In the company of a military historian, gain a deeper understanding of the monumental feat of strategy and valor known as Operation Overlord. In England, learn about the “behind the scenes” preparations for D-Day, then cross the channel to France and visit the beaches and villages of Normandy where brave soldiers changed the course of World War II.

Starting at: $7,795 * Price includes special offer Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 D-Day Flyover. Credit: Sharon Boyle
 75th D-Day anniversary gathering. Credit: Sharon Boyle
 D-Day events in town. Credit: Sharon Boyle
 British cruiser HMS <i>Belfast</i> at London's Tower Bridge
 Tower Bridge, London. Credit: Sharon Boyle
 Exhibit in the Churchill War Rooms in London. Credit: Alex Segre/Alamy
 Bletchley Park. Credit: Sharon Boyle
 Enigma code breaker. Credit: Sharon Boyle
 Pointe du Hoc
 German gun emplacement near Omaha Beach
 Sainte-Mère-Église. Credit: Sharon Boyle
 Mulberries at Arromanches
 Beach at Arromanches
 Archival photo of soldiers with their Sherman tank
 World War II Sherman tank
 Vintage motorcycle. Credit: Sharon Boyle
 Sculpture of <i>Les Braves</i> at Omaha Beach
 75th D-Day anniversary cemetery visit. Credit: Sharon Boyle
 D-Day cemetery visit. Credit: Sharon Boyle

D-Day: A Journey from England to France Commemorating the 80th Anniversary

9 days from $7,795

In the company of a military historian, gain a deeper understanding of the monumental feat of strategy and valor known as Operation Overlord. In England, learn about the “behind the scenes” preparations for D-Day, then cross the channel to France and visit the beaches and villages of Normandy where brave soldiers changed the course of World War II.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

TOUR BROCHURE

brochure

WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

This was a wonderful tour. Our guides brought D-Day alive for us, giving us a taste of what those men faced in 1944. My only regret is that the tour was not longer. 

- Kevin M.

This was a fantastic journey, excellent guides, well planned. As an extra bonus, we got to meet WWII veterans on the boat from England to France and that was thrilling.

- Paul S.

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

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Overview

On the evening of June 5, 1944, tens of thousands of Allied soldiers embarked upon a perilous journey from the shores of England across the English Channel to the fog-covered beaches of Normandy. Retrace their valiant steps on the 80th anniversary of the landings that turned the tide of World War II. Begin with specially arranged tours in London and Portsmouth, where Eisenhower and Churchill drew up plans for the battle. Delve into the top secret work of Alan Turing and the codebreakers on a visit to Bletchley Park. Then sail across the English Channel to Normandy to explore the sites where incredible feats of courage and heroism played out. Stroll among German bunkers on the cliffs of Pointe du Hoc, still pock-marked by the craters left by Allied mortars. Walk the long, peaceful beaches of Utah and Omaha, and visit the famous church in the village of Saint-Mère-Église. Ponder endless fields of white crosses and stars at the Normandy American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer, and attend the official commemoration ceremony. 

Highlights Include

  • ​England: Learn about the behind-the-scenes preparations necessary to stage the largest amphibian landing in history. In London, visit Winston Churchill’s underground Cabinet War Rooms and step aboard the HMS Belfast, the most significant surviving Royal Navy warship of World War II. Travel to Bletchley Park to hear the intriguing story of Alan Turing and the Enigma codebreakers and tour the recently refurbished D-Day Museum in Portsmouth. Then set off by boat across the English Channel.
  • France: Survey the marks of war on the dramatic bluffs of Pointe du Hoc and visit the village of Sainte-Mère-Église, where paratroopers dropped from the sky in a hail of gunfire. Walk along Utah and Omaha beaches with an expert historian for a closer look at how the historic landings and air invasion unfolded. Stop at Arromanches, where prefabricated concrete harbors known as Mulberries still dot the shore. During four days in Normandy, tour a range of local and world-renowned museums that offer a deeper understanding of the Battle for Normandy.
  • 80th Anniversary: This nine-day program includes a private after-hours visit and welcome dinner at Winston Churchill’s Cabinet War Rooms and Museum—exclusively for Smithsonian Journeys travelers. On this major anniversary, the D-Day commemoration ceremonies at the Normandy American Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer will likely be attended by heads of state and other dignitaries. All ceremonies are subject to official confirmation. The order of events will vary by departure, but all departures will include the same activities.

