This coming June marks the 70th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy, and people from across the globe will be flocking to the region in honour and celebration of the men and women who fought during WWII.
Begin your tour of France in Paris, with visits to all of the must see sites: the Louvre, the Seine, Notre Dame, and the Eiffel Tower. Join your your travel companions on a small group tour and continue to Dunkirk & The Normandy Landing Beaches to trace the events during one of the most gripping periods of the 20th century. From the miracle of the Dunkirk Shield, to the Dieppe Raid and the beaches of Normandy, you will travel along Hitler’s Atlantic Wall, in the footsteps of brave soldiers.
Small group tours depart on April 15 & 29 ; May 13 & 27; June 10; September 16 & 30, 2014 and are guaranteed with a minimum of 4 participants. In general, the maximum group size is 16.
Consider adding additional days to your trip with the services of a private guide and/or driver to see more of the country - your time on either side of your small group tour can be customized to suit your needs (and private guided tours can be added throughout your small group experience as desired).
For your added comfort, we will have a Meet & Greet assistant waiting for you outside the customs with a sign with your name on it. Your representative will help you to co-ordinate meeting up with your private driver and accompany you to your accommodation.
Enjoy a private airport transfer in Paris in a private vehicle with a professional driver.
A welcome package with a city map, train tickets (if relevant), and any other touristic information that we deem you may find useful will be waiting for you upon your arrival at your first hotel on your trip.
Banke Hotel (4*) located in the Opera district, in the very heart of Paris, is a stone's throw from Boulevard Haussmann and the Galeries Lafayette. This design hotel is only 250 metres from Le Peletier Metro Station, providing easy access to the Louvre Museum and Gare de l’Est Train Station. Housed within a building dating to the beginning of the 20th century, and designed by Architects Paul Friesse and Cassien Bernard, the stately building sits proudly at the junction of Rue La Fayette and Rue Pillet Will. On the first floor, the original architectural elements, such as the mouldings, the height of the ceiling and the parquet flooring, have all been enhanced, bringing the Haussmann style into the 21st century. All luxurious guest rooms feature a marble bathroom, unique furnishings and golden mosaics, while some offer a marble fireplace and a living area. Interiors are decorated in cream and chocolate tones, purple curtains, parquet flooring, plaited leather rugs, damask leather headboards and designer furniture. From the smallest room right up to the most luxurious suite, comfort is guaranteed thanks to the quality of the fine materials. Each air-conditioned room is equipped with a flat-screen TV with satellite channels. Wired internet access is available.
Your English speaking professional guide will meet you at your hotel for a tour of the local's Paris. As well as showing you the highlights of Paris (the city is very accessible on foot) your guide will tell you the history of the city and show you the city from a local's point of view.
NB: If you have a specific area of Paris you would be interested to explore let us know and we can request a specialist guide, along with adding a Metro Pass where necessary.
Paris takes on a different hue at night and, with many of the magnificent buildings aglow which make it is possibly the best time to admire the beauty of the city. There are plenty of options to choose from for evening entertainment including an early evening wine tasting in a beautiful, airy Parisian loft of a French sommelier located close to the lively Marais district, a dinner cruise, a cabaret show, dinner in the Eiffel tower followed by a night-time cruise, or an evening tour of the city with many of the historical buildings aglow.
Discover Versailles Palace, the symbol of France's grandeur during the reign of the Sun King, Louis XIV. Leave Paris by the western districts of the city and follow the Normandy motorway as far as Versailles in a luxury air conditioned coach. Your guide will take you straight in without standing in line and lead you through the most beautiful rooms including the Royal Apartments, the Hall of Mirrors and the Queen’s private Apartment. Then enjoy some free time to explore the palace gardens. This tour has a central pick up and drop off point in the centre of Paris and hotel pick up and/or drop off is not provided. Includes: entrance to Versailles Palace, authorisation fees for guided visits, a multilingual guide with individual earphones. Please note that shared tours can have up to approx. 50 people (depending on the number of people that have signed up for the tour on the particular day, and are carried out in a number of languages). Note: from April 2nd to October 29th, the entrance fees to the gardens are NOT INCLUDED: - On "MUSICAL FOUNTAIN DISPLAY" days ( Saturdays and Sundays, Tuesdays from May 21st to June 25th + May 8th + May 9th + August 15th)- On "MUSICAL GARDENS" days (Tuesdays from April 2nd to May 14th and from July 2nd to October 29th), on bank holidays.
