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Celebrity LeHavre Tours to Normandy 2020


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Choosing a ship sponsored tour to Normandy.  Looking for reviews/experiences with the following excursions:

D-Day Landing Beaches (Full Day) $114.75

The Beaches of Normandy $194.75

Beaches Exclusive - Small Group $304

 

Unfortunately how they are explained on the excursion list seems minimal (the D-Day Landing sounds the best but is Small Group the same???) 

Will also post on Ports of Call but this seems to be specific to Celebrity.  

And, yes, I know there are many excellent tour companies - however, DH is more comfortable with a cruise sponsored tour given the distance involved.

 

Thank you!!!

 

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9 minutes ago, Tyskie said:

Choosing a ship sponsored tour to Normandy.  Looking for reviews/experiences with the following excursions:

D-Day Landing Beaches (Full Day) $114.75

The Beaches of Normandy $194.75

Beaches Exclusive - Small Group $304

 

Unfortunately how they are explained on the excursion list seems minimal (the D-Day Landing sounds the best but is Small Group the same???) 

Will also post on Ports of Call but this seems to be specific to Celebrity.  

And, yes, I know there are many excellent tour companies - however, DH is more comfortable with a cruise sponsored tour given the distance involved.

 

Thank you!!!

 

 

This is a vote for a private company.  OVERLORD Tours took us all through Normandy and the area in 2016 on our TA with Celebrity and it was, hands down, the BEST tour we've ever done.   I know you said you would prefer a cruise sponsored tour but this company is so reputable you will have no worries about them getting you back to the ship WELL ahead of when you leave.  If your port stop is like most you won't leave port until late in the evening so that those who went to Paris with X can get back to the ship.  On our tour we were back at the ship by a little after 5 and the ship didn't leave port till 10AM.

 

It's such an important place that if you are able to talk him into it you won't be sorry.  Our tour had only 8 people. SO much better than a big bus ship tour.

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I have used the following company from Caen., but they picked up from our ship which was in Honfleur. They took us to Mont St Michel, but I know they also do tours of the D Day beaches.

acsm-tours@hotmail.com 

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2 hours ago, Gracie115 said:

 

This is a vote for a private company.  OVERLORD Tours took us all through Normandy and the area in 2016 on our TA with Celebrity and it was, hands down, the BEST tour we've ever done.   

 

Hi Jeanne, hope you are feeling better after the repo, I had laryngitis the last 2 days and then was hit hard with the respiratory infection, this Tues was my first day "out", lol   It was a good trip as always - great to see everyone!

 

We just switched from HAL to X after the repo, so many of the tours were filled.  Yes, the Overlord tour is booked solid with our group.   We usually only do private tours but Frank I know would feel more comfortable with Celebrity because of the distance.  He usually will go with whatever I choose (silly boy!) but this one he's pretty adamant about.  So unless I hear of any positive reviews, we'll probably do the small group tour.  We'll see what we see and give us a good reason to return!  Thanks❤️

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19 minutes ago, Tyskie said:

 

Hi Jeanne, hope you are feeling better after the repo, I had laryngitis the last 2 days and then was hit hard with the respiratory infection, this Tues was my first day "out", lol   It was a good trip as always - great to see everyone!

 

We just switched from HAL to X after the repo, so many of the tours were filled.  Yes, the Overlord tour is booked solid with our group.   We usually only do private tours but Frank I know would feel more comfortable with Celebrity because of the distance.  He usually will go with whatever I choose (silly boy!) but this one he's pretty adamant about.  So unless I hear of any positive reviews, we'll probably do the small group tour.  We'll see what we see and give us a good reason to return!  Thanks❤️

 

HI-

I am finally feeling better too.  I've never been sick on a ship before and between what I think was food poisoning from somewhere (not necessarily from the ship) on Day 2 and then being quarantined for a day due to that and catching the respiratory infection a few days later it wasn't our best cruise, but still fun, we like the Regal.

