Ferme la Papelotte and continue to Frischermont Convent.  At this point we will be on Wellington's left flank and we will discuss his difficulties on the battlefield. We will continue our march and pass two other important features of the battlefield – the sandpit at the end (now a clump of trees or a turn out) which was held by the 95th Rifles and what is left of the ridge of Mont St Jean (much of it was removed to build the Lion Monument) behind which Wellington concealed a large portion of his army from the French.  Here we’ll also find La Haye Sainte - the centre point of Wellington’s line - where one can still view musket holes in its walls.  There is much to see in the area as we look for Sir Thomas Picton and Sir Alexander Gordon’s memorials.

From here we will walk to the Butte du Lion to take in the best view of the battlefield.  But first we will witness the Memorial 1815 with an audio guided tour of the 10 year old museum. After seeing the Waterloo Panorama – painted by Louis Dumoulin and first seen in 1912 - our tour will be complete and we will start our ascent.  Our battlefield guide will describe in detail the dispositions of both forces with the goal of having the battle come alive before our eyes.  The hike up the mound is not for the faint of heart but once you step on the 226th stair the view will make the journey all worthwhile.

After lunch we will walk the 200 meters to the Wellington Museum. Here we will visit the excellent Wellington Museum in Waterloo village, where Wellington himself lodged before and after the battle, and where he wrote his dispatches. Geek Nation Tours has added local guides at the museum and included the Napoleon/Wellington Shared Destinies exhibit as part of our museum visit.  We are sure you will walk out further enriched by the experience.

Overnight Location: Brussels, Belgium

Day 5 - Belgium (Thursday, Jun. 19, 2025) / Third Day on Battlefield (Anglo-Dutch/Prussian Line)

Photo taken by Barry Hilton

Today we will walk much of the French Lines. We will continue our battlefield explorations on foot and will start at the French right at Plancenoit, where the Prussians finally pushed through the French lines. Like Hougoumont, it proved a critical bastion which stalled the Prussian advance and denied them access to French army’s rear.

We will continue on to “L’Observatoire de Napoleon” (Napoleon’s Vantage Point) which was Napoleon’s forward command post and which has a great view of the eastern part of the battlefield. About 150 yards away from the observation point is La Belle Alliance - the French centre - where Wellington and Blucher met after Napoleon’s defeat. Our journey will afford us extraordinary views and we will see Mont St Jean, the Butte du Lion to Fichermont and Papelotte on the far French right. We will discuss the attack of the Imperial Guard and much more.

As we proceed we will reach the French left flank and the Aigle Blessé or Wounded Eagle Monument. Here Napoleon’s elite checked the Allied pursuit at the battle’s end.

We will end this day’s battlefield walk at the famous Château Hougoumont – arguably the most important point on the battlefield. Hougoumont was a “great breakwater” where the French threw assault after assault and was one of the keys to Wellington’s victory. Geek Nation Tours has secured a visit to this most important battlefield location and we will be able to enter and stand on its most famous grounds.

After lunch we will see at least one of the Bivouacs where we can visit the living history tents and military camps. These visits offer a deeper look into the period and give participants a wealth of knowledge about medicine, weaponry and other important aspects of life at the time. You may want to meet a re-enactor and learn about their passions and the Bivouacs are the best place to do this.

At the end of our explorations we will head back to Brussels for an odd beer and more of that delicious Belgian cuisine.

Overnight Location: Brussels, Belgium

Day 6 - Belgium (Friday, Jun. 20, 2025) / Re-enactment Day 1

Photo taken by Annette Flynn

Today is also the first day we will visit the official re-enactment. While preparations for the event are still happening Geek Nation Tours has secured the best viewing experience possible. The tour will include a Hospitality VIP viewing package for each tour participants. This will include a reception, VIP seating, a VIP village meeting area dinner and drinks for both Days 6 and 7! Thats right! WE WILL HAVE DINNER RIGHT ON THE BATTLEFIELD ITSELF!

The Waterloo 2015 committee released this to Geek Nation Tours:

“Bataille De Waterloo 1815 is planning impressive Napoleonic reconstructions on a scale that has never before been seen in the world: 5000 participants, 300 horses and 100 forms of artillery. All of these actors for a re-enactment that promises to be Epic, Thundering and Colourful!