Take a private train station transfer with a private vehicle and driver.
This morning you will take the TGV train to Lille. Journey will take approximately 1 hour.
Meet with your Guide and fellow travellers of your small group tour. The rendezvous is at 08.30am at Lille Europe Station.
Make your way from Lille to Dunkirk to learn about the Dunkirk Shield. You will visit the interesting Dunkirk Dynamo Museum, housed in what was the headquarters of the French army in 1939. Find out more about The Battle of Dunkirk and the lead up to Operation Dynamo. En route to Dieppe you will see remnants of the Maginot Line in Cassel, the site of the Le Paradis Massacre and the barn in Esquelbecq.
The Hotel Aguado (3*) is located at the very heart of the city and along the sea front. Overlooking the beauties of the sea, in a friendly atmosphere, mixed with elegance and serenity, the Hotel Aguado has designed an art of living on in comfort. Each of their 49 fully renovated rooms provides you with comfort, refinement and modernity. A breakfast buffet is served in the lounge. You will entertain with the intimate and cosy atmosphere of the bar "Kite club". A piano is waiting for you to let you express your artistic gift.
Please note that your hotel may be the above or a hotel of similar standard and will be confirmed prior to departure.
Today you will visit sites connected with the Dieppe landings of 1942. The objective of Operation Jubilee was to capture and hold an established port to gauge the German response. You will visit the main beach and the Dieppe Memorial Museum.
From there you will head towards Normandy visiting the Merville Battery overlooking Sword Beach and the military cemetery, where the British and Canadian Regiments suffered great losses. After the tour concludes you will continue to Bayeux, where you will overnight for the next two days.
Discover this elegant 18th century hotel in the heart of Bayeux. This former mansion offers spacious lounges, guest rooms adorned with antique furniture, lovely gardens, and is renowned for its friendly service. Enjoy its harmonious and enchanting setting or set out on foot to Normandy or Bayeux. Discover the famous Tapisserie of Queen Mathilde, Notre-Dame Cathedral, Baron Gerard's Museum, and the memorial of the Battle of Normandy.
Today you will spend time covering the American involvement; you will visit Utah Beach and 'bloody' Omaha Beach, with its sheer cliffs at the Pointe du Hoc, and Colleville Cemetery, containing the remains of nearly 10,000 servicemen. A stop at Sainte-Mere-Eglise, where paratrooper John Steele got caught on the church steeple brings us to the end of your visits today.
Your final day is spent covering the British and Canadian landing and dropping zones. Gold and Juno Beaches, each with their own reminders of epic events, the Mulberry Harbour in Arromanches, Pegasus Bridge, Cafe Gondrée, and many other places of interest, including Divisional and Unit Memorials. Leaving Normandy behind with lasting memories you return to Lille Europe Station where the tour ends.
Transfer using a local taxi. Please note that this is not included in trip price and is payable locally.
Holiday Inn Express Lille Centre Hotel is located 200 metres from the Republique - Beaux Arts Metro station, just 1 stop from central Place Rihour and 3 stops from the Eurostar terminal at Gare de Lille Europe. Soft neutral tones and bold blue fabrics decorate their guest rooms. Wake up to a hearty complimentary buffet breakfast in our light-filled Great Room. At the stylish Les Beaux Arts bar, you can relax on the sofas with Belgian beers and tuck into warming snacks including soups, omelettes and traditional croque-monsieur. Explore the cobbled streets of Lille's charming Old Town, a 20-minute walk from the hotel.
