Neuschwanstein Castle, Schwangau, Germany

Victory in Europe

Spring 2021


Set foot on the European battlefields where Allied soldiers built their heroic reputation while the world watched. Experience key sites across these countries, including a visit to the Normandy Beaches, Bastogne,  Paris, and Munich Germany, which remind us of the massive costs of World War II.  Students will be in Normandy for the 75th anniversary of V-E day.

Students interested in the Victory in Europe trip, can register for the class (IS200.01 with Dr. Scharff) any time after spring registration begins (March 25, 2019).  Students are advised to register as early as possible as popular trips will fill up quickly.

Group Leader: Dr. Michael Scharff


UPDATE:  The Victory in Europe tour is now full - if you are interested in being placed on the wait list please go to:



Included on tour

Round-trip flights on major carriers; Full-time Tour Director; Air-conditioned motorcoaches and internal transportation; Superior tourist-class hotels with private bathrooms; Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily.

  • Academic visits and entrances:
  • Imperial War Museum London
  • The Churchill War Rooms
  • D-Day Museum Portsmouth
  • Utah Beach D-Day Museum
  • Normandy Beaches
  • American Cemetery at Colleville
  • Musée Airborne St Mere Eglise
  • Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris
  • Seine River cruise
  • Bastogne War Museum
  • Nuremberg Palace of Justice
  • Documentation Center, Nuremberg
  • Dachau
  • Neuschwanstein Castle
  • Eagle's Nest
  • Salt mines


  • Sightseeing:
  • Bastogne
  • Nuremberg
  • Third Reich walking tour
  • Overnight stays:
  • London, (2)
  • Normandy region, (2)
  • Paris, (1)
  • Bastogne, (1)
  • Nuremberg, (1)
  • Munich, (3)


Your Itinerary

Day 1

Board your overnight flight to England!

Day 2: London

Arrive in London

Ranging from the North Sea in the east to the playing fields of Eton in the west, London covers an area of some 620 square miles and is home to over 8 million people. Prepare to observe the stunning architecture, vibrant street life and royal majesty of this bustling metropolis.

Walking tour of London

Stroll through the heart of London on your Tour Director-led walking tour, which begins along the banks of the River Thames. As you walk along the ancient embankment, note that these shadowy waters gave the city its name, which derives from Llyn-Dyn, Celtic for “city of the lake.” Walk along the Strand and see the spot from which all distances to London are measured. Enter Trafalgar Square, where you're sure to meet the world's most famous pigeons, and pause at Nelson's column, a symbol of Britain's once unrivaled naval power. Continue on to Leicester Square and end your walk at chic Covent Garden, where street performers (or “buskers”) amuse the lively crowds. (The exact walking route may vary, depending on your hotel location and the day's other activities.)

Overnight in London

Day 3: London

Visit the Imperial War Museum

Unique in its devotion to the history of warfare during the 20th century rather than any particular conflict, the museum's exhibits range from tanks and aircraft to personal letters and ration books. They include films, photographs and sound recordings, and some of the 19th and 20th century's best-known paintings.

Visit the Cabinet War Rooms and Churchill Museum

Walk through the underground rooms used by Winston Churchill during World War II. Since air raids were expected in London, Churchill needed to continue his war efforts in safety. The rooms were constructed in 1938 and designed to protect the War Cabinet from a new threat: aerial bombardment. The underground facility included a hospital, a canteen, a shooting range and Churchill's bedroom, with a direct line to the White House in Washington, D.C. See the very rooms from which the war was directed, including the Cabinet Room, where the War Cabinet met to strategize, and the Map Room, where the original maps still line the walls. (If group reservations are not available, the group will visit HMS Belfast instead.)

Overnight in London

Day 4: London - Normandy region

Travel to Portsmouth

Journey to Portsmouth, the only island city in the United Kingdom and the headquarters of the British Navy for 500 years. This afternoon, board a ferry headed across the English Channel to Caen, France where you'll spend the night.

Visit the D-Day Museum

Visit the D-Day Museum, dedicated to that fateful day on June 6, 1944, in which the Allies raided the shores of Normandy. The Museum focuses solely on covering all aspects of that attack, which helped to end WWII.