 

If they are offering a small group tour I'd go that way too since the others are full, no matter what it is such an important place I am sure Celebrity will do a fine job too.  Hope you have a great cruise.

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Another vote for OVERLORD!! We used them on our second trip to Normandy and the tour is fantastic. On our first visit, we used the ship's tour and there is absolutely no comparison unless the itinerary has dramatically changed.  Ship...see Omaha Beach from the Cemetery.  With OVERLORD, we walked the Beach while the Guide detailed the D-Day invasion!! Definitely a lifetime Memory!!!

 

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Remember there are 4 main landing beaches, so depending on your country of residence/ origin, it will determine which beaches you are interested in.

Overlord tours concentrate on the American beaches of Omaha and Utah.

I was interested in the British beaches of Gold & Sword and especially of  the Canadian beach of Juno, as my dad was Beach Master there on 06.06.1944.

I found it difficult to find a company who included Juno beach, so eventually did a non ship’s tour. I was lucky enough to visit in May this year, so saw preparations for the 75 th Anniversary of the Day Day landings.

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Edited by upwarduk
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We also loved OVERLORD. They even sent links to things to read prior to our tour, if we wished, to better put things into perspective during the tour. We had the most amazing guide, a Normandy native who so appreciated those countries who helped his free his country. When someone joked about Americans not being loved in France, he said (with genuine passion) that Americans are always welcome in Normandy and that they will never forget what we (and others did). While we were at the American Cemetery, French school children were also there. He told us that it was a requirement for school children to visit so that they will never forget. He arranged a ceremony for my great uncle buried there that we will never forget.  This was the best tour we have ever experienced!

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1 hour ago, vtcruising said:

We also loved OVERLORD. They even sent links to things to read prior to our tour, if we wished, to better put things into perspective during the tour. We had the most amazing guide, a Normandy native who so appreciated those countries who helped his free his country.

Same experience here - superb tour!

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Thank you all for your information and response.  Unfortunately, Overlord is completely booked.  We are waitlisted with another company but DH is concerned with the distance involved and I don't think I'll be able to change his mind.

 

Very good to know that X tour doesn't go down to the beach.  I knew this would be difficult, but not this much!  Thank you.

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I don't doubt all the recommendations for a private tour company, but since you expressed a strong preference for going through Celebrity (and because we generally do the same) I offer this recommendation.  We did the Exclusive Small Group tour through Celebrity last June and loved it.  There were only 6 of us, in a mini van, and our driver/tour operator was a true student of history.  Not only was he expert in all things Normandy, but in WWII history generally.  He was fantastic.  And with just 6 of us there was no waiting around for others to join the bus etc.  Highly recommend.  

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Another vote for a private tour company.  It's too significant to see with a "busload".

 

Sincerely suggest that anyone going to tour the D-Day area take a look at Steven Ambrose's D-Day book.  Reading that before going (yes it is VERY long) really enhanced appreciation of the sites and what happened there.  

 

 

 

 

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We did the Celebrity tour back in 2016 - I picked the cheapest tour they offered because we were on a 34 night B2B2B and we had so many tours planned.  It was great.  Even though you may have more people on the bus, everyone was back to the bus on time, we had great weather, and we saw a lot.  I don't have a problem using the ship's excursions.

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3 hours ago, fsr44 said:

 We did the Exclusive Small Group tour through Celebrity last June and loved it.  There were only 6 of us, in a mini van, and our driver/tour operator was a true student of history.  Not only was he expert in all things Normandy, but in WWII history generally.  He was fantastic.  And with just 6 of us there was no waiting around for others to join the bus etc.  Highly recommend.  

 

Thank you for posting fsr44 - this was exactly what I wanted to hear - the good, the bad, the ugly!  Good to hear it was a positive experience.

 

We did book the Exclusive Small Group tour.  If we were going with the ship tour, it was worth to pay extra for small group.  I was wondering what the size of the small group would be.  Perfect!

