May 31-June 9, 2019
On the evening of June 5, 1944, thousands of young men embarked upon a perilous journey taking them from the shores of England, across the English Channel, to the fog-covered beaches of Normandy. Accompanied by Professor Jay Winter on this 10-day journey, retrace the valiant steps of these Allied soldiers. As you delve into the motivations and multi-national efforts necessary to stage the largest amphibious landing in history, learn about the build-up to D-Day and the battle staging that took place in the UK while visiting key sites such as Churchill’s War Rooms, Bletchley Park, and the Portsmouth D-Day Museum.
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 75 years ago. Walk along the hallowed Omaha and Utah Beaches, take a behind-the-scenes look at Normandy’s artillery batteries, and stand inside the German gun pits on the imposing cliffs of Pointe du Hoc. Visit the BBC WWII Headquarters at Château de Creully, and meet Normandy residents who will offer insight into their experiences as children post D-Day and share stories of their families who lived through German occupation. On June 6th, witness the official D-Day ceremonies at the American Military Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer as you commemorate one of the most poignant moments in modern history.
Jay Winter is Charles J. Stille Professor of History emeritus at Yale University and Distinguished Research Professor at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. Before coming to Yale in 2001, he was Reader in modern history and Fellow of Pembroke College, Cambridge. He is an historian of the First World War, and the author of Sites of memory, sites of mourning: The Great War in European cultural history, published in 1995, editor of America and the Armenian Genocide (2008), and editor-in-chief of the three-volume Cambridge history of the First World War, published in 2014 in English, French and Chinese. In 1997 he won an Emmy award for best television series of the year for ‘The Great War and the shaping of the twentieth century’, produced by the PBS and the BBC, and broadcast in 28 countries. In August 2017, Cambridge University Press published his latest book, War beyond words: Languages of remembrance from the Great War to the present. He has received honorary doctorates from the Universities of Graz, Leuven, and Paris.
U.S. Friday, May 31
Depart the U.S. on individual flights for London.
LONDON Saturday, June 1
Arrive in London and transfer to the Bailey’s 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 welcome reception and dinner. (R/D)
LONDON/BLETCHLEY PARK Sunday, June 2
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. After lunch in a local pub, visit the HMS Belfast, part of the Imperial War Museum. This evening is at your leisure. (B/L)
LONDON/PORTSMOUTH/ NORMANDY Monday, June 3
This morning, travel south to Portsmouth. On a guided tour of 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)
SAINTE-MÈRE ÉGLISE/ UTAH BEACH/LA CAMBE Tuesday, June 4
Explore the village of Sainte-MèreÉglise, where the 82nd and 101st Airborne Division paratroopers dropped from the sky in a hail of gunfire on the night of June 5. Continue to Utah Beach, 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, your focus will be on smaller unit battles with stops at La Fière Bridge and Brècourt Manor. (B/L/D)
PEGASUS BRIDGE/ POINTE DU HOC/ ARROMANCHES/BAYEUX Wednesday, June 5
This morning, visit 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. Travel to Arromanches to visit the Landing Museum. Then witness one of the most dramatic sites along the Normandy coastline, 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. Then visit the Bayeux Tapestry Museum. (B)
D-DAY ANNIVERSARY Thursday, June 6
Observe the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day Landing with official ceremonies and commemorations at the American Military Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer. Every five years, on this major anniversary, these poignant ceremonies will likely be attended by heads of state and other dignitaries. Details to be announced. (B/L/D)
OMAHA BEACH Friday, June 7
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, visit the BBC WWII Headquarters at Chateau de Creully for a private reception. (B/L/R)
GIVERNY/PARIS Saturday, June 8
En route to Paris, visit Monet’s former home and elaborate gardens at Giverny. Upon arrival in Paris, check in to your hotel and later gather for a farewell reception and dinner. (B/R/D)
PARIS Sunday, June 9
This morning, transfer to Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris for individual flights home or onward. (B)
THE BAILEY’S HOTEL—LONDON
This sophisticated 4-star hotel is centrallylocated in Kensington, London. Beautifully restored in 2016, the 19th-century town house combines modern amenities with classic Victorian features like a winding staircase
and stained-glass windows. Bedrooms are elegantly-decorated and include complimentary luxury toiletries, hair dryers, bottled water, coffee, and tea. Wireless internet access is available throughout the hotel.
LE GRAND HÔTEL CABOURG— CABOURG, NORMANDY
The stately Le Grand Hotel Cabourg, immortalized by writer Marcel Proust, is located on the seafront in Cabourg. The spacious rooms offer modern romantic décor with clean lines and rich colors. The hotel is one of the only luxury hotels on the Normandy coast with direct beachfront access.
L’HOTEL DU COLLECTIONNEUR—PARIS
Located near the idyllic Parc Monceau and a short walk to the Arc de Triomphe, L’Hotel du Collectionneur is a haven in the heart of Paris. Furnished in the glamorous Art Deco style of the 1930s, rooms and suites at L’Hotel du Collectionneur are sophisticated Parisian retreats and offer all modern amenities found in a luxury hotel.