75th Anniversary of D-Day: Normandy to the Rhine

  - reviews
They hadn’t come here to fear. They hadn’t come to die. They had come to win.

– Stephen E. Ambrose, Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne

NOTE: This tour is COUPLES ONLY. Normandy hotel rooms are 2-people, 1-bed rooms.  If you are NOT a couple or willing to share a bed with your traveling companion, please contact us for availability: phone 504-821-9283 or email info@stephenambrosetours.com

Our 75th Anniversary of D-Day Tour: Normandy to the Rhine starts in Paris and ends in Frankfurt. Like our D-Day to the Rhine Tour, it covers the launch and execution of the D-Day Invasion and the subsequent Allied march into the heart of Nazi Germany.

Stephen E. Ambrose interviewed countless veterans about where they fought and what they accomplished. We relive their experiences. On the tour, we follow the path of America’s best and brightest young men in 1944. It is unmatched in its authenticity. 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.

Highlights

  • Smaller group
  • Five nights in Normandy (this 75th Anniversary of D-Day Tour has the most nights in Normandy of our anniversary tours)
  • Restaurant in Normandy is a regional gem
  • Deep exploration of both the Normandy Invasion and the Battle of the Bulge
  • Tour led by British Brigadier Johnny Rickett 

Day-By-Day Itinerary

Optional Pre-Tour to England

Pre-Tour Day 1 - May 29

Guest travel independently to London on an overnight flight from USA.

Pre-Tour Day 2 - May 30

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.

Pre-Tour Day 3 - May 31

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.

Pre-Tour Day 4 - June 1

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.

Pre-Tour Day 5 - June 2

Cross the English Channel by ferry. Once in Normandy, unite with the full tour for a Welcome Reception at Hotel Le Cap.

Tour Itinerary

DAY 1 Flight to Paris (June 1)

Guest travel independently to Paris (CDG) on an overnight flight from USA. Book your flight to arrive in Paris on June 2 by 10 a.m. If you cannot find a flight to meet this time condition, we can help you secure a hotel room in Paris on the night of May 31.

DAY 2 Paris to Normandy (June 2)

Arrive in Paris and make your way to the designated meet-up point within the airport. It is important that you land by 10 a.m. in order to keep the day’s schedule. After an early lunch on-your-own at the CDG airport, the group will start the tour with the drive to Normandy with only a few stops before arriving at the tour hotel, Hôtel le Cap, in the town of Barneville-Carteret, for a Welcome Reception. This hotel is two-stars but boasts a regionally renowned restaurant. Here is where you will spend five nights while visiting WWII sites in Normandy.

DAY 3-7 Normandy (June 3 - 7)

We will spend four-and-one-half days in Normandy where guests will visit all the key sites mentioned below and attend the June 6 75th Anniversary of D-Day Ceremonies.

  • We will visit the American Cemetery at Omaha Beach where we will pay our respects to the 9,387 American soldiers’ graves.
  • Ste-Mere-Eglise, one of the villages where American Airborne Divisions descended on D-Day. Here we will view and explore the iconic church where John Steele and his landing on the steeple are memorialized.
  • La Fiere Bridge where the 82nd Airborne Division successfully delayed a German Panzer counter-attack against the Allied landing forces.
  • Brécourt Manor where Lt. Dick Winters with members of Easy Company successfully silenced German artillery firing on American troops landing at Utah Beach.
  • Utah Beach, site of the 4th Division landing, and the Invasion Museum that depicts their heroics.
  • Ste-Marie-du-Mont, the unique Renaissance-style steeple used as an observation post by the Germans.
  • The Battle of Saint-Lô is one of the three conflicts in the Battle of the Hedgerows, just before Operation Cobra. After the Invasion of Normandy, the Americans targeted the city, as it served as a strategic crossroads.
  • Pointe-du-Hoc, where Rudders’ Rangers scaled the cliffs to neutralize heavy German guns defending the expanse of beaches on D-Day.
  • The battery at Longues-sur-Mer is a fine example of the defensive bulwark that made up Hitler’s Atlantic Wall.
  • 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.”
  • Pegasus Bridge. The first shots fired on D-Day were here. The British 6th Airborne Division led by Major John Howard and a miraculous glider landing carried out a surprise attack that yielded great success in overtaking this crucial bridge across the Caen Canal.
    There will be many other sites visited. Throughout Normandy, including remnants of the German occupation as well as memorials and statues that commemorate Allied heroes.