 

Do you remember exactly where you stopped along the way and also while at Normandy.  Did you get down on the beach?  The little things you read about but the "blurb" on the tour doesn't specify. 

Jane

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I'll do my best to remember the day, in order.  We were picked up at the ship and drove the nearly three hours (if I recall) to Pointe du Hac.  We took a short rest stop at about the halfway point at a perfectly clean highway rest area/tourist info/cafe place with a surprisingly good French bakery.  We toured Pointe du Hoc with its moonscape of shell craters and Axis fortifications and bunkers.  Lots of climbing around and in and out, and a good view down the coast toward Omaha and Utah.  You'll also see the cliff the Rangers scaled and the Rangers memorial.  Then we drove to Omaha beach and yes, we did get right onto the beach and our fantastic guide sketched us a diagram in the sand as he explained the sequence of landings.  Omaha Beach itself is just amazing.  Then we went to the American Cemetary, where we had plenty of time to wander on our own.  Afterwards, we drove through the towns nearest Juno and Sword to Arromanches to view the remains of the artificial harbor and take a leisurely lunch.  We sat at an outdoor table at La Marine, right over the beach, and had a lovely seafood lunch.  After lunch we met our guide and drove to the Pegasus Bridge, site of the first glider landings and skirmish on the eve of D-Day.  (You might want to watch the film "The Longest Day" before you go).  After that, it was back to Le Havre with, again, a stop at the halfway point.  We truly enjoyed it and hope you do, too.  The entire cruise was fantastic, and I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

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8 hours ago, fsr44 said:

I'll do my best to remember the day, in order.  We were picked up at the ship and drove the nearly three hours (if I recall) to Pointe du Hac.  We took a short rest stop at about the halfway point at a perfectly clean highway rest area/tourist info/cafe place with a surprisingly good French bakery.  We toured Pointe du Hoc with its moonscape of shell craters and Axis fortifications and bunkers.  Lots of climbing around and in and out, and a good view down the coast toward Omaha and Utah.  You'll also see the cliff the Rangers scaled and the Rangers memorial.  Then we drove to Omaha beach and yes, we did get right onto the beach and our fantastic guide sketched us a diagram in the sand as he explained the sequence of landings.  Omaha Beach itself is just amazing.  Then we went to the American Cemetary, where we had plenty of time to wander on our own.  Afterwards, we drove through the towns nearest Juno and Sword to Arromanches to view the remains of the artificial harbor and take a leisurely lunch.  We sat at an outdoor table at La Marine, right over the beach, and had a lovely seafood lunch.  After lunch we met our guide and drove to the Pegasus Bridge, site of the first glider landings and skirmish on the eve of D-Day.  (You might want to watch the film "The Longest Day" before you go).  After that, it was back to Le Havre with, again, a stop at the halfway point.  We truly enjoyed it and hope you do, too.  The entire cruise was fantastic, and I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

Thanks, great info 😀

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Overlord Tours is the best and you will be treated to exceptional tour.

 

I would also suggest to get the book by Major Holt and Mrs. Holt. It has some of the best examples and descriptions of all the things to do and see in Normandy. It has a step by step self guided tours with GPS coordinates. Even if you are on a guided tour I wouldn’t hesitate to get the book and bring it with me.

 

Have a good time

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37 minutes ago, Airrace said:

Overlord Tours is the best and you will be treated to exceptional tour.

 

I would also suggest to get the book by Major Holt and Mrs. Holt. It has some of the best examples and descriptions of all the things to do and see in Normandy. It has a step by step self guided tours with GPS coordinates. Even if you are on a guided tour I wouldn’t hesitate to get the book and bring it with me.

 

Have a good time


The OP has repeatedly stated that they are SOLD OUT for her date.

 

(As an aside... Am I the only one who is put off by that name? The connotation to me is not good.)

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