Board a ferry to Caen and travel to the Normandy region

Disembark your ferry and travel to Normandy, location of many of the battles that turned the course of World War II. Despite its connection with major military events, Normandy is also a region of scenic beauty with elegant landscapes and patchwork fields as well as the majesty of its two major towns-Caen and Rouen. (Dinner is included on the ferry this evening.)

Overnight in Normandy Region

Day 5: Normandy region

Visit the Utah Beach D-Day Museum

See the site of the US landing on the 6th of June 1944. The Allies needed a deep water harbor in order to bring supplies to the troops ashore. Therefore, the prime objective of the US troops stationed at Utah Beach was to capture the port of Cherbourg, which became the world's biggest port used for military purposes. Utah Beach was one of the two American landing beaches used during the Normandy Invasion of June 1944.

Visit the Normandy Beaches

At daybreak on June 6, 1944, the Allies' D-Day landings took place, sparking the largest sea-borne invasion in military history and one of the bravest acts of World War II. As you walk on the same shores that witnessed so much courage and sacrifice over half a century ago, you can still see shelled out craters on the rocky cliffs alongside the occasional remains of German bunkers.

Visit the American Cemetery

Visit the final resting place of 9,386 American military dead, most of whom gave their lives during the landings and ensuing operations of World War II. The site also includes a memorial commemorating the soldiers and a chapel bearing the poignant words: “These endured all and gave all that justice among nations might prevail and that mankind might enjoy freedom and inherit peace.”

Overnight in Normandy Region

Day 6: Normandy region - Paris

Visit the Airborne Museum in St. Mere Eglise

Visit the Musée Airborne in St. Mere Eglise to get a greater understanding of how the control of this key city directly affected the outcome of the war.

Travel to Paris

Welcome to Paris, cosmopolitan City of Light. Over the centuries, Paris has grown to become the undisputed center of France, and one of the world's most important cities both culturally and politically. Equally famed for its high fashion, awe-inspiring museums and elegant cuisine, Paris has also been a center of theater, literature and philosophy throughout the ages.

Walking tour of the Latin Quarter

Your Tour Director will lead you on a walking tour of Paris' famous Latin Quarter. Featuring a diversity of restaurants, the Latin Quarter is just a short walk down the Rue de la Seine from the museum area.

Visit Notre Dame Cathedral

Built between 1163 and 1361 over the remains of an ancient Roman temple, it was here that Napoleon crowned himself emperor in 1804. Victor Hugo once described the sculptured façade of Notre Dame as “a vast symphony in stone.” However, had it not been for the creation of his famous hunchback, Quasimodo, the cathedral might never have returned to its former glory. Hugo's novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame helped inspire a 23-year restoration of the cathedral that began in 1841. Step inside to admire the stained-glass rose window and seemingly weightless vaulted ceilings.

Seine River cruise

This evening, take a narrated river cruise along the Seine. As your boat glides from one graceful bridge to the next, sit back and gaze at the illuminated landmarks of Paris as they pan into view.

Overnight in Paris

Day 7: Paris - Bastogne

Travel to Bastogne

Begin today by heading to Bastogne, where the Battle of Bastogne occurred at the end of 1944 through the beginning of 1945 and was a major turning point in WWII.

Guided sightseeing of Bastogne

Upon arrival in Bastogne, your local guide will show you the rich history of this southern Belgian city. This small Belgian city was attacked by German forces, but, under the direction of the famous American General Patton, the Allies emerged victorious. On your tour you will see the Bastogne Barracks, the Mardasson Memorial and the remains of foxholes in the surrounding forests.

Visit the Bastogne War Museum

Situated next to the Mardasson Monument in Bastogne, this museum offers a unique chance to look at history. Devoted to World War II with specific ties to the "Battle of the Bulge," this commemorative center tells the story of the Second World War in Belgium in an interactive and modern way.

Overnight in Bastogne

Day 8: Bastogne - Nuremberg

Travel to Nuremberg

Continue on to Nuremberg, home of the Nazi War Trials following WWII. While Nuremberg has a very dark history going back to the days of the Third Reich, the city itself has been beautifully restored and now stands as proof of Germany's resolve and ability to change as a nation.

