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Escorted Rail Tours to Normandy Landing Beaches

A poignant symbol of the Second World War

The Normandy Landings were a pivotal part of Operation Overlord, the allied invasion of Europe from the UK which took place on 6th June 1944.

The most famous part of Operation Overlord was codenamed Operation Neptune and involved a huge flotilla of small ships and troops crossing the Channel to land on the French coastline in Normandy. The main beaches used for the operation were Sword, Juno, Gold, Omaha, Pointe du Hoc and Utah. These names were code for stretches of the coastline - before the landings the beaches themselves did not have recognised names, or were simply named after the nearest town. Today the beaches are generally referred to by their WWII code names.

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Sorry, there are no holidays in this category, however we have found 61 holidays in France
Showing 1 to 10 of 37 holidays
A Portrait of the Impressionist's Seine

Cruising the scenic Seine, explore the world of the Impressionist artists, from Monet's famous garden at Giverny to the city galleries of Paris and Rouen. Paired with informative on board talks and shore excursions along both the Route des Abbayes and the Alabaster Coast, this is a tour that delivers the very best of Northern France.

Departs from May 2017 to August 2017.
7 days from £1,395per personView tour details
Luxembourg, Trier & Metz Christmas Markets

On this Christmas Market holiday, we stay in Luxembourg whilst enjoying the best of the festive season with visits to the Christmas Markets of medieval Trier and nearby Metz.

Departs from November 2016 to December 2016.
Late departures available
5 days from £475per personView tour details
Carcassonne & the Canal du Midi

From timeless vineyards and sundrenched, rugged hills to imposing Cathar castles and historic abbeys, join us on a remarkable tour showcasing the very best of Languedoc. We explore the iconic walled Cité of Carcassonne, enjoy an excursion to the 'Ville Rose' city of Toulouse and immerse ourselves in local market life.

Departs from May 2017 to October 2017.
7 days from £1,595per personView tour details
Premium Rhine Cruise

Join us on the wonderful MS Amadeus Silver II as we cruise our way through Germany along the romantic River Rhine. From Amsterdam in Holland, we explore charming medieval wine towns, admire the breathtaking scenery of the Rhine Gorge and then cross into France, exploring charming Strasbourg before ending in the Swiss city of Basel.

Departs from April 2017 to September 2017.
8 days from £1,890per personView tour details
Classic Western Mediterranean Cruise

Step on board the Celebrity Silhouette, for a superb ocean cruise experience through the warm waters of the Western Mediterranean. Boarding at Barcelona, we travel across the sea, stopping at charming ports of call - from Cannes and the Côte d'Azur, to Tuscany and Rome, our tour takes us to the highlights of this beautiful European region.

Departs in September 2017.
12 days from £2,195per personView tour details
Premium Corsica & Côte d'Azur

Experience some of the most glorious destinations in the whole of the Mediterranean such as the idyllic, golden island of Corsica, with its picturesque beaches, and the quintessential holiday spots of the Italian and French Rivieras. Taste one of Italy's most famous dishes and discover the glamour of Monaco and Cannes, all from the comfort of your unique five-masted tall ship, the Royal Clipper.

Departs in August 2017.
11 days from £3,095per personView tour details
The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

Board the legendary Venice Simplon-Orient-Express to step back in time to a world of romance, indulgence and adventure. Travel in comfort and style as this wonderful tour takes in seductive Paris, vibrant Milan and Venice - the most beguiling of Europe's cities, offering the best in culture, art and architecture.

Departs from April 2017 to September 2017.
9 days from £4,395per personView tour details
Nice & the Côte d'Azur

The wonderful hilltop towns of fragrant Provence combine with chic resorts and the glamorous principality of Monaco on this exciting rail tour of Nice and the Côte d'Azur. Join us as we discover the French Riviera, which has long been a favoured destination of the rich and famous.

Departs from April 2017 to September 2017.
7 days from £1,395per personView tour details
Avignon, the Rhône & Provence

Discover Avignon, the Rhône and Provence. Inspiration for artists including Vincent Van Gogh, this region of France oozes history, charm and atmosphere. Staying in the delightful city of Avignon, we explore Roman Provence and enjoy a lunch cruise along the Rhône.

Departs from April 2017 to October 2017.
7 days from £1,095per personView tour details
Biarritz & the Atlantic Pyrenees

Superb sandy beaches, a mild climate and a delightful ocean promenade have drawn visitors to Biarritz for years. Here we see the region's lovely coastal resorts, the mighty Pyrenees and the unique Basque heritage.

Departs from May 2017 to September 2017.
7 days from £1,345per personView tour details
Showing 1 to 10 of 37 holidays

More about Normandy Landing Beaches

On 6th June 1944, the Allied Forces made significant progress in 'Operation Neptune', the procedure to liberate Vichy France from German occupation. Now known as D-Day, the operation was successful, and marked a major turning point in the Second World War. There are a number of sites involved in the landings that can still be seen today.

A large battery was built here by the Germans in 1943-4, as part of their Atlantic Wall fortifications. On the evening of 5th June 1944, the battery was heavily bombed by Allied Forces. This carried on throughout the following day, making it the scene of one of the longest conflicts of the operation. The 184-strong crew in the battery finally surrendered in the evening of the 6th June. The remains of the battery are still intact.

It was here that one of the artificial harbours assembled in England was sited. After being towed across the Channel, the harbour was able to provide the port facilities necessary for the Allied Forces to offload thousands of men and vehicles without coming under immediate attack. The evocative remains of this significant structure can still be seen from the shore today.

Gold, Juno and Sword beaches
Even today, the stretches of coastline where the Allied forces landed and launched their offensive are still referred to by their code names. The shore was divided into sections, and troops were assigned to different parts - with the aim that each section would be secured, before the troops from each section linked up and advanced further forward. For the most part these were successful; the only one that saw a true conflict with the Germans was Sword beach, and this was eventually overcome.

Ranville Cemetery
Ranville was the first village to be liberated in the D-Day landings, after the bridge over the Caen Canal was captured. Due to its significance in the operation, Ranville was chosen as a fitting final resting place for some of the heroic men who gave their lives. There are more than 2,200 Allied graves here, and about 330 graves of German soldiers.

Pegasus Bridge
Originally known as Bénouville bridge after its neighbouring village, this was one of the most significant early targets for the Allies. Its capture resulted in the liberation of the first French house in the early morning of 6th June. In honour of the operation, the bridge was renamed Pegasus Bridge by the Allied forces - after the flying horse on the British Airborne forces' emblem.

The bridge was replaced by a newer model in 1994, but the original was removed and preserved in the nearby museum, so that its story would be preserved for future generations.

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