Day One : Paris / Normandy
Passengers are greeted at the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris and transported by private motor coach to Normandy. Enjoy lunch on your own and a visit to Memorial de Caen prior to check-in at the hotel in Bayeux. This evening, the group gathers for a welcome dinner at a local French restaurant. Guests enjoy authentic regional cuisine while getting to know fellow tour members in this beautiful ancient city.
Hotel Le Bayeux (D)
Day Two : Pegasus Bridge / Gold / Juno / Sword
The day's tour of Normandy begins where the first shots of the invasion were fired—at a few minutes after midnight on June 6, 1944—by British troops at the crucial Pegasus Bridge. Guests 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. Tour members then explore Arromanches, famous for the remains of a "Mulberry Harbor," and enjoy lunch independently in this picturesque seaside town. Next is a trip up the commanding bluff where the famous German gun emplacements at Longues-sur-Mer are located. These guns give guests a tangible idea of the awesome firepower that faced the Allies on D-Day, and the guide explains the action that took place here. The group gathers for dinner this evening at a quaint restaurant.
Hotel Le Bayeux (B, D)
Day Three : Ste. Mère-Église / Utah Beach / Chateau de Bernaville
This morning starts with a visit to 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. The tour guide tells how this single event affected the outcome of the Utah Beach defenses. Guests travel along rural lanes, past 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. Next is Ste-Mère-Église, where paratroopers landed during the predawn hours of D-Day. The group tours the Musee Airborne and visits 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, guests 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 miniseries Band of Brothers. Tour members learn about the scope of combat that was taking place throughout the Airborne drop-zone area during the initial stages of the invasion. A visit to the Utah Beach Museum is next, where the story of Teddy Roosevelt Jr. and the men who landed there is told. Upon arrival in Bayeux, the group enjoys dinner with a local citizen who shares stories of the German occupation and eventual American liberation.
Hotel Le Bayeux (B/D)
Day 4 : Carentan / St. Lo
This morning’s first stop is the church at Angoville au Plain, where two American medics treated American and German soldiers without prejudice, as long as they entered the church unarmed. Guests continue to Carentan, the scene of fierce fighting between American 101st Airborne and German Fallschirmjäger troops. Here, the guide explains the strategic importance of this crossroads town in the center of the Cotentin Peninsula. A trip to St. Lo is next with a stop at the small village of Graignes along the way. St. Lo was a valuable strongpoint and transportation hub through which the German army could move men and equipment to block American advances, and thus became the designated starting point for Operation Cobra, the breakout from the Bocage of Normandy. The guide provides an overview of the battle and also tells the story of Major Thomas D. Howie at the Church of St. Croix. Guests then return to Bayeux for an evening at leisure.
Return to Bayeux for an evening at leisure.
Hotel Le Bayeux (B)
Day 5 : Omaha Beach / American Cemetery / Pointe-du-Hoc
The morning tour begins at Omaha, where the tour guide divides this famous beach into the different landing sites and explains the unique stories that occurred at each location. Visits to St. Laurent-sur-Mer and Vierville-sur-Mer 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. Guests continue to Pointe-du-Hoc and enjoy a picnic lunch en route. At this strategic point that overlooks surrounding coastline, tour members 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 and 5th Ranger units fighting against multiple German counterattacks. The day’s touring ends with a visit to Colleville-sur-Mer in order to pay respects to the 9,387 Americans buried in the ground they helped liberate. The visit includes a special wreath-laying memorial service at the American cemetery. Free time this afternoon allows for a recommended optional visit to the museum to see the Bayeux Tapestry. A special “Farewell to Normandy” dinner with the tour group this evening concludes guests’ time in Normandy.
Hotel Le Bayeux (B, L, D)
Day 6 : Argentan / Falaise Gap / Chambois
The day begins with a trip to Argentan, where Patton’s Third Army liberated the city from staunch German resistance. The tour continues to the Memorial de Montormel on Hill 262, where the Falaise Gap was sealed. Traveling through this pastoral valley, guests stop at a picturesque location to enjoy a picnic lunch. Continuing to the town of Chambois, the Normandy portion of the tour symbolically ends at the memorial that commemorates the meeting of American and Polish troops, linking up the Allied armies. Guests 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. Tour members enjoy this magnificent city individually this evening.
Novotel CDG Convention and Wellness (B, L)
Day Seven : Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport to the United States
After breakfast, the group transfers to Charles de Gaulle International Airport for return to the United States.
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