D-Day Paris, Vimy & Normandy

D-Day Paris, Vimy & Normandy
Spend a few days walking through the streets of Paris, soaking in the magnificent artistic masterpieces, historical sites and culinary delicacies of the "City of Light." Then journey across France to see the monument at Vimy Ridge honouring Canadian troops. To finish off the trip with a bang, head to Normandy for the official D-Day 70th Anniversary event.
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Day 1 Start tour
Day 2 Bonjour Paris
Meet your tour director and check into hotel
Paris city walk
Île de la CitéNotre Dame Cathedral visitÎle St. LouisLatin Quarter visit
Details: Paris city walk
This city was made for walking. Stroll grand boulevards with sweeping views of the city, pristine parks with trees planted in perfect rows, and narrow streets crowded with vendors selling flowers, pastries and cheese. Then head to the Île de la Cité, a small island in the Seine, to see Notre Dame Cathedral.
Details: Louvre visit
The world's largest art museum, the Louvre is housed in a Medieval fortress-turned-castle so grand it's worth a tour itself. You walk through the 71-foot glass pyramid designed by I.M. Pei and added in 1989, and step into another world--one with carved ceilings, deep-set windows, and so many architectural details you could spend a week just admiring the rooms. The Mona Lisa is here, as well as the Venus de Milo and Winged Victory (the headless statue, circa 200 BC, discovered at Samothrace). The Louvre has seven different departments of paintings, prints, drawings, sculptures and antiquities. Don't miss the Egyptian collection, complete with creepy sarcophagi, or the collection of Greek ceramics, one of the largest in the world. (Please note the Louvre is closed on Tuesdays.)
Day 3 Paris landmarks
Paris guided sightseeing tour
Arc de TriompheChamps-ÉlyséesEiffel TowerChamp de MarsÉcole MilitaireLes InvalidesConciergerieTuileriesPlace VendômeOpera House
Optional  Versailles guided excursion  $80
State ApartmentsHall of MirrorsGardens of Versailles
Details: Paris guided sightseeing tour
What's that huge white arch at the end of the Champs-Élysées? The Arc de Triomphe, commissioned by Napoleon in 1806 after his victory at Austerlitz. Your licensed local guide will elaborate on this, and other Parisian landmarks. See some of the most famous sites, including the ornate, 19th-century Opera, the Presidential residence, the ultra-chic shops of the Rue du Faubourg St-Honoré, and the gardens of the Tuileries. You'll pass the Place de la Concorde, where in the center you’ll find the Obelisk of Luxor, a gift from Egypt in 1836, and the Place Vendôme, a huge square surrounded by 17th-century buildings. Spot chic locals (and tons of tourists) strolling the Champs-Élysées. Look up at the iron girders of the Eiffel Tower, built for the 1889 World's Fair to commemorate the centenary of the French Revolution. See Les Invalides (a refuge for war wounded), the École Militaire (Napoleon's alma mater), and the Conciergerie (the prison where Marie Antoinette was kept during the French Revolution).
Day 4 Paris--Flanders
Travel to Flanders via Vimy Ridge
Details: Beaumont Hamel visit
Newfoundland’s most significant single military action was on July 1, 1916 at Beaumont Hamel, at the opening day of the Battle of the Somme. The day proved the bloodiest in history for the British army, and caused the greatest military loss in history for Newfoundland. To honour the regiment’s bravery, King George V added “Royal” to the regiment’s name, making it the only regiment in the British Empire to receive such a designation.
Day 5 Flanders
In Flanders Fields Museum visit
Details: Passchendaele Canadian Memorial Park
In 1917, the Allies slogged through the swampy, rain-soaked, mud-drenched ground of Passchendaele toward heavily armed German troops, losing many lives and tanks in the process. Canadian troops were brought in at the end due to the difficult conditions -- their earlier victories had conferred an elite status -- and with their efforts the high ground was finally won. The battle was ultimately meaningless, however; the corridor opened by the action later proved unnecessary. Because of the horror of the Battle of Passchendaele, the name has come to symbolize the idea of war in its most brutal and senseless form.
