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D-Day to Operation Market Garden 2014

England, France, Luxembourg,
Belgium and the Netherlands
October 13 - 24, 2014 (13 day Escorted Tour)
$3,955.00 twin/dbl room (land package only)
This tour is closed.
Operated by: Custom Euro Tours

 

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Day 1 - Monday, October 13th

In flight from USA to London, England.

Day 2 - Tuesday, October 14th               Arrival in London                                         D

Arrive into London and make your way to your hotel. On arrival at the hotel you will be met by your WW II tours of Europe Guide who will welcome you and assist you on check in for 2 nights.

Start of WWII Tours of Europe services

Remainder of the day free for personal sightseeing or time to relax and adjust to the time change (+ 6hrs EST).

Welcome dinner in the hotel.

Hotel in London

Day 3 - Wednesday, October 15th            London                                                 B, D

Buffet breakfast in the hotel.

This morning we meet our local step-on guide for a city tour of London. Our tour will focus on WW II London, with stops at St. Paul’s Cathedral, and Churchill’s War Rooms. In St. Paul's Cathedral we will see the book, located in the American section, which lists every airman killed while based in England. We continue to Churchill’s War Rooms, which was a part of the underground nerve center of Britain's war effort. The war rooms became necessary after aerial bombardments in WW II to the extent that the government needed a secure headquarters where they could conduct their day to day running of the country in the event that that the German bombing of London continued.

In the afternoon we visit the Imperial War Museum, One of the world’s foremost War Museums. The museum exhibits authentic examples of World War II and World War I weaponry and aircraft as well as an exhibit of World War I trench warfare.

We return to our hotel by late afternoon.

Dinner in the hotel.

Day 4 - Thursday, October 16th              London – Portsmouth                                    B, D

Buffet breakfast in the hotel.

Departing London this morning we drive southwest to Portsmouth. On arrival we will visit Southwick House located within an active military base HMS Dryad. Southwick House became the location of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force. In the months leading up to D-Day, it became the headquarters of the main Allied commanders: Allied Supreme Commander, General Eisenhower; Naval Commander-in-Chief, Admiral Ramsay; and the Army Commander-in-Chief, General Montgomery. Large wall maps that were used in planning of Operation Overlord (D-Day) are still in place in the house, with markers showing the positions of the involved forces at the moments of the first landings.

Our afternoon will be taken up with a visit to the award winning D-Day Museum and Overlord Embroidery. Portsmouth’s D-Day Museum is Britain’s only museum that covers all aspects of the D-Day landings in Normandy on June 6, 1944. The centerpiece of the museum is the Overlord Embroidery, the world’s longest embroidery of its kind, which measures 272 feet long. The embroidery is a tribute to the sacrifice and heroism of the men and women who took part in Operation Overlord.
Late afternoon check in to our hotel for 1 night.

Dinner in the hotel

Hotel in Portsmouth

Day 5 - Friday, October 17th              Portsmouth – Cross Channel – Normandy          B, D

Buffet breakfast in the hotel.

This morning we board our high speed ferry, and cross the English Channel to the large French port of Cherbourg on the Cotentin Peninsula (4 Hours). On arrival into Cherbourg we meet our European based coach and driver and transfer directly to Utah Beach at the westernmost flank of the Landing Beaches. Here we will see the German communications bunker used by the US Navy directly after the landings.

The Utah Beach museum is also built around the German Bunker (Gun Emplacement WN5). From Utah Beach we drive to the area of Brecourt Manor. This is where Lt. Dick Winters and a handful of men from the 101st 506th PIR successfully over run the site of a German battery that threatened the invasion at Utah Beach. Today Brecourt Manor is a working farm.

We anticipate an early evening arrival into the Bayeux area and check into your hotel for the next
2 nights.

Dinner in the hotel

Hotel in Normandy

Day 6 - Saturday, October 18th             Normandy                                                 B, D

Buffet breakfast in the hotel.

After breakfast we continue our tour of the “Operation Overlord” area, taking us back into the American theatre of operations. Driving west our first stop of the day will be in St. Mere Eglise. It was here that the west flank of the landing beaches had to be secured early in the morning of June 6, 1944. Here we will visit the Airborne Museum dedicated to the 101st Division “Screaming Eagles” and the 82nd Division “All American”. We will also visit the church to view the beautiful stained glass windows also dedicated to these 2 divisions. A parachute still dangles precariously from the steeple with an effigy of an 82nd airborne trooper, John Steele, who was entangled there after the drop.

On leaving St. Mere Eglise we continue over to Omaha Beach & Pointe du Hoc. On arrival at Omaha Beach we have time to reflect on the bloody slaughter of many young Americans that took place here. On visiting Omaha Beach we will climb the bluffs to overlook the beachhead area and visit St .Laurent-sur-Mer American Military Cemetery.

