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The Beaches of Normandy

Updated: Oct 6, 2022

River Cruising from Paris on the Seine River

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Have you heard of Le Havre, France? No? How about the Beaches of Normandy?

If you’re a little rusty on your World War II history, the beaches at Normandy were where a massive Allied invasion launched on June 6, 1944, known as D-Day, with the intent to free France and the surrounding European countries from Nazi occupation. The invasion, which took place on five different beaches, was successful, and by the end of the day, the U.S., Canadian, and British forces were ready to continue advancing across Nazi-occupied France.

Today, there are many memorials, cemeteries, and museums along the 35 miles of D-Day Landing beaches. Over 3,000 Allied servicemen lost their lives on this momentous day. Three of the most-commonly visited locations today are:

Gold Beach. British troops landed on Gold Beach, with the intent to create two tide-free sheltered ports so that war material could be delivered. Everything was pre-made in the U.K. and then towed across the English Channel to Gold Beach after the victory on D-Day.

Pointe du Hoc. This cliff is strategically located as the highest point between Utah Beach and Omaha Beach. The entire area is still full of original bunkers and bomb craters, and a monument to the fallen U.S. Army Rangers stands on the cliff. On D-Day, the mission at Pointe du Hoc was to ambush the German artillery positioned here and silence it.

Omaha Beach. Omaha Beach was where 2/3 of the U.S. seaborne troops landed, and was home to huge casualties, but by the end of the day, the Germans pulled back and the Allied forces had won. Today, this beach area has a monument, a large American cemetery, and many bunkers along the shoreline.

Why am I telling you all of this? These beautiful and memorable beaches of Normandy are part of what we will visit on a river cruise on the Seine River October 14-21, 2023. The cruise includes a full-day excursion to the Beaches at Normandy! If you’re not as much of a history buff, you can choose a visit to the seaside town of Honfleur, known for its picturesque harbors and inspiration for Impressionist painters.

My husband Sean and I are looking forward to visiting this area. The Normandy Beaches and Le Havre are the site of the final day on the cruise, so if you want to spend more time, I’d be happy to book an extra hotel night or two so you can explore the area with more detail.

The Le Havre area will surely be one of the highlights of this amazing cruise!

We have space available and would love to have you join us! Click here for more details.


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