75th Anniversary of D-Day: Operation Overlord
You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you.
On the 75th Anniversary of D-Day: Operation Overlord Tour, an 8-night tour, we follow the path of America’s best and brightest young men in 1944.
The 75th Anniversary of D-Day: Operation Overlord Tour covers the planning and launch of the D-Day Invasion. We visit the invasion beaches of Omaha and Utah and the American Cemetery as well as the other key sites that live in memory. The tour will leave you profoundly grateful.
Our D-Day historians are experts in their field and world-renowned authors. Thanks to their experience with the terrain and its history, we are able to present a 75th D-Day Tour that is unmatched in its authenticity. Their years of extensive research and interviews with hundreds of WWII and D-Day veterans on the very battlefields on which they fought add a personal dimension to our D-Day tours that no other WWII tour company can offer. It is a highlight to hear them tell these harrowing tales of bravery and courage of America’s heroes at the very places where they occurred.
Our 75th Anniversary of D-Day Tour: Operation Overlord, honoring the men who landed on D-Day, leading to victory in Europe in WWII, is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
- Three nights in England, exploring the planning and logistics of launching the greatest invasion in military history
- Four nights in Normandy, France, visiting the sites where Allied troops pushed German forces back, turning the tide of the war
- One night in Paris
DAY May 31 - Flight to London
Guest travel independently to London on an overnight flight from USA.
DAY 2 June 1 - London
Arrive in London this morning and check into the hotel where the entire group will gather for an evening welcome reception. Our historian will treat us to our first lecture, with introductions all around.
DAY 3 June 2 - London
The morning will feature key sites in London that figured prominently in the WWII. We then proceed to the Churchill War Rooms, the underground nerve center for Britain’s war effort. We will also visit the Imperial War Museum, which houses authentic examples of WWII weaponry, tanks and aircraft and an exhibit of WWI trench warfare. Free time to enjoy London in the evening.
DAY 4 June 3 - Portsmouth
Depart London for Bletchley Park where we will visit the center for intelligence gathered and used in the Allied War effort, code name Ultra. Here we will see the bomb, the British device that deciphered German communications and where the team of men and women code-breakers decrypted countless cyphers and messages of the Axis countries during the war.
After Bletchley, our destination is Portsmouth, the seaside town that became the staging center for the D-Day invasion. Here the Allies assembled the armies and equipment for the massive undertaking. Besides the hundreds of thousands of men, there were thousands of armored vehicles and the assemblage of sea vessels: landing craft of all kinds in addition to warships that made up the flotilla for the English Channel crossing. Nearby, General Dwight D. Eisenhower set up the advance command post of Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force, where he, Naval Commander Ramsay, Army Commander Montgomery and staff would meet to plan the invasion.
DAYS 5-8 June 4-7 - Normandy
NOTE: We will spend days 5-8 in Normandy where guests will visit all the key sites mentioned below and attend the June 6 Anniversary Ceremonies. Once you are assigned to a departure date and historian, we will send more detailed information and itineraries specific to your group.
Following breakfast, we will board the cross-channel ferry and embark for Normandy as the troops did in 1944. In the afternoon, we will begin our visit to Normandy at Ste-Mere-Eglise, one of the villages where the American Airborne Division descended on D-Day. Here we will view and explore the iconic church where John Steele and his landing on the steeple are memorialized. We also visit La Fiere Bridge where the 82nd Airborne Division successfully delayed a German Panzer counter-attack against the Allied landing forces. We will begin “The Longest Day” at Brécourt Manor where Lt. Dick Winters with members of Easy Company successfully silenced German artillery firing on American troops landing at Utah Beach.
From there we will visit Utah Beach itself, where the 4th Division landed, and the Invasion Museum that depicts their heroics. Next we will stop at Ste-Marie-du-Mont where still stands the unique Renaissance-style steeple used as an observation post by the Germans. From there, we will proceed to the town of Carentan where we will follow the exact steps taken by American Paratroopers during the Battle of Normandy. There will be a visit to Pointe-du-Hoc, where Rudders’ Rangers scaled the cliffs to neutralize heavy German guns defending the expanse of beaches on D-Day.
We’ll spend the morning at Omaha Beach where the Americans landed and faced the strongest German resistance of the day and incurred the greatest losses. We will walk the beach and visit some of the German defense fortifications. We explore these sands from the tide’s ebb to the distant dunes to understand the emotions of the young soldiers of the 1st and 29th Infantry Divisions as they approached the “gates of hell.”
We will pay our respects at the American Cemetery with its 9,387 American soldiers’ graves stretching along the top of the bluff overlooking the beach. In the afternoon we will view the battery at Longues-sur-Mer, a fine example of the great defenses that made up Hitler’s Atlantic Wall. We will proceed along the British Beaches from there to Pegasus Bridge where the first shots were fired on D-Day. Here the British 6th Airborne Division led by Major John Howard with a miraculous glider landing carried out a surprise attack that yielded great success in overtaking this crucial bridge across the Caen Canal.
DAY 9 June 8 - Paris
We drive through the lush, scenic countryside of Normandy and northern France on the way to Paris, the City of Lights.
We aim to arrive in Paris between 3 - 4 p.m. so you can have access to your hotel rooms. The Allies, preceded by Free French troops, symbolically reclaimed the French capital from the Nazis in August 1944. As did the American troops on leave, you have a free evening to explore the city on your own. The evening is free.
DAY 10 June 9 - Paris
Checkout from the Paris hotel. Transfer to Charles de Gaulle airport (CDG).