Press Releases

D-Day's 70th Anniversary

Published Feb 27, 2014 11:57AM


COMMEMMORATE THE 70TH ANNIVERSARY OF    D-DAY WITH MEMBERS OF USTOA

NEW YORK – February 27, 2014 – This June marks 70 years since allied forces invaded Normandy, a crucial turning point in the war against Nazi Germany, and people from all around the globe will come together to honor the brave soldiers who fought during World War II. At the invitation of French President François Hollande, dignitaries and world leaders including President Barack Obama and Queen Elizabeth II will visit Normandy to celebrate the occasion, which will also be marked with firework displays along the coast at main D- Day sites, military parades, parachute drops and more. Travelers too can honor the courageous veterans who fought with visits to the infamous beaches of Normandy and other influential WWII sites through tour programs and packages from tour operator members of the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA).

“Most people have been exposed to the beaches of Normandy, whether through old newsreels in history class or mainstream films such as Saving Private Ryan which depicts the Omaha Beach assault in opening scenes, yet not everyone has had the opportunity to set foot on the historic beaches,” said Terry Dale, president and CEO of USTOA. “Our members provide limitless opportunities to delve into the history of WWII and commemorate the 70th Anniversary of this significant and solemn occasion.”

Here is a sampling of itineraries on which travelers can commemorate the bravery and sacrifice of the allied troops who fought during WWII:

TOURS TO NORMANDY:

Travelers on “Normandy, Brittany & the Loire Valley,” a nine-day tour from Grand European Travel, will drive along the beaches of the D-Day landings, reflect at the American Military Cemetery of St. Laurent near Omaha Beach and learn more about the historic battle at the D-Day Invasion Landings’ Museum. Other trip highlights include a visit to the charming fishing village of Honfleur, wine tasting with an expert in the Loire Valley, and the opportunity to see many of Paris’ greatest delights, including the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and Arc de Triomphe. Available April through October 2014, prices start at $2,875 per person. Visit www.getours.com for more information.

“Northern France,” a private journey from Cox & Kings available March through October 2014, invites travelers to relive June 6, 1944. Guests will follow roads taken by allied forces while listening to anecdotes from a local guide and learn about the most vicious fighting of WWII at Omaha Beach before stopping at the American Cemetery, Caen Memorial, and other locations related to the war. History is the focus as guests also learn about French royalty at the Palace of Versailles and the Mont-Saint-Michel, an island commune erected in the 8th century. Prices for this seven-day journey start at $8,995 per person, based on double occupancy. More details can be found at www.coxandkingsusa.com.

From a wreath-laying ceremony and moment of silence to exploration of the D-Day museum in Mulberry Harbor and Juno Beach landing site, the “Paris & Normandy” itinerary from Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection honors fallen soldiers. Combining history with culture, cuisine and the brilliant landscapes of northern France, this journey also includes visits to Notre Dame, Monet’s garden in Giverny and more. Available on numerous departure dates between March 16 and October 26, 2014, land only prices for this extraordinary eight-day river cruises start at$3,199 per person based on double occupancy. Visit www.uniworld.com for more information.

Accompanied by a WWII expert, travelers on Abercrombie & Kent’s special “Loire Valley & D- Day 70 Years Later” tour will visit the Omaha sector of the D-Day landing beaches and the American Military Cemetery at Saint Laurent Sur Mer, before proceeding to Pointe du Hoc, a scene of ferocious fighting on June 6, 1944, and home to a new exhibition that recounts the battle through the eyes of American soldiers. Other trip highlights include a private tour of a 17th-centure manor house that produces cider and Calvados (brandy), for which Normandy is famous, a wine tasting at Vouvray wine estate, and a visits to Château d’Usee, which is said to have inspired the fairy tale Sleeping Beauty. Available May22-June 1, 2014, this 11- day journey starts at $11,895 per person based on double occupancy. More details are available at www.abercrombiekent.com.

Insight Vacations’ nine-day “Normandy, Brittany & The Loire Valley” tour includes two nights in Normandy, so guests will enjoy leisurely yet comprehensive visits to numerous WWII sites, including the Landing Museum at Arromanches and the famous Pointe du Hoc. The tour also features two evenings in Paris and two nights in the Loire Valley, known for its extensive gardens, vineyards and orchards, as well as a regional wine tasting in Samur with a local expert. Available April through October 2014, prices for this journey start at $2,699 per person, land only, based on double occupancy. Visit www.insightvacations.com for more information.

