BOOK BY JULY 3, 2017 AND SAVE $800 PER COUPLE

Tour Itinerary

Day 1: ARRIVAL IN BERLIN

Guests arrive in Berlin and transfer to the Regent Berlin Hotel. Historian Alexandra Richie will be on hand to greet the tour, and guests enjoy free time this afternoon before this evening’s welcome dinner and tour preview with Dr. Richie.

Regent Berlin (D)

Berlin Cathedral Berlin Cathedral

Day 2: BERLIN

After breakfast, a tour of Berlin begins at the reimagined and refurbished Reichstag building, historic home of the Bundestag (the national parliament) from 1894 to 1933. The massive 19th century building was used during the German Empire, the Weimar Republic, Nazi Germany, and now in a united, democratic Germany. Guests visit the Berlin Wall Memorial at Bernauer Strasse, where the only preserved section of the notorious wall can be seen, and walk the “no man’s land” along the remaining segment. The Topography of Terror Museum has housed a permanent exhibition since 1987, when the cellar of a Gestapo headquarters was discovered and excavated. An open-air memorial was erected in memory of those who were imprisoned, tortured, and killed by the Nazis, and the site developed into a prize-winning documentation center. The tour continues on to the Olympic Stadium on the outskirts of Berlin after lunch. Built to host the 11th Olympic Summer games in 1936, the stadium was a prime example of Nazi architecture and design, and could hold 110,000 spectators. This evening is free for dinner and independent exploration of Berlin.

Regent Berlin (B, L)

Reichtstag Building Interior Reichtstag Building Interior

Day 3: BERLIN

The day starts at the House of the Wannsee Conference, a lakeside mansion used by the Nazi Party in 1942 as they formulated the “Final Solution” of the planned extermination of European Jewry. Guests stop for lunch at Restaurant Fischerhütte Schlachtensee, overlooking a scenic lake on the way to Potsdam, the capital of the Brandenburg state, which is only 15 miles from Berlin. Next is a visit to Cecilienhof Palace, the location of the Potsdam Conference of 1945, where Stalin, Churchill, and Truman met to discuss how to establish a postwar order. The group returns to Berlin for a guided tour of the Allied Museum located in the American sector of postwar Berlin. The remainder of the evening is free for exploration and an independent dinner.

Regent Berlin (B, L)

Wannsee House Wannsee House

Day 4: ARRIVAL IN DRESDEN TO WROCLAW

After an early farewell to Berlin, the group heads to Dresden, one of the most important centers of modern art and dance in early 20th-century Germany. The Allies firebombed Dresden in February 1945, almost completely destroying its architecture, paintings, theaters, and museums. During the attack, POW Kurt Vonnegut survived by securing himself in an underground meat locker. The experience became the inspiration for his acclaimed work Slaughterhouse-Five. The creative heart of Dresden’s residents remained intact, and painstaking restorations of the buildings continue to this day. The tour pays a visit to the Bundeswehr Military History Museum, located inside a former arsenal. After an included lunch, guests continue on to Frauenkirche, the Cathedral Church of Our Lady. Destroyed during the firebombing, the ruins of the church sat for almost 50 years as a monument to World War II. Reconstruction began in 1994 and finished 11 years later—in time for Reformation Day. The day ends in the western Polish town of Wroclaw.

Hotel Monopol Wroclaw (B, L, D)

Bundeswehr Military History Museum in Dresden, Germany Bundeswehr Military History Museum in Dresden, Germany

Day 5: WROCLAW TO KRAKÓW

The day begins with a tour of Wroclaw, which was part of Germany until 1945 and was known by its German name, Breslau. Out of range of Allied bombers for most of the war, Breslau remained intact until the closing months. In August 1944, Hitler declared the city a fortress to be defended at all costs. The siege by the Red Army began on February 13, 1945. Soviet artillery and German defenses reduced the city to rubble. The Germans fought to hold the city for 82 days, but surrendered to the Red Army on May 6, 1945, making Breslau the last major German city to surrender. The city is now majority Polish and was a 2016 European Capital of Culture. In the afternoon, the group continues to Kraków after lunch.

