France, Netherlands, Belgium & Germany12 Days
Your trip includes
- Round-trip airfare
- All airport taxes & fuel surcharges
- Hotel accommodations (or similar) in double occupancy
- ~ 2 nights: Grand Hotel de l'Esperance, Lisieux, France
- ~ 1 night: Kimpton De Witt Hotel , Amsterdam, Netherlands
- ~ 2 nights: Golden Tulip Hotel de’ Medici, Bruges, Belgium
- ~ 2 nights: Art Hotel, Aachen, Germany
- Breakfast and Dinner daily
- Wine with dinners
- Whisper Headsets
- Transfers as per itinerary
- Transportation by air-conditioned motor coach
- Assistance of local guide throughout
- Sightseeing and admissions fees as per itinerary
- Catholic Priest, Mass daily & Spiritual activities
- Luggage handling (1 piece per person)
- Lunches, Tips to your guide & driver, Items of a personal nature.
Day 1, Depart for Paris
Make your way to your local airport, where you will board your overnight flight(s). Your meals will be served on board.
Day 2, Arrive Paris – Lisieux
Upon arriving to Paris airport, make your way to the baggage claim area and collect your luggage. Proceed to the arrival’s hall where you will be greeted by your driver, who will transfer you to meet your Spiritual Director, Tour Escort and fellow pilgrims. Attend Mass at the magnificent, Sacre Coeur Basilica that stands atop Montmartre Hill. The Basilica that is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus was originally built in 1914, as an act of penance for infidelity that France was experiencing during that time. While on your visit, in addition to the extraordinary artwork and architecture that forms the Basilica, you will see the beautiful mosaic of the Risen Christ, the remarkable Grand Organ, . Celebrate Mass at the Crypt that contains the Tombs of many notable Cardinals. Time permitting you may have the opportunity during your free time to ascend a staircase to the Dome where you will take in a breathtaking panoramic view of the city of Paris. Following this visit, you will enjoy lunch on own and depart for Lisieux . According to Pope Pius X, St. Therese of Lisieux was the "greatest saint of modern times." Her extraordinary love for God and service to humanity will come alive as you walk in the great Saint's footsteps. During your visit, you will see the beautiful Basilica of St. Therese, and the magnificent mosaics and stained glass that are contained within. Diner an overnight at your hotel in Lisieux.
Day 3, Lisieux (St. Therese - the Little Flower)-Landing Beaches & American Cemetery
Upon waking up in Lisieux and enjoying breakfast, you will pray and reflect upon the life of the beloved Saint as well as celebrate Mass. After Mass and following the visit to the Basilica, you will have the opportunity to view relics, clothing and personal objects of St. Therese when you visit her family home, Les Buissonets. Additionally, you will tour the Carmelite Convent of where she entered in 1888, and is currently entombed in with her parent . This afternoon transfer to Normandy Landing beaches. The Normandy landings were the landing operations on Tuesday, 6 June 1944 (termed D-Day) of the Allied invasion of Normandy during World War II. The largest seaborne invasion in history, the operation began the liberation of German-occupied northwestern Europe from Nazi control, and contributed to the Allied victory on the Western Front. Continue to visit The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial is a World War II cemetery and memorial in Colleville-sur-Mer, Normandy, France, that honors American troops who died in Europe during World War II. Many of the brave American soldiers of World War II are buried here and, it is encouraged to say a prayer in thanksgiving for their courage. Return to Lisieux for dinner and overnight.
Day 4, Lisieux – Chartres – Paris
This morning, your day begins with an early breakfast before we depart for Chartres. Chartres, known for its massive Cathedral Notre Dame. Worldwide known for the incredible stained-glass windows from the 12th and 13th century. A World Heritage site by UNESCO, which calls the Cathedral "the high point of French Gothic art" and a "masterpiece". Have some free time for lunch in the quaint town of Chartres. After lunch we will continue to Paris . Check in hotel and free time before a delicious dinner and overnight.
Day 5, Paris
Today, you will enjoy a full sightseeing tour of Paris. After breakfast, you will visit and celebrate Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, where you will view the incorrupt body of St. Catherine Laboure. The Saint's guardian angel led her to the chapel where the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to her. During apparitions, Our Lady repeatedly instructed the making and purpose of the Miraculous Medal as well as, the green scapular. According to the Blessed Virgin Mary, those who wear the Miraculous Medal and scapular will receive special protection and abundant graces. Following your prayerful and reflective experience at this elegant chapel, you will begin your sightseeing tour of Paris. After Mass we will walk to Saint Vicent de Paul Church. Continuing our day with a visit of the Notre Dame Cathedral, a perfect example of Gothic art. Our panoramic sightseeing tour via motor coach continues on to the most recognizable symbol of the city of Paris, the Eiffel Tower. Historically, the Tower's original intent was to commemorate the centenary of the French Revolution but, later assisted in meteorology, telegraphy of World War I, radio, and television. Pass by the L'Arch de Triomphe, a monument that symbolizes gratitude for those who fought for France. This monument stands at the West end of the Champ-Elysees, one of the world's most famous boulevards and another one of our stops on the sightseeing tour. We will also pass by the ever famous, Louvre Museum.* This Museum is one of the finest in the world and contains a number of pieces that truly emanate not only French art but also, European culture. Your fun-filled, busy day ends with a lovely meal and a very comfortable overnight.
*Regretfully we will not visit the Louvre Museum, due to time limitations. However, if you wish to extend your stay in Paris by arriving a day early, this Museum is worth it, as it is one of the finest in the world and contains pieces that emanate European art and culture.
