80th Anniversary of D-Day Cruise: D-Day & The Bomber War

An All-Inclusive Tour Aboard Seabourn Ovation

Hamburg • Amsterdam • East Anglia • Dunkirk • Honfleur • Normandy Beaches • Pointe du Hoc • Dover

MAY 29–JUNE 8, 2024


For the 80th Anniversary of D-Day, honor the men and women who helped to liberate a continent. Sail from Hamburg aboard Seabourn Ovation on May 29, 2024, with world-renowned historians and a custom itinerary emphasizing the land, sea, and air campaigns of World War II. Stand where history was made in Normandy for an unforgettable 80th anniversary ceremony on June 6th, 2024.

TOUR OVERVIEW

The 80th Anniversary of D-Day cruise features a custom itinerary emphasizing the land, sea, and air campaigns of World War II. Sail from Hamburg, which was systematically destroyed by an Allied bombing campaign in July 1943. Sail aboard the exquisite Seabourn Ovation towards Amsterdam and learn about the Dutch Resistance during the war.  A two-day stop in East Anglia, England, provides a special emphasis to the airmen and their ground support who helped make D-Day possible. Next, a stop in Dunkirk to learn more about Operation Dynamo.  Finally, land in Normandy for four days of touring  the rural countryside and beaches that became the backdrop for the largest amphibious invasion in history. Featured tour historians Donald L. Miller, Alexandra Richie, John McManus, and Keith Lowe provide a signature lecture series during the voyage.

Commemorate D-Day's 80th Anniversary

As a guest of the Museum, you’ll enjoy privileged access to top WWII sites and special invitations to events both on board and ashore during this major commemoration. This tour is for both the advanced and amateur historian in search of the most authentic experience of Normandy as it was. For a more robust experience, you may choose to add a specially arranged pre-cruise tour in Hamburg or post-cruise tour program in London.

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BOOK YOUR TRIP WITH US!


Pay a deposit to ensure your spot. A $5,000 per suite deposit is required to book. Save $2,000 per couple off your final invoice when booking early!

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TOUR INCLUSIONS

  • Travel with featured authors and historians Donald L. Miller, PhD, Alexandra Richie, DPhil, John McManus, PhD, and Keith Lowe.
  • Comprehensive lecture series from world-renowned historians throughout the program
  • “Build Your Perfect Journey” included shore excursions with expert local battlefield guides at each port
  • Video oral history presentations from The National WWII Museum’s Digital Collection
  • Roundtrip airport transfers (when arriving and departing on scheduled cruise dates or the optional pre-tour)
  • VIP access to sites not offered on other tours
  • Ten nights aboard Seabourn Ovation
  • Private, first-class, air-conditioned motor coach transportation on all shore excursions
  • Personal listening devices on all included touring
  • Gratuities to shipboard staff, local guides, and drivers
  • All meals on board including specialty restaurants, as well as select meals ashore as identified in final program itinerary
  • Unlimited beverages including premium wines, spirits, beer, coffee, water, tea, soft drinks, and juices, plus en-suite minibar, replenished daily
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout the ship
  • Welcome, farewell, and veteran recognition receptions
  • Commemorative map book including useful battlefield maps and archival images to be used throughout your journey
  • Personalized luggage tags and customized name badge
  • Keepsake travel gifts to remember your voyage

A portion of your booking value is tax deductible.

For Additional Services Please Call: 1-877-813-3329 x 257

ABOUT THE TOUR

OPERATION GOMORRAH: THE DEVASTATION OF HAMBURG

OPTIONAL THREE-NIGHT PRE-CRUISE TOUR

Featuring Five-Star Accommodations on Land

May 26–29, 2022

Bomber warfare was a new concept in the years leading to World War II. Japan’s war against China in the 1930s employed bombs that specifically targeted civilians. In 1940, the German Luftwaffe razed large sections of Rotterdam through aerial bombardment. The escalation of tactics,material, and destruction continued from 1940–1945 with numerous cities turning to rubble. 

For one week in July 1943, a combined operation by the Royal Air Force and the American Eighth Air Force systematically destroyed Hamburg. Several factors influenced Hamburg’s destruction. First, the city was a hub of manufacturing and shipbuilding. Its location near the coast meant that Allied bombers had little resistance from the ground. Also, Hamburg was one of five “Fuhrer Cities,” designated for massive construction projects that would demonstrate the power of the Third Reich.

