DAY 1 | Sept. 2. Depart for Paris, France
DAY 2 | Sept. 3. Honfleur
Upon arrival, transfer airplane to Honfleur and check in to the Mercure Honfleur Hôtel. This evening, join your fellow travelers for a Welcome Reception at the hotel followed by a Welcome Dinner at a restaurant in Honfleur. (D)
DAY 3 | Sept. 4. Honfleur
Excursion: Historic Honfleur. Get to know your home base of Honfleur as you stroll the narrow streets in its classic French town center, nestled against a striking 17th-century harbor. Soak in the scene that has inspired artists, writers and musicians for centuries as you visit the Old Port, the wooden Church of Sainte-Cathérine and other historic landmarks.
Local Flavor: A lunch of local specialties is served at a restaurant in Honfleur.
Independent Exploration: The afternoon is yours to relax or explore Honfleur at your leisure.
Educational Focus: D-Day and the Battle of Normandy. The region’s proud and colorful history has profoundly influenced the development of France, Great Britain and Western civilization. Discuss the fascinating journey that was so pivotal in the Allied effort. (B, L)
DAY 4 | Sept. 5. Normandy Beaches and Landmarks
Excursion: D-Day and the Battle of Normandy. Take an emotional journey to Omaha Beach and its memorial, where the largest concentration of U.S. troops landed on June 6, 1944 in the face of heavy German resistance. Continue along the Calvados coastline, the theater for Operation Overlord, history’s most complex and important military venture. See the U.S. Military Cemetery at St. Laurent-sur-Mer and the German gun emplacements at Pointe du Hoc.
Local Flavor: During the excursion, enjoy lunch at a nearby restaurant. Dinner is served at a restaurant on Honfleur’s scenic harbor. (B, L, D)
DAY 5 | Sept. 6. Honfleur
Excursion: A Classic French Market. Explore the colorful markets of Honfleur and shop for regional specialties such as world-renowned cheeses Camembert, Livarot and Pont-l’Évêque.
Local Flavor: Enjoy a delicious lunch at a restaurant.
Educational Focus: The French Resistance. Discuss the origins and leaders of the resistance, the role of the French in the lead-up to D-Day and the heroic efforts of the service members for their countries. (B, L)
DAY 6 | Sept. 7. Normandy Beaches and Landmarks
Excursion: D-Day and the Battle of Normandy. Journey to Caen, where the Peace Memorial honors the heroes of the Battle for Caen. This year marks the 25th anniversary of this important museum. Continue to Utah Beach and the commune of Sainte-Mère-Église. Stop at the German cemetery at La Cambe, a stark contrast to the American cemetery.
Local Flavor: Enjoy lunch at the Caen Peace Memorial. Dinner is served at a restaurant on the harbor in Honfleur. (B, L, D)
DAY 7 | Sept. 8. Mont-Saint-Michel
Excursion: Le Mont-Saint-Michel. The sight of Mont-Saint-Michel’s dramatic, sky-scraping turrets towering over the flat white sands that surround the granite island leave little wonder why this UNESCO World Heritage site is considered a Wonder of the Western World. Mont-Saint Michel’s first church was built in the eighth century and as buildings were added, the island also served as a monastery, fortress and prison.
Local Flavor: Lunch is served at a local restaurant.
Independent Exploration: The rest of the day is yours to explore at your leisure. (B, L)
DAY 8 | Sept. 9. Giverny / Honfleur
Excursion: Claude Monet at Giverny. Visit Monet’s house in Giverny, located at the top of the gardens featured so prominently in his paintings. Admire their tranquil beauty, then visit the studio where he painted his famous “Water Lily” series. Continue to the Terra Museum of American Art, dedicated to the history of impressionism and how this movement influenced a “colony” of American artists.
Educational Focus: The Birthplace of Impressionism. Learn why Normandy is considered the “cradle” of impressionism.
Local Flavor: Lunch is served at La Terra Café among the gardens of the museum. On the way back to Honfleur, stop for a tasting of Calvados, Normandy’s famous brandy. This evening, gather with your fellow travelers for a Farewell Reception and a Graduation Ceremony followed by a Farewell Dinner. (B, L, D)
DAY 9 | Sept. 10.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for the return flights to your gateway city. (B)