Travelers will gain a greater understanding of D-Day and the beaches where allied forces landed on Gate 1 Travel’s 12-day “Illustrious France” tour. A two-night stay in Normandy begins with an evening with a local WWII historian followed by a day of visits to the Memorial Museum, St. Mere Eglise on Utah beach where the allied invasion began on June 6th, Ranger Memorial at Pointe du Hoc, and the American Cemetery on Omaha Beach. In addition to Normandy, guests will spend two nights each in Toulouse, Sarlat, the Loire Valley and Paris. Available June 12, September 11 and September 25, 2014, prices start at $3529 per person. Visit www.gate1travel.com for more details.

From Southern England and Northern France to Belgium and the Netherlands, travelers on the “WWI & WWII Battlefields” tour from Trafalgar will visit a variety of memorial sites beyond just the beaches of Normandy, including the D-Day & Overlord Embroidery Museum and Historic Dockyard in Portsmouth, Passchendale Memorial in Ypres, and the National Liberation Museum in Groesbeek. Other highlights include a family-hosted meal at a working dairy farm outside of Amsterdam and a tasting at a champagne house in Reims. This extraordinary 13-day journey is available on 16 departures dates between April 4 and August 15, 2014. Prices from $3,499 per person. An early payment discount offers savings of up to $570 per couple when booked and paid by March 31st. More details at www.trafalgar.com.

On AHI Travel’s “Normandy: 70th Anniversary of D-Day” tour, guests will see the contrast between the American Military Cemetery of St. Laurent and the German Cemetery at La Cambe while staying in Honfleur, a classic French town with narrow streets nestled against a striking 17th century harbor. Other WWII sites visited include Omaha Beach, Pointe du Hoc and the Caen Peace Memorial, among others. Available over 34 separate departures April through October 2014, prices start at $2,995 per person, double occupancy, land only. Visit www.ahitravel.com for more.

The 10 to 13-day “Battlefields of Europe” itinerary from Explorica visits Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Bastogne, Belgium; Diekrich, Luxembourg; and Reims, Normandy, and Paris, France. The extended journey also stops in Berlin. Museum-focused, this tour includes the Ardennes American Cemetery and Memorial at the location of the 1944 Battle of the Bulge, Luxembourg’s National Museum of Military History, the Arromanches Museum and D-Day beaches in Normandy, and the Checkpoint Charlie (most famous crossing between East and West Germany during the Cold War), Sachsenhausen (former concentration camp), and Jewish Museums in and around Berlin. Prices from $2,745, including air. Visit www.explorica.com for more.

Explore France via bike and gain insight into Normandy’s rich history during VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacation’s eight-night “Bicycling France: Normandy & Brittany.” In addition to visiting the sandy shores of Arromanches and Omaha Beach, D-Day Museum, and American Cemetery, guests will savor award-winning cider during a farm visit in Normandy, discover Dinan, a fairy-tale-like medieval walled city overlooking the River Rance, and connect with local residents. Available May 16, 23; June 13,20,25,27; July 2,4,9,11,16,18; September 12,19, 26 and October 3,10 and 17, land only prices from $2,695 and air packages from $3,945. More details can be found at www.VBT.com.

Worldwide Traveler’s Back-Roads Touring program is limited to 16 passengers in order to provide more friendly, relaxed and flexible tours that go beyond the main tourist sites of a destination. The “Back-Roads Touring: D-Day Battle for France” itinerary visits the French cities of Lille, Dunkirk, Dieppe, Bayeux, and the Normandy beaches and is led by a specialist in historic battlefields. Available April 29, May 13, September 16 and September 30, prices start at $1350 per person. Visit www.worldwidetraveler.com for more information.