DAY 7 Normandy to Paris (June 7)

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 8 Arnhem (June 8)

After an early breakfast, we board a high-speed train to Brussels and begin our study of Operation Market Garden, the early attempt by the Allied forces to strike directly for Berlin. Control of the bridges at Eindhoven, Nijmegen and Arnhem was essential for the push into Germany. We drive “Hell’s Highway” where the 101st and 82nd Airborne Division broke through to connect with the British in Arnhem. We visit Nijmegen to see the daring crossing of the Waal River by the 82nd Airborne Division. From there we proceed to Arnhem where again we cross the “Bridge Too Far.”

Our historian will recount the desperate three days that the British 1st Airborne under General John Frost held it. Afterwards, we finish at the Airborne Museum at Oosterbeek.

DAY 9 Siegfried Line (June 9)

We will follow Kampfgruppe Joachim Peiper from the Siegfried Line to where he runs out of gas, and is stopped by elements of the 82nd Airborne and the 30th Division at Stoumont Station. We will take in Lt. Lyle Bouck’s heroic stand at Lanzerath, the infamous Massacre at the Baugnez Crossroads near Malmedy where elements of 285 Artillery Battalion from General Bruce Clarke’s CCB from the US 7th Armored Division collided with Peiper’s column. From there we will drive on to Ligneuville where Peiper caught up with the logistic elements of Clarke’s CCB under General Timberlake. Thence we will move on to Stavelot where Peiper is forced to regroup before making his attack early the next day; we then move on to Trois Ponts, where Peiper is forced to deviate from his planned route before his Kampfgruppe is finally bottled up at Stoumont and La Gleize.

DAY 10 Battle of St. Vith (June 10)

We will study the Battle of St. Vith where the U.S. 7th Armored Division held off General Manteuffel’s 5th Panzer Army after three days of valiant fighting and where 8000 American soldiers from the 106th Infantry Division were surrounded on the Schnee Eiffel and forced to surrender. In the afternoon we will move to Bastogne and a German V2 Launch Site to study the siege of Bastogne, which was held by the 101st Airborne and elements of the 10th Armored Divisions until the eventual relief by General Patton’s 3rd Army.

DAY 11 Houffalize (June 11)

We will move to Celles where the panzers of Manteuffel’s 5th Panzer Army ran out of fuel. Afterwards we will drive to Dinant where elements of Colonel Otto Skorzeny’s patrols managed to reach the Meuse River. Finally we will move to Houffalize where General Hodge’s 1st Army and General Patton’s 3rd Army linked up, thus sealing the Bulge on January the 14th 1945.

DAY 12 Frankfurt (June 12)

We drive to nearby Hamm and the American cemetery and the site of General George Patton’s grave. America’s foremost WWII field general rests here among his men.

Day 13 Frankfurt (June 13)

Early morning airport transfer to Frankfurt International. If you are interested in extending your tour, call for availability of post-tour extensions to Berchtesgaden or Berlin.

FacebookTwitterEmail

Tour Dates

  • Optional British pre-tour - May 29 - June 2, 2019 Waitlist only.
  • June 1 - 13, 2019 Waitlist only.
Book This Tour

Video

TRIP COST $6,490

Prices are per person based on double occupancy.

As the Normandy hotel only has 2-person, 1-bed accommodations, we can only accept guests able to share a bed for the five nights in Normandy. If you do not fit this parameter, please contact us: 504-821-9283 or info@stephenambrosetours.com.

Pre-Tour Cost $1,000 per person based on double occupancy. $400 single occupancy supplement if rooming alone.

Book This Tour
FacebookTwitterEmail