Mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day on a fascinating and moving tour featuring a special live performance by the D-Day Darlings

This year sees the 75th anniversary of VE Day, when on May 8th 1945 the whole of Europe celebrated the Allies' final defeat of Hitler and the Nazi scourge. This exclusive six-day trip offers readers the chance to discover the incredible true stories of heroism and sacrifice that helped to achieve that victory, as you take moving, expertly guided tours of the key beaches and battlefields in Normandy and Dunkirk.

You will commemorate the anniversary of VE Day itself with a special dinner in Caen, where you will also hear a fascinating talk from the military historian Michael How. In Dunkirk, you will enjoy a unique performance by the celebrated 1940s singing group the D-Day Darlings. Five of the Darlings, including lead singer Katie Ashby, will sing for you during a gala dinner on board the Princess Elizabeth, a paddle steamer that helped to evacuate Allied troops from the beaches of Dunkirk in 1940. It will be a fittingly evocative climax of a tour designed to both illuminate and commemorate perhaps the most dramatic chapter in British history.

Gala dinner with the D-Day Darlings
A true highlight of your trip will be special gala dinner held in an extraordinary venue: the historic paddle steamer Princess Elizabeth, which was one of the 700 private ships used to evacuate Allied troops during Operation Dynamo. You will also enjoy a spellbinding live performance by the D-Day Darlings, whose wartime songs and costumes will help this unique evening truly capture the spirit of the 1940s.

Explore the D-Day beaches and Dunkirk
You will visit a number of fascinating battlefields during the tour, which will bring the horrors and heroism of the Second World War into memorable focus. These include many of the key locations of the D-Day campaign: Pegasus Bridge, Sword Beach, Omaha Beach and Arrowmanches-les-Baines, where you'll learn about the extraordinary Mulberry artificial harbour that made the audacious D-Day landings possible. In Dunkirk, you will take a poignant tour of the beach that witnessed the dramatic evacuation of 340,000 British, French and Belgian troops in 1940, before discovering the true story of Operation Dynamo.

Your expert guide
You will be guided throughout your tour by the knowledge and insights of military historian Michael How, who has led tour groups to many of the great battlefields of the First and Second World Wars, including Arnhem, Ypres, the Somme, Normandy and Dunkirk.

VE Day anniversary dinner
You will mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day itself with a memorable dinner at Le Mancel restaurant in the grounds of Chateau de Caen, where you will also hear historian Michael How give a fascinating private talk followed by a Q&A.

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D-Day Darlings
Musical act

Formed 10 years ago by lead singer Katie Ashby, the D-Day Darlings are Britain's premier wartime musical act, combining classic songs from the First and Second World War eras with brilliant choreography and striking period costumes.

Last year, the D-Day Darlings won national acclaim as finalists on ITV's Britain's Got Talent, where judge David Walliams said their "wonderful" performance was "the most incredible celebration of this country". The D-Day Darlings have since released their successful debut album, I'll Remember You, and won a Breakthrough Award at the BRITS. Dame Vera Lynn is among their supporters.

To see how these songs affect people and how the melody and lyrics evoke such memories was truly eye-opening for me, and it was this that made me want to build a career singing these timeless songs and bring back memories for so many people. (Katie Ashby)

D-Day Darlings

Price includes

  • Coach travel from London (or meet at Portsmouth) and throughout the tour, returning to London
  • Overnight ferry with accommodation in twin cabin from Portsmouth to Caen
  • Two nights at the Mercure Port de Plaisance in Caen
  • VE Day dinner at Le Mancel in Caen
  • Two nights at the Borel Hotel in Dunkirk
  • Dinner and live performance by five D-Day Darlings on board the restaurant ship Princess Elizabeth
  • Lunch at Le Courbet in Hermanville
  • Tours and entrance fees throughout the tour
  • Services of tour manager and military guide Michael How throughout

Availability

From
Thu, Thu, May 7, 2020
To
Tue, Tue, May 12, 2020
Duration
6 Days
Price per person
£1,249*
* Based on two sharing. Subject to availability. Our travel partner, Travel Editions, is ABTA-bonded and this trip is ATOL-protected. For full terms and conditions, go to mailtravel.co.uk/VEDay. To find out more, call Travel Editions on the booking number above.
Call now to book 02080038571
Quote ref: MOS DARLINGS
Got any questions about this trip? Send us an enquiry

Itinerary

  1. Day
    1
    Portsmouth to Caen ferry
    Caen, France

    Take the 22.45 overnight ferry from Portsmouth to Caen.