On this two-day tour of Hamburg, visit St. Nikolai Church, preserved for more than 80 years in its state of wartime destruction. Several massive flak towers dot the city, evidence of the German efforts to combat the Allied Bombers. Ohlsdorf Cemetery, one of the largest in the world, contains a mass grave to the victims of the attack overlooked by a statue showing the crossing of the River Styx.

Accommodations: Grand Atlantic Hamburg (2 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 receptions, 1 dinner)

Cruise Itinerary

Day 1: May 29, 2024

EMBARKATION: HAMBURG

The voyage begins in the city where the bomber war reached a pinnacle in July 1943. For nearly a week, British and American bombers pounded the city “‘round the clock.” Firestorms ripped through the city, creating a refugee crisis that shocked Germany. The invincibility of the Nazi regime was shaken as stories of the city’s destruction spread with the fleeing citizens. Keith Lowe provides commentary on Operation Gomorrah during a special presentation this evening.

Accommodations: Seabourn Ovation (R, D)

Day 2: May 30, 2024 - At Sea | Day 3: May 31, 2024 - Amsterdam

AT SEA & AMSTERDAM

After the Netherlands fell in 1940, the oppression by the Nazi regime clamped down on Dutch society. The country’s Jewish population was forced into hiding as the Nazis deported Jews to the death camps. The Diary of Anne Frank tells just one family’s story during their time in hiding. Throughout the country, thousands of Jewish families fled into hiding with fears of discovery or betrayal. On a canal cruise of the city and a visit the Dutch Resistance Museum, learn more about the families who went into hiding and the Dutch citizens who chose to collaborate or resist.

Accommodations: Seabourn Ovation (B, L, D)

Day 4: June 1, 2024

GREAT YARMOUTH

From 1942–1945, the east of England was the most heavily trafficked air space in the world. Airfields popped up every few miles, creating miniature cities populated with young American flyers and the ground crews that sustained them. Dubbed “The Friendly Invasion,” this influx of Americans transformed this rural landscape. Those who are alive today and still remember the presence of the aircrews have lovingly restored many of the control towers, runways, and Nissen huts, turning them into small museums.

Accommodations: Seabourn Ovation (B, L, D)

Day 5: June 2, 2024

GREAT YARMOUTH

Imperial War Museum Duxford is the UK’s largest aviation museum. Aircraft restoration and maintenance takes place on site, allowing visitors to view vintage planes in various stages of display or readiness. The American Air Museum occupies a large space on the campus. With displays focusing on Americans in World War II and after, this museum is a slice of American history in the east of England.

Accommodations: Seabourn Ovation (B, L, D)

Day 6: June 3, 2024

DUNKIRK

From May 27 to June 4, 1940, the British Expeditionary Force mounted Operation Dynamo, a dramatic evacuation of Allied soldiers who were trapped by the Nazis near the beaches of Dunkirk.

Augmented by air support over the English Channel, hundreds of ships ferried nearly 340,000 British and French soldiers away from Dunkirk to ports in England. The 2017 film Dunkirk dramatized this rescue with points of view from the beaches, the English Channel, and the cockpit of a Spitfire. On tour, visit the evacuation beaches, the East Mole, and a few of the film sites.

Accommodations: Seabourn Ovation (B, L, D)

Day 7: June 4, 2024

LE HAVRE | THE BRITISH SIDE OF D-DAY

Arriving in Normandy, begin the tour of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy. The British and Canadians landed on the three easternmost beaches—Sword, Juno, and Gold—while the 6th Airborne Division secured vital bridges and neutralized several German gun batteries. Just after midnight on June 6, 1944, three British gliders under the command of Major John Howard scored the first Allied victory of the day at a bridge soon to be known as Pegasus Bridge. Along the coast, troops fought their way on shore and moved toward the highway connecting Caen and Bayeux.

