D-Day: The Invasion of Normandy and the Liberation of France

Start Paris Charles de Gaulle
End Paris Charles de Gaulle
Duration 7 Days
Developed By
Name The National WWII Museum New Orleans, Educational Travel
Country The United States

The National WWII Museum’s most popular tour provides an in-depth itinerary exploring America’s most famous WWII battle. Offering a full week of touring in Normandy at an incredible price, this unforgettable journey offers great value and features top guides, superior accommodations in prime locations, comprehensive dining, and exclusive access to sites unseen on other programs. With stops at the Musée Airborne, Mémorial de Caen, the American Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer, and more, this tour is for both the advanced and amateur historian in search of the most authentic experience of Normandy as it was. Quaint, upscale accommodations, regional cuisine, and affordability are matched with firsthand history lessons found nowhere else.

D-Day: The Invasion of Normandy and the Liberation of France
Day 1

May 23, 2019 – Paris / Normandy

Upon arrival at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, guests are warmly welcomed and transported by private motor coach to Normandy. After enjoying some free time to relax or explore Bayeux, the group gathers this evening for a welcome dinner at a local French restaurant.

Day 2

May 24, 2019 – Pegasus Bridge / Gold, Juno, and Sword Beaches

Today’s tour of Normandy begins where the first shots of the invasion were fired by British glider troops at the crucial Pegasus Bridge. Guests learn about Major John Howard and his men of the “Ox and Bucks” and how they were able to secure and hold the bridge. The drives along the British and Canadian sectors become the backdrop for the stories of landings that took place to the east of the American assaults. In Arromanches, an exploration of the remains of a “Mulberry harbor” offers insight into this great feat of engineering and ingenuity. Following free time for lunch and exploration in the village, a trip up the commanding bluff culminates with a viewing of Cinema Circulare 360 and a visit to the German gun battery at Longues-sur-Mer. Guests enjoy free time this evening to explore Bayeux and enjoy dinner at one of the many cafés and restaurants serving traditional fare.

Day 3

May 25, 2019 – Château de Bernaville / Sainte Mère-Église / Utah Beach

A visit to the private Château de Bernaville begins the day, before traveling along rural lanes, past hedgerows, and over causeways to La Fiere, where elements of the 82nd Airborne fought off four days of attacks from German troops trying to retake this strategic bridge. During today’s drive, both the battlefield guide and the Museum’s exclusive oral history collection offer personal stories from the men who fought on the frontlines. On arrival in Sainte Mère-Église, the famous crossroads town where American paratroopers landed during the predawn hours of D-Day, guests tour the Musée Airborne and visit the church made famous in the film The Longest Day. After an included lunch, the tour continues this afternoon to Brécourt Manor, where Dick Winters and some of his men from “Easy Company” launched the assault on German guns portrayed in the book and miniseries Band of Brothers. The day’s touring concludes with a visit to the Utah Beach Museum, which includes the story of the exemplary leadership of General Teddy Roosevelt Jr. during the landings. Another free evening is at leisure in Bayeux.

Day 4

May 26, 2019 – Bayeux / Caen

This morning’s tour is devoted to the picturesque town of Bayeux, beginning with a viewing of the Bayeux Tapestry—a 230-foot-long embroidered chronicle of William the Conqueror’s cross-channel invasion of England. Guests continue to the iconic skyline feature of Bayeux and center of the medieval center of the town, the Bayeux Cathedral, where a guided tour will bring to life the construction of the cathedral from the crypt to the spires. Following free time for an independent lunch, visitors journey to Caen to tour Memorial de Caen, a museum that places the battles of Normandy within the international context of World War II. This evening, the group enjoys dinner with a local citizen who shares stories of the German occupation and Allied liberation before returning to Bayeux.

Day 5

May 27, 2019 – Omaha Beach / Pointe-du-Hoc / American Cemetery

Tours along Omaha Beach begin after breakfast with visits to St. Laurent-sur-Mer and Vierville-sur-Mer, providing an up-close view of the intricate German defense system and giving a sense of the overwhelming odds the American soldiers faced on that first day. Stories of individual acts of heroism that helped the Americans win the day at “Bloody Omaha” bring to life the challenges faced and conquered by the Allies. The group enjoys a picnic lunch en route to Pointe-du-Hoc, where the story of the 2nd Ranger Battalion scaling the cliffs to neutralize this heavily fortified German position is told. The last full day in Normandy culminates with Colleville-sur-Mer and the Normandy American Cemetery, with an opportunity to pay respects to the 9,387 Americans buried in the ground they helped liberate. The day concludes with a special “Farewell to Normandy” dinner.

Day 6

May 28, 2019 – Argentan / Falaise Gap / Chambois

After breakfast, the group bids farewell to Normandy and begins the trip back to Paris. Focusing on the concluding battles of the Normandy Campaign, the first stop is in Argentan, where Patton’s Third Army liberated the city from staunch German resistance. Memorial de Montormel on Hill 262, where the Falaise Gap was sealed, offers an incredible view across the landscape and the perfect vantage point for recounting these final battles. Traveling through a pastoral valley, a picnic lunch is enjoyed at a picturesque stop before arriving at Chambois, the memorial that commemorates the meeting of American and Polish troops and linking the Allied armies. Upon arrival at the Sheraton Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, the remainder of the afternoon and evening are at leisure.

Day 7

May 29, 2019 – Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport to the United States

This morning, bid farewell to France and return to Charles de Gaulle Airport at leisure for individual journeys home.