We continue on to visit Pointe Du Hoc and the Ranger Monument. Pointe du Hoc has been left much as it was in June of 1944, a standing monument to the sacrifices and heroism of the 2nd Rangers. If time allows we will also make a short visit to the German Military Cemetery at La Cambe on the way to Arromanches located on Gold Beach.

Before arrival into Arromanches we stop to take a look at the German gun Batteries of Longues-sur- Mer. The German gun batteries at Longues-Sur-Mer are a spectacularly well preserved example of the massive firepower the Allies faced during storming the Normandy beaches. These four German 152mm gun batteries were finally knocked out by Allied warships following a daylong artillery duel, three of the guns remain in their massive concrete bunkers.

A stop in Arromanches is planned for a visit to the D-Day Museum and viewing the Mulberry Harbor, which was secretly built in England and towed across the channel to be put in place for the landing of supplies after the main landings.

Returning to our hotel by late afternoon.

Dinner in the hotel

Day 7 - Sunday,  October 19th                   Normandy                                          B, D

Buffet breakfast in the hotel.

Departing our hotel we drive to the most easterly flank of the Landing Beaches.

Continuing East from Bayeux we drive the coastal route making various stops along the way through the British and Canadian landing zones on June 6, 1944 Gold, Juno and Sword Beaches.

The British & French Commandos and Canadian 1st Airborne units secured the eastern flank of the landing beaches early in the morning of June 6, 1944. Here we will visit “Pegasus Bridge” and the museum, which is dedicated to this daring feat of bravery.

On leaving the Pegasus Bridge area at Ouisterham we drive south into Paris arriving early evening and checking into our hotel for 1 night.

 

Dinner in the hotel

Hotel in Paris

Day 8 - Monday,  October 20th                      Paris - Reims                                      B, D

Buffet breakfast in the hotel.

After breakfast our group will take a tour of this vibrant city. Our local city guide will show us all the famous sights. Eiffel Tower. Champs des Ellyses, Triumphal Arch, Louvres, Sacre Coeur, and many more.

On completion of the city tour free time for lunch before we depart for Reims in the Champagne region of France.

On arrival in Reims we will visit the Little Red Schoolhouse. This is the building and room where German surrender was signed on May 7, 1945.effectively ceasing all combat operations in Europe. Directly after this VE Day in Europe was declared.

After our visit we transfer to our hotel and check in for 1 night.

Dinner in the hotel

Hotel in Reims

Day 9 - Tuesday,  October 21st               Reims - Luxembourg - Bastogne                B, D

Buffet breakfast in the hotel.

Departing Reims this morning we continue west through the Champagne region to Verdun. A visit to some of the WW I battlefield sites is planned along with a visit to the Ossuary. Again it is here that we take time to reflect on the horror, destruction and the terrible loss of life that took place in the great war of 1914 -1918.

Mid-afternoon we travel into Luxembourg and visit the American Military Cemetery (Patton’s Grave). After our visit to the Cemetery we continue north into Belgium and the Ardennes region to re-visit the area known in WW II history as the Ardennes offensive, (Battle of the Bulge) or “The Von Rundstedt Offensive” and check into our hotel for the next 2 nights.

Dinner in hotel.

Hotel in Bastogne

Day 10 -  Wednesday,  October 22nd        Bastogne (Bulge Area)                    B, D 

Buffet breakfast in the hotel.

A full day touring the Bulge area. Our local Bulge expert and witness to the battle, will join us today to visit many of the important combat areas.

La Gleize, Parker’s crossroads, Stavelot, St. Vith, Trois Ponts, Bastogne, McCauliffe Square, Nuts Museum, Mardasson Memorial, and sites dedicated to covering the areas that were very heavily fought over and defended by the Famous “Band of BrothersEasy Company of the 101st Screaming Eagles. A visit to peace woods and the village of Foy.
 

Late afternoon we arrive back in our hotel.

Dinner in the hotel.

Day 11 -  Thursday,  October 23rd                       Bastogne – Arnhem                        B, D

Buffet breakfast in the hotel.

Driving north through the Ardennes region our first visit this morning will be at Malmedy.

Malmedy is where the infamous massacre of GI’s took place on the orders of S.S. Standartenfuhrer Joachim Peiper.

On December 17, 1944, near the hamlet of Baugnez on the height half-way between the town of Malmedy and Ligneuville in Belgium, the leading element of Waffen - SS Kampfgruppe Peiper, named after its leader SS - Standartenführer Joachim Peiper encountered Jeeps and trucks of the American 285th Field Artillery Observation.

Battalion (FAOB). The German tanks fired on the U.S. vehicles, which were quickly abandoned by their occupants. With no anti-tank weapons, the Americans surrendered. About 150 of the prisoners of war were disarmed and sent to stand in a field near the crossroads. Some 72-84 of the prisoners were machine gunned and killed, their bodies left on the field where they fell. An American patrol discovered the massacre that night.