Radisson Blu Kraków (B, L, D)

Breslau ruins, 1945 Breslau ruins, 1945

Day 6: KRAKÓW

The day starts with a visit to Oskar Schindler’s factory near “Ghetto Heroes Square”—the site from which Schindler was able to save over 1,000 Jews from the Plaszow forced labor camp, and ultimately from death, as portrayed in the film Schindler’s List. Opened in 2010, the museum housed in the factory’s administrative building includes Schindler’s preserved office, photographs, displays about prewar Kraków, and the story of the five years of Nazi occupation. A 30-mile drive west of Kraków is the Polish town of Oswiecim, known to history by its German name, Auschwitz. The German occupiers took over this former army barracks in 1940 and populated it with Polish political prisoners. As the war continued, the Nazis expanded the camp, imprisoning Jews from all over Europe or sending them on to their deaths. The Martyrdom Museum at Auschwitz is a ghastly reminder of the inhumanity which humans are capable. An independent evening allows reflection on the day.

Radisson Blu Kraków (B, L)

Entrance of Auschwitz concentration camp near Krakow, Poland Entrance of Auschwitz concentration camp near Krakow, Poland

Day 7: KRAKÓW

Explore Kraków, which was included on UNESCO’s first World Heritage list in 1978. Since the Tatar raids in the 13th century, the Old Town has remained mostly intact, making it the only large Polish city to escape the destruction of World War II. The tour day begins at St. Mary’s Basilica before breaking for an independent lunch in the Old Town Square. Rynek Glowny in Polish, the square is known for its quaint cafés and excellent shopping. The afternoon includes a visit to the Wawel Castle, the seat of Polish kings, and the Gothic Wawel Cathedral, where Polish kings were crowned and buried for centuries. During the war Hans Frank, Governor General of the occupied Polish territories, installed himself in the Wawel Castle. Calling himself the “King of Poland,” he surrounded himself with stolen art, including Leonardo Da Vinci’s Lady with an Ermine, and wielded his terrifying power over the population. Guests continue on a walking tour to Jagiellonian University, founded in 1364 by Casimir III the Great. Over the centuries, the university has educated some of Europe’s most respected figures, including Nicolaus Copernicus, Pope John Paul II, and Nobel Prize–winning poet Wisława Szymborska. The group takes a stroll through the university’s lovely botanical garden, which is more than 200 years old. Next is a return to Old Town to visit Cloth Hall, which historically functioned as the main marketplace of the town. Guests board a short flight for Gdańsk this evening.

Sofitel Grand Sopot (B, L)

Cloth Hall,  Krakow, Poland Cloth Hall, Krakow, Poland

Day 8: GDAŃSK

Poland’s maritime city on the Baltic Sea, Danzig, now called Gdańsk, was first mentioned in historical documents in 997. In its thousands of years of existence, this venerable port city has changed hands six times—the prize in a long-running game of tug-of-war between Germany and Poland. This morning, a tour of the city begins at the Museum of the Second World War. Guests enjoy a private lunch and lecture before embarking on an exclusive guided tour of the museum. A short trip to Westerplatte, the place where the Germans fired the first shots of what became World War II, ends the day’s touring. It was here on September 1, 1939, where a German battleship paying a “courtesy call” on Danzig began firing shells at the Polish garrison here. The evening is free to explore Gdańsk and enjoy dinner independently.

Sofitel Grand Sopot (B, L)

Gdansk, Poland Gdańsk, Poland

Day 9: WOLF'S LAIR & MIKOLAJKI

The tour drives onward today to Hitler’s secret, fortified, Eastern Front command post, known as Wolf’s Lair. The failed July 20, 1944, assassination attempt on Hitler, portrayed in the 2008 movie Valkyrie (starring Tom Cruise), took place within the vast complex. After lunch, guests visit the German command-and-control center at Mauerwald—now called Mamerki—which is a massive complex of bunkers and underground tunnels built for the OKH (Oberkommando des Heeres). Here, over 40 top generals and field marshals oversaw the war on the Eastern Front. There were 200 structures, including 30 bunkers, which are still intact. The evening is spent in the resort town of Mikolajki.

