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Remembering D-Day: London to the Normandy Beaches

  • 8-day or 9-day expedition commemorating D-Day, the Allied invasion of Normandy

Expedition Details

 

Retrace the events of D-Day, following the path of the Allied forces from Portsmouth, England to the shores of Normandy, France. Step back in time at important World War II sites in London. Then cross the English Channel, delving into the poignant events of June 1944 with a military historian. Stroll the legendary beaches and the cratered cliff top at Pointe du Hoc, and visit villages that still bear the vestiges of war.

Trip Highlights

    • Venture into Winston Churchill's fortified Cabinet War Rooms, and explore the decks of the H.M.S. Belfast.
    • See the enormous map General Eisenhower used to plot Allied positions.
    • Learn about Alan Turing and the Enigma code breakers on a visit to Bletchley Park.
    • Walk along Utah and Omaha beaches, and pay your respects at the American Cemetery.

Itinerary - 9 Days

Days 1 & 2 — U.S./London, England

Depart on an overnight flight to London. Upon arrival, check in to our centrally located hotel. The afternoon begins in the Churchill War Rooms, a fortified bunker deep underneath Whitehall from which Winston Churchill directed the British war effort. Wander through the rooms—and the adjacent Churchill Museum—and examine maps, telephones, and items from Churchill's life. Gather for a welcome reception and dinner tonight.
Kensington Hotel, Marylebone Hotel, or Bloomsbury Hotel (D)

Day 3 — Bletchley Park/London

This morning, immerse yourself in a world of intrigue and espionage at Bletchley Park and discover the story behind the Enigma code breakers, who successfully deciphered the encryption used by the Wehrmacht. After lunch, return to central London and explore the decks of the Belfast, now part of the Imperial War Museum. The evening is at your leisure.
Kensington Hotel, Marylebone Hotel, or Bloomsbury Hotel (B,L)

Day 4 — Portsmouth/Normandy, France

Travel south to Portsmouth, where we begin with a visit to Southwick House, the Supreme Headquarters of the Allied Expeditionary Force. Here, on the evening of June 5, Eisenhower made the decision to strike. At the D-Day Museum, examine the Overlord Embroidery, a stunning, handcrafted depiction of the D-Day events that stretches some 270 feet. This afternoon, cross the English Channel to Normandy by ferry. Settle into our hotel tonight.
Château d’Audrieu, Hôtel d’Argouges or Normandy Barrière (B,L,D)

Day 5 — Sainte-Mère-Église/Utah Beach/La Cambe

Explore the village of Sainte-Mère-Église, where the 82nd and 101st Airborne Division paratroopers dropped from the sky in a hail of gunfire on the night of June 5. View the church steeple upon which one unlucky paratrooper was entangled for hours, and visit the village's remarkable museum. Continue to Utah Beach, site of one of the two American amphibious landings in the early hours of D-Day. Stop for lunch at Le Roosevelt, a restaurant built around a former German bunker just steps from the historic beach. This afternoon, pay a visit to the German war cemetery at La Cambe.
Château d’Audrieu, Hôtel d’Argouges or Normandy Barrière (B,L,D)

Day 6 — Arromanches/Bayeux

Travel to Arromanches, where a Mulberry harbor still rises out of the surf—one of the few remnants of the prefabricated concrete harbors that assisted in landing Allied supplies. Visit the Arromanches Landing Museum and watch a spectacular film on the landings in the Arromanches 360 theater. This afternoon, visit the Bayeux Tapestry followed by time to explore the town of Bayeux.
Château d’Audrieu, Hôtel d’Argouges or Normandy Barrière (B,D)

Day 7 — Pointe du Hoc/Omaha Beach

One of the most dramatic sites along the Normandy coastline is Pointe du Hoc, where U.S. Rangers used hooks and ropes to scale cliffs some 100 feet high in order to destroy key German gun positions. Walk along cliff-top pathways still cratered by mortar blasts, and venture into the concrete bunkers from which German forces unleashed a barrage of artillery fire. Wander along Omaha Beach, site of the bloodiest fighting of the invasion day, and then visit the Overlord Museum. At the American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer, pay your respects to fallen heroes by laying a wreath. Take in the poignant sight of row upon row of small white grave markers stretching across acres.
Château d’Audrieu, Hôtel d’Argouges or Normandy Barrière (B,L,D)

Day 8 — D-Day Commemoration

Join veterans and military officials for remembrance ceremonies today to honor those who gave their lives in the historic events of June 1944. Gather for a farewell dinner tonight.
Château d’Audrieu, Hôtel d’Argouges or Normandy Barrière (B,D)

Day 9 — Paris/U.S.

After breakfast, transfer to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport for your flight home.
(B)

National Geographic Expert

Robert Berlin

Robert BerlinMilitary historian Bob Berlin is professor emeritus at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where he taught military history and strategy for 28 years. He has also taught history at the University of Kansas, Oxford University, and several additional colleges. Bob’s awards include the Moncado Prize for excellence in historical writing presented by the American Military Institute, the Society for Military History Gondos Service Award, and the Department of the Army Superior and Meritorious Civilian Service Award. He is the author of publications on U.S. Army World War II Corps Commanders, D-Day, and Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bob has lectured at the Eisenhower and Truman Presidential Libraries, the British and Dutch military staff colleges, on CNN, and in many public forums. Bob has been on the faculty of the Oxford University Summer School for Adults, where he taught courses on World War I Poets and Poetry and the American Civil War. He is Executive Director of the Society for Military History and Adjunct Professor of History at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Arizona, where he teaches courses in aviation history. On May 30, 2016, Bob will join the "A" departure.

Robert will join the following departures:

May 30 - Jun 07, 2016
Sep 12 - 19, 2016

SEE OTHER EXPERTS »

Dates

2016
  • May 30 - Jun 07, 2016 (waitlist only)
  • Jun 20 - 27, 2016 ALT (waitlist only)
  • Sep 12 - 19, 2016 ALT
  • Sep 19 - 26, 2016 ALT

ALT indicates a departure that has a slightly different itinerary than the one shown on this page. Click the ALT icon to see the day-to-day itinerary.

The itinerary shown describes the three May 30, 2016 departures, which are 9 days long and include special remembrance ceremonies.

The June and September, 2016 departures are 8 days long.

Expedition Cost

2016 - May 30, 9 days (D-Day Anniversary)

$7,295

2016 - June and September, 8 days

$6,695

Prices are per person, double occupancy.

For a single room add $1,890 (May 30 departures) and $1,590 (all other 2016 dates).

International airfare to London and return from Paris is not included in the expedition cost.

Featured Expedition Moment