Discover the essence of Normandy as well as its pivotal role in history on a seven-night, small-group journey. Explore Mont-Saint-Michel, the medieval monastery that seemingly rises from the sea. Taste Normandy’s contributions to French cuisine, and sip Calvados, the region’s celebrated cider brandy, in an apple orchard. And as the world marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day, spend two full days visiting Omaha and Utah beaches, Normandy American Cemetery and other sites associated with this crucial World War II battle, plus gain insights during engaging lectures. Enjoy first-class accommodations in Honfleur and an extensive meal plan, featuring wine with dinner, on this small-group program. There is no supplement for solo travelers.
Depart for gateway city
Depart gateway city
Arrive at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. Proceed through immigration to the baggage claim area and retrieve your luggage. After completing customs, AHI FlexAir passengers traveling on flights that qualify for the group arrival transfer and Land Program passengers who have purchased seats on the group transfer should exit the baggage claim area and proceed to the designated meeting spot, where an AHI Travel representative will meet them. The meeting location will be provided with your final documents.
Discovery: Historic Honfleur. Get to know your home base, the quintessential French port town that has captivated artists for centuries, including Claude Monet, Gustave Courbet and native son Eugène Boudin. Soak up the maritime ambience of its picture-perfect, 17th-century Vieux Bassin, or old harbor, located where the Seine River meets the English Channel. From the 16th to 18th centuries, Honfleur became an important trading seaport and a launching point for exploration. In 1608, French explorer Samuel de Champlain departed from Honfleur on an expedition to the New World and founded the colony that became Quebec City. Stroll through the colorful harbor and along the narrow side streets to see Honfleur’s landmarks. The wooden Church of Sainte-Cathérine, crafted by 15th-century shipbuilders, is a special stand-out with ceilings over its two naves that resemble upturned hulls.
Discovery: Mont-Saint-Michel. For centuries, pilgrims have made their way to the spectacular abbey perched atop
Le Mont Saint-Michel, a tiny, granite tidal island off the Normandy coast. Today, make your own pilgrimage to this UNESCO World Heritage site that towers over the surrounding flat white sands like an astounding mirage. On a guided tour, explore this singular island that has served as a fortress, monastery and prison, and step inside the tranquil abbey church, a blend of Romanesque and Gothic styles. If you’d like, walk along the ramparts to watch the tides and admire the panoramic vistas.
Discovery: Utah Beach and Sainte-Mère-Église. The Normandy coastline provided the theater for Operation Overlord, one of history’s largest and most complex military operations, involving more than 160,000 American, British and Canadian forces arriving by air and sea across 50 miles of territory occupied by German troops. In the very early hours of June 6, 1944, paratroopers and glider units landed inland, tasked with sealing off German access to the amphibious assault sites. By daybreak, the second phase began, as infantry and tanks came ashore on five beaches, codenamed Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword, supported by 12,000 aircraft and thousands of ships.
Free Time: Spend the day exploring on your own. Perhaps take a side trip to nearby LeHavre to view the remarkable art collection at the Musée d’art moderne André Malraux, featuring pieces by Monet, Pissaro, Renoir and Dufy. Staying in Honfleur? Take a leisurely walk along the sea walls or relax at a waterfront café with a tasty bowl of moules marinières. Your Travel Director will be on hand to offer suggestions and assist you with arrangements.
Arromanches/Omaha Beach/Normandy American Cemetery/Pointe du Hoc
Enrichment: D-Day and the Battle of Normandy. During an insightful talk, discover the pivotal role that Normandy and its citizens played during this crucial period of the Allied war effort.
Discovery: Bayeux. Travel to Bayeux and view the 200-foot-long embroidered Bayeux Tapestry, which vividly
depicts more than 50 scenes surrounding William the Conqueror and the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The elaborate
piece was commissioned in 1077 for Bayeux’s Nôtre Dame Cathedral, a masterpiece of Norman Gothic architecture, which you will visit today.
Tonight, share stories of your time in Normandy at a Farewell Reception at the hotel, then gather for a Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant.
Depart for gateway city
After breakfast, AHI FlexAir passengers traveling on flights that qualify for a group transfer and Land Program passengers who have purchased seats on the group transfer depart for Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport for your return flights home. Your Travel Director will provide the details.
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