Day One : Paris / Normandy
Passengers are greeted at the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris and transferred by private motor coach to Normandy and the historic city of Bayeux. This evening the group will gather for a welcome dinner at a local French restaurant. Get to know others in the group as you enjoy authentic regional cuisine and settle into this beautiful ancient city.
Hotel Le Bayeux (D)
Day Two : Pegasus Bridge / Gold / Juno / Sword
Today's tour of Normandy begins where the first shots of the invasion were fired — a few minutes after midnight on June 6, 1944 — by British troops at the crucial "Pegasus Bridge."
Tour the British and Canadian sectors stopping at select sites that are relatively unknown to an American audience, but played crucial roles in the Allied victory. Exploring Arromanches, famous for the remains of a "Mulberry Harbor," enjoy lunch independently in this picturesque seaside town.
Travel up the commanding bluff where the famous German gun emplacements at Longues-sur-Mer are located. These guns will give guests a tangible idea of the awesome firepower that faced the Allies on D-Day and your guide will explain the action that took place here.
Gather for a group dinner this evening at a quaint restaurant.
Hotel Le Bayeux (B, D)
Day Three : Ste. Mère-Église / Utah Beach / Chateau de Bernaville
This morning we visit the private Chateau de Bernaville for an exclusive guided tour of the stately buildings and expansive grounds. This property became a regional headquarters of the German Army, and General Rommel visited here before D-Day to review the defense plans. On a single lane road that runs behind the property, perhaps the most important ambush of the invasion took place. Learn from your guide how this single event affected the outcome of the Utah Beach defenses.
Travel along rural lanes, by hedgerows and over causeways to La Fiere where the 82nd Airborne fought-off four days of attacks from German troops trying to retake this strategic bridge. Continue on to Ste. Mère-Église, where paratroopers landed during the pre-dawn hours of D-Day. Tour the Musee Airborne and visit the church made famous in the film The Longest Day. There will be time to relax, shop and enjoy lunch at one of the town’s cafes or restaurants.
This afternoon visit Brécourt Manor, where Dick Winters and his men from “Easy” Company made the famous assault on the German guns portrayed in the book and mini-series Band of Brothers. Learn about the scope of combat that was taking place throughout the Airborne drop zone area during the initial stages of the invasion.
Visit the Utah Beach Museum where the story of Teddy Roosevelt, Jr. and the men who landed there will be told. This fine museum is nestled within the sand dunes and sea grass that once held the German defensive positions.
We will stop in Carentan, in route to Bayeux and enjoy dinner.
Hotel Le Bayeux (B/D)
Day 4 : Omaha Beach / American Cemetery / Pointe-du-Hoc
The morning tour begins at Omaha, where your guide will divide this famous beach into the different landing sites and explain the unique stories that occurred at each location. Visits to St. Laurent-sur-Mer and Vierville-sur-Mer will provide a close-up view of the intricate German defense system and give a sense of the overwhelming odds the American soldiers faced on that first day.
Continue to Pointe-du-Hoc, enjoying a picnic lunch en route. At this strategic point that overlooks surrounding coastline, learn the story of the 2nd Ranger Battalion scaling the cliffs to neutralize this heavily fortified German position, and the desperate battle that took place between the unified 2nd & 5th Ranger units fighting against multiple German counterattacks.
The tour today ends with a visit to Colleville-sur-Mer, in order to pay respect to the 9,387 Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice during the Liberation. The visit will include a special wreath laying memorial service at the American Cemetery.
The balance of the evening is at leisure in this historic town. A visit to the Museum to see the Bayeux Tapestry is recommended.
Hotel Le Bayeux (B/D)
Day 5 : Carentan / St. Lo
NEW!Optional excursion to the abbey at Mont St. Michel, a tidal island one mile off the coast of Normandy. The Mount consecrated to St-Michel in 708 was one of the first places of cult for the Archangel Michel with the Gargan’s Mount, and is a focal point of Norman history through the centuries. An UNESCO World Heritage Site, the abbey provides an example of the medieval architecture from the XI to the XVI centuries and offers incredible panoramic views from the coastline.
You may choose this or the military itinerary summarized below on this day.
This morning visit the church at Angoville au Plain where two American Medics treated American and German soldiers without prejudice, as long as they entered the church un-armed.
Continue to Carentan, the scene of fierce fighting between American 101st Airborne and German Fallschirmjager troops. Your guide will explain the strategic importance of this cross-roads town in the center of the Cotentin Peninsula. Continue toward St. Lo and stop at the small village of Graignes and learn of its important story during the early stages of the battle.
St. Lo was a valuable strongpoint and transportation hub where the German Army could move men and equipment to block American advances. It was also the designated starting point for Operation Cobra, the breakout from the Bocage of Normandy. Your guide will provide an overview of the battle and also tell the story of Major Thomas D. Howie, at the Church of St. Croix.
Return to Bayeux for a group dinner celebration in Bayeux.
Hotel Le Bayeux (B, D)
Day 6 : Argentan / Falaise Gap / Chambois
The day begins at the Memorial de Caen, a museum which tells the entire story of the Normandy campaign, but is also dedicated to reconciliation among the combatants. Guests will then travel to Argentan where Patton’s Third Army liberated the city from staunch German resistance. Continue onto the Memorial de Montormel on Hill 262, where the Falaise Gap was sealed.
Traveling through this pastoral valley, stop at a picturesque location to enjoy a picnic lunch. Continuing to the town of Chambois, the Normandy portion of the tour will symbolically end at the memorial which commemorates the meeting of American and Polish troops, linking up the Allied Armies. Guests will learn about the furious struggle that occurred as the German Army desperately tried to break out of the Allied pocket and retreat east.
The tour today ends with the arrival in Paris. Enjoy this magnificent city on your own this evening.
Novotel Roissy Charles De Gaulle (B/L)
Day Seven : Paris / Home
After breakfast, group transfer to Charles de Gaulle Airport. Return to USA.