Normandy & The River Seine Header Image

Landing Beaches to Liberation: The Battle of Normandy and Seine River Cruise to Paris

Featuring expert historians William Hitchcock and Michael Neiberg
October 26-November 3, 2025

Tour Overview

Landing Beaches to Liberation: The Battle of Normandy and Seine River cruise to Paris is truly the best, most educational, and luxurious way to experience France in a different way: at a leisurely pace, discovering quaint towns, and savoring the culinary delights that can’t be found anywhere else in the world.  

Dates

Only One Departure Available!


Book Tour Now

Program Pricing

Price per person based on Double Occupancy

Grand Suite - Victor Hugo Deck
$14,799 $13,799

Suite - Victor Hugo Deck
$12,799 $11,799

Deluxe French Balcony - Victor Hugo Deck
$11,799 $10,799

French Balcony - Balzac Deck
$10,299 $9,299

Classic - Balzac Deck
$8,599 $7,599


$399 per person taxes and fees are additional.


Single accommodations are available

French Balcony 
$11,998 $10,998 
Classic 
$11,298 $10,298


Call 1-877-813-3329 x 257 to reserve single occupancy cabins. Limited availability.


Optional Three-Night Post-Tour Extension Program - Liberation of Paris - Double Occupancy
$2,249


Price per person based on Single occupancy

Optional Three-Night Post-Tour Extension Program - Liberation of Paris - Single Occupancy
$2,698


$129 per person taxes and fees are additional are included in the post-tour pricing listed above.

Download the Brochure

Download the official Landing Beaches to Liberation: The Battle of Normandy and Seine River Cruise to Paris brochure for a full listing of inclusions, accommodations, and other useful information.

Download Brochure

Deck Plan

Landing Beaches to Liberation: The Battle of Normandy and Seine River cruise to Paris

Tour Itinerary & Map

Full Tour Itinerary

November 3-5, 2025 - Optional 2-night post-Tour Extension

The Liberation of Paris

Featuring WWII expert Michael Neiberg, PhD, our custom-curated post-tour in Paris focuses on the political tug-of-war inside France during its occupation. The Vichy regime under WWI hero Philippe Petain administered the southern portions of France, while the Germans occupied the northern half, including Paris. The Vichy government proved to be willing collaborators of the Nazis, administering pro-German policies and rounding up the Jewish population of France. In the northern section, a German occupation built the Atlantic Wall and gradually reduced freedoms throughout. On tour, guests first follow in the infamous footsteps of Hitler’s 1940 visit to Paris, visiting some of the sites that he admired during his victory tour in June 1940, including the Eiffel Tower, the Opera, and the Pantheon. The second day of touring visits the refurbished Liberation Museum, which tells the story of occupation, resistance, and liberation of the city. Continue along the Champs-Elysees, admiring the view of the Arc de Triomphe before visiting Les Invalides, where Napoleon is entombed. Afternoons are left free for you to dine at your favorite Parisian restaurants for lunch and to explore the City of Light on your own.

Accommodations: Hotel du Louvre (2 Breakfasts, 1 Lunch, 1 Reception)

The Westin Paris Vendôme

October 26, 2025 - Day 1

 

Depart the US, Paris Arrival, & Transfer to the S.S. Joie De Vivre

 

Depart the US on October 28 and arrive at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport on October 29. Guests are warmly welcomed and transferred to S.S. Joie de Vivre. Early morning arrivals may choose to enjoy a morning exploring Paris independently after dropping luggage at the ship or may board the vessel and enjoy the ship’s public areas* before settling into a luxurious stateroom or suite this afternoon. This evening, bid farewell to the “City of Light” during a welcome reception and dinner on the Seine River.

Accommodations: S.S. Joie de Vivre (R, D)*

*Light lunch available on S.S. Joie de Vivre from 12:00pm–2:00pm for those arriving in the morning.


October 27, 2025 - Day 2

 

Depart the US, Paris Arrival, and Transfer to Normandy

 

Depart the US on an evening flight and arrive at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) the next morning. Guests are warmly welcomed during a breakfast reception at the Sheraton Charles de Gaulle Airport hotel and transfer to Normandy mid-day. Enjoy the scenic coach ride to the Normandy region, with a stop for an independent lunch along the way. After enjoying some free time to relax or explore the grounds of your preferred château, the group gathers this evening for introductions and an itinerary overview during a welcome reception and dinner.

