Walk in the footsteps of American soldiers who battled against Hitler’s “Last Gamble.” Guests who book the December 2024 tour will commemorate the 80th 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 it in that harrowing winter of 1944–1945. This tour is based out of Clervaux, Luxembourg, situating guests in the ideal location to explore the surrounding areas where the Battle of the Bulge took place. Stops include Lanzerath, Elsenborn Ridge, Malmedy, La Gleize, Bastogne, the Luxembourg American Cemetery, and more.
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Additional Tour Dates
- Call 1-877-813-3329 x 257 to inquire
- Tour with best-selling author John McManus, PhD
- Daily touring with Shane Taylor, who portrayed Eugene “Doc” Roe on Band of Brothers
- Expert Battle of the Bulge guides Roland Gaul and Edwin Popken
- Full-time WWII Museum logistical tour manager
- 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
- Hand-selected accommodations
- 5 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners, and 2 evening receptions
- Wine, beer, soft drinks, coffee, water, and tea at all included meals
- Private, first-class, air-conditioned motor coach transportation with bottled water
- Round-trip airport transfers (on scheduled group arrival and departure days)
- Included gratuities to guides, drivers, porters, and servers during included meals
- Informative map book to be used throughout your journey
- Personalized luggage tags and name badge
Download the Brochure
Download the official Battle of the Bulge brochure for a full listing of inclusions, accommodations, and other useful information.
Optional Three-Night Pre-Tour Itinerary:
Battle of the Hürtgen Forest
Day 1 – Sunday, December 8, 2024:
Arrivals in Brussels and Transfer to Aachen
Upon arrival at Brussels International Airport (BRU), guests are warmly welcomed by Museum staff. Depart for Aachen, Germany, with an independent lunch along the way. This evening, enjoy a welcome dinner with the group.
Accommodations: Parkhotel Quellenhof Aachen (D)
Day 2 – Monday, December 9, 2024
Hill 400, Ochsenkopf, Vossenack
The Hürtgen Forest, thick with dense woods and rolling hills, stood between the Americans and the industrial Ruhr Valley in Germany. The Battle of the Hürtgen Forest lasted from September 19, 1944, to February 10, 1945. The campaign left numerous units in shambles as casualties mounted for both veteran and replacement soldiers. Today’s touring visits the sector near Vossenack and Schmidt, two towns that changed hands multiple times. The front line of the battle once ran through the center of Vossenack’s church. From Hill 400, the site of an impressive assault by the US 2nd Ranger Battalion, gain a commanding view over the terrain that stalled the Allied advance.
Accommodations: Parkhotel Quellenhof Aachen (B, L)
Day 3 – Tuesday, December 10, 2024
On a commanding hill in the Hürtgen Forest, the Nazis built a dominating concrete structure known as Vogelsang Ordensburg (Order Castle). Distinct from the Medieval Castles that dot western Germany, this complex was meant to demonstrate the Party’s domination over nature. Completed in 1936, Vogelsang was a training center for future Nazi Party bureaucrats. With training in racial ideology, the graduates of this center would carry out Nazi policy throughout the occupied territories. The complex closed in 1939. It was used as a training center for the Belgian military after the war, and today it is an International Place dedicated to peace and refuting the Nazi ideas that were once promoted inside.
Accommodations: Parkhotel Quellenhof Aachen (B, L)
Day 3 – Wednesday, December 11, 2024
Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery
This morning, visit the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery, the final resting place of 7,987 Americans, most of whom lost their lives during the advance of forces into Germany. Continue to the border town of Monschau for an independent lunch before joining the main tour in Clervaux, Luxembourg, for a welcome dinner.
Accommodations: Hotel Le Clervaux (B, R, D)
Full Tour Itinerary
Day 1 – Wednesday, December 11, 2024
Arrivals in Brussels & Transfer to Clervaux
Upon arrival at Brussels International Airport (BRU), 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.
Accommodations: Hotel Le Clervaux (L, R, D)
Day 2 – Thursday, December 12, 2024
The first full day of touring explores the “Northern Shoulder” of the Bulge, where the outnumbered Americans on the 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.
