13 Days

WWII Battlefields

Join our WWII Veterans in celebration of the 75th anniversary of D-Day on the Normandy Beaches. Witness how, to this day, Normandy’s citizens honor and cherish our Veterans’ sacrifices. Retrace the steps our brave soldiers traveled during the twelve weeks of desperate fighting following June 6th, 1944. See all the landing beaches, walk on Omaha and Utah Beach, and visit museums, memorials and cemeteries. Continue to Reims, France and see the very place where General Eisenhower received the unconditional surrender of German Wehrmacht on May 8, 1945. Hear the bell Carillion play our National Anthem at General Patton’s gravesite in Luxembourg, and visit Belgium’s battlefields so prominently known as the Battle of the Bulge. Walk among the “Dragon’s Teeth,” the anti-tank defense of the Siegfried Line and jump into one of the foxholes in the Ardennes Forest. See the remains of the Remagen Bridge on the banks of the Rhine River and tour the former Nazi Party Rally Grounds outside of Nuremberg, Germany. Walk up the “Path of Arrival” and visit the rebuilt barracks and the crematory at the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial site. Ride up to the lofty Eagle’s Nest for beautiful mountain views of the Austrian Alps and conclude the tour with a visit to Munich’s city center. Enjoy other famous sites in Paris such as the Eiffel Tower, a relaxing Seine River cruise, and Les Invalides, a wonderful museum which contains many artifacts, including Napoleon’s Tomb. A truly great way to honor our brave Veterans and a wonderful experience for all ages and all walks of life. 

See an interview of one of our tour participants while in Normandy: Fox News WWII Veteran Interview - Rupiper Tours

 

Dates Available
  • June 1 - 13, 2019

Itinerary

Day 1:                            Depart the USA
Meet your Rupiper Tour Manager and your fellow travelers at the International Airport in Newark, NJ for your transatlantic flight to Paris, France.
Meals: In-flight Meal Service

Day 2:                           Arrive in Paris, France
Welcome to the City of Lights – Paris!  Upon arrival at the Charles de Gaulle airport we are greeted by our professional tour director and historian, Fred Rothschild, who has provided commentary on our WWII Battlefield Tours for many years.  Transfer by motorcoach into the heart of Paris where we stop for lunch and visit the Arc de Triomphe.  By midafternoon we check into our hotel.  If you wish to do some exploration on your own, our tour manager will be there to help you.  Tonight we gather for a welcome dinner at the hotel.
Meals: In-flight Meal Service, Welcome Dinner, Beverages

Day 3:                      Paris / Normandy
Before departing Paris we enjoy a city orientation tour.  Sights include the Place du Trocadéro, the Eiffel Tower, Paris’ most famous street – Champs-Élysée, the Place de la Concorde, the Opera House, the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Palais du Louvre, and the Pont Alexandre III, which is considered the most beautiful bridge in Paris.  Along the way to Normandy, we briefly stop at the Chateau de la Roche-Guyon, which was German Field Marshal Rommel’s headquarters during the Normandy Invasion.  We continue our journey to Normandy and our hotel near the city of Caen, our home for the next four nights.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner, Beverages

Day 4:                           Normandy
The schedule of events for the 73rd D-Day Anniversary celebration is not published at this time. As in the past years, our group will be invited to attend several ceremonies held in honor of our participating World War II veterans. Therefore, the itinerary during our stay in Normandy may be interchanged for scheduling purposes.  Thank you for your consideration.