Hotel Mikolajki Conference Center (B, L, D)

Hitler and Field Marshal Fedor Von Bock at 'Wolf’s Lair' Hitler and Field Marshal Fedor Von Bock at “Wolf’s Lair"

Day 10: WARSAW

The group departs Mikolajki, bound for Poland’s capital city of Warsaw. On arrival, guests enjoy time for exploration and an independent lunch in Old Town Square. The group sets out on a walking tour this afternoon, beginning at the 1944 Warsaw Uprising Monument. Unveiled in 1989, the monument commemorates the valiant and tragic attempt of the Polish Resistance to take back the city of Warsaw from Nazi troops before the Soviet Army entered the city. Guests visit the Mausoleum of Struggle and Martyrdom, located in a former Gestapo headquarters, and end the day at the Pawiak Prison Museum. Built in 1835, Pawiak was Warsaw’s main male prison. When the Germans invaded in 1939, it became a Gestapo prison and eventually part of the complex of Warsaw concentration camps. Gather this evening for a reception at the Warsaw Uprising Museum. Opened in 2004 on the 60th anniversary of the beginning of the Warsaw Uprising, this museum is centered on a collection of almost 1,000 photographs taken by photographer and Olympian athlete Eugeniusz Lokajski, who documented the uprising before he was killed in an artillery attack. At the museum, a lecture on the Warsaw Uprising and the Polish Resistance offers additional expert commentary to expand on the day's themes.

Hotel Bristol (B, R)

Night panorama of Old Town in Warsaw, Poland Night panorama of Old Town in Warsaw, Poland

Day 11: WARSAW

Guests spend the day exploring Warsaw, starting at the Genscher Cemetery, Warsaw’s largest Jewish cemetery with over 250,000 people buried on site. Many prominent leaders of Warsaw’s Jewish community are interred here, including Marek Edelman, a leader of the uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto. The tour continues on to the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews for a guided tour of the exhibits. The afternoon is free for lunch and individual pursuits. The group drives a short distance outside of Warsaw this evening to Radzymin, the site of the last great tank battle of World War II, in August 1944. Visitors explore the battlefield with a historian who will explain the events of the battle and their consequences for both the Germans and the Soviets. The tour concludes at the private residence of Dr. Alexandra Richie, a home that was once used as the headquarters for German General Herbert Otto Gille, commander of the 5th SS Panzergrenadier Division Wiking during the battle. Here, Dr. Richie hosts the group to a farewell reception and dinner.

Hotel Bristol (B, R, D)

Polin Museum of History in Warsaw, Poland Polin Museum of History in Warsaw, Poland

Day 12: DEPART WARSAW AND RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES

The tour bids farewell to Poland this morning and transfers to Warsaw Chopin Airport for individual flights back to the United States.

(B)

Winston Churchill, Harry S. Truman, Joseph Stalin at Potsdam Conference Winston Churchill, Harry S. Truman, Joseph Stalin at Potsdam Conference

Download the Itinerary

If the PDF didn't open in a new browser tab, please right click the link below and choose to save the file to your local computer.

DOWNLOAD ITINERARY

Tour

What Is Included In The Tour?

Tour Inclusions

  • Exclusive itinerary designed by The National WWII Museum and Dr. Alexandra Richie
  • Full-time access to Richie, who will personally guide guests through many of the locations visited
  • Full-time logistical tour manager
  • Roundtrip airport transfers (when arriving and departing on scheduled group tour dates)
  • Luxury five-star and deluxe four-star hotel accommodations
  • Several meals designed as social gatherings with WWII veterans and civilians throughout the program
  • Welcome and farewell receptions
  • Entrance fees to all sites, museums, and historic attractions in itinerary
  • VIP access to sites not offered on other tours
  • 11 breakfasts, 8 lunches, and 5 dinners
  • Free-flow beer, wine, and soft drinks included with lunches and dinners
  • Video oral-history presentations from the Museum collection
  • Personal listening devices on all included touring
  • Included gratuities to guides, drivers, porters, and servers
  • Document wallet, personalized luggage tags, and customized name badge
  • Personal journal and pen to document your journey

What Isn't Included In The Tour?

Tour Exclusions

  • International and/or domestic airfare, unless noted otherwise within the program brochure
  • Fees for passports and, if applicable, visas, entry/departure fees
  • Laundry and dry cleaning
  • Meals and beverages not outlined in the program brochure under included features
  • Travel insurance
  • All items of a strictly personal nature
  • Airport/hotel transfers outside of official program dates
  • Excursions not included in program itinerary

Additional Services

Please contact us regarding:

  • Additional pre and/or post-hotel nights
  • Travel insurance
  • Flight assistance
  • Private transfers

We’re pleased to assist you with additional services you may require, ensuring you a worry-free journey with The National WWII Museum.