Accommodations: Hotel Le Clervaux (B)
Day 3 – Friday, December 13, 2024
106th Sector & St. Vith
On December 11, 1944, the 106th Infantry Division entered the Ardennes, taking up positions in Belgium and across the border into Germany. The 106th had only arrived in England three weeks prior, and expected to hold the line along the German border in a quiet sector until spring 1945. On December 16, chaos enveloped the division. The German offensive sped past their positions and surrounded two of the three regiments. The surrender of the 422nd and 423rd Regiments on December 19 was the largest military surrender in Europe during World War II. The scattered forces included the 333rd Field Artillery Battalion, a segregated unit. The Germans murdered 11 of these soldiers outside of a farmhouse near Wereth, Belgium. The 424th Regiment regrouped and defended the crucial crossroads town of St. Vith.
Accommodations: Hotel Le Clervaux (B, L, D)
Day 4 – Saturday, December 14, 2024
Visit Bastogne during the festive “Nuts Weekend.” Starting at the Our River Bridge in Dasburg on the German/Luxembourgish border, follow the route of the German 5th Panzer Army on its way to Bastogne. 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, and Lemaire died while evacuating wounded soldiers from the burning building. In the Bois Jacques, visit the foxholes used by Easy Company during their heroic defense of Bastogne.
Accommodations: Hotel Le Clervaux (B)
Day 5 – Sunday, December 15, 2024
28th Infantry Division Sites and Schuman’s Eck
After brutal fighting in the Hürtgen Forest, the 28th Division arrived in Luxembourg in November 1944 to rebuild its forces. The German 5th Panzer offensive poured into the thinly held front lines, but the men of the 28th mounted a dramatic “hold at all costs” defense that delayed the German thrust to Bastogne. In towns such as Hosingen, Dahl, Wiltz, and Diekirch, the men of the 28th delayed the German timetable. The 28th engaged in one of the largest individual battles of the German offensive near Café Schumann. A memorial trail leads to numerous foxholes and reminders of the battle.
Accommodations: Hotel Le Clervaux (B, L, D)
Day 6 – Monday, December 16, 2024
80th Anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge
On the 80th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge, attend the commemorative events in the Ardennes. The citizens of Belgium and Luxembourg have not forgotten the sacrifice of the Allied soldiers in what became the largest land battle fought by the US Army.
Accommodations: Hotel Le Clervaux (B, L, R, D)
Day 7 – Tuesday, December 17, 2024
Luxembourg City served as the headquarters for General George S. Patton’s Third Army after they turned north in response to the German assault. Visit the La Fondation Jean-Pierre Pescatore—home of the chapel where Patton prayed for clear weather on December 23, 1944. Returning north, visit the National Military Museum of Luxembourg, which was founded by Roland Gaul and a community of local collectors.
Accommodations: Hotel Le Clervaux (B, D)
Day 8 – Wednesday, December 18, 2024
SS-Standartenführer Joachim Peiper, commander of the lead elements of the 1st SS Panzer Division, and his men were at the tip of the German counterattack. On December 17, 1944, Peiper’s unit shot 84 US prisoners in cold blood near Malmedy—a crime that strengthened American resolve during the battle. The victims were machine-gunned in an open field, with a few survivors managing to escape to tell the tale of the massacre. After hearing the news, other American units knew that surrender was not an option, even if outnumbered or surrounded. Today, the tour will follow the path of Peiper’s attack, and travelers will hear the heroic stories of American GIs whose actions blunted, and eventually halted, the main German thrust in the north. Other sites visited include Stavelot, Trois-Ponts, and La Gleize.
Accommodations: Sheraton Brussels Airport Hotel (B, L)
Day 9 – Thursday, December 19, 2024
Independent departure flights from Brussels International Airport (BRU).