Early afternoon we continue our journey where we will visit the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery and Memorial in Belgium, covering 57 acres, rest 7,992 of our military dead, most of whom lost their lives during the advance of the U.S. armed forces into Germany.

From here it will be a short drive crossing into the Holland and arriving at your hotel In the Arnhem area checking in for 1 night.

Hotel in the Arnhem Area

Day 12 -  Friday, October 24th    Arnhem – Operation Market Garden area – Amsterdam  B, D 

Buffet breakfast in the hotel.

Today we will tour the sites made famous in the movie “A Bridge Too Far”

Operation “Market Garden” This was the earliest and only attempt by the Allied forces to strike directly for Berlin. Control of the bridges at Eindhoven, Nijmegen and Arnhem would enable British armored forces to reach the far side of the Rhine and then have an open road to Berlin.

Our travels continue along Hell’s Highway, the route followed by the British XXX Corps as it attempted to reach its embattled 1st Airborne Division in Arnhem. Our first stop will be at the famous bridge over the Rhine which was the objective of Operation Market Garden, the Bridge at Nijmegen. Following this we go on to the bridge “Too Far” (Frost Bridge) at Arnhem where we take a look at the logistical problems and the fatal three days that cost  British 1st Airborne dearly. We then visit the Airborne Museum at Oosterbeek, which focuses on the Battle of Arnhem, and the British Cemetery also located in this area.

Late afternoon we continue to our hotel in Amsterdam and check in for 2 nights.

Dinner in hotel.

Hotel in Amsterdam

Day 13 - Saturday,  October 25th           Amsterdam - Volendam - Amsterdam      B, D 

Buffet breakfast in the hotel.

A morning canal cruise will show us all the famous sights of Amsterdam.

Afternoon will bring us to the pretty little fishing village of Volendam located on the Ijselmeer. Here we have free time to enjoy this picturesque little village, En-route to Volendam we will visit a clog and cheese making factory. While in Volendam try some Matjes and Jenever.

A late afternoon arrival back in your hotel.

This evening it is time to say goodbye to each other. What better way to do this than at your
farewell dinner.
 

Day 14 Sunday, October 26th         Amsterdam – Airport                                      B

Buffet breakfast in the hotel.

End of WWII Tours of Europe services

Group shuttle transfer to Schipol Amsterdam’s  International Airport.

Tour Highlights
  • Full day Bulge area tour with local guide and witness to the battle

  • Visit McAuliffe’s Headquarters in Bastogne

  • See Band of Brother’s fox holes in Foy

  • ½ day city tour of Paris with local step-on guide

  • ½ day city tour of London

  • Visit the Cabinet War Rooms

  • Visit the Imperial War Museum

  • Visit HMS Dryad and Southwick House

  • Visit the D-Day Museum in Portsmouth

  • Cross Channel high speed ferry to Cherbourg

  • Visit to Airborne Museum in Ste Mere Eglise

  • Visit Pegasus Bridge Museum
    View sights of the “Band of Brothers”

  • Tour the Normandy Beaches

  • Visit Patton’s Grave site in Luxembourg

  • Visit the Verdun WW I Battlefield

  • Visit the Fleury WW I Museum

  • Visit the Verdun Ossuary

  • Visit the Malmedy Massacre Sight Museum

  • Visit Henri Chapelle American Military Cemetery

  • Visit Luxembourg American Military Cemetery

  • Visit St. Laurent American Military Cemetery Omaha Beach

  • Visit the “Operation Market Garden” sights and drop zones

  • Visit the drop zone museum at Son

  • Visit the Airborne museum at “A Bridge Too Far” Arnhem

  • Visit a cheese and clog factory

  • Canal cruise of Amsterdam

What is included

  • All land transportation by modern touring motor coach

  • All road tolls and applicable taxes

  • Services of a professional Tour Manager/Escort throughout / Ex-Military

  • 12 Nights in good quality 3 & 4 star 1st class tourist category hotels

  • 12 Buffet breakfasts

  • 10 Dinners (3 course set meal on group menu) as per the itinerary (No beverages included)

  • 1 Welcome dinner

  • 1 Farewell dinner

  • All excursions as specified in the Itinerary

  • All entrance fees as specified in the itinerary

  • Luggage handling at hotels (1 Piece per person only)

What is not included

  • All items of a personal nature i.e., telephone calls, laundry, pay TV. hotel mini-bars in room.

  • All meals not specified in the itinerary.

  • All entrances to museums, art galleries, etc. not specified in the itinerary

  • All private excursions not specified in the itinerary

  • Any public transport, Taxi, local bus, rail or flights not specified in the itinerary

  • Travel Insurance:
    Contact Marcia Marsett at  AAA Travel (Auto Club) 815-744-6941 Ext. 190

  • Tipping for Local Guides, Maitre’d, Tour Coach Driver, Tour Escort.
    (See Tipping suggestion info)

  • Flights to and from your home area to European gateway

  • Transfers to / from airports

(B) = Breakfast
(D) = Dinner
 
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