Thursday, September 22, 2005

D-Day Battle of the Bulge Normandy to Berlin (12 Days)

Early on June 6, 1944, 135,000 troops and 20,000 vehicles landed on five beaches in Normandy. The long-awaited Allied invasion of France had begun. This journey focuses on the battle for Normandy and the battles that followed from D-Day to the Battle of the Bulge. These battles ultimately ensured democracy in the Western World, and still resonate in the freedoms we enjoy today. A poignant journey to Portsmouth and a visit to the D-Day Museum is enriched by subsequent visits to London's Imperial War Museum and the Churchill War Rooms. Ferry across the English Channel and drive along the Coast of France to Normandy where you will visit the Peace Museum in Caen. In Deauville explore the parachute shaped Airborne Museum before visiting Pointe Du Hoc Ranger Memorial where Lieutenant Colonel James E. Rudder's 2nd Ranger Battalion scaled the 100 foot cliffs on D-Day morning to seize the fortified enemy position which controlled the landing approaches to Omaha and Utah beaches. Drive to Utah Beach and visit the scene of the 4th Infantry Division's operations before visiting the Utah Beach Museum and The 508th Parachute Infantry Memorial. You will also visit Omaha Beach and the US Military Cemetery. Your travels bring you to Bastogne, Belgium, to see the sights of the siege and the Battle Of The Bulge.Continue to Luxembourg where you will visit the grave of General "Blood and Guts" Patton, who is buried in the 51 acres of the Third Army Cemetery at Hamm, in the city of Luxembourg. Departing Luxembourg you travel to the memorial dedicated to the victims of the infamous massacre at Malmedy and visit the Battle Museum At La Gleize. Finally you will travel through the Huertgen Forest where the First Army fought one of the bloodiest battles of World War II. An extensive sightseeing tour of Berlin brings you to the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag Building. Visit The "Check Point Charlie" Museum, and see the remains of the Berlin Wall. You will also see the site of Hitler's bunker, and the German Resistance Memorial before your journey through history concludes.This powerful journey accompanies various programs on The History Channel, dedicated to World War II and its heroes.Day by Day ItineraryDay 1 Overnight Flight! Day 2 London Welcome to London! Enjoy some time at leisure before joining your fellow travelers for a welcome dinner. (D) Day 3 London A panoramic tour of London highlights Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, The Houses of Parliament, and Westminster Abbey. See the Cabinet War Rooms, the fortified bunkers under the Ministry of Defense buildings of Whitehall where Churchill and his cabinet worked and lived during the London air-raids of WWII. Continue with a visit to the Imperial War Museum which traces the history of military conflict in Britain and the Commonwealth. The evening is at leisure to dine at one of London’s wonderful restaurants. (B) Day 4 This morning travel to Portsmouth, Britain’s premier naval base, and visit the D-Day Museum. An afternoon at leisure allows you to explore the historic center of Portsmouth, or choose an optional excursion to the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard to experience a simulated sea voyage aboard a Royal Navy Frigate. (B, D) Day 5 Caen Journey by ferry across the English Channel to Caen, France. Arrive in Caen this afternoon and visit the Peace Memorial to better understand the historical context of the period surrounding World War II.Day 6 Normandy This morning you will visit Ste. Mere Eglise and the parachute-shaped Airborne Museum. At the Pointe Du Hoc Ranger Memorial, you’ll see where the 2nd Ranger Battalion scaled 100-foot cliffs on D-Day morning to seize the fortified enemy position, controlling the landing approaches to Omaha and Utah beaches. A drive to Utah Beach provides a visit to the scene of the 4th Infantry Division’s operations. Later, visit Omaha Beach and the U.S. Military Cemetery. (B, D) Day 7 Reims En route to Reims, pass many famous towns, sites and cemeteries from World War I. Upon arrival in Reims, you will visit the “Red House School”, now a museum, where the German High Command surrendered in 1945. You will also visit the magnificent Reims Cathedral. Day 8 Reims - Belgium - Luxembourg Travel to Bastogne, Belgium, where the Battle of the Bulge was fought. Continue to Luxembourg where you will visit the grave of General “Blood and Guts” Patton, who is buried in the Third Army Cemetery at Hamm, Luxembourg. (B, D) Day 9 Departing Luxembourg, you travel along the Rhine for a visit to the Peace Museum. Here you will learn the history of the Ludendorff Railway Bridge in Remagen. On March 7, 1945, the capture of this bridge by the 9th Armored Division provided the first bridgehead east of the Rhine, a critical factor needed to ensure the Allied victory. Continue on to Cologne and visit the beautiful gothic cathedral, which has the largest western façade in the world. (B, D) Day 10 Cologne - Berlin Drive along the Autobahn to Berlin, now the largest construction site in Europe. The once separated city continues its transformation into the capital of today’s unified Germany. (B, D) Day 11 Berlin An extensive sightseeing tour of Berlin highlights the sights associated with World War II. Your local guide will bring you to the Brandenburg Gate, the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, and the Reichstag Building. A visit to the “Checkpoint Charlie” Museum includes seeing the remains of the Berlin Wall. (B, D)


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