Details: Talbot House Museum
In 1915, this large family home was opened as an “every man’s club,” a place for men of any rank to have some rest and relaxation during the Battle of Ypres. To the Senior Army Chaplain Neville Talbot’s protestations, this club was named after his brother Gilbert who was killed in action in July of 1915.
Details: St Julien Memorial
German soldiers fighting on the Western Front first used mustard gas during the Battle of Ypres, and the St Julien Memorial marks the spot where Canadian soldiers first confronted this new weapon of war.
Details: Attend Last Post Ceremony at Menin Gate
At 8pm traffic is stopped while buglers from the Ypres Fire Brigade play the Last Post and Reveille. Since 1929, this nightly ceremony has commemorated the almost 55,000 British Commonwealth soldiers who died nearby that could not be identified or found. The only time this Ceremony has not taken place was during the Second World War.
Day 6 Flanders--Normandy
Details: Wellington Quarry visit
Travel twenty metres below the streets of Arras to the Wellington Quarry, where thousands of soldiers hid underground before a surprise attack on the German front lines on April 9, 1917. Learn about the Battle of Arras and the troops who built and lived in the tunnels below the town. Discover the military strategy behind the tunnels and how it helped win the First World War.
Details: Dieppe Canadian landing beach visit
Felled by bad luck and bad timing, the Royal Regiment of Canada lost about 80% of its attacking force to enemy fire and capture on "Blue Beach," in Dieppe. Their mission had been to take out the cliff-top German artillery guarding the beach to allow other Canadian and British forces to land, but their boats were spotted and the men trapped. The military failure led to a push for vast improvements in military communication and tactics later in the war to prevent another such tragedy.
Day 7 Normandy
Details: Arromanches Museum visit
Ingenious military engineering allowed the Allied forces to land at Arromanches on D-Day. Barges towed 600,000 tons of concrete across the English Channel, sinking them to create an artificial harbor, and then 33 jetties and 10 miles of floating roadways allowed the troops to land in France. Learn about this feat and other at the Arromanches Museum, where dioramas, interactive displays, and models detail the Allied landing.
Details: Juno Beach Centre visit
The innovative Juno Beach Centre is one of the first museums dedicated solely to chronicling Canada's extensive role in World War II. The museum takes advantage of its setting near the D-Day Beaches to show visitors how the landings were accomplished, as well as detailing Canada's contributions to the entire war, both at home and abroad.
Day 8 Normandy
Details: Batterie de Merville
Before the amphibious assault on the beaches of Normandy, Allied paratroopers landed behind enemy lines to take out the guns firing on the approaching troops. The Merville Battery was taken out by 150 brave British paratroopers, with protection from the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion. Now, it stands a tribute to paratroops everywhere, and through the exhibit students can even experience the lights and sounds seen and heard on the early hours of June 6th 1944.
Day 9 Normandy--Paris
Travel to Paris via Rouen
Rouen tour director-led sightseeing
Cathedral visitOld Clock
Details: Rouen tour director-led sightseeing
Like Paris, the port city of Rouen is divided in two by the Seine. Your Tour Director will take you through the medieval cobblestone streets of the city where Joan of Arc was burned in 1431. See the Old Clock surrounded by half-timbered houses and shops, and visit Notre Dame cathedral, a favorite subject of Claude Monet. With its lacy Gothic façade and mismatched spires, Rouen’s cathedral is one of the most compelling in France. Hitler certainly thought so—the first time it caught fire in WWII, he ordered his troops to save it. See the inspired interior, with its columns topped by carved faces, and learn about the history of the church. Fun fact: one of the steeples is called the Tour de Beurre. It was built with money donated by a group of wealthy people who wanted to eat butter during Lent.
Details: Seine River cruise
See the city from the water on an hour-long cruise along the River Seine. The Seine cuts right through Paris, dividing the city in half. See the Eiffel tower rising up on the Left Bank, the walls of the Louvre on the Right Bank. A guide will point out other monuments and architectural marvels as you pass, many of which are illuminated by clear white light at night.
