Trace the events of the pivotal Battle of Normandy as you travel from England to France to gain an in-depth understanding of this monumental military operation and attend official memorial ceremonies.

Starting at: $6,995 Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Sculpture of <i>Les Braves</i> at Omaha Beach  British cruiser HMS <i>Belfast</i> at London's Tower Bridge   Exhibit in London's Imperial War Museum. Credit: Mark Phillips/Alamy  Exhibit in the Churchill War Rooms in London. Credit: Alex Segre/Alamy  London's Tower Bridge  London's Trafalgar Square  Sainte Mère Église  Normandy's Pointe du Hoc. Credit: Hemis/Alamy  German gun emplacement on Omaha Beach  Sherman tank on Utah Beach  Remains of Mulberry Harbor at Arromanches  Beach at Arromanches  The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial overlooking Omaha Beach  Flowers at a grave site, American Cemetery, Omaha Beach.  Credit: David Maher  The Mémorial de Caen with its fascinating D-Day and Battle of Normandy exhibitions

Commemorating the 75th Anniversary of D-Day

9 days from $6,995

Trace the events of the pivotal Battle of Normandy as you travel from England to France to gain an in-depth understanding of this monumental military operation and attend official memorial ceremonies.

or Call 855-330-1542

Overview

Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force! You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven for many months. The eyes of liberty loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers in arms on other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world. — Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower

On the evening of June 5th, 1944, thousands of young men embarked upon a perilous journey taking them from the cold shores of England, across the English Channel, to the fog-covered beaches of Normandy. In this 75th anniversary year, retrace their valiant steps, beginning with the preparation operations in London and Portsmouth. Continue your journey by crossing the English Channel to Normandy and exploring the many sites still bearing the mark of the heroic actions which took place 65 years ago. From the imposing cliffs of the Pointe du Hoc, the peaceful beaches of Utah and Omaha, and the small chapel at St. Mère Eglise, to the somber and stunning white crosses of the American Cemetery of Colleville-sur-Mer, experience and engage in the events which were set in motion and changed the course of history one stormy spring day.

Highlights:

  • Commemorate the heroic soldiers who participated in the 1944 D-Day Landings. On June 6th, take part in official ceremonies and celebrations on the 75th Anniversary.
  • Learn of the build-up to D-Day and the battle staging that took place in the UK while visiting key sites in London and Portsmouth, including Churchill’s War Rooms, Bletchley Park, and the Portsmouth D-Day Museum.
  • Meet with individuals and see places which today still bear testimony of the sacrifice and courage of the Allied Troops during WWII.
  • Walk along Utah and Omaha beaches with an expert historian for an in-depth perspective on the historic coastal landings and air invasion by American and Allied forces.
  • Take a behind-the-scenes look at Normandy’s artillery batteries, and stand inside the German gun pits on Pointe du Hoc.

*​Please Note: Due to the popularity of this special 75th Anniversary of D-Day Commemoration tour featuring attendance at official ceremonies on June 6, Smithsonian Journeys will have three separate, but concurrent groups following the same itinerary, though some visits might be done in a different order. Groups A and B will join together at specific times for special joint-lectures and events but will travel as separate groups and stay at different accommodations in London.​ Group C will follow the same itinerary as well, with staggered timings as needed, but will stay at upgraded accommodations in both London and Normandy.​

Itinerary

Day 1 — Depart the U.S.

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

Day 2 — London

Arrive in London and transfer to your hotel. Gather as a group in the early afternoon for a guided visit to Winston Churchill’s Cabinet War Rooms and adjoining 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 1945.

This evening, enjoy a private reception and dinner at the hotel. (R, D)

Day 3 — 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. Enjoy a curator-led explanation of the decoder, as seen in The Imitation Game.

After lunch in a local pub, visit the H.M.S. Belfast, part of the Imperial War Museum. This evening, gather for a lecture from your Smithsonian Journeys Expert. (B,L)

Day 4 — London / Portsmouth / Normandy

This morning, travel south to Portsmouth. 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. Just outside Portsmouth, visit the Supreme Headquarters of the Allied Expeditionary Force by special arrangement (subject to confirmation). Otherwise, 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’.

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

Day 5 — 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 — 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, have some time to visit the British Cemetery and explore the town before a guided visit to the Bayeux Tapestry Museum. (B,D)

Day 7 — D-Day Anniversary

Observe the 75th 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. Details will be announced closer to the event. (B,L,D)

Day 8 — Omaha Beach

This morning, visit the Pegasus Memorial Bridge and Museum—dedicated to the men of the 6th British Airborne Division. Following a private talk by the Director of the museum, tour the exhibits recounting the battle for this strategic location in 1944.

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 — 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)