We’re excited to offer you this culturally rich and history-packed boutique tour package that is the best of Belgium beer & battlefields
On this land-based package we visit 4 countries, 5 military cemeteries (incl. General Patton’s grave in Luxembourg), 6 museums, 7 breweries (+ 2 additional tastings from award-winning breweries), multiple battlefields from 3 wars (WW1, WW2, Napoleonic), and much more.
Note: This package has been designed so you can either sign up for it exclusively or piggyback it with one of our other tour programs (D-Day Beaches & Beyond in Normandy and Brett’s adventure novel package “Quest for the Bavarian Cross” that takes in Germany & Austria highlights) to extend the cultural experience and enlightenment. But, be quick, the tour will sell out as there are only a handful of seats available. Reserve your place today! (Piggyback this tour with another and deduct 50% from the advance payment of that tour.)
Money, details are listed below the package itinerary.
Brussels to Bruges via Bastogne & Battle of the Bulge
August 31 thru September 9, 2018 — 9 nights, 10 days
Maximum capacity for this tour is 7 persons.
Reserve your spot now before this package is sold out!
Suggested viewing for this tour: “The Monuments Men” (excellent) — “Beneath Hill 60” (must-see) — “Dunkirk” (must-see) — “Band of Brothers” (especially episodes 6 & 7: “Bastogne” & “The Breaking Point”) — “Battle of the Bulge” (classic) — “In Bruges” (R rated: wowing scenery throughout but very vulgar and violent) — “Waterloo” (gives insight but don’t expect a particularly good movie for the mega-bucks spent on making it, thus you can skip “Waterloo” if time is not on your side. Though, the film did receive umpteen positive reviews for its epic battle scenes utilizing the some 16,000 Soviet soldiers and cavalry brigade it took to make the film. Yes, Soviet, because in this movie the Battle of Waterloo was filmed entirely in the Ukraine, then part of the U.S.S.R.).
BRUSSELS (2 nights):
DAY 1, Friday, August 31, 2018 — Introductions & Cantillon
Brett Harriman, your guide, will meet you in Brussels and facilitate hotel check-in. At 2 p.m. the group will meet for orientation and introductions followed by a heavy dose of sightseeing and beer brewing.
DAY 2, Saturday, September 1 — Mechelen, the Netherlands & Henri-Chapel
On our first full day together our slate is stacked, loaded with discovery and reverence, as will be all our days, thus immediately following breakfast we’ll hit the road. From Brussels we drive 30 minutes north to the historic city of Mechelen, origin of the Beethoven family and home to an award-winning brewery, our first tour of the day. With Mechelen in our rear-view mirror we’ll cross the border into Holland and visit Netherlands American Cemetery (see cemetery No. 18), a thought-provoking memorial park, the first of its kind to be allocated for U.S. soldiers who died on German soil as well as the only American military cemetery in the Netherlands. From here, we skip back across the border into Belgium to pay our respects at Henri-Chapel American Cemetery (see cemetery No. 19), final resting place to 7,992 heroes, most of whom fought in the Battle of the Bulge as well as in the bloody Hürtgen Forest, through the Low Countries, and the intense battle for Aachen (which became the first major German city to be captured by the Allies). From Henri-Chapel we head back to Brussels for the evening.
BRUGES (2 nights):
DAY 3, Sunday, September 2 — Flanders Fields, steamed mussels & chocolate nirvana
From Brussels we skip to the west coast of Belgium to Bruges, capital of the Flemish province of West Flanders. En route, Brett will escort the group via Flanders Field American Cemetery (see cemetery No. 1) to pay respects to the selfless “doughboys” who rest eternal in this bucolic corner of Belgium. In Bruges, we check into our downtown digs, relax with some free time before setting off on a walking tour of Old Town, see the chocolate-making process at one of the city’s top chocolatiers, then tour a local brewery and blow the froth off a couple. The perfect evening to indulge in a traditional pot of steamed mussels in white wine sauce with parsley, butter, and shallots. Mmm.
DAY 4, Monday, September 3 — Michelangelo, canal cruise & Halve Maan
After breakfast, we hop on a boat and cruise the quaint canals of Bruges, and tour another blue-chip brewery. The rest of the day is free time. Brett will offer general information and sightseeing suggestions, such as to climb the 366 dizzying steps of the town’s 13th-century bell tower (Belfort) for Bruges’ best view, or visit the Church of Our Lady to see Michelangelo’s Madonna and Child, featured in George Clooney’s 2014 film: “The Monuments Men.”
YPRES (2 nights):
DAY 5, Tuesday, September 4 — Dunkirk, Westvleteren & Menin Gate
Another exciting day on our itinerary, we wend south along the coast of West Flanders and cross into France to visit Dunkirk, scene of the “Miracle of Dunkirk” when some 400,000 British and French troops managed to escape from the beaches back to England under the noses of the Nazis from May 26 thru June 4, 1940. We will visit the main evacuation beach, the “mole,” and museum to better understand how the miracle materialized. From Dunkirk we jump back across the border into Belgium to Ypres, a.k.a. Ieper, formerly a hellish World War I battlefield on the Western Front and namesake of the famous poem “In Flanders Fields,” penned by Lt. Col. John McCrae with the Canadian army. After checking into our pastoral digs, we’ll take in more historic sites and beer tasting. At 8 p.m. we view the traditional and touching Last Post ceremony (British salute to the fallen soldier) at the Menin Gate followed by dinner.