Created exclusively for the 70th Anniversary of the epic D-Day landings, Collette’s tour “Memorials of War: Normandy & Paris” takes travelers to the landmarks of D-Day, including Pointe du Hoc, Omaha and Utah beaches, and Caen Memorial Peach Museum. Guests also visit the imposing La Roche-Guyon Castle, former headquarters of Field Marshall Erwin Rommel, the man responsible for Germany’s imposing Atlantic Wall, and Chartres Cathedral, spared during the war by an American officer who questioned the need to destroy it. Priced from $2,549 per person, land only, this 10-day journey is available May 2014 through April 2015. Visit www.gocollette.com for additional details.

Travelers get an inside look at the daily rhythms of French life on Tauck’s 10-day “Rendezvous on the Seine,” which includes a seven-day river cruise on the ms Swiss Sapphire. In addition to a guided tour of the D-Day beaches, guests savor locally produced cheese at a goat farm in Étretat, taste local apple brandy at Breuil-en-Auge and see the site of Joan of Arc’s death at Place du Vieux Marche, among other activities. With prices from $4,590 per person, plus air, this journey departs April 2 and October 21, 2014. More information is available at www.tauck.com.

Adventures by Disney invites travelers to visit Omaha Beach and take a privately guided tour of the Normandy American Cemetery, create their own impressionistic work of art after a tour of Claude Monet’s home in picturesque Giverny, ride bikes along the famous Deauville seaside boardwalk, and learn to prepare classic French dishes in a private cooking class using fresh ingredients collected at an open-air market, among other activities, on its “France – Eight Days/Seven Nights – Paris, Versailles & Normandy” tour. Available May 24, May 31, June 14, June 28, July 5, July 19, August 2 and August 9, 2014, land only prices start at $5,889 for adults and $5,609 for kids. Visit www.adventuresbydisney.com for more.

Go-Today’s six-night “Paris & Normandy, Saint Malo, Mont St. Michel and Loire Valley Escorted Tour” combines free time and organized sightseeing, and includes destinations connected with the invasion of Normandy 70 years ago such as Omaha Beach and the American Cemetery and Memorial in Colleville-sur-Mer. Other highlights include the iconic Abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel, an UNESCO World Heritage Site and a variety of historic, beautiful castles, such as Chenonceau, Cheverny, Chambord and Langeais. Available select dates April through September 2014, prices start at $2,099 per person. Visit www.go-today.com for more information.

TOURS BEYOND NORMANDY:

In addition to Normandy-based tours, Holiday Vacations is offering a six-day itinerary “New Orleans featuring WWII Museum” to honor this momentous anniversary. New Orleans is home to the country’s official WWII museum in which guests will have the opportunity to explore powerful exhibits, video, imagery and artifacts that bring to life the courage and sacrifice of all involved. A visit to the New Orleans School of Cooking to learn about Creole and Cajun style food, a narrated tour of Oak Alley Plantation and an exclusive French Quarter carriage ride are also included in the tour. Available May 27 and June 3, 2014, prices start at $2299 per person. More details are available at www.holidayvacations.net.

Remember the victims of WWII at Auschwitz, one of the most well-known Nazi concentration camps and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and museum, during SITA World Tours “Historic Poland” itinerary, available June 14, June 28, July 26, August 9, August 16, August 23 and September 6, 2014. Guests will also have the opportunity to delve into the architecture, history, markets and culture of Warsaw, Tricity, Torun, Wroclaw, and Krakow. Priced from $1,335 per person, based on double occupancy. More information can be found at www.sitatours.com.

Editor Note: Information was provided by individual companies and was correct at time of writing. All tours/packages subject to availability. Images available upon request.

About USTOA:
Representing more than $11 billion in revenue, the member companies of U.S. Tour Operators Association provide tours, packages and custom arrangements that allow six million travelers annually unparalleled access, insider knowledge, peace-of-mind, value and freedom to enjoy destinations and experiences across the entire globe. Each member company has met the travel industry’s highest standards, including participation in the USTOA’s Travelers Assistance Program, which protects consumer payments up to $1 million if the company goes out of business.

As a voice for the tour operator industry for 40 years, USTOA also provides education and assistance for consumers and travel agents. For more information about USTOA, visit ustoa.com, call 212.599.6599 or email information@ustoa.com.

Contact:
Gina Sisco/Liz Carty
Redpoint Marketing PR., Inc.
212-229-0119
Sisco@redpointpr.com
Carty@redpointpr.com

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