Remembering D-Day: London to the Normandy Beaches

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

Expedition Details

 

Retrace the events of the Allied landing in Normandy. Examine important World War II sites in London. Follow the path of Allied ships from Portsmouth, England, to the shores of Normandy. Stroll the legendary beaches and the evocative cliff top at Pointe du Hoc, and visit villages that were caught up in the fighting.

Trip Highlights

    • Venture into Winston Churchill’s fortified Cabinet War Rooms, and learn about the Enigma code breakers on a visit to Bletchley Park
    • See the enormous map General Eisenhower used to plot Allied positions.
    • Attend a private reception at the Château de Creully, where BBC correspondents reported on the war.
    • Walk along Utah and Omaha beaches, and pay your respects at the American Cemetery.

Itinerary - 8 Days

Days 1 & 2 — U.S./London, England

Depart on an overnight flight to London. Upon arrival, check into our centrally located hotel. The afternoon begins in the Cabinet 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.
Doubletree Westminster or NH Harrington Hall (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 enjoy an insider’s tour of the interactive World War II exhibition at the Imperial War Museum. The evening is at leisure.
Doubletree Westminster or NH Harrington Hall (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 where, 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.
Hôtel d’Argouges or Manoir de Mathan (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.
Hôtel d’Argouges or Manoir de Mathan (B,L,D)

Day 6 — Caen/Arromanches

In Caen, delve into the history of D-Day at the impressive museum, the Mémorial de Caen. Then 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. Gather for a private evening reception at the Château de Creully, from which BBC correspondents reported on the Allied invasion.
Hôtel d’Argouges or Manoir de Mathan (B,L,D)

Day 7 — Pointe du Hoc/Omaha Beach/Paris

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. Then wander along Omaha Beach, site of the bloodiest fighting of invasion day. Follow a short path that leads from the beach to the American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer. Pay your respects to fallen heroes by laying a wreath at the Big Red One monument, dedicated to members of the Army’s First Infantry Division who died at Omaha. Take in the poignant sight of row upon row of small white grave markers stretching across acres. Then, continue to Paris and celebrate our expedition at a farewell dinner in the City of Lights.
Millennium Hotel Paris Opéra, Hôtel Royal Saint-Honoré or Hôtel Édouard 7 (B,D)

Day 8 — 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.

Robert will join the following departure:

May 02 - 09, 2015

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Dates

2015
  • May 02 - 09, 2015
  • May 31 - Jun 07, 2015
  • Jun 20 - 27, 2015 (waitlist only)
  • Sep 05 - 12, 2015
  • Sep 19 - 26, 2015

Expedition Cost

2015 - May 31 (Anniversary Departures)

$6,995

2015 - May 2, all June and September Departures

$6,795

Prices are per person, double occupancy. For a single room on the May 31, 2015 departure, add $1,390. For a single room on all other 2015 departures, add $1,250.

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