Map Unavailable

Date/Time
Date(s) - 24/06/2018 - 29/06/2018
All Day

Categories No Categories


NORMANDY WWII HISTORY TOUR: D-DAY 1944: A JOURNEY THROUGH "THE LONGEST DAY"

JUNE 24-29, 2018

The events of June 6, 1944, continue to inspire long after the guns have fallen silent. The largest invasion in history, on the isolated Normandy coast, drastically altered the conduct of the war and demonstrated the unflinching resolve of freedom-loving peoples. This D-Day tour will bring guests to the beaches, cliffs and fields; and villages, towns and cities where the Greatest Generation made their most indelible mark. From British glidermen at Pegasus Bridge, to the American infantrymen assaulting the beaches at Bloody Omaha; from American paratroopers jumping behind enemy lines at Ste Mere Eglise and Brecourt Manor to the Rangers climbing the cliffs at Pointe du Hoc to the building of the artificial harbors at Arromanches. And so many other iconic sites.

The Normandy WWII tour unfolds over four days with stories of all the allied participants as well as those of the German defenders. In addition, EHE guests will visit two World Heritage treasure sites – William the Conqueror’s Bayeux Tapestry and the magnificent island abbey of Mont St Michel. The rich, verdant farmland, the quaint villages and the dramatic cliffs and coasts create an incredibly memorable backdrop for this Normandy, France tour.

normandy tours

WHY TOUR NORMANDY WITH ESSENTIAL HISTORY EXPEDITIONS

While Europe is, of course, accessible to American travelers on their own, fully understanding a seminal event like the D-Day invasion, so large in scale and scope, requires months if not years of preparation. A professional, guided experience is essential in comprehending the complexities of the events and their timing, specific locations and personalities. Tours are available though many companies in Normandy. What sets Essential History Expeditions and Dr. Brian DeToy apart is his unique experience with 14 years as a university professor including teaching history and strategic studies at West Point, 28 years as a US Army officer with combat experience, and 21 years of leading groups at Normandy. Brian’s many Normandy tours, both large and small, include military leaders, West Point professors and students, and business leaders of national companies. Brian’s combined experience as a scholar soldier brings the events on this hallowed ground to life.

If a guest has a family member who served in Normandy, Brian will research the service member’s unit and weave that information into the tour, visiting all relevant locations and markers. Previous guests find this personalized approach to be emotionally gratifying and memorable.

Omaha Beach Normandy D-Day Tour

ACTIVITIES & HIGHLIGHTS

Ranville British Cemetery
Arromanches Normandy France Tour
Abbaye aux Hommes Caen France Tour

Day 1: Afternoon Arrival, Overview & Dinner

  • Social hour, welcome & overview of the Normandy, France tour
  • Four-course dinner at the delightful Ferme de Ranconniere, originally built in the 13th century

Day 2: Focus on D-Day Overview & the Allied Beaches

  • Begin the expedition with a visit to the Caen Memorial. There are a plethora of museums throughout the region but none tell the story as well as this official site with its incredible collection that goes into both depth and breadth of the vast enterprise.
  • Our first stop is at Pegasus Bridge, where glidermen of the British 6th Airborne Division captured the key bridge over the Orne and liberated the first French house in the invasion – today’s Café Gondree, where we will enjoy a coffee and may meet the owner, Madame Arlette Gondree, who saw the invasion as a little girl.
  • Visit the nearby Ranville British Cemetery, where the first Allied killed in action are buried. (We will also visit cemeteries of the Germans and Americans to see how each remembers their fallen.)
  • We will then drive west along the SWORD & JUNO beaches, where the British 3d Infantry Division and the Canadian 3d Infantry Division landed.
  • We will visit Courselles, the heart of JUNO Beach, where we will discuss the Canadians, Free French & the French Resistance in the success of the invasion. We will also enjoy a picnic lunch on the beach here.
  • Arromanches is next, the site of GOLD Beach, another British landing site for the 50th Infantry Division & the location of the British Mulberry artificial harbor.
  • We will return to Caen, the capital of Normandy since the days of William the Conqueror in 1066! We will walk the old town, including William’s Abbaye des Hommes, the Universite, and his ducal Chateau.
  • Dinner tonight in a quaint, yet fabulous restaurant in the medieval 13th century streets of Old Caen.