Accommodations: Château (R, D)

 


October 28, 2025 - Day 3

 

US Airborne: Sainte-Mère-Église & Utah Beach

 

This morning starts with an exclusive visit to La Fiere Bridge, the scene of heavy fighting from June 6-8, 1944. Seizing this strategic causeway resulted in over 500 American casualties. Next, visit the town of Sainte-Mère-Église, where paratroopers landed during the predawn hours of D-Day. Dropping into the town square, the men of the 82nd Airborne Division fought tenaciously against the German defenders for control of this vital crossroads. Tour highlights include a visit to Musée Airborne and to the famous church. This afternoon, visit Utah Beach, one of the two American landing beaches which had four crucial causeways that allowed for the invasion forces to advance through the flooded fields. Hear the story of General Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., and visit the Utah Beach Museum, which features a restored B-26 Marauder and detailed recreations of the German beach defenses. End the touring day with a stop at Brécourt Manor, widely known as the scene of Dick Winter’s D-Day assault in the HBO mini-series Band of Brothers.

Accommodations: Château (B, L, R, D)

 


October 29, 2025 - Day 4

 

Pointe du Hoc / Omaha Beach / Normandy American Cemetery

 

The morning tour begins at Pointe du Hoc, where the 2nd Ranger Battalion scaled the cliffs to neutralize the fortified German position. The next stop is “Bloody Omaha” beach, where the US Army overcame the odds to etch a heroic chapter in history. Visits to the coastal towns of St. Laurent-sur-Mer and Vierville-sur-Mer provide a close-up view of the intricate German defense system on Omaha and give a sense of the overwhelming odds American soldiers faced on June 6, 1944. After lunch, visit the Normandy American Cemetery to pay respects to the 9,387 Americans buried in the ground they helped liberate. This evening, take part in a special “Farewell to Normandy” dinner with the group.

Château (B, L, R, D)


October 30, 2025 - Day 5

 

Bayeux / Board S.S. Joie de Vivre

 

Spend the last morning in coastal Normandy exploring the picturesque town of Bayeux. Touring includes a viewing of the Bayeux Tapestry—the historic 230 foot-long embroidered chronicle of William the Conqueror’s cross-channel invasion of England in 1066. Continue to the medieval center of the town, the Bayeux Cathedral, where a guided tour brings to life the construction of the cathedral, from the crypt to the spires. After free time to shop and have lunch at your leisure, head to Rouen to embark on the luxurious S.S. Joie de Vivre.

S.S. Joie de Vivre (B, R, D)


October 31, 2025 - Day 6

 

Dieppe / Rouen

 

On the northern coast of France lies the fishing community of Dieppe. It was here in August 1942, that the ill-fated Allied raid by mostly Canadian forces would offer invaluable lessons for D-Day nearly two years later. Marvel at the smooth stones, called shale, which make up the beach. Traction is difficult while walking on them, so one can imagine the difficulty of landing and advancing while under fire. The boardwalk behind the beach contains tributes to the units and men who came ashore in hopes of seizing and holding the town. A keen eye will be able to spot the German emplacements on the cliffs above Dieppe. After lunch and free time in this charming seaside town, return to Rouen. Described by Victor Hugo as “the city with a hundred bell towers,” and the scene of the Eighth Air Force’s first bombing mission over Europe in 1942, just two days before the Dieppe Raid. Take part in a walking tour of the town center or return to the ship to relax before dinner this evening.

S.S. Joie de Vivre (B, R, D)


November 1, 2025 - Day 7

 

La Roche-Guyon & Les Andelys

 

This morning, arrive at La Roche-Guyon, the famous 12th century château on the Seine, where Field Marshal Erwin Rommel had his headquarters. At La Roche-Guyon, “The Desert Fox” planned and prepared the tough defenses that the Allies encountered on D-Day, as well as the German movements during the campaign that followed. After lunch onboard the ship, dock at Les Andelys, and visit Château Gaillard, Richard the Lionheart’s 12th century stronghold, offering inspiring views of the Seine River.

