Expedition Details

 

Retrace the events of D-Day, following the path of the Allied forces from Portsmouth, England, to the shores of Normandy. 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 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 - 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.
Bloomsbury Hotel, Kensington Hotel, or Marylebone 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.
Bloomsbury Hotel, Kensington Hotel, or Marylebone 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.
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.
Hôtel d’Argouges or Normandy Barrière (B,L,D)

Day 6 — 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. Then wander along Omaha Beach, site of the bloodiest fighting of the invasion day. 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.
Hôtel d’Argouges or Normandy Barrière (B,D)

Day 7 — Arromanches/Bayeaux

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. Explore the town of Bayeux this afternoon.
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.
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

Timothy Mulligan

Timothy MulliganHistorian and retired archivist Timothy Mulligan has written three books and 20 articles on military history, most relating to the Second World War in Europe, including Lone Wolf: The Life and Death of U-Boat Ace Werner Henke and Neither Sharks Nor Wolves: The Men of Nazi Germany's U-Boat Arm. He received his Ph.D. in diplomatic history from the University of Maryland in 1985. During his 34-year tenure as an archivist with the National Archives and Records Administration, he also compiled the two-volume finding aid World War II: Guide to Records Relating to U.S. Military Participation. This guide describes approximately 200,000 cubic feet of records in National Archives custody, and received the Society of American Archivists' C.F.W. Coker award in 2009. Now retired, Timothy teaches a course on "History Through Hollywood."

Timothy will join the following departure:

Sep 19 - 26, 2015

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Dates

2015
  • Sep 05 - 12, 2015 ALT (waitlist only)
  • Sep 19 - 26, 2015 ALT (waitlist only)
2016
  • May 30 - Jun 07, 2016
  • Jun 20 - 27, 2016 ALT
  • 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.

All 2015 departures, as well as the June and September, 2016 departures, are 8 days long.

Expedition Cost

2015 - May 31, 8 days (D-Day Anniversary)

$6,995

2015 - June and September, 8 days

$6,795

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 in 2015, add $1,390 (May 31 departures) and $1,250 (all other 2015 dates). For a single room in 2016, 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.

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