WWII Primary Tour
Subject to change, projected cost $5,995
June 16, 2014 | Depart Chicago for Paris
You will board an overnight flight from Chicago to Paris.
June 17, 2014 | Arrive in Paris
You will arrive in Paris at Charles de Gaulle Airport where the Travel Ways crew will meet you and take you to your hotel. Due to varying flights and arrival times, there will be several transfers from the airport to the hotel.
During the ride to the hotel, there will be a brief orientation/overview as we travel through downtown Paris. At 6:00pm, the group will meet for a tour briefing. Pastor Lutzer and our tour guide, Volker Vieth will describe the tour routine and provide useful information on the wonderful days that lie ahead in France, Germany, and Austria.
June 18, 2014 | Explore Paris and Normandy
You will explore Paris as a group in the morning. The busses with two local guides will drive down the famous Avenue des Champs-Élysées, circle around the Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile. Along the Seine river you will stop at the gigantic cathedral, Notre-Dame de Paris, and at lunchtime we offer you a highlight: a lunch cruise on the Seine. Admire the French capital city from the waterfront while enjoying a three course lunch.
We’ll leave Paris in the afternoon to head west to the the impressive Château de La Roche-Guyon, beautifully situated on a cliff overlooking the Seine. German Field Marshal, Erwin Rommel, known as the “Desert Fox” for his wartime campaigns in Africa, was responsible for improving defenses at the “Atlantic Wall” in 1944. He occupied this beautiful château and made it his headquarters. You’ll be able to stroll through the castle's gardens and historic rooms where carriages parked in medieval times.
Then we’ll move on to the little port town of Port-en-Bessin and then spend the night at the Hotel Mercure Omaha Beach overlooking Omaha Beach.
June 19, 2014 | Full-Day Touring the D-Day Landing Beaches
Today we’ll visit the Sainte-Mère-Église, a church and museum dedicated to the U.S. 101st Airborne. This museum is a hymn to the extraordinary epic of the United States’ parachutists who dropped on this little town. The most famous parachute landing was by John Steele who mistakenly landed on the tower of the church. His landing was depicted in the movie The Longest Day. You can also see an original Waco glider and a Douglas C47 aircraft.
Then we’ll visit Utah Beach where 20,000 soldiers and 1,770 vehicles managed to come ashore on D-Day.
Pointe du Hoc is a clifftop location four miles west of Omaha Beach. It stands 100 feet tall and overlooks the sea. A bunker and artillery stand with six artillery guns were built here by a Nazi Organization called Todt. These fortifications dominated the landing beaches. The French resistance spied out this location and reported to the Allies that it was manned by 125 German soldiers. The United States Army Ranger Assault Group (2nd Battalion) was commanded to land below the cliff and climb up 100 feet under hostile fire. To really understand what the Rangers, commanded by Lt. Col. James E. Rudder, managed to do, we’ll take you on a boat trip to go around Pointe du Hoc in the open sea.
Omaha Beach is a picturesque place where romantic tales and childhood fables could be told—a beautiful landscape painted with high plateaus, rocky cliffs, and sandy bluffs. But it is on this beach that one of most tragic and torturous accounts of perseverance in history played out. It was at Omaha Beach, on June 6, 1944, that one of the deadliest battles during D-Day occurred. Very little went as planned, but by the end of the day, two small footholds were made and used to exploit defensive weaknesses further inland.
The D-Day Tour will end in the late afternoon. The evening will include dinner at the hotel and a stay at the Hotel Mercure Omaha Beach.
June 20, 2014 | Return to Paris and Flight to Berlin
Today we’ll drive through the upper part of Normandy, which the French call "God's Green Garden" due to the hundreds of thousands of apple trees.
Around noon we'll arrive in Paris and enjoy lunch at the famous Eiffel Tower restaurant 58. After lunch we'll visit the Avenue des Champs-Élysées where we'll have time for shopping and sightseeing.
In the late afternoon we'll head to the Paris Orly Airport for our flight to Berlin, Germany. Here we’ll experience a fascinating mixture of history from the time of the Prussian Kings, to the terrible period of Nazi rule, up to the time when Germany was divided into East and West Germany—Berlin being the divided capital of both countries.