Tour Historian

Alexandra Richie, PhD

Dr. Alexandra Richie

Decorated historian Dr. Alexandra Richie leads this tour of the area she has researched and written so much about. Her most recent work, Warsaw 1944, became the #1 best-selling book in Poland and won the Newsweek Teresa Torańska Prize for Best Nonfiction 2014 as well as the Kazimierz Moczarski Prize for Best History Book in Poland 2015. Her first book, Faust’s Metropolis: A History of Berlin, was named one of the 10 top books of the year by Publishers Weekly. Richie wrote her doctorate at St Antony's College, Oxford.

After graduating, she worked for the Boston Consulting Group (London), restructuring former Communist industries across Central and Eastern Europe. She then returned to Oxford as a Fellow of Wolfson College, where she taught history and international relations.

She is currently Professor of History at the Collegium Civitas in Warsaw and is Director of the Department of International Relations specializing in defense and security studies. Alex has contributed to many articles, documentaries, radio and television programs and is passionate about educating students about the rich history of the region. She lives in Warsaw with her husband Władysław Bartoszewski and their two daughters. Alex is a Presidential Counselor at The National WWII Museum.

Richie Describes the Tour

Museum Expert

Kim Guise

Kim Guise

Kimberly Guise holds a BA in German and Judaic Studies from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She also studied at the Universität Freiburg in Germany and holds a masters in Library and Information Science (MLIS) from Louisiana State University. Kim is fluent in German, reads Yiddish, and specializes in the American prisoner-of-war experience in World War II. After working at the National Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, Massachusetts, she began working at The National WWII Museum in 2008, where she has since facilitated the acquisition of thousands of artifacts, led multiple Museum tours, and curated several exhibits including Guests of the Third Reich: American POWs in Europe.

Kimberly has traveled on multiple educational battlefield tours with The National WWII Museum travel program, complementing the information shared by the tour guides and special guests, and answering questions of all sorts along the way. Her expertise with Holocaust history and her extensive travel in the region provides for an educational and memorable experience while on tour.


Tour Price

Early Booking Savings Price (book by July 3, 2017)

$6,995 Per Person Double Occupancy

$9,093.50 Per Person Single Occupancy

Bookings received after July 3, 2017, please add $400 per person.

Book Your Trip Now!

Accommodations

Regent Berlin

Regent Berlin

Located just a short distance from the Brandenburg Gate, Regent Berlin features elegant rooms with Biedermeier furnishings and marble bathrooms. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, DVD players, antique desks, and armchairs.

Hotel Monopo

Hotel Monopol

A five-star hotel in the heart of Wroclaw, Hotel Monopol features modern interior design that blends in with the old architecture of the city. Each room was individually designed with attention to every detail and the modern renovation complements the antique exterior façade.

Radisson Blu Krakow

Radisson Blu Kraków

Ideally located in Kraków’s city center, Radisson Blu offers five-star amenities such as flat-screen TVs and complimentary access to modern fitness and beauty facilities.

Sofitel Grand Sopot

Sofitel Grand Sopot

Overlooking the Baltic Sea and its own private beach, this luxury hotel subtly combines magnificent art nouveau architecture with the French l’art de recevoir.

Hotel Mikolajki Conference Center

Hotel Mikolajki Conference Center

Set on Mikołajskie Lake and surrounded by water, this modern hotel features balconies on each upscale room, as well as free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs, mini-refrigerators, and coffeemakers.

Hotel Bristol

Hotel Bristol

Situated in the center of Warsaw, Hotel Bristol is surrounded by the Old Town and Royal Castle, adjacent to the Presidential Palace. Set in a grand, circa-1901 building, this elegant, art deco-style hotel features chic, contemporary rooms that feature flat-screen TVs and Wi-Fi.

Testimonials

  • Alexandra Richie was terrific, very knowledgeable, (an) excellent speaker.
    – Jane D., Menlo Park, California

  • All arrangements were organized and in place and on time. Logistics were handled very well—especially given the multitude of hotels, airports, buses, museums, and guides to be coordinated.
    – Denny O., Mount Dora, Florida

  • (Dr. Richie is) an outstanding person. She is very, very knowledgeable of the topics of this tour. She is outgoing and willing to answer questions from everyone on the tour. A great person and historian.
    – Tom P., Kennedyville, Maryland

  • Tour logistics were the very best. The staff were very professional and kept the tour members well informed as we went along. They were friendly and helpful. Everything was run on time.
    – Walter D., Menlo Park, California