For Ray and Cristy Pfeiffer, conducting and directing Historic Tours is more than a business, it is a calling. They are both children of World War II veterans, their fathers having served in the Navy. Growing up, they were shaped by the values and moral code of what has been called The Greatest Generation. During World War II, the distinction between good and evil was clear. It was a time when the country was united more than it is today. They appreciate the value of helping Americans understand the history, sacrifice and culture of our country during this period.
Before they met and married, they had each developed an appreciation and respect for what the United States had accomplished during the war and the influence our country has had on the world since that time. They believe that sharing this appreciation of our collective history is their mission in life.
Ray and Cristy Pfeiffer are the only American WWII Tour Directors to have actually lived in Normandy. From 2002 to 2008 they lived in a home on Omaha Beach. They directed group tours and private tours for many varied groups and have conducted over 350 private tours.
Ray knows every inch of Normandy. He has guided tours for White House staff as
well as Congressional delegations, such as the one with former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert.
Ray and Cristy now spend the spring and fall directing tours in Europe and their winters are spent in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. Their booking offices are in New Jersey.
Unlike many tour companies, their field of expertise includes the entire European theatre of war, not just the D-Day beaches. They also conduct tours in Belgium, Germany, and Luxembourg, often following the path that our World War II soldiers took on their way to victory. However, traveling with Historic Tours for either a group or private tour is much more than simply visiting places of interest.
They make the tour a multi-generational experience in the way they present the history. They understand the value of bringing the lessons of WWII to all the members of a group. This starts when they contact each member of a tour group prior to the beginning of a tour. It is important to Ray and Cristy that they understand the interests of their tour members and the motivation behind making the trip.
Other tour guides work part-time in the field. Ray and Cristy have devoted their entire adult careers to giving their American tour members an experience of a lifetime. With other tour companies, you will often pick up a local guide at each site you visit. With Historic Tours you are with Ray, Cristy, and their staff from the time you arrive until the time you depart.
Because your tour will be led by Historic Tour’s directors, they can be flexible with their day to day planning while you are with them. Most tour companies have tours that are written in advance by someone not on site. When you are with Ray and Cristy, if they see that maybe their members need a little more time for lunch or more time to explore the city they are in, it happens. As Americans they understand American sensibilities about traveling, dining and accommodations.
While on tour, they know in advance whether tour members wish to honor anyone who served, regardless of whether they served in Europe or not. If at all possible, they will bring tour members to where their honored family member fought. They are willing to trace the route of a particular unit. Both children and grandchildren can walk the steps that their father or grandfather took. These experiences allow families to bond together in new ways.
When you travel with Historic Tours, you are not simply getting a cemetery tour. They will blend in non-military points of interest with the tour. For instance, if you wish to visit the Louvre in Paris or find an obscure town or building that may only have meaning to a tour member whose relative may have fought there, they will make that happen. And they will be with you the entire time. They create experiences that everyone in the group can enjoy. They bring Paris to their tour members from an American point of view, visiting monuments to Washington, Jefferson and other revered Americans.
As the only American husband and wife team conducting World War II tours in Europe for Americans, they can better understand what is important to their clients thus ensuring they have an experience that is meaningful.
As part of the Baby Boomer generation, they believe that part of their mission is to help the people of their generation, and their children, understand what happened in the 1940s and how it impacted our nation and culture. Most importantly, they can help Americans understand and appreciate the sacrifices and accomplishments of their father or grandfather’s generation. Ray and Cristy believe that touring with Historic Tours can be a Pilgrimage for people who grew up after the war.
Ray and Cristy Pfeiffer at the dedication of the US Navy Normandy Monument in September 2008.
Historic Tours Incorporated 1281 Paterson Plank Road, Secaucus, New Jersey 07094
800-222-1170 firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook
It Is Not Simply A Tour, It Is A Life Experience