The Attack of the French Army: The French Army, more than Seventy thousand strong, sets off to attack the hill where the British troops are positioned with enthusiastic cries of “Long live the Emperor” ringing out. At the top of the hill the French troops are met by the Belgo-Dutch army that is keeping the British army, lying in ambush behind the ridge, out of sight. Hard fighting follows until the British troops emerge and fire at close range on the Imperial Guard. At the same time heavy fighting is raging at the top of Mont-Saint-Jean. The outcome of the battle is uncertain…”

Note that official celebrations for the 210th anniversary have not been completed. It is possible that the reenactment may be smaller and the "battlefield" dinner options may not be offered. The above gives you a feel of what we experienced in 2015 but know this - GNT will insure that we can take part in only the very best of experiences that are offered.

Overnight Location: Brussels, Belgium

Day 7 - Belgium (Saturday, Jun. 21, 2025) / Re-enactment Day 2

Photo taken by Annette Flynn

Today we will return to the Bivouacs and later in the day we will again be treated to dinner and witness yet another phase of the 1815 battle re-enacted in VIP comfort.

“The Reaction of the Allies:

The battle is concentrated around the Hougoumont farm, a fortified farm that has been strengthened by the British as they fear a French attack. The fighting starts under the loud roar of artillery fire and results in a blood bath. Thousands lie dead and wounded. Under fire from the British, the Guard “dies but will never surrender”. Napoleon flees to Paris, leaving the victors, Wellington and Blucher, to celebrate their victory together in the Belle Alliance farm.”

Again, the 210th anniversary may be smaller in scale... It is very possible that the reenactment will only take place over one day. GNT is currently researching the celebration planning and will post any updates asap.

Overnight Location: Brussels, Belgium

Day 8 - Belgium (Sunday, Jun. 22, 2025) / More Official Celebrations

Photo by Margo Rogers

Today we will continue exploring all that the official celebrations have to offer. We will travel again to the battlefield or Waterloo Township. This day is currently in planning but return often to this site to see what we will be up to. Most likely this will be a free day to explore the battlefield and the area on our own. With that said, we keep you appraised of what the Waterloo historical society may have planned this day.

At the end of the day’s adventures we will return to Brussels and meet for a final Farewell Dinner.

Overnight Location: Brussels, Belgium

Day 9 - Belgium (Monday, Jun. 23, 2025) / Departure

All good things must end, unfortunately, and today we return to the airport and depart for home. Geek Nation Tours will give you detailed instructions on how to connect with your return bound airport and airline. The photos, memories and friendships you made are yours to keep forever!

Tour Notes

We get you reading straight away…

Osprey Publishing and Geek Nation Tours want to start you off right with our tours and thus will get you reading about the history we will be visiting.  Each of our Signature Battlefield tours will see books on the subject bound for your bookshelves… Upon securing a spot on our Signature Battlefield Series: The Battlefields of Waterloo 2025 we will be sending you Waterloo 1815 (1), Waterloo 1815 (2), Wellington’s Heavy Cavalry, and Napoleon’s Dragoons of the Imperial Guard.

NOTE: Attendance of special guests and celebrities is subject to change due to scheduling conflicts and conflicting professional or personal obligations.

NOTE: COVID-19 has changed both our geek and our real worlds. Some things may never be the same and others may not be able to be offered on our tours or will have to be altered in a new post Covid world. With that said, please understand that GNT is moving forward as if the disease is already conquered, but all tours are now subject to change.

NOTE: The Waterloo 2025 organization have NOT confirmed their dates.  Currently, the date seem to be as per the above.  Geek Nation Tours cannot not be held liable for a date change. The DATES ABOVE MAY CHANGE.

NOTE: We do a load of walking this tour. Please note that we can walk as much as 8 kilometers a day in our attempt to show you as much of the battlefield as possible. Please keep this in mind.

What's Included

Local Guides, All hotel stays, Entry fees to most venues, Welcome and Farewell Dinners, daily breakfasts, 5 additional dinners, walking and motor coach tours and loads of other stuff including VIP viewing to both days of the Waterloo re-enactment.

What's Not Included

Air, airport and some local transfers. Some charges at restaurants. Note that entry into Hougoumont is not currently included into the tour cost. There may be some additional costs associated with these events. If needed GNT may need to charge for these events prior to departure or while in destination.

Estimated TourStarter Price

Price:
$3,699.00 USD + $258.93 Taxes & Fees
Single-Occupancy Upgrade: $900.00 USD
Deposit:
$750.00 USD
Note:

Don’t have a comrade to get the double occupancy rate? Geek Nation Tours can help! Book as a double occupancy and we’ll match you up with a roommate. This way you get the best of both worlds, someone to BS about the trip with…and more cash to spend! 

TourStarter Note:

Please Note that the above pricing is just an estimate and the final price will be determined upon settling our itinerary and a collaborative decision on all details. Further, this was our 2015 price and accounting for inflation and the post covid travel world is sure to be increased.

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