Day 3: Focus on the American Airborne & UTAH Beach

  • Breakfast
  • We begin the day at the western end of the battle for Normandy. First up is the UTAH Beach Memorial with 4th Infantry Division where Americans first came ashore on June 6th!
  • Next is the 101st Airborne Division landings near Ste Marie du Mont, and the Band of Brothers of Easy Company at Brecourt Manor. The monuments to these men are a perfect place to examine the minute tactical battle detail of Americans in combat.
  • At La Fiere Bridge we will observe the tough defense by the 82d Airborne Division to hold the town of Ste Mere Eglise
  • In the quaint town of St Mere Eglise, we will discuss the 82d Airborne Division in the first French village liberated by Americans. After visiting the church, which beautifully commemorates the airborne paratroopers, and walking the town, we will enjoy lunch in a café in a town that still regards the Americans as their best friends and liberators!
  • Heading back east we will stop in La Cambe to visit the German Normandy Cemetery. The somber landscape stands in contrast to those of the Allies although the remembrance remains extremely moving.
  • In the old town of Bayeux, we will visit the famed Tapestry Museum, where the story of William’s conquering of England has been portrayed for 1000 years!
  • A walk through the ancient center of town will include the glorious Cathedral and medieval streets.
  • We will enjoy a social hour and dinner in historic Bayeux.

Day 4: Focus on OMAHA Beach & the American Cemetery

  • Breakfast
  • Our first stop is one of the most dramatic landscapes of the entire region! Marvel at the climb of the 2d Ranger Battalion up the cliffs of Pointe du Hoc. The capture of the guns here was critical to invasion success.
  • At the western end of OMAHA Beach, we will discuss the 29th Infantry Division at Vierville. This is the area where the fierce landing scenes in Saving Private Ryan took place. It is also the location of the remains of the American Mulberry artificial harbor.
  • Moving to the eastern end of OMAHA Beach, we will see the incredibly difficult high-ground facing the 1st Infantry Division at Colleville and we will follow their climb to the top of the bluffs for success against great odds.
  • Atop the bluffs we will visit one of the most memorable, beautiful and awe-inspiring sites in American military history — the incomparable American Cemetery.
  • Four-course dinner near lodgings.
  • Return to the charming Ferme de Ranconniere for social hour
  • Four-course dinner
St Mere Eglise Church Normandy France
Normandy tours
American Cemetery Normandy
normandy france tours

Day 5: Focus on the Normandy Breakout & Mont St Michel

  • Breakfast
  • After six weeks of tough, difficult fighting the Americans finally captured St Lo in mid-July 1944 and we will visit the beautiful town center where the battle of Normandy began its final phase – the breakout!
  • Operation COBRA and the breakout commenced at St Lo and swiftly moved to Avranches where we will visit the site of General Patton’s 3d Army entering the fray. It is also the site where Henry II paid his public penance for the death of Samuel a Becket.
  • Next, we will visit the stunning Mont Saint-Michel, home of the still-active abbey and monastery built in the 8th century.
  • You will enjoy time on your own at Mont Saint-Michel for lunch and to explore the winding street and abbey.
  • We will return to the hotel in time for a social hour in the beautiful courtyard.
  • We will enjoy our final delicious four-course dinner at Ferme de Ranconniere.

Day 6: Focus on Departure & Onward Journeys

  • Breakfast
  • Essential History Expeditions will assist all guests with transportation to Bayeux for onward departures. EHE can also assist with booking a train to Paris or other destinations.
Bayeux normandy france tours

THIS NORMANDY D-DAY TOUR INCLUDES

  • Four and a half days of in-depth guided tours
  • Accommodations for five nights at the stately and historic Ferme de Ranconniere, founded in the 13th century and beautifully refurbished (or comparable)
  • Transportation to and from train station in Bayeux
  • All meals (except one lunch in Mont St Michel)
  • All museum entrance fees
  • Daily transportation
  • Personalized Normandy, France tour support
American Cemetery Normandy d day tour

INTRIGUED BUT STILL HAVE QUESTIONS?

  • Let’s set up a conference call! We would love to chat with you and answer any questions you may have.
  • Just complete the contact form below and let’s set up a call.

READY TO DISCOVER HISTORY?

  • Pricing: $3,250 per person, double occupancy; $200 single occupancy supplement with single room, which is still quite lovely.
  • Down payment: $1,000 per guest due upon registration.
  • All active duty and career retired military, current and career retired educators, and students will receive a 10 percent discount on the Normandy tour.
  • All repeat guests of Essential History Expeditions receive a 10 percent discount on all future expeditions.
  • If fewer than 10 guests register for an expedition, Essential History Expeditions maintains the discretion to modify transportation and operate with only a tour leader (Dr. Brian DeToy).
  • Please see Terms and Conditions for payment schedule and cancellation policy.
Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news & updates about Essential History Expeditions

You have Successfully Subscribed!