Visit the Caen-Normandy Memorial Centre for History and Peace, which is dedicated to the "Battle of Normandy."  The exhibitions at the museum chronicle the twelve weeks of desperate fighting following June 6th of 1944.  The exposé helps you to better understand the important role the Battle of Normandy played in Europe's liberation.  After an included lunch, we continue on to the Pegasus Bridge Memorial, which is dedicated to the British 6th Airborne Division.  The original Bénouville Bridge, renamed Pegasus Bridge after the liberation, is on display in the park of the museum along with a Bailey bridge and a full size replica of a wartime Horsa glider.  Driving west from Ouistreham we see the shoreline of Sword, Juno, and Gold Beaches.  From above the town of Arromanches-les-Bains we overlook the bay with the remaining Phoenixes of the Mulberry “B” Harbour, a portable temporary harbor developed by the British to facilitate rapid offloading of cargo onto the beaches.  Nearby is a special theater offering a 360° viewpoint, presenting a film which vividly recounts the story of the landings on Normandy.  This film is a tribute to soldiers from all countries and to the 20,000 civilians who were killed during the battle for the liberation of Europe.
Meals: Breakfast, Hot Buffet Lunch, Beverages

Day 5:                               Normandy
On today’s agenda is a visit to the Overlord Museum with its extensive collection and countless artifacts, big and small.  From a reconnaissance plane, V1 flying bomb, armored fighting vehicles, soft skin vehicles and artillery pieces, to posters, signs, documents and personal objects.  We have a guided tour of the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial near Colleville-sur-Mer, situated on a cliff overlooking Omaha Beach and the English Channel.  The cemetery contains the graves of 9,387 of our military dead, and on the Wall of the Missing, in a semicircular garden on the east side of the memorial, are inscribed the 1,557 names of our missing soldiers.  In Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer we stop at the Signal Monument, the spot where many of our troops first stepped foot on Normandy, and walk on Omaha Beach.  After our included lunch we continue on to Pointe-du-Hoc where Col. James Rudder’s 2nd Ranger Battalion climbed the treacherous cliffs that infamous day of June 6, 1944.  The area has remained unchanged for 72 years – you still see the huge craters and the bombed out bunkers where the German gun positions were placed.  This site really tells a story!
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Beverages

Day 6:                           Normandy
On June 6th everyone in Normandy will be out celebrating this memorable day which was the beginning of the end of the Nazi regime seventy-three years ago!  Our WWII veterans will be the guests of honor at today’s ceremony on Utah Beach, the westernmost of the landing beaches.  Participating WWII veterans will be presented a Certificate of Appreciation at the Landing Museum.  We continue on to Sainte-Mère-Église, the first village liberated by the 82nd Airborne on June 6, 1944, and we step into the church where the famous paratrooper John Steele’s parachute was hung-up on the steeple, and we visit the Airborne Museum, which is dedicated to American paratroopers of the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions.  For the 70th anniversary of D-Day a new museum wing named “Operation Neptune” was inaugurated in the presence of 19 of our participating WWII veterans.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Beverages

Day 7:                             Normandy / Reims
We say farewell to Normandy and journey to Reims, which was greatly damaged by German bombardment and a subsequent fire in 1914 during World War I.  Visit the magnificently restored cathedral, Notre-Dame de Reims, where the kings of France were once crowned, and also visit the school building which acted as Eisenhower’s Headquarters during the latter part of WWII.  See the map room still furnished as it was on May 8, 1945, when General Eisenhower and the Allies received the unconditional surrender of the German Wehrmacht.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner, Beverages

Day 8:                            Reims, France / Luxembourg / Bastogne & Spa, Belgium
The Battle of the Bulge is commonly associated with Bastogne and Belgium, but much of the action also took place in Luxembourg.  Luxembourg City was Omar Bradley’s 21st Army Group Headquarters, as well as General Patton’s 3rd Army Headquarters.  During our visit at the Luxembourg American Military you hear the bell carillon playing our National Anthem as we gather at General Patton’s grave who is buried there along with over 5,000 of his fallen troops.
Our next stop is Bastogne, Belgium. Sites we visit today are McAuliffe Square in Bastogne, where an M4 Sherman tank that belonged to the Thunderbolts rests, the star-shaped Mardasson Monument, and the monument erected by Tom Hanks, Producer of the epic mini-series “Band of Brothers,” in tribute to “Easy Company” of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment assigned to the 101st Airborne Division.  During a walk in the Ardennes forest you see the remnants of the foxholes dug by the Band of Brothers.  We continue our way to Spa, Belgium, our home for the next two nights.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner, Beverage