This was a wonderful tour. Our guides brought D-Day alive for us, giving us a taste of what those men faced in 1944. My only regret is that the tour was not longer. 

- Kevin M.

This was a fantastic journey, excellent guides, well planned. As an extra bonus, we got to meet WWII veterans on the boat from England to France and that was thrilling.

- Paul S.

Itinerary: May 30-June 7, 2024

Day 1 — Thursday, May 30

Depart the U.S. on individual flights for London.

Day 2 — Friday, May 31 | London

Arrive in London and transfer to your hotel. Gather as a group in the early afternoon for a visit the H.M.S. Belfast, part of the Imperial War Museum. Then enjoy a welcome dinner with your Smithsonian Journeys Expert and fellow travelers. (D)

Day 3 — Saturday, June 1 | London/Bletchley Park

Travel to Bletchley Park and discover the real story behind Alan Turing and the Enigma code breakers, credited with shortening the war by successfully deciphering the encryption used by the Wehrmacht to safeguard its messages. Your visit will include an explanation of the decoder, as seen in the award-winning film, The Imitation Game. This evening, meet for a private after-hours visit and welcome dinner at Winston Churchill’s Cabinet War Rooms and Museum. It is from this underground bunker that Churchill directed the British war effort and today one can still see maps, telephones and bunks preserved since World War II. (B,R,D)

Day 4 — Sunday, June 2 | London / Portsmouth / Normandy

This morning, travel south to Portsmouth. By special arrangement, visit the Supreme Headquarters of the Allied Expeditionary Force (subject to confirmation). Enjoy a pre-opening visit to The Golden Lion Pub, which was converted into an officer’s mess during WWII. Surrounded by photographs and memorabilia, stand in the very same spot where Eisenhower would drink a ‘pint of beer’. At the D-Day Museum, examine the Overlord Embroidery—a stunning handcrafted depiction of the D-Day events that stretches some 270 feet— and see a replica of the map General Eisenhower used to plot Allied positions. This afternoon, cross the English Channel by ferry and arrive in Normandy in the late evening.  (B, L, D)

Day 5 — Monday, June 3 | Sainte Mère-Église / Utah Beach / La Cambe

Explore the village of Sainte-Mère-Église, where the 82nd and 101st Airborne Division paratroopers dropped from the sky in a hail of gunfire on the night of June 5. View the church steeple upon which one unlucky paratrooper was said to be entangled for hours, and visit the village’s remarkable museum. Stop for lunch at Le Roosevelt, a restaurant built around a former German bunker just steps from the historic beach. Continue to Utah Beach, the site of one of the two American amphibious landings in the early hours of D-Day. This afternoon, pay a visit to the German war cemetery at La Cambe.  (B, L, D)

Day 6 — Tuesday, June 4 | Pegasus Bridge / Omaha Beach

Begin your day with a guided visit to the Pegasus Memorial Bridge and Museum—dedicated to the men of the 6th British Airborne Division. After a picnic lunch, visit the Overlord Museum, then wander along Omaha Beach, site of the bloodiest fighting of the invasion day. At the Omaha Beach Memorial, lay flowers in honor of those who made the ultimate sacrifice. (B,L,D)

Day 7 — Wednesday, June 5 | Pointe du Hoc / Arromanches / Bayeux

One of the most dramatic sites along the Normandy coastline is Pointe du Hoc, where U.S. Rangers used hooks and ropes to scale cliffs some 100 feet high in order to destroy key German gun positions. Walk along cliff-top pathways still cratered by mortar blasts, and venture into the concrete bunkers from which German forces unleashed a barrage of artillery fire. Travel to Arromanches and visit the Arromanches Landing Museum. On the town's beach, see the remnants of Mulberries, prefabricated concrete harbors that were critical to landing Allied supplies. Continue to Bayeux for lunch at leisure and a guided visit to the Bayeux Tapestry Museum. (B)

Day 8 — Thursday, June 6 | D-Day Anniversary

Observe the 80th Anniversary of the D-Day Landing with official ceremonies and commemorations at the Normandy American Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer. On this major anniversary, this poignant ceremony will likely be attended by heads of state, international dignitaries, and possibly the very last of the D-Day veterans. All ceremonies are subject to official confirmation and details will be announced closer to the event. This evening, celebrate your journey with a farewell reception and dinner.  (B,L,R,D)

Day 9 — Friday, June 7 | Depart Paris

Depart as a group from Normandy to Charles du Gaulle Airport in Paris for individual flights home or onward. (B)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)

Itinerary: May 31-June 8, 2024

Please note: There will be six separate departures over these dates each with its own Expert and hotels. Please see the Dates & Prices tab for Expert and hotel assignments.

