Experience Paris and Normandy with world-renowned Presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin. You’ll arrive in Paris and spend three nights at the opulent Le Bristol hotel. Take a VIP trip up the Eiffel Tower with a descendant of Gustave Eiffel, who will whisk you past the tourist lines and open his family archives to you. Then come two nights in Normandy, at the Château d’Audrieu, an 18th-century palace converted into a five-star hotel. See Bayeux’s cathedral and famous tapestry, an 11th-century embroidery depicting William the Conqueror’s invasion of England in 1066. Spend your final day on a driving tour of Normandy’s iconic World War II sites. See Mulberry harbor in Arromanches and the Batterie de Longues, where German artillery still sits; then continue to Omaha Beach, where the largest assault landed. Visit the Normandy American Cemetery and walk along the Pointe du Hoc, 100-foot-high cliffs scaled by US Army Rangers.
Welcome to Paris! Your private hostess will meet you at the arrivals gate and escort you through customs, baggage claim and onto your private chauffeur. Transfer to Le Bristol Hotel.
Your private guide will meet you at your hotel this morning and bring you on a tour that details the German occupation of Paris during World War II. German forces overwhelmed French defenses before crossing the Seine, and Paris was taken without resistance. By June 22, 1940, France signed an armistice with Germany and Hitler visited Paris the following day. The Third French Republic dissolved, replaced by two years of the Vichy France puppet regime. Your tour starts in the heart of the historic Marais district where your guide will highlight key historical events leading up to the German invasion of France. A walk through the Jewish quarter includes a history of deportation to the German death camps, primarily Auschwitz. Your guide will also touch upon some of the unsung heroes who played a part in turning the tides of oppression. You’ll stop by Paris’s Holocaust museum & the Wall of the Righteous before crossing the river toward Ile de la Cité. You will pass by iconic buildings like Notre Dame Cathedral, the Paris Préfecture, and the Conciergerie. There is no pre-set itinerary and your private guide will customize the tour to your wishes with the time allowed.
Today your guide will meet you at your hotel and you will enjoy a day focusing on Marie Antoinette. Few personalities in history fascinate as much as Marie Antoinette’s. Fewer still provoke so much controversy and passion. This unique day attempts both to acquaint you with some of her milieus in France and with the many facets of her personality, from the frivolous, superficial girl who debarked in France, to the austere, self-controlled monarch who climbed the scaffold, with infinite poise, in the Place de la Revolution (now Concorde) in the last minutes of her life.
Your guide will take you to see some of her favorite haunts, including: The Bagatelle Chateau, which was the result of the bet that she lost with her brother-in-law (that it could not be built in less than two months), and the Comedie Francaise theater that she so often frequented. We will then trace the route from the Conciergerie to the Place de la Revolution, to the very spot where her life ended.
This morning you will enjoy a scenic drive along the Normandy coast toward Honfleur. Discover the charms of quaint, historic villages such as Cabourg, Trouville and Deauville and finally Honfleur. Situated at the mouth of the Seine River, Honfleur boasts both sea and river ports where hundreds of fishing boats and yachts line its quay. Narrow streets in the Vieux Basson meander past slate- fronted houses and past 17th century salt warehouses which have been converted into art galleries. The Eglise St. Catherine, built entirely of wood, is fascinating to visit as is the Maison Satie, the home of beloved composer Erik Satie. A private presentation of Honfleur by an expert guide will be provided.
You will be met in your hotel lobby at 9AM by Mark Lane, a WWII Historian and former Executive Director of the Witte Museum in San Antonio, Texas. He is the only American historian currently leading tours on Normandy’s invasion beaches. Mark interviewed many D-Day veterans, collected authentic WWII objects and has a deep knowledge of historical and political facts about June 6th, 1944. He is dedicated to keeping the soldier’s stories alive through his interactive, emotionally-rich tours of Normandy’s D-Day beaches, including Omaha Beach, Vierville Draw Beach, Utah Beach, Arromanches, Pointe du Hoc, as well as an American Cemetery at Colleville sur Mer.
Your private chauffeur will meet you at your hotel and take you the airport for your departing flight.
COST PER PERSON
Please inquire for pricing details
- 3 nights at Le Bristol and 2 nights at Château d’Audrieu
- All transfers as noted in luxury private vehicles
- All touring as noted in the itinerary
- Meals & drinks included on days and meals as noted