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Remembering D-Day: London to the Normandy Beaches

  • Trip Style: Expeditions
  • Trip Type: Land
  • 7 or 8 Days | London to Paris
  • Group Size: Max 25

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.
    • View the stunning Overlord Embroidery at the Portsmouth D-Day Museum.
    • 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 - 8 Days

Day 1 — London, England

Upon arrival in London, 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 or Bloomsbury Hotel (D)

Day 2 — 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 H.M.S. Belfast, now part of the Imperial War Museum. Enjoy a talk by our expert before spending the evening at leisure.
Kensington Hotel or Bloomsbury Hotel (B,L)

Day 3 — Portsmouth/Normandy, France

This morning, travel south to Portsmouth. At the D-Day Museum, examine the Overlord Embroidery—a stunning handcrafted depiction of the D-Day events that stretches some 270 feet— and see a replica of the map General Eisenhower used to plot allied positions. This afternoon, cross the English Channel by ferry. Settle into our hotel tonight.
Hôtel d’Argouges or Manoir de Mathan (B,L,D)

Day 4 — 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.
Hôtel d’Argouges or Manoir de Mathan (B,L,D)

Day 5 — Arromanches

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, as well as the Pegasus Memorial Bridge and Museum—dedicated to the men of the 6th British Airborne Division.
Hôtel d’Argouges or Manoir de Mathan (B,D)

Day 6 — Pointe du Hoc/Bayeux

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. See the Bayeux Tapestry this afternoon, then explore the town of Bayeux on your own.
Hôtel d’Argouges or Manoir de Mathan (B,D)

Day 7 — D-Day Commemoration/Omaha Beach/Paris

On the anniversary of D-Day, wander along Omaha Beach, site of the bloodiest fighting of the invasion day, and then visit the Overlord Museum. At the American Military 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. This afternoon, drive to Paris and gather for a farewell dinner.
Hotel Edouard 7 or Hotel Royal Saint-Honoré
(B,L,D)

Day 8 — Paris

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:

Sep 13 - 19, 2016
May 31 - Jun 07, 2017
Jun 20 - 26, 2017
Sep 05 - 11, 2017

Dates

2016
  • Sep 13 - 19, 2016 ALT
2017
  • May 31 - Jun 07, 2017
  • Jun 20 - 26, 2017 ALT
  • Sep 05 - 11, 2017 ALT
  • Sep 19 - 25, 2017 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 May 31, 2017 departure, which is one day longer than the June and September departures in order to include special remembrance ceremonies.

Expedition Cost

May 31 - June 7 (D-Day Anniversary)

$7,295

June and September

$6,695

Prices are per person, double occupancy.

For a single room, add $1,890 for the May 31 departure and $1,590 for all other dates.

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

Featured Expedition Moment