This fully guided and immersive tour will explore the people and places of Operation OVERLORD, the June 1944 invasion of Normandy that began Europe’s liberation from Nazi rule. We will walk the beaches and cliffs, learn from local experts and our own historian guide, and experience the planning and control from London and England and follow the operations from the Norman beaches to the Allied breakout and on to the liberation of the French capital, the famed City of Light. Finally, we will join the 75th Commemoration events in Reims, Champagne where Eisenhower had his final headquarters and where the German military surrendered to the Allies.
Long before they launched across the Channel, the Allies transformed Great Britain into a vast armed camp, with millions of soldiers, sailors and airmen poised to assault Hitler’s Fortress Europa. We begin in London, examining the War Rooms of Winston Churchill’s Cabinet along with centuries of history and culture in the capital of the British Empire. We will also visit the grounds of Bletchley Park where, secret for decades, the ULTRA codebreakers worked tirelessly for allied victory. Then, it’s off to Portsmouth on the Channel coast to discuss seaborne preparations and visit the invasion headquarters of Dwight Eisenhower along with the British D-Day museum. From there we board the large, modern Normandie for the crossing to the beaches of France!
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. We will then visit sites from Operation COBRA – the breakout from Normandy, including the crucial crossroads of St Lo and Avranches. In addition, we will visit the enchanted isle of Mont St Michel, an acclaimed World Heritage Site. Then, we will arrive in Paris to discuss the liberation of that city on August 24-25, 1944, as well as visit so many other iconic sites! Finally, we will visit the ancient city of Reims, where nearly all French kings were crowned and where the Germans surrendered to Eisenhower on May 7, 1945.
The WWII tour unfolds over nine days and eight nights with stories of all the Allied participants as well as those of the German defenders. In addition, EHE guests will visit the World Heritage treasure sites of William the Conqueror’s Bayeux Tapestry and Mont St Michel. The rich, verdant farmland, the quaint villages, the majestic cities and the dramatic cliffs and coasts create an incredibly memorable backdrop for this England – Normandy – Paris – Reims tour.