Day 9:                            Battle of the Bulge Sites
This morning we are greeted by our special step-on guides, who will lead us along the roads and through the villages, showing us the battlefields so prominently known as the Battle of the Bulge.  We begin with a walk among the “Dragon’s Teeth,” the anti-tank defense on the Siegfried Line. Near Malmedy we visit the sites of the massacres on Belgian civilians and 84 American POW’s committed by members of Peiper’s Kampfgruppe.  Also on the agenda is a museum dedicated to the Battle of the Bulge, Hoffalize with its German Panther tank, La Gleize and the spot where a bridge was blasted by the United States Army Corps of Engineers on December 18, 1944, trapping Peiper and his men in the deep valley of the Amblève, and Stavelot with the only King Tiger Tank left in Belgium.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Beverage

Day 10:                     Spa, Belgium / Nuremberg, Germany
This morning we cross into Germany where we visit the site of the Ludendorf Bridge, frequently called the Bridge at Remagen during World War II.  The U.S. 9th Armored Division seized the bridge on March 7-8, 1945, establishing a bridgehead on the Rhine River.  In an ensuing battle, the bridge was severely damaged and collapsed into the Rhine on March 17, 1945.  See the remaining bridge abutments and walk around the back of the abutment and on the remaining portion of the original railroad track that traversed the Rhine.  Sit back and relax on your voyage to Nuremberg.
Meals:  Breakfast, Dinner, Beverages

Day 11:                         Nuremberg / Dachau / Munich, Germany
A local guide joins us this morning for a short city orientation tour with a stop at the Palace of Justice where the Nuremberg Trials, a series of military tribunals, were held by the Allied forces after World War II.  Just outside Nuremberg our guide will show us the unfinished Congress Hall, the Great Road, and the Zeppelin Field, all while explaining the functions and intended effect of National Socialist architecture and the stage-management of the Party Rally events.  We continue on to Dachau for a visit of the Concentration Camp Memorial.  The Dachau concentration camp was opened in 1933 and was liberated by American Forces on April 29, 1945.  We walk up the “Path of Arrival”, and visit the rebuilt barracks and the remains of the crematory.  After this sobering visit we make our way to our hotel just a few miles south of Munich.
Meals:  Breakfast, Dinner, Beverages

Day 12:                              Eagle’s Nest / Munich, Germany
Today’s journey takes us to Berchtesgaden, located in the southern-most part of Germany, where we ascend to the Eagle’s Nest.  The chalet type building, which sits literally on top of the Kehlstein Mountain, was part of the sprawling Obersalzberg complex built by the Nazis.  The premises, except for the Kehlsteinhaus on the summit, were heavily damaged by an Allied air raid in April 1945.  The remains were set on fire by retreating SS troops and later eradicated by the Bavarian government.  There is time to walk up to the mountain top or relax on the restaurant’s terrace, relishing the spectacular view.  Late afternoon we make our way into Munich.  During WWII the city suffered heavy damage from 71 air raids, and almost half of its residents evacuated into the countryside.  Munich’s city center was completely rebuilt preserving its pre-war appearance and its population grew to almost 1.5 million.  We conclude our day with a typical Bavarian dinner at the famous Hofbräuhaus.
Meals:  Breakfast, Dinner, Beverage

Day 13:                          Munich, Germany /Return to the USA
Early morning transfer to the Munich Franz-Josef-Strauss International Airport for our direct flight back to the U.S.  Our early afternoon arrival time in Newark, NJ gives you ample time to connect to your flight home.
Meals:  Breakfast, In-flight Meal Service 

What's Included

International round-trip airfare from Newark, NJ
Airline Taxes and Fees
Ground transportation by deluxe motorcoach
Superior 3-star hotel on Normandy with private bath
All other accommodations are 4-star hotels with private bath
Most Meals Included: as indicated (some include wine)
All Daily Tours & Admissions
One piece of baggage handling per person
Experienced Rupiper Tours manager throughout
Professional English speaking international tour director/historian
Local step-on guides

