Have you ever wondered exactly what it was like to be a US Paratrooper of the 82nd or 101st Airborne Divisions during the D-Day jump into Normandy and in the days that followed? Wondered what it was like to find yourself alone in a drop zone, not knowing where the other members of your unit were? Wondered what it was like, day-in and day-out, to survive during those first days? What these brave men saw as they peered around a hedgerow, not knowing what was on the other side? What went through their minds? If your answer to any of these questions is yes, than look no further - our tour is for you!
Each component of our tour experience is historically accurate, from the vehicles, uniforms and weapons to the operations, lodging, tactics, training and maneuvers. For seven days after arriving in Normandy, you will call Ste Mere Eglise, Ste Marie Du Mont, Hiesville, La Fiere, Ste Come Du Mont, Saint-Germain-de-Varreville, Angoville-au-Plain, and the other villages and towns of the Cotentin Peninsula home, just as the paratroopers did in 1944.
We offer a "fully immersive" tour that takes you off the beaten path and puts you "into the hedgerows" of 1944, a unique experience that is not offered by any other D-Day tour company. Come join us for the experience of a lifetime in the land that "never forgets" its American liberators.
We look forward to meeting you at the drop zone.
For a more complete description, request the Full Trip Brochure
Arrive in Ste Come du Mont, Normandy where your immersion experience begins. Transportation from the Carentan train station is provided to those clients arriving in Normandy by rail. Upon arrival at the French manor house that will serve as our base of operations in Normandy, we will gather for a briefing outlining the week's events. Our Quartermaster will issue all equipment and dummy weapons, and we will enjoy a welcome barbeque dinner. After dinner, those interested will enjoy a trip into Ste Mere Eglise.
Visit Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial at Colleville sur Mer, Omaha Beach, and then get an in-depth overview of the events of June 5 and 6, 1944, in and around Ste Mere Eglise, including viewing damage from the battles that can still be seen today. Tour the Airborne Museum where you can look firsthand at the equipment, weapons and relics from the June 6 drops around Ste Mere Eglise. Return to headquarters for our first simulated military operation in WWII uniforms and gear, which will take place in Angoville au Plain / Les Drouries.
Our ground-based tour takes to the air with an in-depth, custom-designed aerial reconnaissance flight over the invasion beaches (including Omaha and Utah), Point du Hoc, numerous towns and villages and many of the drop zones of the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions. You will see the drop zones and glider landing areas from the air as they appear today to give you a sense of what the pilots saw more than 65 years ago. Upon touching down at the end of our flight, we will conduct a ground tour of a fully-functioning C-47 (based upon availability). Later in the day, we tour Point du Hoc and can take an optional evening trip into Ste Mere Eglise or Ste Marie du Mont.
After breakfast, we again suit up, put on our equipment, grab our weapons and board our authentic World War II vehicles for tactical operation number two near Saint-Germain-de-Varreville. At the conclusion of this operation, our WWII vehicles will bring us to Dead Man's Corner. The afternoon offers a brief respite before we head towards Carentan for dinner on the Carentan Causeway, better known as "Purple Heart Lane." It was here that the 502nd PIR of the 101st Airborne Division, led by Lt. Col. Robert Cole, made valiant attempts to come down the causeway towards Carentan leading to Cole's infamous "bayonet charge."
Dawn breaks and we undergo a briefing on tactical operations three and four -- "La Fiere" and "Neuville au Plain." After "gearing-up," we board our WWII vehicles and conduct a tactical operation on the attack on the Manoir at La Fiere. After an authentic "period" lunch, we will be transported again in the WWII vehicles to Neuville au Plain for operation number four. At the conclusion of operation four, we will be transported to the location of the death of German General Wilhelm Falley, followed by an excursion to Cauquigny and then Timmes' Orchard.
After breakfast and a briefing, we will depart for a short drive to Chef du Pont, one of the Regimental Aid Stations and additional locations of interest. After a lunch in a local village, you will have free time available to explore the many villages, or perhaps take an optional trip to the German Coastal Artillery Complex at Crisbecq. We will return to our HQ in late afternoon in order to relax, brief and prep for our simulated "night drop." It is on this operation that your training, know-how, understanding of period tactics and trust in your unit will prepare you for an experience that is second to none.
Darkness falls. After finding yourself at your "landing zone," you will move out from and to the same locations as the paratroopers did the morning of June 6, 1944. With the same weather, same countryside, same fear and same feeling of helplessness, you will journey to a village. Is it the right village and are you at the right drop zone? Where is your "stick?" More importantly, where is the enemy? You will find out as you evade and attempt to take your objective. This will offer you an unforgettable experience. Our goal is to make this experience as "accurate as possible without getting shot at."
A full day of exploration is in order as we once again don our equipment and weapons, climb into our WWII vehicles and head out to locations such as Marmion Farm, Brecourt Manor, XYZ Complex, Ste Marie du Mont and other significant areas within the 82nd and 101st areas of operation. Today you will also see Utah Beach and its museum before departing for Chateau Colombieres, which was the designated location for the 101st Airborne Divisional Hospital which was run by the 326th Airborne Medical Company. An excursion into Ste Mere Eglise will culminate with a farewell barbeque at our manor house. Your evening is free.
We make a final stop at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial at Colleville sur Mer, Omaha Beach to pay final respects and put our entire experience into perspective. Your immersion experience concludes upon return to our Manor House. Transportation to the Carentan train station is provided to those clients departing Normandy by rail for destinations beyond.
What you will experience
Our tours are strenuous and require walking/hiking in full WWII-era military uniform (with boots, helmet, weapons and accessories) on uneven and hilly terrain, traveling through historical battlefields, using non-firing WWII-period replica weapons, participating in simulated military operations (sometimes at night or in low light conditions) and exploring WWII-era bunkers and buildings. All participants must be in good physical condition. We recommend that you make a special effort to get in top physical condition for the trip.
In Normandy, we stay in a historic manor house in Ste Come du Mont. All meals are included. Evening meals are usually at our hotel unless noted in the detailed itinerary and will consist of hearty French country fare. We use many forms of transportation, so we ask that you restrict your luggage to one piece of soft-sided luggage, plus airline approved carry-on luggage.
All of our accommodations, vans and other transportation are non-smoking. Tour participants are responsible for conforming to basic standards of personal hygiene and to historically-accurate appearance and dress (i.e., proper impression uniforms and equipment, no long hair, beards, earrings, etc.) For photos and complete uniform/gear requirements, click HERE
. The tour participant must at all times comply with the laws, customs and regulations of France, including the prohibition on displaying Nazi symbols or engaging in any other pro-Nazi activities while on the tour. All participants must act in a considerate manner toward all group participants and NDZT staff.
Once you have signed up for a tour and paid your $2,500 deposit, we will send a complete equipment and packing list, relevant health information and required travel documents.