Overnight in Nuremberg

Day 9: Nuremberg - Munich

Guided sightseeing of Nuremberg

Your local guide will take you through the unique history of Nuremberg. See the Zeppelinfeld, where Hitler staged huge rallies, now a park; and the Albrecht Dürer House, which houses works and mementos of the famous painter, and stands as a reminder of the medieval splendor of Nuremberg's past.

Visit the Nuremberg Justice Palace

Made famous for being the setting of the post-WWII Nuremberg Trials, the Nuremberg Palace of Justice houses multiple levels of the Nuremberg court system. The famous courtroom number 600, the exact room of the war trials, is still in use today.

Visit the Documentation Centre

Experience firsthand through photos, films, and exhibits the rich history of Nuremberg and the Nazi party rally grounds. Walk through the grounds to experience the rally memorial.

Travel to Munich

Welcome to Munich! This center of culture boasts over 45 museums, 10 university buildings and two opera houses. The city is also home to the Olympic center with full facilities and more than the occasional beer-hall.

Third Reich walking tour

In 1919, Germany was emerging from World War I as a defeated and humiliated nation with Munich in the grips of hyperinflation and Bavaria dominated by revolution and assassination. Out of this fertile soil of chaos rose the Nazi movement and one of history`s most powerful dictators, Adolf Hitler. During this walking tour, we will explore the dark side of Munich's history as the birth place of Nazism. Follow the growth of the movement from its first mass meeting at the Hofbräuhaus, to its failed attempt to seize power at the Feldherrnhalle. Visit the site of mass party rallies at Königsplatz and stop in the Hofgarten to talk about The White Rose resistance movement. The tour covers all important facts and sites that played a role in the origin of this dark chapter, that ended with the beautiful city of Munich in ruins.

Dinner at the Hofbrauhaus

Drop in at the world famous Hofbrauhaus. The original Hofbrauhaus was built in the 16th-century by the Bavarian Duke, Wilhelm V. The Duke realized that he was spending too much money having beer delivered in to the city, so, his solution was to have a brewery built next to the court. His plan was a success, and 5 centuries later the beer continues to flow. Enjoy the traditional Bavarian music as a dirndl-wearing waitress serves you your dinner. (Please Note: If the Hofbrauhaus is unavailable, your group will enjoy dinner at another local brewery.)

Overnight in Munich

Day 10: Munich

Excursion to Dachau

Once merely another sleepy German village, Dachau has since 1933 gained notoriety as Germany's first Nazi concentration camp. Today, the old administration building houses a museum documenting the rise of Hitler and the horrors of camp life. Commemorative chapels and memorials have also been built on the site, which stands as an eternal memorial to those who endured life here until liberation by Allied forces.

Visit Neuschwanstein Castle

Visit “Mad” King Ludwig's fairy-tale castle of Neuschwanstein, the real-life model for the Disney World castles. Ponder the young king's mysterious death as you learn the story of one of Europe's most eccentric rulers. King Ludwig so preferred dreams over reality that his servants could address him only from behind a screen. In fact, the original plans for the castle were drawn up by a theater set designer, not an architect.

Overnight in Munich

Day 11: Munich

Excursion to the Eagle's Nest

Take a thrilling bus ride up 4 and a half miles of road blasted out of solid rock leading to Hitler's notorious Eagle's Nest. This incredible complex, carved out of the mountain itself, is accessible only by a 400 foot elevator to the summit. From here you will enjoy breath taking panoramic views of the surrounding Alps.

Visit the salt mines

Here you'll begin a fascinating underground journey through the 450-year-old salt mines-via train, boat, and wooden slides! Dressed in traditional mining costumes and under the dim light of miners' lamps, you'll trace the story of the "white gold" that brought wealth and prosperity to Bavaria and nearby Salzburg literally meaning "fortress of salt".

Overnight in Munich

Day 12: Depart for home

Transfer to the airport for your return flight

Your Tour Director assists with your transfer to the airport, where you'll check in for your return flight home.

Itinerary is subject to change.