London to Normandy d-day tour
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Date(s) - 01/06/2021 - 08/06/2021
All Day

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

JUNE 1-8, 2021

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 in Normandy.

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.

The WWII tour unfolds over eight days and seven 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 site of William the Conqueror’s Bayeux Tapestry. 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 tour.

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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 26 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.

We strongly encourage you to read our many wonderful Testimonials from previous guests!

Omaha Beach Normandy D-Day Tour

ACTIVITIES & HIGHLIGHTS

London D-Day Tour
D-Day tour London
Bletchley Park Essential History Expeditions

Day 1: Introduction to London in WWII

  • We will meet in our central London hotel for lunch and an overview of the expedition.
  • We will visit the Churchill War Rooms. From this location, near both to Parliament and No. 10 Downing, the War Cabinet received information, held high-level meetings and conducted its world-wide imperial war effort.
  • Walking tour of central London from Parliament Square along Whitehall, the center of British government, to Trafalgar Square and its iconic monuments, museums and public buildings.
  • Dinner on your own in central London
  • We will see a play this evening. As the date gets closer, we will have a group vote on the play to attend.

Day 2: Focus on ULTRA at Bletchley Park, Portsmouth & Seaborne Preparations for OVERLORD

  • At Bletchley Park, we’ll visit the ULTRA Code Breakers compound — a vital component in Allied victory and real-life inspiration for the recent Oscar-winning film “The Imitation Game.”
  • Lunch on your own at Hut 4 Cafe in Bletchley Park.
  • Next, we’ll join the director of Southwick House, the Headquarters of the Allied High Command in the days before the invasion, and the location where, in the dark hours of night with torrential rains beating against the windows, Ike made the decision — “Let’s go!” For the visit to Southwick House, each person must have a photo ID available. The dress code also dictates nice attire with no torn jeans or sportswear.
  • Group dinner in Southwick Village at the Golden Lion, a traditional British pub with a rich history of visits from legendary leaders Winston Churchill, Montgomery and Eisenhower.
  • On the Portsmouth harbor along the quays, we’ll discuss D-Day shipping.
  • We will stay overnight in Portsmouth.

Day 3: Focus on the British Airborne and Beaches

  • Breakfast
  • We will board the Brittany Ferries ship (think small cruise ship) to cross the Channel and arrive just as the Allied soldiers and sailors did on June 6th, on the same Norman beaches!
  • We will visit 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 you may 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.)
  • Visit the Merville Battery, where in a last-minute, daring assault, an understrength Para Battalion seized a strongpoint of German cannon that threatened all the Allied shipping of SWORD Beach.
  • Visit Caen Memorial Museum. There is 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. Lunch on your own at the museum café.
  • We will 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.
  • 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; option to visit the museum on your own.
  • Check-in to lodgings at the gorgeous Ferme de la Ranconniere in the town of Crepon, situated between Bayeux and GOLD Beach. The lodgings were originally built in the 13th century and have been beautifully refurbished. DK Eyewitness Travel lists Ranconniere as the #1 “Hotel with Character” in Normandy.
  • Social hour, followed by four-course dinner at Ferme de la Ranconniere; the restaurant is listed in the MICHELIN Guide 2017.

Day 4: Focus on American Airborne, UTAH Beach and Bayeux

  • 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 Ste Mere Eglise, we will discuss the 82d Airborne Division in the first French village liberated by Americans. You will have the opportunity to visit the church, which beautifully commemorates the airborne paratroopers, and walk the town.
  • Lunch on your own in a café in Ste Mere Eglise, 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 1,000 years!
  • A walk through the ancient center of Bayeux will include the glorious Cathedral and medieval streets.
  • Dinner on your own in historic Bayeux at one of the many charming restaurants in the shadow of the Cathedral.
  • Lodging night at Ferme de la Ranconniere.
EHE WWII history tour
Ranville British Cemetery WWII
Essential History Expeditions Normandy Tour
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Ferme de la Ranconniere Normandy Tour
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D-Day Normandy Tour
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Day 5: Pointe du Hoc and OMAHA Beach

  • 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 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; we will follow the climb to the top of the bluffs for success against great odds. The bus is available to drive those who do not wish to hike up the ridge.
  • Atop the bluffs we will visit one of the most memorable, beautiful and awe-inspiring sites in American military history: the incomparable American Cemetery.
  • Happy hour in the lovely courtyard of the Ferme de la Ranconniere.
  • Four-course dinner at Ferme de la Ranconniere; the restaurant is listed in the MICHELIN Guide 2017
  • Hotel: Ferme de la Ranconniere.

Day 6: Operation COBRA and 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 7: 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

  • Seven days and nights of in-depth guided tours
  • Accommodations for seven nights
  • Majority of meals as identified on the itinerary
  • All museum entrance fees
  • Daily transportation
  • Personalized 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: $4,750 per person, double occupancy; $750 single occupancy supplement.
  • Down payment: $1,000 per guest due upon registration.
  • All active duty and career retired military, and current and career retired educators will receive a 10 percent discount on the WWII tour 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).
  • Essential History Expeditions is pleased to offer trip protection through Travelex. Please contact us for a quote or click here.
  • Please see Terms and Conditions for payment schedule and cancellation policy.
London to Normandy d-day tour 01/06/2021 - 08/06/2021 All Day London to Normandy d-day tour London to Normandy d-day tour 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. Mission Critical Systems 01-06-2021T00:00 01-06-2021T23:59 Active Active 01-06-2021 Active $0.00 01-06-2021
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