Please note that your hotel may be the above or a hotel of similar standard and will be confirmed prior to departure
This morning you will take the TGV train to Paris. Journey will take approximately 1 hour.
Ann Saxon ,
November 06, 2013
"Our trip was fantastic!!! I cannot say enough good things. Lianne worked with our exact dates and time frame beautifully.Our drivers were prompt and friendly. The private guides were so knowledgeable. We left with an appreciation of the history, the culture, and the beauty of Andulasia. We were very pleased and will certainly recommend your company to friends and family."
Edwards Family ,
November 28, 2013
"People do not know what they are missing by not going to Romania. The landscape: beautiful, clean, untouched. The people: People exceeded friendly! Super safe. Wherever we went, we received the reception of "Welcome, welcome! You are our guest", by everyone. Food & Drink: Everything had such incredible flavor! They use only the freshest ingredients and everything is organic. Every meal was a new, exciting experience to our palettes. Architecture: The beauty, intricacy, history. One cannot help but appreciate the abundance of castles, churches and buildings boasting such incredible architecture. Experience Romania sooner than later! You’ll be so glad you did! Once again, Kensington Tours, and special thank you to Claudia.
Coby Scherr ,
November 05, 2013
"Everyone involved in our Portugal trip made it terrific. Exactly as advertised. Every event on time and most pleasant. Guides were well-informed, courteous and friendly. Really made for a great journey every time. Each hotel was clean, upgraded and staffed with knowledgeable and friendly folks. Breakfasts were complete -- almost too much to eat. It will always be a wonderful memory thanks to Kensington Tours."
Mike Mikkelsen ,
November 15, 2013
"Lianne Kim did a great job for us (on our tour of Spain). Most enjoyable - thanks for all you did."
November 09, 2013
"My trip to Holland and Belgium was a lifelong dream and Kensington Tours made it greater than my dream. I was treated like royalty, even when I missed some of my connections. They quickly solved any problems that U had. All the drivers were courteous and helpful. My accommodations were top notch. I would highly recommend them to anyone looking for a better tour experience. Thanks to Richard Racicot for booking the best fo me."
Couples Dellinger & Hubbell ,
November 06, 2013
"We've been raving to everyone about the food, the friendliness of the people and the amazing history and sites in Turkey. Yes, we want to go back."
John Edstrom ,
October 22, 2013
"Overall, our tour in Spain was very enjoyable, and well planned and executed. Our private tour of the Alhambra was excellent. Virginia, tour guide for royal palace ruins outside of Cordoba, was also excellent. In Seville, we went to the Flamenco Show/dinner, and the Flamenco was outstanding!"
Kevin Wilshere ,
October 19, 2013
"Great trip to Spain! Thanks again for all your help, Lianne. The destinations, hotels, guides and everything were all top notch."
Chery lWestlund ,
November 07, 2013
"My husband and I took a 3 week vacation to southern Europe and North Africa and had a great time. All the guides were very knowledgeable and bend over backwards to accommodate us. The arrangement made by Kensington went off without a hitch. This is our second trip with Kensington (we went to Peru in 2009) and we will certainly book with them again."
Randy Gramlich ,
October 07, 2013
"Thank you for your follow up, we both loved our time in Croatia. It’s really a beautiful place, especially the coast. Our time in Dubrovnik and Split were awesome, in hind sight we both wished we would have went back to Split from Plitvice Lakes rather than carry on to Zagreb. We both found Split much more appealing and would have definitely preferred to spend another night there rather than Zagreb. We’ll know for next time! Your choice of hotels was great. It was an incredible view from the Bellevue hotel in Dubrovnik and the Vestibule in Split was in the best possible location. We were able to relax in our room listening to the wonderful singers in the courtyard and its central location made it so easy to walk anywhere we wanted to see with ease. "
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