Day 10 End tour

  • Or
  • Day 10 Start extension to Berlin
    Lunch
    Overnight train to Berlin
    Details: Musée d’Orsay visit
    You wouldn't think a railroad station would make a great museum, but the sweeping ceilings, huge walls of glass and beautiful neoclassical flourishes of the former Gare d'Orsay (Orsay rail station) make this the perfect, appropriately elegant setting for the collection of 19th- century art held here. The Musée d'Orsay's eighty galleries contain paintings, sculpture, belle époque furniture, photographs, objets d'art, and architectural models. You'll see some of the most beautiful paintings in Europe, including Renoir's "Moulin de la Galette" and Manet's "Déjeuner sur l'herbe."
    Day 11 Berlin landmarks
    Berlin guided sightseeing tour
    Checkpoint CharliePotsdamer PlatzBerlin WallBrandenburg GateReichstagVictory Column
    Details: Berlin guided sightseeing tour
    Join a professional, licensed tour guide as you discover one of the most historical cities in Germany. Although nothing remains of the mortar and cement-block barrier between East and West Berlin, the Berlin Wall (built in 1961; destroyed in 1989) is still a main “site” in Berlin. View the well-known Brandenburg Gate, once a main gate hidden behind a 10-foot barrier and now known for celebratory dancing on its flat top during the reunification. Travel to the Checkpoint Charlie Museum, the most famous border crossing point. Checkpoint Charlie, once a wooden guard hut, was the most (in)famous border-crossing point between East and West Berlin from 1961 to 1989. All that remains of the checkpoint itself is a skeletal watchtower and a memorial of attempted escapees. Follow your guide as they lead you through the museum’s accounts of the most ingenious of these escape attempts— even a few by hot air balloon.
    Details: Checkpoint Charlie Museum visit
    Visit the museum that documents the history and significance of the most famous crossing point between East and West Berlin during the Cold War.
    Details: Sachsenhausen excursion
    Visit Sachsenhausen, one of the major Nazi concentration camps in Germany. Most of its prisoners arrived after the Crystal Night pogroms, when Nazis arrested over 30,000 Jews over the course of just a few days. From its construction in 1936 until its liberation by the Soviet army in 1945, this camp held more than 200,000 prisoners. The site now holds a museum, memorial hall, and cinema, which screens a film depicting the camp’s history.
    Day 12 Potsdam
    Details: Jewish Museum visit
    Located on the line that once separated East and West Germany, this stirring museum was built in the shape of a warped Star of David and focuses on the realities of Jewish life in Germany, from ancient times up to the horrors of the Holocaust.
    Details: Potsdam guided excursion
    Seen as Germany’s “Little Hollywood” from 1921 through WWII, Potsdam was the dazzling city of Frederick the Great, with countless marble fountains, exotic pavilions and Baroque castles (mostly built in the name of Frederick and Prussia’s power). Drive on to Sanssouci Palace, Fredrick the Great's most opulent palace. See the windmill and walk around the palace grounds where Fredrick and his dogs are now buried and see the great fountain and vineyards.
    Day 13 End tour
    D-Day Paris, Vimy & Normandy Educational Tour
    Tour Includes:
    • Round-trip airfare
    • Overnight stays in hotels with private bathrooms
    • Dinner daily
    • Full European breakfast daily
    • Full-time services of a professional Tour Director
    • Guided sightseeing tours and city walks as per itinerary
    • Visits to select attractions as per itinerary
    • Tour Diary™
    • Note: On arrival day only dinner is provided; on departure day, only breakfast is provided
    • Note: Tour cost does not include airline-imposed baggage fees, or fees for any required passport or visa. Please visit our Fees FAQ page for a full list of items that may not be included in the cost of your tour.
    We are better able to assist you with a quote for your selected departure date and city over the phone. Please call 1.888.310.7120 to price this tour with your requested options.
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    2809.00 total fee
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