The night will be spent at the famous Maritim proArte Hotel Berlin complete with a buffet dinner.
June 21, 2014 | Explore Berlin
An exciting day in Berlin is planned! We’ll see the bombed out church “Kaiser Wilhelm,” that was left in ruins after WWII as a memorial to peace. Then we’ll stop at the Bendlerblock, where Colonel Stauffenberg, and other members of the July 20 plot to kill Hitler, were shot after the failed assassination attempt. Next pay a visit to the Holocaust Memorial, then see the last part of the Berlin Wall still standing, and take photos at famous Checkpoint Charlie.
From there, we’ll go to the house where Dietrich Bonhoeffer, one of the most famous theologians and martyrs of the 20th century, lived. He was not only a theologian, he was a spiritual writer, musician, pastor, and an author of poetry and fiction. It was his beliefs and convictions that ultimately cost him his life in a Nazi concentration camp.
For lunch we take you to a typical 1920s Berlin restaurant Nante Eck to enjoy homemade local food. After lunch, you may spend the rest of the day at your leisure. Our hotel (Maritim proArte Hotel Berlin) is in walking distance.
June 22, 2014 | Berlin, Leipzig, and Nürnberg (Nuremberg)
We’ll leave Berlin early and stop at Leipzig, the industrial capital of former East Germany. The East German liberation movement started here and ultimately ended in the collapse of the Berlin Wall.
We’ll visit the St. Thomas Church where composer J.S. Bach worked and see the pulpit where Martin Luther preached in 1539 to introduce the Reformation to the people of Leipzig. The cantor of St. Thomas invites The Moody Church visitors to listen to a little concert of Bach’s music played on the original organ of St. Thomas Church.
Next, we’ll continue to Nürnberg (Nuremberg) with a lunch stop en route, enjoy the evening at leisure, then spend the night at the famous Maritim Hotel Nürnberg within walking distance to the medieval centre of Nürnberg.
June 23, 2014 | Nürnberg and Munich
This morning we’ll see the Reichsparteitagsgelände (the Nazi Party Rally Grounds) of Nürnberg, where Hitler held his most famous speeches. Pastor Lutzer and Volker Vieth will explain how Hitler was able to fascinate tens of thousands of visitors that came to listen and watch the parading soldiers.
After leaving Nürnberg, we’ll arrive in Munich around noon. For your lunch, you’ll be on your own. You can explore the famous food market (Viktuakienmarkt) or experience the famous Hofbräuehaus.
The afternoon is dedicated to a Third Reich walk with Pastor Lutzer to see places connected with the rise of Adolf Hitler and the National Socialist Party.
The night will be spent in Munich at the Sheraton Westpark Hotel, where we’ll also enjoy dinner.
June 24, 2014 | Daytrip to Eagle’s Nest
Today we take you on a full-day tour from Munich to Berchtesgaden—a well-known ski resort town, Obersalzberg, lies at the foot of the Kehlstein mountain. This quaint little town was chosen by Hitler and his associates as their headquarters in southern Germany from the 1920s on until the end of WWII and consisted of homes of Herman Göering, Wilhelm Keitel, Martin Bormann, and Hitler’s architect, Albert Speer.
We will visit Albert Speer’s place today.
We will tour the town and then drive up the mountain to the site where Hitler’s Berghof once stood and where some ruins still remain. We’ll stop by the nearby Hotel Zum Türken which Heinrich Himmler’s SS used as their headquarters during the Nazi period.
Lunch break at the Berggasthof, a typical mountain restaurant which became well-known among Americans as Hotel General Walker after the end of WWII. We will also tour the Obersalzberg Center of Documentation which is close to the Berghof site; then we’ll tour the tunnels beneath the mountain which led to the various Nazi officials’ homes. Today’s highlight is the drive up the Kehlstein mountain to visit the Eagle’s Nest.
To celebrate a successful tour, we will take you to a Bavarian farewell dinner tonight on the bank of the Isar River outside of Munich. We’ll treat you with Bavarian food and Folk Music while we enjoy the last evening of the tour.
Once again, we’ll overnight in Munich at the Sheraton Westpark Hotel.
June 25, 2014 | Return to the United States
Depart from our Munich Hotel to the Munich Airport for flights arriving in Chicago that same day.