Battle of the Bulge

75th Anniversary Commemoration Tour
December 12 – 21, 2019

Tour Overview

Walk in the footsteps of American soldiers who battled against Hitler’s “Last Gamble.” Guests who book on the December 2019 tour will commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Bulge with two extra touring days that incorporate ceremonies and festivities around Bastogne, and will experience the region in a similar state to how the American GIs found them in that harrowing winter of 1944 – 1945.

Stand where history was made

On the outskirts of Bastogne, near the town of Foy, a short walk into the woods leads to the foxholes used by Easy Company of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division. Braving temperatures of 20 degrees below zero, Easy Company held out against intense shelling, aerial attacks, and German assaults. The foxholes, dug on December 18, 1944, are still visible today, and a memorial to Easy Company honors the men who held Bastogne and recaptured Foy.

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Save $1,000 per couple when booked by July 31, 2019.

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Tour Inclusions

  • Full-time WWII Museum logistical tour manager
  • Expert Battle of the Bulge guides Roland Gaul and Edwin Popken
  • Daily touring with Robin Laing who played Edward 'Babe' Heffron on Band of Brothers.
  • Video Oral History presentations from the Museum’s collection
  • VIP access to sites not offered on other tours
  • Personal listening devices on all included touring
  • Accommodations for eight nights at Le Clervaux Boutique & Design Hotel and one night at Sheraton Brussels Airport Hotel
  • 5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners, 2 Evening Receptions
  • Beer, wine, and soft drinks included with lunches and dinners
  • Private, first-class, air-conditioned motor coach transportation with bottled water
  • Roundtrip airport transfers (on scheduled group arrival and departure days)
  • Included gratuities to guides, drivers, porters, and servers
  • Informative map book including useful battlefield maps and archival images to be used throughout your journey
  • Personalized luggage tags and customized name badge
  • Keepsake journal and pen to document your journey
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Download The Brochure

Download the official Battle of the Bulge brochure for a full listing of inclusions, accommodations, and other useful information.

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Battle of the Bulge

Tour Itinerary

Destination Map

 

Full Tour Itinerary

December 12, 2019 - Day 1

Arrivals in Brussels & Transfer to Clervaux

Upon arrival at Brussels International Airport, guests are warmly welcomed by Museum staff. Depart for Clervaux, Luxembourg, with a lunch stop along the way. This evening enjoy a welcome dinner with the group.

Excellence Hotels, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (L, D)

December 13, 2019 - Day 2

The National Military Museum of Luxembourg

The National Military Museum of Luxembourg was founded in 1982 by Roland Gaul as the Diekirch Historical Museum. Enjoy personal commentary about the museum collection from Roland himself, and experience an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour. In addition to preserving the memory of the Battle of the Bulge, the museum highlights the Luxembourg military in conflicts throughout the 20th century.

Excellence Hotels, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (B, L)

December 14, 2019 - Day 3

“Nuts Festival”

Take part in one of Bastogne’s most storied traditions, The Nuts Festival. In the 18th Century, young farmhands would converge on Bastogne at the end of the season looking for work for the following year. Those who were successful would buy sweet breads and nuts to bring to their girlfriends. After General Anthony McAuliffe’s famous reply of “Nuts!” to a German demand for surrender, the modern festival has taken on a different meaning. Attended by local and international dignitaries, the festival is a celebration of Bastogne’s survival during the German siege in 1944.

Excellence Hotels, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (B, D)

December 15, 2019 - Day 4

“Keystone in the Way”

Today, travel along the “Keystone in the Way,” a commemoration route recognizing the heroic actions of the United States 28th Infantry Division. The men of the 28th faced the initial onslaught of the German troops as they crossed the Our River in the direction of Bastogne. The delaying tactics employed by the 28th allowed for Bastogne to be reinforced. “Keystone in the Way” is an initiative started by several dedicated Luxembourg historians and supporters who have erected explanatory panels along this path to highlight the critical importance of the 28th US Infantry “Keystone” Division. Today’s touring will begin in Ettelbruck and continue through Consthum, Hosingen, Marnach, Weiswampach, Wiltz, and Clervaux.