Special Events and Sights

Testimonials

Testimonials from 2016 WWII Battlefield Tour Participants

"Everyone seemed very knowledgeable about their part of the trip.  I was always kept up to date about what was happening. I appreciated the acceptance of my grandson and his age difference."
- Bruce S. (Minnesota)

"We were well pleased with everything and have received some letters from folks we met in Normandy. They were so appreciative of the Allies coming to help save their country. They'd like to meet us again. We appreciate all the honors the WWII Veterans received, and we were proud of all of our Veterans. We enjoy history and war stories, so pleased to see everything we could. We feel this was the best trip we've taken, and we've traveled quite a lot since Vern retired. Thanks!"
- Vern & Helen S. (Kansas)

“We were very pleased with the quality of our tour in every way. We felt everyone was very knowledgeable and friendly and accommodating. The rooms and food were all excellent. Great Tour.
- Ron & Ann S. (Iowa)

“The tour manager was great! So caring to each person! She was very knowledgeable and so fun to be around. If she didn’t know the answer, she found it out! Loved her! So kind & big heart! The driver and guide were full of information. The staff were always great to work with!”
- Chuck & Sherri S. (Iowa)

“THE BEST VACATION I EVER HAD!  Annie did a great job. Everything was excellent. I plan on taking your tour again on the 75th anniversary.”
- Captain Carl P. (Florida)

“Having five WWII Veterans on the trip really enhanced the tour. It was heartwarming to witness the appreciation of the French and Belgium people for the Veterans who liberated them. “
- Bob & Marilyn O. (Illinois)

“Expert tour guide & wonderful driver. Tour guide was very knowledgeable. Everyone at Rupipers was excellent to work with.”
- Rob M. (South Dakota)

“Had a great time with great people and great staff. Keep up the good work. High on the list of multiple tours/cruises. Thank you for the tour list and DVD.”
-Bill H. (California)

“This was by far the most meaningful trip of any tour I have taken. I have visited all 50 states and travel overseas. My hope and plans are to visit this area again! We owe a debt of gratitude to our brave Veterans. Annie was wonderful from the moment she met me at the Newark airport until we said goodbye at the Newark airport. She was so nice and thoughtful to everyone. She is now my dear friend and I hope to go on other tours with her.”
- Mary C. (Alabama)

“Each tour guide answered all questions with a smile and added more information. Everything went very well. Even when I got lost from the group once, the tour manager kept me in her eye sight. This made my children very, very happy. I had originally planned to go with another company, but your itinerary visited more places that were of interest to me.  Thank you.”
- Benjamin B. (Pennsylvania)

“Very excellent service! Annie was most helpful!  This was my third WWII Battlefield tour with Rupipers, and they have all met and exceeded my expectations.  I am very thankful for their help in bringing me back to Europe, and I still can’t believe the attention we Vets receive while overseas.  This will unfortunately be my last trip, but I thank you for all your help through the years and making my journeys possible.”
- WWII Veteran, Hartley B. (Pennsylvania)

“It exceeded our expectation – overall outstanding information, exceptional experience due to the presence of WWII Veterans and the interesting environments they were put in. Preparation for our experience was outstanding. So many special inclusions made this trip unlike any other – being at the chateau cookout, lunch with the mayor of Collville, reception at Normandy Cemetery & Patton’s grave, and Luxembourg Museum owner’s comments and discussion was exceptionally interesting and meaningful.”
- Robert & Barbara H. (Minnesota)

“This was my first experience with a trip overseas. It was very excellent.  The guide and tour manager were all very good. They were very helping in every way.”
- Anonymous

 