Day 1 — Friday, May 31 | Depart the U.S.

Depart the U.S. on individual flights for London.

Day 2 — Saturday, June 1 | London

Arrive in London and transfer to your hotel. Gather as a group in the early afternoon for a visit the H.M.S. Belfast, part of the Imperial War Museum. This evening, meet other Smithsonian Journeys travelers for a private after-hours visit and welcome dinner at Winston Churchill’s Cabinet War Rooms and Museum. It is from this underground “safe place” that Churchill directed the British war effort and where today one can still see maps, telephones and bunks preserved since World War II. (R,D)

Please note: There will be six separate departures on this tour each with its own Expert and hotels. Please see the Dates & Prices tab for Expert and hotel assignments.

Day 3 — Sunday, June 2 | London / Bletchley Park

Travel to Bletchley Park and discover the real story behind the Enigma code breakers, credited with shortening the war by successfully deciphering the encryption used by the Wehrmacht to safeguard its messages. Your visit will include an explanation of the decoder, as seen in The Imitation Game. Your evening is at leisure to explore London. (B) 

Day 4 — Monday, June 3 | London / Portsmouth / Normandy

This morning, travel south to Portsmouth. By special arrangement, visit the Supreme Headquarters of the Allied Expeditionary Force (subject to confirmation). Enjoy a pre-opening visit to The Golden Lion Pub, which was converted into an officer’s mess during WWII. Surrounded by photographs and memorabilia, stand in the very same spot where Eisenhower would drink a ‘pint of beer’. At the D-Day Museum, examine the Overlord Embroidery—a stunning handcrafted depiction of the D-Day events that stretches some 270 feet— and see a replica of the map General Eisenhower used to plot Allied positions.

This afternoon, cross the English Channel by ferry and arrive in Normandy in the late evening. (B,L,D)

Day 5 — Tuesday, June 4 | Sainte Mère-Église / Utah Beach / La Cambe

Explore the village of Sainte-Mère-Église, where the 82nd and 101st Airborne Division paratroopers dropped from the sky in a hail of gunfire on the night of June 5. View the church steeple upon which one unlucky paratrooper was entangled for hours, and visit the village’s remarkable museum.

Continue to Utah Beach, the site of one of the two American amphibious landings in the early hours of D-Day. Stop for lunch at Le Roosevelt, a restaurant built around a former German bunker just steps from the historic beach. This afternoon, pay a visit to the German war cemetery at La Cambe. (B,L,D)

Day 6 — Wednesday, June 5 | Pointe Du Hoc / Arromanches / Bayeux

One of the most dramatic sites along the Normandy coastline is Pointe du Hoc, where U.S. Rangers used hooks and ropes to scale cliffs some 100 feet high in order to destroy key German gun positions. Walk along cliff-top pathways still cratered by mortar blasts, and venture into the concrete bunkers from which German forces unleashed a barrage of artillery fire. Travel to Arromanches, one of the few remnants of the prefabricated concrete harbors that assisted in landing Allied supplies and visit the Arromanches Landing Museum. In Bayeux, enjoy lunch at leisure before a visit to the Bayeux Tapestry Museum. (B)

Day 7 — Thursday, June 6 | D-Day Anniversary

Observe the 80th Anniversary of the D-Day Landing with official ceremonies and commemorations at the American Military Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer. On this major anniversary, these poignant ceremonies will likely be attended by heads of state and other dignitaries. (B,L,D)

Please note: All ceremonies are subject to official confirmation and details will be announced closer to the event.

Day 8 — Friday, June 7 | Pegasus Bridge / Omaha Beach

Begin your day with a guided visit to the Pegasus Memorial Bridge and Museum—dedicated to the men of the 6th British Airborne Division. After a picnic lunch, visit the Overlord Museum, then wander along Omaha Beach, site of the bloodiest fighting of the invasion day. At the Omaha Beach Memorial, lay flowers in honor of those who made the ultimate sacrifice. This evening, celebrate your journey with a farewell reception and dinner (B,L,R,D) 

Day 9 — Saturday, June 8 | Depart Paris

Depart as a group from Normandy to Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris for individual flights home or onward. (B)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)

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