Excellence Hotels, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (B, L)

December 16, 2019 - Day 5

75th Anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge

On this day 75 years ago, the Germans launched the surprise offensive Operation Wacht am Rhein, “The Watch on the Rhine,” catching the Americans off guard. The initial German advances created a noticeable bulge in the Allied lines, resulting in the popular American name of the conflict, “The Battle of the Bulge.” Over 1 million men would be involved in the largest land battle undertaken by the United States Army. Today, take part in ceremonies remembering the men who withstood the German assault and fought to retake the lost ground by the end of January 1945.

Excellence Hotels, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (B, L)

December 17, 2019 - Day 6

The Northern Shoulder

After breakfast, set out on a full day of battlefield touring. Explore the “northern shoulder” of the Bulge, where the outnumbered Americans on Elsenborn Ridge offered unexpected resistance in the first days of the German attack. Visit the little village of Lanzerath, Belgium, where a small American platoon, under the command of 20-year-old Lieutenant Lyle Bouck, held back 500 German paratroopers for an entire day. Continue to the “twin villages” of Rocherath and Krinkelt, where superior German armor failed to break through the American positions. Enjoy a group lunch and finish the day with a tour of Camp Elsenborn. Along the route today, attend wreath laying ceremonies at Malmedy and Wereth, the sites of horrific massacres.

Excellence Hotels, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (B, L)

December 18, 2019 - Day 7

Luxembourg City

Luxembourg City served as the headquarters for General George S. Patton’s Third Army. Visit La Fondation Jean-Pierre Pescatore—home of the chapel where Patton prayed for clear weather on December 23, 1944. An independent lunch gives visitors the chance to explore the city. Continue to the Luxembourg American Cemetery, where 5,073 Americans are buried in the ground they helped liberate. Notable graves include General George S. Patton, Jr., and Medal of Honor recipient Day Turner. Return to Clervaux and join the group for dinner this evening.

Excellence Hotels, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (B, D)

December 19, 2019 - Day 8

Bastogne

Starting at the Our River Bridge in Dasburg on the German/Luxembourg border, follow the route of the German 5th Panzer Army on its way to Bastogne. In Bastogne Barracks, enter the “Nuts Cave” where General Anthony C. McAullife proclaimed “Nuts!” to a German demand for the surrender of the town. See the memorial to Renée Lemaire, a Belgian nurse who worked tirelessly at an American aid station in Bastogne. On Christmas Eve, the Germans bombed the aid station, killing Lemaire while she evacuated wounded soldiers from the burning building. The 101st Airborne Museum contains an impressive collection of artifacts from this iconic division that withstood the siege of Bastogne.

Excellence Hotels, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (B)

December 20, 2019 - Day 9

The Bois Jacques / St. Vith

On the final day of touring in the Ardennes, return to Bastogne and the Mardasson Memorial. After a visit to the Bastogne War Museum, continue to the Bois Jacques and visit the foxholes used by Easy Company during their heroic defense of Bastogne. A visit to St. Vith recounts the 7th Armored Division’s battle against two of the strongest German divisions of the attack, the 5th and 6th Panzer Divisions. After paying tribute to the soldiers who repelled the Germans for five days at St. Vith, continue to the Sheraton Brussels Airport Hotel in preparation for the return flight home the next day.

Sheraton Brussels Airport Hotel (B, D)

December 21, 2019 - Day 10

Depart for the US

After breakfast, make your way to your departure terminal at Sheraton Brussels Airport on your own or individual journeys home.

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Battle of the Bulge

Featured Guests and Historians

Expert Battlefield Guide

Roland Gaul

Battle of the Bulge Guide and Founder of The National Museum of Military History in Luxembourg

Born in Diekirch, Luxembourg, Roland Gaul has collected Battle of the Bulge artifacts since childhood. Growing up with the remains of one of history’s largest land battles in his backyard, Roland developed a keen interest in military history at a young age. A graduate of the Diekirch “Lycée Classique,” Roland continued his studies at the Royal Military Academy (ERM) in Brussels, Belgium. In 1982, he founded the Diekirch Historical Society and the Diekirch Historical Museum, which became the National Museum of Military History in 1993.

