Footsteps of the First: October 6-15, 2022

Footsteps of the First logo

October 6-15, 2022

 

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For more information, or to make a reservation, call 1.877.298.9677 or email reservations@academic-travel.com

The First Division of the U.S. Army has provided exemplary military service since their inception in 1917. Nowhere has this proven truer than in the fields and woods of Europe during World War II. The Big Red One saw action across the European Theater, from the landings at Omaha Beach to the dreaded Battle of the Bulge.

On this 9-day journey, learn the history of this storied division as they blazed a path through Europe. Walk Omaha Beach and see the German bunkers they destroyed in Normandy. Explore the city of Aachen, the first German city to fall to the Allies courtesy of the 1st Infantry Division, and hike the trails of the Hürtgen Forest. Discover the North Shoulder of the Battle of the Bulge, a line held by the 1st Division, and visit memorials and cemeteries across the region to pay your respects.

“Into the Jaws of Death” The 16th Infantry Regiment lands on Omaha Beach

Highlights

  • Gain perspective and understanding about the U.S. Army’s 1st Division and their campaigns in World War II in the company of historian Jacquelyn Gillaspie.
  • Walk along the beaches of Normandy and explore seldom seen artillery batteries as you get an in-depth perspective on the historic coastal landings by Allied forces, including the 1st Division assault on Omaha.
  • Pay homage to the fallen at The Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial, where local citizens have adopted the grave sites of the fallen, and lay a wreath in their honor.
  • Explore the North Shoulder of the Battle of the Bulge, where 1st Division soldiers held off advancing German Panzer divisions and ensured that the line would hold.
American Cemetery, Normandy

Itinerary

Day 1 – Welcome to France

Thursday, October 6

  • Arrive in Paris and journey to Bayeux
  • Enjoy a welcome reception and dinner with your fellow travelers

Overnight: Hotel d’Argouges
Meal included: Dinner

 

Day 2 – The Battle of Normandy

Friday, October 7

  • Tour the Airborne Museum at Sainte-Mère-Église where Allied paratroopers landed in the early hours of the D-Day invasion
  • Lunch at Roosevelt Café, built around a German bunker
  • Visit Utah Beach where the 4th Infantry Division landed on June 6, 1944
  • Walk through La Cambe Cemetery, where the Germans buried their dead
  • Take in Pointe du Hoc, a German gun battery where US Rangers scaled the cliffs early in the morning on D-Day

Overnight: Hotel d’Argouges
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

 

Day 3 – Operation Overlord – Omaha Sector

Saturday, October 8

Omaha Beach

  • Visit several German strongpoints, such as WN60 – where 1st Division Medal of Honor recipient Jimmie Monteith went above and beyond the call of duty on June 6, 1944
  • Stroll to the Memorial to the 1st Infantry Division with a beautiful view of Omaha Beach
  • Honor the lives lost during the Normandy campaign and beyond at the American Military Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer, where over 9,000 men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice are buried
  • View the film chronicling the Battle for Normandy at the Arromanches 360 Cinema

Overnight: Hotel d’Argouges
Meals included: Breakfast, Picnic Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 4 – Across France

Sunday, October 9

  • Visit the Pegasus Memorial & Bridge and hear a talk from the museum’s director
  • Travel to the village of Cantigny and tour the battlefield that gave the 1st Division their reputation as “the Fighting First” in World War I
  • Continue to Amiens, where guests may participate in an optional walking tour of this historic city

Overnight: Hotel Mercure Amiens
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

 

Day 5 – A Taste of Belgian Culture

Monday, October 10

  • Travel from Amiens to Mons, Belgium and enjoy a guided tour and tasting in a Belgian brewery
  • Enjoy lunch in Mons before continuing to the Medieval city of Aachen, Germany

Overnight: Hotel Aquis Grana
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 6 – Battle of Aachen

Tuesday, October 11

  • Visit the locations critical to the 1st Division’s fight to take the historic city of Aachen, such as Farwick Park, Crucifix Hill, and the Lousberg Bunker
  • Pay homage to those who made the ultimate sacrifice with a visit to Margraten American Cemetery and Memorial, and participate in a wreath laying

Overnight: Hotel Aquis Grana
Meals included: Breakfast

 

Day 7 – Battle of Hürtgen Forest & Battle of the Bulge – The North Shoulder

Wednesday, October 12

  • Sense what the Battle of the Hürtgen Forest was like with a guided (gentle) hike through the dense woods
  • Visit the Hürtgenwald Museum for a guided tour
  • Move on from the Hürtgen to Bütenbach, where the 1st Division made their stand during the Battle of the Bulge, and where Henry Warner earned the Division a Medal of Honor

Overnight: My Hotel Malmedy
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 8 – Bastogne & Battle of the Bulge

Thursday, October 13

  • In Bastogne, learn about Easy Company’s famed defense of the city. Visit McAuliffe Square, the Mardasson Memorial and the Bastogne War Museum
  • Guests may enjoy an optional visit to the town of Spa in the afternoon to tour the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps racetrack or a visit a local spa (subject to availability and supplemental cost)

Overnight: My Hotel Malmedy
Meals included: Breakfast

 

Day 9 – Return to Paris

Friday, October 14

  • Drive though the champagne region of Épernay and stop for a guided tour of a Champagne producing cellar before continuing to Paris
  • Savor your last moments in Paris during a celebratory farewell reception and dinner

Overnight: Chateau Frontenac
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

 

Day 10 – Homeward Bound

Saturday, October 15

  • Depart at your leisure on individual flights home

Meals included: Breakfast

 

Aachen, Germany’s Cathedral


Tour Price

Price per person, based on double occupancy: $6,395
Price per person, based on single occupancy: $7,445
October 6-15, 2022

Book Now

Please note that the First Division Museum offers this travel experience as a way
to engage our audience and does not benefit financially from this trip.

Informed Consent Waiver

 

What Is Included

  • All accommodations and meals as outlined in the itinerary
  • All ground transportation within the itinerary unless otherwise indicated
  • All sightseeing as specified in the itinerary
  • Entrance fees
  • Gratuities to porters, drivers, and guides
  • Transfers to and from airports for those arriving or departing according to the designated itinerary
  • Quietvox listening devices to facilitate audibility and social distancing on tour
  • Fully vetted program that meets COVID-19 health and safety protocols
  • The assistance of an ATA professional travel team to assist with pre-trip questions, travel arrangements, including flights, extra hotel nights and other services
  • Comprehensive pre-departure mailings and materials with information about the destination and what to expect on tour, including a suggested reading list
  • Emergency evacuation insurance

 

What Is Not Included

  • U.S. domestic or international airfare to and from Paris
  • Optional travel insurance, including cancellation/delay/lost baggage insurance/COVID-19 quarantine insurance protection
  • Passport, visa, airport departure and excess baggage fees
  • Meals not specified in the itinerary; food and beverages not part of the included meals
  • Personal items such as telephone, fax and internet charges, laundry, room service, alcoholic or other beverages not specified as included
  • Gratuities for non-group services

For more information, or to make a reservation, call 1.877.298.9677 or email reservations@academic-travel.com