S.S. Joie de Vivre (B, L, R, D)


November 2, 2025 - Day 8

 

Versailles or Auvers-sur-Oise

 

This morning, dock in Mantes-la-Jolie, gateway to both the city of Versailles and the commune of Auvers-sur-Oise. At the end of World War I, the world’s statesmen gathered at The Palace of Versailles to sign the ill-fated peace treaty ending “The Great War.” The defeated Germans ultimately rejected the harsh provisions of the Treaty of Versailles, setting the stage for another world war just two decades later. Visit the famous Galerie des Glaces (Hall of Mirrors), the actual site of the treaty signing. Also included is an exclusive tour of the royal apartments, which still look much as they did when Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette fled before an outraged mob in 1789. Alternatively, for those who may have visited Versailles on prior trips, there is the option to tour Auvers-sur-Oise, where Vincent van Gogh spent the last days of his life and where he is buried. While in the village, a visit to Château d’Auvers-sur-Oise offers a look at various Impressionist artists who visited this area, or you may spend free time exploring independently.

S.S. Joie de Vivre (B, L, R, D)


November 3, 2025 - Day 9

Paris

Disembark from the S.S. Joie de Vivre for transfer to Charles de Gaulle Airport.

(B)

Program Inclusions
  • Travel with featured historians William I. Hitchcock, PhD and Michael Neiberg, PhD
  • Full-time expert local guides
  • Full-time Museum logistical tour managers
  • Four nights’ accommodation in Normandy at a hand-selected 5-star château
  • Four nights’ accommodation aboard the 5-star S.S. Joie de Vivre
  • Most meals, including: (8) breakfasts, (3) lunches, (8) dinners, (8) receptions
  • House wines, beer, and spirits with included lunches and dinners during land program
  • House wines, beer, and spirits throughout the cruise while aboard the S.S. Joie de Vivre
  • All gratuities to drivers, guides, and shipboard staff
  • Entrance fees to all sites, museums, and attractions
  • Private first-class, air-conditioned motorcoach transportation
  • Personal listening devices for touring
  • Airport transfers (when arriving and departing on tour dates)
  • Informative keepsake map book to be used throughout your journey
  • Personalized luggage tags and name badge

Destination Map

For tour questions or for more information, the Travel Sales Team is available

Monday – Friday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm Central.

Call: 1-877-813-3329 x 257

Email: travel@nationalww2museum.org

Landing Beaches to Liberation: The Battle of Normandy and Seine River cruise to Paris

Featured Historians

William I. Hitchcock, PhD

William I. Hitchcock is a New York Times bestselling author and award-winning teacher who has published numerous books relating to World War II, including The Bitter Road to Freedom: A New History of the Liberation of Europe, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and a winner of the George Louis Beer Prize from the American Historical Association. He is also the author of The Age of Eisenhower: America and the World in the 1950s. He received his B.A. from Kenyon College and his Ph.D. from Yale University. He has been a Fulbright scholar, a fellow of the Nobel Institute in Oslo, and the holder of the Henry Kissinger Chair at the Library of Congress. He is now the James Madison Professor of History at the University of Virginia.

MICHAEL NEIBERG, PhD

Michael Neiberg, PhD, is the Professor of History and Chair of War Studies in the Department of National Security and Strategy at the United States Army War College. His published work specializes on the First and Second World Wars in global context. The Wall Street Journal named his Dance of the Furies: Europe and the Outbreak of World War I one of the five best books ever written about that war. He is also the author of The Blood of Free Men: The Liberation of Paris, 1944 and Potsdam: The End of World War II and the Remaking of Europe, both published by Basic Books.

In October 2016, Oxford University Press published his Path to War: How the First World War Created Modern America and in July 2017, Oxford published his Concise History of the Treaty of Versailles. He is now at work on a history of US involvement in the Middle East from 1942 to 1950.

Landing Beaches to Liberation: The Battle of Normandy and Seine River cruise to Paris

Accommodations

Guests who experience this unique journey exploring the Battle of Normandy and the Seine River have the option to spend four nights at one of two hand-selected chateaux chosen to accommodate our privileged guests. Both rated 5-stars and equivalent in grandeur, immerse yourself in the profound histories of either Château la Cheneviere or Château D’Audrieu
for the first four nights of your tour. Both centrally located for easy access to the beaches and battlefields of Normandy, unwind after a full day’s touring with exquisite dining and rich décor. Guests may choose their preferred château at the time of booking (based on availability).