  2. Day
    2
    VE Day dinner
    Caen, France

    Arrive in Caen at 6.45 this morning. Spend the day at leisure, with time to visit the old town, two cathedrals and enjoy a leisurely lunch, before checking into the hotel for your two-night stay. This evening you'll enjoy a VE Day dinner at Le Mancel restaurant, located in the grounds of the Château de Caen with talk from military historian and tour manager, Michael How.

    Meals - Lunch, Dinner
  3. Day
    3
    D-Day sites tour
    Caen, France

    Today you will make visits to many of the places associated with June 6, 1944, better known as D-Day. This morning, you will head to Ranville and the scene of the British airborne attacks, Pegasus Bridge, and its museum. There you will learn of the glider mission to capture the bridge intact in the early hours of June 6, 1944, commanded by Major John Howard. You will move on to the 'Hillman' German position before seeing the Sword Beach landing site.

    After lunch at the famous Courbet café (included) you will journey to Bayeux to pay your respects at Bayeux War Cemetery, the largest British Cemetery on French territory. The German gun battery at Longues-sur-Mer is your next stop before you visit Omaha beach, where the US force was focused. You will follow that with the US military cemetary at Colleville-sur-mer before you return via General Montgomery's headquarters at Creully.

    Meals - Breakfast, Lunch
  4. Day
    4
    Arromanches and Dunkirk
    Arromanches-les-Bains, France

    You will spend the morning in Arromanches-les-Baines, where you will learn about the enormous Mulberry artificial harbour and pay a visit to the Musée du Débarquement. You will then transfer by coach to Dunkirk for check in to hotel for your two-night stay. This evening is free to explore at leisure.

    Meals - Breakfast
  5. Day
    5
    Dunkirk visit and D-Day Darlings performance
    Dunkirk, France

    Today, you will tour the poignant beach at Dunkirk where hundreds of civilian boats joined the 1940 evacuation of 198,000 British and 140,000 French and Belgian troops. You will learn more about this incredible story of valour at the Dunkirk War Museum. Enjoy dinner this evening onboard the paddle steamer Princess Elizabeth, which helped evacuate 1,673 Allied soldiers in Operation Dynamo with live performance from the D-Day Darlings, the UK's premier Wartime musical act, a finalist on 2018's Britain's Got Talent and endorsed by Vera Lynn herself.

    Meals - Breakfast, Dinner
  6. Day
    6
    Wormhoudt Massacre Site and Museum
    Esquelbecq, France

    On your final day, take a visit to the Wormhout Massacre Site and Museum where 80 British soldiers were massacred in 1940. You'll then return to London via the Eurotunnel crossing with arrival anticipated during the afternoon.

    Meals - Breakfast

Brought to you by

Travel Editions
This tour is operated solely by Travel Editions
Founded in 1994, Travel Editions offers a range of cultural short breaks and tours which appeal to 'travellers' not 'tourists' and whose itineraries are not readily available elsewhere.

To view Travel Editions ’s supplier’s terms and conditions click here.

This tour is protected by the following:

Availability

From
Thu, Thu, May 7, 2020
To
Tue, Tue, May 12, 2020
Duration
6 Days
Price per person
£1,249*
* Based on two sharing. Subject to availability. Our travel partner, Travel Editions, is ABTA-bonded and this trip is ATOL-protected. For full terms and conditions, go to mailtravel.co.uk/VEDay. To find out more, call Travel Editions on the booking number above.
Call now to book 02080038571
Quote ref: MOS DARLINGS