Normandy Beaches WW2 Tour
Thursday 5th September 2019
Depart Belfast International 2PM. Arrival at Paris International Airport (Charles de Gaulle) at 4.45 pm.
Your guide will meet you at the airport arrival hall in Paris. From Paris you’ll drive along the motorways to Dieppe.
Check-in at our accommodation in Dieppe. Dinner and evening at leisure.
Friday 6th September 2019 – Dieppe
Departure from the hotel in Dieppe at 9 am. We’ll walk up to the Dieppe Memorial to learn about the infamous Dieppe Raid. We’ll see the most important sites of that Dieppe Raid along the coast and visit the Mémorial du 19 Août 1942, a museum that clearly explains the full story. Lunch in Dieppe.
After lunch we’ll continue to the battlefields of the Normandy Landings on 6th June 1944. Our first stop will be the Batterie de Merville. This unique site shows how the Germans defended the area, but also how they were taken by surprise by the British 6th Airborne Division.
Next onwards to Pegasus Bridge. Here at the Caen Canal the bridge had to be secured by gliders and paratroopers of the British 6th Airborne Division. They succeeded heroically in capturing the bridge and holding it until the infantry arrived.
Our last visit of the day will be Le Grand Bunker, one of the concrete emplacements that belonged to the infamous Atlantic Wall. Le Grand Bunker offers exciting, vivid and evocative displays (generator room, gas filters-room, first aid post, ammunition store, arms store, telephone operation room, radio transmission room and observation post with its range-finder which provides a panoramic view over the Channel within a 25 miles radius) which will help you to relive the history of the people who had been waiting for the invasion for three years! You will also be able to see many interesting and unpublished photos and documents about the Atlantic Wall, the biggest building site of the 20th century which employed over 2 million people.
Onwards to Caen for accommodation. Dinner and evening at leisure.
Saturday 7th September 2019 – Omaha Beach
Departure from the hotel lobby at 9 am. Our first visit of the day will be the Arromanches 360 museum. The 20 minutes film gives you the perfect introduction on how the Landing on the Normandy beaches must have felt like. Using real footage from the actual landing, you’ll get to feel right in the middle of the action. We’ll continue to the town centre of Arromanches to see the remnants of the Mulberry harbours.
Next we drive Longues-sur-Mer. Here we can still see the coastal batteries that the Germans used to try and pin the American troops to Omaha Beach.
Onwards to Omaha Beach, without doubt the landing beach where most casualties were sustained by the Allied landing troops. It was at Omaha Beach that Steven Spielberg set his D Day landing scene in “Saving Private Ryan”. We walk upon the beach that once coloured red with American blood and then climb up to the impressive American cemetery and memorial at Colleville-sur-Mer. The area of the beach and cliffs is still covered with remains of bunkers and concrete shelters, built by the Germans. We finish off for the day with a visit to the Overlord Museum near the cemetery.
Continue to Vierville-sur-Mer to see Exit DOG 1, which was blocked by an immense concrete barrier. Just outside the village lies the remains of a landing bridge for the Mulberry port A and the Chateau de Vierville, headquarters to the so-called Eleventh Port.
Next we drive to Grandcamp-Maisy and a visit to one of the most elaborate German defense systems in the Omaha sector. We’ll visit Pointe du Hoc, the site that was taken by the Rangers, who climbed the steep cliff to take the German stronghold.
Back to your hotel Caen. Dinner and evening at leisure.
Sunday 8th September 2019 – Utah Beach
Departure from the hotel lobby at 9 am. Today we’ll focus on the story of the paratroopers. We start the day visiting the Dead Man’s Corner Museum. At 00:15 on the 6th of June 1944 the paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division under General Maxwell D. Taylor jumped over Normandy. They were the become the first Americans on French soil. Their objective was Carentan, a city they needed to hold until the landing troops arrive from Utah Beach. The road to Carentan was blocked by German troops at Saint-Côme-sur-Mont, a crossroads the Americans later baptized Dead Man’s Corner.
Then onwards to Sainte-Mère Eglise. It was here that a paratrooper called John Steel would ensure that for a whole generation the enduring image of D-Day would be a paratrooper dangling from a church steeple. You will see the church where this extraordinary story unfolded and hear the slightly less glamorous truth behind the “Poetic License” taken by Hollywood directors in their profession. The Airborne Museum at St. Mère Eglise is a must-see.
Lunch at St. Mère Eglise.
In the afternoon onwards to Utah Beach. After seeing the many memorials in the area of this landing zone – like the memorial to Captain Winters, the US Navy Memorial and the Easy Company Memorial – we head for the Utah Beach Landing Museum. Lunch at Utah Beach. Finally we drive to La Cambe to see the German military cemetery.
Back to our hotel in Caen. Dinner and evening at leisure.
Monday 9th September 2019
After breakfast we’ll put the luggage in the coach and depart for the Mémorial de la Paix, a wonderful museum telling the (military) story of the 20th century: from WW1 all the way up to the Cold War. Obviously the story of WW2 gets a lot of attention as well: the superb displays focus on different aspects of that war.
We’ll leave Caen at noon (12 pm) and drive to the airport in Paris (Charles de Gaulle International Airport). Picnic (obtained from the hotel) in the coach on the way over to the airport. Arrival in Paris at about 3 pm. End of the tour.
Flight from Paris back to Belfast at 5.15 pm.
COST £895 PER PERSON
· Return flights from Belfast to Paris
· Hand Luggage
· 4 Nights accommodation Breakfast Included
· All Lunches during the tours (drinks not included)
· Professional battlefield guide
· Luxury Coach
· All Entrance Fees
Deposit £200 per person no later than 31 March 2019 (Price may change after this date)
Seats are limited at this price.
To reserve your place please contact Rebekah or Caroline on 02838 394489
If you need any more information regarding the tour, please do not hesitate to contact our office or speak to Roberta McNally Chairman, Lurgan & Brownlow RBL
Places are limited and will be offered on a first come first serve basis.