Day 6, Paris – Amsterdam
Transfer to the airport for a short flight to Amsterdam. Upon landing into Amsterdam airport, make your way to the baggage claim area and collect your luggage. Proceed to the arrival's hall, where you will be greeted by your tour guide and/or driver. Transfer to your hotel. This afternoon we will visit the Chapel of our Lady of All Nations, one of the Virgin Mary’s apparition sites. In 1945 until 1959, Our Lady appeared to Ida Peerdeman with the continuous message of love and repentance and, the prayer for Nations. Following Mass we will visit the site of a Eucharistic Miracle. In 1345, as a result of a man's illness, a Sacred Host was found preserved in his house after it was moved numerous times and after having experienced a fire that left the city in ruins. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight in Amsterdam.
Day 7, Amsterdam – Zaanse Schans – Amsterdam
Following breakfast, we will celebrate Mass. After Mass enjoy a guided a tour of Amsterdam, where you will experience its seventeenth century historical and picturesque atmosphere amidst its canals and squares. During your walking tour you will view the Royal Place, Vrijheidsbeeld (National Monument) , the Flower Markets, Opera House, City Hall and Begijnenhof. Additionally, you will experience a glimpse from the outside of the many cultural highlights Amsterdam has to offer, such as: Van Gogh Museum, Anne Frank House, Rembrandt House and, the Rijksmuseum. After free time for lunch we will proceed to the Zaanse Schanns, a unique piece of Dutch history on the river Zaan. It is residential area in which the 18th and 19th centuries are brought to life. Stroll past the bakery museum and enjoy the smell of fresh cookies. Take a look were clogs are made. Don’t miss the cheese factory, the various windmills and much more. The Zaanse Schans is a unique part of the Netherlands, full of wooden houses, mills, barns and works shops. Return to Amsterdam for dinner and overnight.
Day 8, Amsterdam – Utrecht – Ghent - Bruges
After breakfast we will depart for Utrecht. One of the principal political, economic and cultural centers of the Netherlands. We will visit Katherine’s Convent Museum (Catharijne convent) located in former hospice of the Order of St. John, telling the history of Christianity in the Netherlands. It also holds a large collection of medieval art treasures. You will have free time for lunch, before boarding the motor coach for your transfer to Ghent. Ghent, Belgium, home to the famous painting, "Adoration of the Mystic Lamb." The large and complex altarpiece was painted by Jan and Hubert Van Eyck in 1432 and, is currently housed in Ghent's, St. Bavo Cathedral. We will celebrate Mass at St. Bavo Cathdral. After Mass continue to Bruges, The Zeebrugge port of Bruges is an important center for European trade. Diner and overnight.
Day 9, Bruges
Today following breakfast, we will visit the Church of Our Lady for Mass, you will inevitably notice the preserved culture of the Middle Ages that is still present. While at the Church, you will have the opportunity to view the magnificent marble statue, Madonna and her Child sculpted by Michelangelo. Next, we visit the Holy Saviors Cathedral, Bruges Cathedral. Continue with a visit to the Basilica of the Holy Blood. Most interestingly, this Basilica also holds a venerated relic of Jesus Christ that was collected by Joseph of Arimathea and brought from Jerusalem. Modeled on the Church of the Holy Suplechre, it has a replica of the Christ’s tomb. This afternoon you will have free time to enjoy lunch and a leisurely stroll in this enchanting city. Return to your hotel on time to enjoy a delicious meal and a restful overnight.
Day 10, Bruges – Dinant - Beauraing - Banneux - Aachen
Following breakfast, you will board the motor coach to head to Beaurin. We will make a stop in Dinant, a charming town located below steep limestone rocks, crowned by a mighty citadel to have lunch on your own. We will continue to visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Beauraing, also known as, the Virgin of the Golden Heart. In 1932, the Blessed Mother appeared to a group of young children thirty-three times. She was described as being dressed in white with a golden crown on her head with hair of gold. Our Lady came to these children during the Great Depression and advised them to sacrifice themselves to Her. Continue on to Banneux - Notre Dame, also known as, the Belgian Lourdes. Upon arrival, you will visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Banneux. In 1933, the Blessed Mother appeared to twelve-year-old Mariette Boco as the "Virgin of the Poor". Our Lady appeared to little Mariette a few times and informed her that she (Our Lady) has come to relieve the suffering of the ill and the conflicts of all nations. Continue to Aachen for dinner and an overnight.
Day 11, Aachen - Cologne - Aachen
Today, you will enjoy a short sightseeing tour of the village of Aachen! We will attend Mass at the Aachen Cathedral, a Gothic Marian Shrine. The Church is the oldest of Germany and contains numerous treasures such as Jesus' swaddling clothes, the Lord's loin cloth, the Blessed Virgin's Cloak and, the cloth used for St. John the Baptist's head. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to venerate the miraculous fourteenth century statue of the Blessed Virgin. Later, you will depart for Cologne where you will enjoy another sightseeing tour! Cologne was originally founded and established by the Romans in 50 A.D. When this city received relics of the Three Magi in 1194, it gained importance as a pilgrimage center. While in this city, you will have the opportunity to visit the magnificent Gothic Cathedral, "the Kolner Dom" that houses the relics. Following this visit, you will learn about the two thousand years of history to which this Rhineland city is accompanied by. In the Middle Ages, the city of Cologne served and flourished as one of the major trade routes between Eastern and Western Europe. Return to Aachen for a wonderful meal and an overnight.
Day 12, Return Home
After an early breakfast and heartfelt farewells, transfer to the Cologne airport for return flights home.*206 Tours Disclaimer:
Occasionally local religious and national holidays, weather, traffic conditions and other events may necessitate changes in the sequence of events or the missing of certain events/places. Though every effort will be made to follow the itinerary, it should be considered as an indication, rather than a contract of events and places to be visited.