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 Battlefield Tour Companies – its a niche!  Comparing tours?  Use this guide…

Experiencing the history:

Is the tour led from beginning to end by an English speaking historian – Veteran, Scholar, Author?
Our tours are led by US Veterans and/or Scholars.  They know their stuff, but they’re not stuffy!
Our historians marinate in WWII & Vietnam History!  Beware a tour with only a “Country Host!”  Our historians are accompanied by a Country Host who assists with translating, room checkin, tour logistics and adds commentary about the culture, architecture, cuisine, and countryside, complimenting the military history that you came to learn.

Will you duck under fences & stand at foxholes OR will you just stop for photo ops at monuments?
On our tours, you will scrape “debris” -sand, mud,  manure, & gravel- from the bottoms of your shoes.

Is there a limit to the number of people on the tour?
Our tour maximum is 40 paying passengers, while many of our tours have 20 – 25 passengers.
A tour group of 90, on two motor coaches, with one historian using a megaphone will be disappointing (we’ve talked with that group in Normandy).

What’s the ratio of historians/tour managers to travelers?
Our tour’s dedicated historian is always accompanied by a tour manager/country host who knows the culture, language and offers insights on tipping, using public transportation, local customs and more.

Will you touch history OR just look through plexiglass and exhibit barriers?
We have access to restoration garages, recovered relics and equipment… and so will you.

How much time will you have at……. ?
You have time to linger on our tours.  Yes, you’ll need 3-4 hours at the beautiful ABMC cemetery above Omaha Beach.  And we own our tour, so if we spot something or someone special, we’ll tweak our schedule to allow time to listen or watch.  We call these “Stumble Upons”… and every tour has them.

Paying for your tour:  Out of pocket expenses can add up!

How many meals are included?
Our tours include breakfast every day, and most dinners.  Half of the lunches are included… some are receptions while others are boxed lunches to save time during the touring day.   Check tour literature for the extra meals you’ll pay for… !

What are the gratuities?
On our tours,  you’ll pay gratuities to your Historian and the Tour Manager/Country Host. We’ve taken care of the other gratuities in your “up front” tour cost.

Is there another layer of expense?
We do not use travel agents, and incur costly commissions, to sell our tours.  We talk with our registered travelers… we want to know if you are following in the footsteps of a loved one, captivated by WWII or Vietnam history, traveling with family, or just “always wanted to go to Normandy” or visit Saigon.

Lodging:  Clean, Comfortable, and Close to the History

Where is your lodging?
Europe – We use hotels in the heart of Normandy, Eindhoven, Bastogne, and in Munich.  Tours with lodging further from the museums, cemeteries, and battlefields will require more time on the motor coach and less time to visit historic places and hallowed ground.
England –  One property, Danesfield House, housed mapmaking operations in the basement!  You’ll stay in 3/4 Star properties close to attractions, and in villages where you can enjoy the local flavor.
Vietnam – All properties offer conveniences and amenities that Western travelers expect, with generous selections for dining.  Ideally situated to explore “China Beach” and “Perfume River” and enjoy the new look of Saigon.

What category is your lodging?
We want a good night’s sleep, and we know you do, too, but you won’t have time to enjoy a luxury property with a spa or recreational facilities like tennis courts.  We use modern 3/4 Star hotels.  All rooms have two generous twin beds with private baths.  WiFi is either available throughout the hotel or in “hot spots” in the lobby.  As in the USA, some properties charge extra for WiFi access while other properties include it.   Most properties have a “pub” for after-hours relaxation and story telling!

Tour Preparation:  Its not just about packing!

As soon as you’re registered, we’ll email  reading recommendations that will enrich your tour experience.  For example, after reading “No Better Place to Die,” written by WWII Veteran Bob Murphy, the account will come to life when your historian leads you across the bridge over the Merderet River at La Fiere.

While you know the lines from your favorite WWII films and series, the Hollywood version of WWII History has occasional “inaccuracies.”  Prior to his death, “Band of Brothers” commander Major Dick Winters stated to one of our groups – “Read the book.  Don’t just watch the series.”

Check other tips and travel information on our FAQ page.

September 2009

Studying the map of the invasion, Omaha Beach

 

 

Restoration in progress

Restoration in progress

Hotel Melba - a half block from Mc Auliffe Square in Bastogne

1/2 block off McAuliffe Square, Bastogne

Cafe in Berchtesgaden

Cafe in Berchtesgaden