Accommodations at Sea

S.S. Joie de Vivre

Take a front-row seat to history in France’s sumptuous Châteaux and on the exquisite riverboat S.S. Joie de Vivre

Uniworld’s five-star S.S. Joie de Vivre has been exclusively chartered by The National WWII Museum for our valued guests. Quite possibly the finest river ship on the waterways of Europe, her 64 staterooms and suites exude the elegance and charm of the chateâux in the region she sails. The ship’s one-of-a-kind décor features handcrafted furniture, original artwork, and signature accents inspired by 20th-century Parisian design. Public spaces include the Salon Toulouse with full-service bar, multiple dining venues, an intimate wine bar, and Le Club L’Esprit, an area dedicated to health and well-being, with a day spa, fitness center, and pool.

Accommodations on Shore

Château D’Audrieu

Château D’Audrieu, a 5-star hotel situated between Caen and Bayeux in Calvados, is ideally located in the heart of Normandy’s countryside. During World War II, the German army set up their headquarters here. On June 8, 1944, 24 members of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division and two British soldiers were killed in the orchards, forests, and clearings around the château. This 18th century residence is listed as a Historical Monument, and joined the prestigious Relais et Châteaux Association in 1977. Twenty-nine elegant rooms with garden views feature satellite TV, Wi-Fi access, and minibars. Suites offer original Louis XV and XVI furniture, or art deco styling. Le Séran restaurant serves high-end cuisine. The property also includes a bar, period-style lounges, and a charming breakfast room.

Learn More
Accommodations on Shore

Château la Chenevière

Château la Chenevière is a 5-star hotel renovated from an 18th-century mansion and farm. The château was occupied by the Germans during World War II, and then the Americans after the D-Day landings. It was fully restored in 1988 to become the lush hotel-restaurant it is today. La Chenevière boasts twenty-eight spacious and comfortable rooms that reflect the elegance and romance of its design. The decor of each room has an individual design, with a perfect blend of modern comforts and traditional luxury. Room amenities include complimentary Wi-Fi, fully stocked minibar, hair dryer, bathrobe and slippers, and courtesy l’Occitane toiletries.

Learn More
Landing Beaches to Liberation: The Battle of Normandy and Seine River cruise to Paris

Testimonials

“The museum does a magnificent job in planning and executing the tour. The museum organized extraordinarily good local guides and prominent historians. Accommodations, meals, bus and vessel travel were exquisite. The tour managers were unfailingly well organized, service-oriented, warm, poised, and effective.”

Dustin L.

New Orleans, LA


“This D-Day Trip was our first experience traveling to Europe, and it was A+ and beyond! Everything about the trip was truly memorable and worth its value. Unforgettable! We are inspired to take MORE TRIPS with the WWII Museum, because they are so well-planned and we know that we will love every minute. Again, a special shout-out to WWII staff, as their attention to making every moment memorable was a defining reason why this trip will always be one of our very favorites ever!”

—Dax P., New York, NY


“We had high expectations, and you exceeded them.”

—Jackie H., Seattle, WA


“Looking forward to our next trip soon. Loved it. It was an amazing experience. Can’t wait for more trips! Phenomenal.”

—Jason J., Houston, TX


“Par Excellence! They were so prepared, so pleasant and so accommodating that I was able to learn more historical, and cultural facts than I thought possible.”

—Craig T., Phoenix, AZ


“We were very pleased with the accommodations at the chateau and aboard the SS Joie de Vivre. The chateau provided spacious, well-equipped rooms, elegant dining facilities, and an open, airy meeting space. We especially enjoyed the grounds of La Cheneviere even in the rain. Enchanting chateau! Would love to visit again.”

—Andy S., Lockport, LA


“It was a beautiful Chateau and the food was delicious. The waiters were awesome. The cruise was also beautiful. The food was fabulous.”

—Donna M., Philadelphia, PA


“Absolutely IMPECCABLE!!!! Your staff and the historians were brilliant.”

—Chris P., Santa Barbara, CA


“Tour was exceptionally organized in all respects. Have already recommended tours through the museum to others.”

—Becky W., New Orleans, LA

Landing Beaches to Liberation: The Battle of Normandy and Seine River cruise to Paris

Request More Information