In 1996, Roland began working for the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and was appointed coordinator for all national and regional ceremonies for the 60th and 65th anniversary commemorations of the Battle of the Bulge, as well as for the 60th anniversary of the Korean War. Roland assumed full-time direction of the National Museum of Military History in 2012.

A scholar, lecturer, historian, consultant, and author of several books, including the field guide Battle of the Bulge in Luxembourg, Roland has led many tours in the Ardennes over his 25 years as a guide for international audiences. He has also served as a consultant on many Battle of the Bulge films and documentaries.

Military Historian and Battlefield Guide

Edwin Popken

For more than 25 years, Edwin Popken has studied World War II and visited the battlefields throughout Europe, both well-known and lesser-known. His main interests are theoperations in Northwest Europe between September 1944 and March 1945. A regular guide on the Museum’s Easy Company: From England to the Eagle’s Nest tours, Edwin has escorted guests from all across the United States to sites of Operation Market-Garden, the Huertgen Forest, and the Battle of the Bulge. 

Edwin holds a Master’s degree in Military History from the University of Birmingham, UK and is a member of the International Guild of Battlefield Guides with guild badge number 93. 

Featured Guest and Actor

Robin Laing

Born in Dundee, Scotland, Robin Laing grew up in the fishing and golf towns of Arbroath and Carnoustie. After studying drama, he landed his first acting job playing Renton in the stage adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting. Many more roles were to follow, including the lead role of Phil McCann in John Byrne’s film The Slab Boys, Arthur Conan Doyle in Dr. Bell and Mr. Doyle for the BBC, and a series regular in the popular TV show The Lakes. 

In 2000, Robin was cast as Edward ‘Babe’ Heffron in the HBO production of Band of Brothers, which followed the lives and achievements of the 101st Airborne’s Easy Company during World War II. He had no idea that this eight-month job would have such a profound effect on his life and lead to lifelong friendships, not only with his fellow cast members, but also with the veterans on whom the series was based and their families.

Robin continues to work internationally in television, theater and film, and is a frequent voice-over artist for BBC radio and audiobooks.

Battle of the Bulge

Accommodations

EXCELLENCE HOTELS, GRAND DUCHY OF LUXEMBOURG

Hotel International Le Clervaux Boutique & Design Hotel

Located in the Clervaux town center, in the heart of the Luxembourg Ardennes, our guests unwind after touring in the cozy surroundings of the charming sister properties of Le Clervaux Boutique & Design Hotel or Hotel International. These adjoining properties accommodate travelers with the highest level of service in a stylish, boutique environment. 

These properties offer multiple dining venues, a spacious spa with numerous treatment options, as well as a fitness room, a swimming pool, and a sauna. Each uniquely designed room offers comfort mattresses, complimentary Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and minibars. 

Guests who wish to do so may upgrade their included Standard Room offering to a Suite at Le Clervaux for an additional fee. Contact the Travel Team to inquire about pricing and availability. Suites add separate living rooms, and some feature fireplaces and whirlpool tubs, additional toiletry amenities, bathrobes and slippers. Upgraded accommodations available at Le Clervaux and are on a first-come, first-served basis and based on availability identified by the hotel.

ACCOMMODATIONS

Sheraton Brussels Airport Hotel

Offering access to Brussels Airport’s terminals, this contemporary hotel features vibrant artwork and soundproof windows. The sophisticated rooms are equipped with free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and desks. There’s a sleek restaurant and a lobby lounge, as well as a 24/7 fitness center. The Sheraton Airport Brussels offers convenient access to the city center through the train station underneath the airport.

Battle of the Bulge

Tour Pricing

Program Pricing

Price per person based on double occupancy

$5,795 $5,295

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Price per person based on single occupancy

$7,295 $6,795

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$199 per person taxes and fees will be included on final invoice

Battle of the Bulge

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