Past WWII Battlefield Tour Participants' Testimonials

"We have traveled in Europe before, but this was our first time at the WW2 sites. The tour was everything we expected. For the first time in Normandy, your tour was the way to go. The tour manager was professional, gave good information and friendly. The guide was a fountain of knowledge. Dates, figures, specific info! He was quick to point out important things for us and give us additional facts. The driver was great - personable and safe!"
- Tony & Anne H. (Minnesota)

"Enjoyed it all. Normandy Beaches, cemeteries, and Saint Lo were our favorite sites. Hotels and food were excellent!"
- George & Jeannine B. (North Carolina)

"The tour guide and our driver were excellent. He was so knowledgeable and humorous and patient. Told us so much history concerning our destinations and about past history of people and places. We liked the hearing devices while outside the coach. Your staff were always very pleasant on the phone when we called in with questions before the trip."
- Maralyn & Dale R. (Nebraska)

"Loved the walk into the woods at Hollrath and the Dragon's Teeth. The food and motels were good, and we were filled by the tour."
- Lloyd & Jan S. (South Dakota)

"The tour guide provided a vast amount of info with us. Having a WWII Veteran and two "children" who saw their father's graves for the first time was a humbling experience."
- Al & Mary K. (Wisconsin)

"We couldn't have asked for a better tour guide! He made the tour light up with his knowledge of the history of WWII. As far as our bus driver, well, you could have made a tour just on watching him drive that bus! Truly awesome! The highlight for us was when the tour manager went out of their way to take one of the travelers to a town to visit his dad's grave site. Just driving through the countryside was wonderful! It really was a wonderful and great experience to see those places. Never thought we would get to see these sites."
- Stephen & Annette C. (Hawaii)

"The tour guide was excellent! Extremely knowledgeable! The driver was very helpful, courteous, and friendly. The tour covered everything that we wanted to see and all time was sufficient. It was well planned."
- JoAnn & Ken A. (Wisconsin)

“Just a few lines to thank you very much for all you did to help me be part of this great tour to Normandy.  I thoroughly enjoyed it… and the others that were part of the group.  Thanks Annie, and thanks Brent… I hope to be a part of one of your groups again in the future!”
- Frank V. (California)

“We remembered the tour with all of you and the great memories we had from that trip.  We knew at the time we were fortunate to be on the tour together (three generations) but in retrospect, it was the best thing we could have done and a wonderful experience filled with so many great memories.  To be in Normandy on D-Day and witness, first hand, the gratitude of the French people was a blessing for my dad and the other vets, and a priceless memory for Drew (my son) and me.  I think the Normandy experience was truly a surprise for my father and added new meaning and depth to his memories of the war. And, he was thrilled to see the aircraft he flew in restored and on display at Utah Beach, another honest surprise.”
- Bill T. (California)

“Now that we have returned to our routines, Mike and I wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed the trip!  It was even more than expected, and the fact that we were there on D-Day was priceless.  The people on the trip made it that much more enjoyable.  We had the time of our lives, seeing so many historical places in the time we had while making new friends along the way.  You showed such patience and knowledge and did a wonderful job with all the coordination you had to do.  The guides and driver were great to have with us.  You all work well together. Rupiper Tours did a very thorough job also with all the information sent before the trip, along with all the travel plans.  We appreciate all you did and know you will have another successful tour in August."
– Mike & Susan W. (Florida)

“Thank you so much for the slides of our WWII Battlefields Tour. You made me feel special when I saw my picture and my hometown. It was truly my pleasure to meet you and travel with you. I enjoyed our chats when we were having a dark German Beer. The tour was an experience that I shall not forget. Thank you Brent.”
- Wayne L. (Pennsylvania)

“We spent this evening watching the videos that Brent sent to us.  They brought tears to my eyes at the wonderful memories that we have of our trip. We will never forget the time we spent with our father.  You will always have a place in my heart.  We hope that our paths will cross again in the future.”
- Sincerely, The Kentucky girls: Patty, Carla & Belinda

“Hi Brent, Just received and reviewed the DVD's you sent.  Great job!  First class all the way.  Thanks so much.”
- Pete & Marlene V (Delaware)

 

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