DAY 6, Wednesday, September 5 — Hill 60, St. Bernardus & Hellfire Corner
Today we visit multiple battlefield sites, including the famed Hill 60 and the memorial site where John McCrae authored “In Flanders Fields” in 1915. Continuing our bucket-list odyssey, we trot over to the village of Watou on the French border and discover a new religion at the heavenly St. Bernardus brewery.
BASTOGNE (2 nights):
DAY 7, Thursday, September 6 — Leffe, Easy Company & Battle of the Bulge
From West Flanders we jump across Belgium to the province of Luxembourg and overnight in bucolic Bastogne, essentially the epicenter of the storied Battle of the Bulge, the largest battle fought by U.S. soldiers in World War II and the 2nd largest in American history. Fortunately, there are still a number of existing sites to explore, such as the Patton bunker where his 3rd Army broke the German line and the foxholed forest (Bois Jacques) formerly occupied by members of Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (“Screaming Eagles”), made famous in the television miniseries “Band of Bothers.”
DAY 8, Friday, September 7 — Patton, Luxembourg & heady hops
In addition to Bastogne’s bevy of attractions, on this day we will tour one of the region’s most intoxicating breweries followed by an enjoyable excursion into the Grand Duchy to Luxembourg City and visit the final resting place of one of World War II’s most renowned generals, George S. Patton Jr., at Luxembourg American Cemetery (see cemetery No. 17).
BRUSSELS (1 night):
DAY 9, Saturday, September 8 — Napoleon, Waterloo & Beer of Bravery
From Bastogne we head west to Waterloo, a name and locale synonymous with another renowned military leader, Napoleon Bonaparte. Here, we visit Waterloo’s very own brewery and imbibe its liquid pride aptly called the Beer of Bravery before exploring the town’s namesake battlefield and museums that splendidly illustrate the epic clash in 1815 and Napoleon’s fate. Post-Napoleon, we return to Brussels for the evening and overnight in the first hotel where we began our memorable journey together.
DAY 10, Sunday, September 9:
Regrettably, it’s time to bid adieu to the friends we’ve made. Our tour is over, unless you’ve chosen to continue with Brett on the next tour program for more discovery and merriment. (Brett will shuttle guests who require a transfer to Brussels airport, train station, or to the location of our next tour start if you’re continuing on with us.)
Feel free to contact Brett with any questions you may have.
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Money, package details:
- The land-only price for this exclusive package is 1,995 — 1,495 euro (payable in Belgium) + US$500 (advance payment) per person (double occupancy) — which includes your accommodations (3/4-star non-smoking hotels with free Wi-Fi), breakfast, all transportation and attractions we do together as a group, and Brett Harriman as your personal guide. You will be hard-pressed to find a better Belgian bargain, anywhere!
- The price for this 9-day (10-night) package is approximately US$222 per person per day (1,495 euro x $US1.15 = $1,720 + $500 advance = $2,220 / 10 = $222), which is hard to beat when considering the exclusive hand-held nature of the package, transportation within 4 countries, and the umpteen sites visited, including brew tours and tastings.
- The price does not cover lunch, dinner, and of course personal expenses, such as whatever you buy and do on your free time.
- Transportation for this tour will be a 9-seater mini van piloted by Brett Harriman.
- Walking & picnic lunches: Expect to do a lot of walking. We will explore former battlefields, tour breweries, stroll cobbled streets, and pay our respects to fallen heroes at sprawling cemeteries. On the food front, restaurant prices in Belgium are high compared with other European nations, thus we’ll plan picnic lunches at select sites when possible, which will not only save us money but also time for more sightseeing.
- Packing & souvenirs: As always, pack light, but do allow a little extra room for souvenirs and whatnot you may pick up along the way.
- Single supplement: The package price is based on double occupancy — a supplement of US$550 will be added to the price for solo travelers but who are welcome to room together to save the supplement; (notify Brett if this is you and he will do his best to make compatible room assignments).
- Payment: To reserve your place an advance payment of US$500 per person is required and the remaining 1,495 euro is due in Belgium upon meeting your group leader. After the advance payment is made Brett will contact you to confirm your reservation. (Note: Since seating is limited to 7 guests per tour, reserve your place soon before the package is sold out!)
- Cancellation: The advance payment is fully refundable 75 days prior to tour departure. Within 75 days, however, your advance payment will be forfeited (sorry!) unless your spot can be filled or you’d like to transfer the reservation to another Harriman tour package this year or next.
- Piggyback this Harriman tour with another and deduct 50% from the advance payment of that tour.