Price per person based on double occupancy
Price per person based on single occupancy
OPTIONAL THREE-NIGHT PRE-TOUR EXTENSION PROGRAM
Battle of the Hürtgen Forest
December 8–11, 2024
$1,798* per person double occupancy, $2,398* single occupancy
*$199 taxes and fees per person are included in the pre-tour pricing
Eugene “Doc” Roe, Band of Brothers, 2001
Shane’s first ever screen appearance came as a teenager playing a page boy in Franco Zeffirelli’s Hamlet, starring Mel Gibson. It was an event that would stay with him and influence his future course of action. Shane is best remembered for his role as Easy Company medic Eugene “Doc” Roe in Steven Spielberg’s Emmy Award–winning series Band of Brothers for HBO. Further credits include Osman in The Day of The Triffids for the BBC alongside Dougray Scott and Vanessa Redgrave; a season regular as Craig Hanson alongside Sullivan Stapleton and Philip Winchester in Strike Back Vengeance for HBO-Cinemax; opposite Gabriel Byrne and Michael Gambon as Andy Stafford in Quirke; and as Captain Thomas Preston in the History Channel’s miniseries Sons Of Liberty, starring Ben Barnes, Henry Thomas, and Dean Norris. Shane also played Ben Kingsley’s son, Miklos Horthy Jr., in the war film Walking with the Enemy and most recently played Turner onboard the USS Arkansas in the feature film Hunter Killer starring Gerard Butler, Michael Nyqvist, and Gary Oldman. Shane is also an active voice artist, with his main body of work being in commercials, animation, and video games.
John C. McManus, PhD
Alamo in the Ardennes
John C. McManus, PhD, is a Curators’ Distinguished Professor of US military history at the Missouri University of Science and Technology and a leading historian of World War II. His critically acclaimed books include September Hope, The Americans at D-Day, and The Dead and Those About to Die. McManus is completing a major three-volume history of the US Army in the Pacific/Asia theater during World War II with the first two books, Fire & Fortitude and Island Infernos, receiving major acclaim. In his 2008 book Alamo in the Ardennes, McManus reveals that the original German battle plan allowed only two days for the capture of Bastogne. Standing in the way of the Germans were a smattering of Luxembourg towns (including the tour’s home base of Clervaux) and the battle-weary 28th Infantry Division. Had the Germans achieved their objective on time, Hitler would have gained a vital foothold in his quest to split the Allied armies in two. For five days the 28th held at all costs, bearing the full fury of the Nazi onslaught, making the Germans pay for every icy inch of ground they gained.
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.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.
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 the operations 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, Popken has escorted guests from all across the United States to sites of Operation Market-Garden, the Hürtgen Forest, and the Battle of the Bulge. Popken holds a Master’s degree in military history from the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom, and is a member of the International Guild of Battlefield Guides with guild badge number 93.
Parkhotel Quellenhof Aachen
Located a short walk from the Aachen Cathedral, the Parkhotel Quellenhof Aachen provides air-conditioned rooms with Wi-Fi internet. All rooms include satellite TV, a min-bar, and a free bottle of mineral water. Regional cuisine is served in La Brasserie restaurant. Guests can enjoy a variety of drinks and snacks in the tea lounge with fireplace or in the Elephant Bar.
Le Clervaux Boutique & Design Hotel
A Trip Advisor 2017 Travelers Choice property located in the center of Clervaux, in the heart of the Luxembourg Ardennes, Le Clervaux Boutique & Design Hotel provides its guests the highest level of service in a stylish, boutique environment.
This all-suite property offers multiple dining venues, a spacious spa with numerous treatment options, as well as a fitness room, a swimming pool, and a sauna. Guests may take advantage of a wide range of cultural and recreational activities, including golf and cycling.
The 22 large, uniquely designed rooms offer handcrafted queen beds with comfort mattresses, spa-style baths with exclusive Fairtrade bath products, bathrobes and slippers, flat-screen TVs, iPhone docking stations, and complimentary WiFi.
Sheraton Brussels Airport
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.
“This was one of the best tours I have taken—and that includes many over decades. It was focused on the WWII sites and our guide Roland Gaul was incredible—so knowledgeable and often had anecdotal stories about his youth. His passion for the area and the tour sites was exemplary. A wonderful, kind and thoughtful man. Shane Taylor, from “Band of Brothers” was terrific too. We enjoyed getting to know him along with his many stories about the production of the series.”
“This was my first history tour with the National WWII Museum. Having been on other tours, you guys are definitely the best.”
—William D., Elgin, TX
“Roland Gaul had a wealth of knowledge and was readily available for questions.”
—Nancy F., Flintstone, GA
“The hotel was outstanding with prime location in the heart of the village, wonderful amenities, and excellent dining options. I would definitely recommend staying there again.”
—Jim H., Chevy Chase, MD
“A wonderful experience that I would recommend to anyone who is interested in history.”
—Ryan M., Gilbert, AZ