Accommodations: Seabourn Ovation (B, L, D)

Day 8: June 5, 2024

CHERBOURG | OMAHA BEACH

The men who faced the landing at Omaha Beach knew that they faced formidable terrain. Backed by a steep 100-foot bluff, Omaha Beach favored the German defenders. Along the western sector of the beach, the 29th Division faced intense German firepower that opened up as soon as the ramps on their Higgins Boats dropped. Toward the east, the 1st Infantry Division faced similar firepower from positions such as WN-62. Through several gaps in the defenses, the first Americans began to scale the bluffs. One by one, the German guns started to fall silent, and Omaha Beach was ready for unloading operations by the next morning.

Accommodations: Seabourn Ovation (B, L, D)

Day 9: June 6, 2024

CHERBOURG | 80TH ANNIVERSARY OF D-DAY

Every five years, people travel from across the world to pay their respects to the soldiers, sailors, and airmen of the D-Day operation. Moving tributes, inspirational speeches, and emotional moments are the hallmarks of this day.

Accommodations: Seabourn Ovation (B, L, D)

Day 10: June 7, 2024

CHERBOURG | THE COTENTIN PENINSULA

The capture of Cherbourg was a primary objective for the Americans who landed at Utah Beach and for the paratroopers who seized the bridges, causeways, and crossroads. In towns and villages such as Sainte-Mère-Église, Sainte-Marie-du-Mont, La Fière , Amfreville, and Picauville, heroic actions paved the way for the eventual capture of Cherbourg. The first Americans to enter the port city found the docks in disarray. Engineers arrived shortly after the front-line soldiers, and repairs put the port into operation by August 1944. This evening, sail across the English Channel back to England.

Accommodations: Seabourn Ovation (B, L, D)

Day 11: June 8, 2024

DISEMBARK IN DOVER

After breakfast, disembark in Dover and transfer to London Heathrow Airport (LHR) or continue on to the post-tour in London. (B)

BATTLE OF BRITAIN

OPTIONAL THREE-NIGHT POST-CRUISE TOUR

Featuring Five-Star Accommodations on Land

June 8–11, 2024

Disembark in Dover and transfer to London for an examination of the Battle of Britain. During the summer of 1940, the Royal Air Force (RAF) dueled the Luftwaffe over the skies of the United Kingdom. As the British population sought refuge in bomb shelters, the RAF developed numerous tactics to keep the damage from German bombers to a minimum.

Journey into the operations of Fighter Command with visits to the Battle of Britain Bunker in Uxbridge and Bentley Priory. The underground control room in Uxbridge served as the main information center for approaching aircraft. Information from radar and coastal observers would be tracked on the plotting table as an ingenious system of clocks and switchboards relayed the information to Fighter Command Headquarters at Bentley Priory.

The air war comes into context at the Imperial War Museum, where new exhibitions on World War II and the Holocaust opened in 2021. In the new displays, a V-1 flying bomb straddles the galleries to emphasize it as a product of slave labor and its role in terrorizing the British population during World War II. As the RAF learned to tip the missiles with the wings of a Spitfire, the Germans unleashed the V-2 rocket, a weapon that caused more death through its production than its use in combat.

Accommodations: Rubens at the Palace (3 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 1 Reception)

TOUR PRICING

OPTIONAL EXTENSION PROGRAMS – Call 1-877-813-3329 x 257 to book

Guests booking optional extension programs will be registered preliminarily at this time. When daily itineraries and pricing are finalized, the Travel Team will be in contact to collect deposits and confirm bookings.

OPERATION GOMORRAH: THE DEVASTATION OF HAMBURG – Three-night pre-cruise program

BATTLE OF BRITAIN – Three-night post-cruise program

EXPERIENCE OVATION

Travel aboard Seabourn Ovation and enjoy the all-inclusive experience of small-ship cruising with every amenity included, a relaxed social atmosphere, and plenty of space for private contemplation.

Introducing the world’s finest ultra-luxury cruise line

As the foremost experts in WWII historical travel, The National WWII Museum Educational Travel Program has the reputation for exemplary programming and world-class expertise while offering only the finest in accommodations.

Seabourn Ovation has been exclusively chartered by The National WWII Museum for its valued guests. Delivering a wealth of amenities and a fresh vision to small ship cruising, the Ovation is the perfect host for this once-in-a-lifetime, illuminating journey.

To learn more about Seabourn Ovation, and to explore amenities and suite options, visit the Seabourn website:

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FEATURED TOUR HISTORIANS

Featuring an exclusive lecture series by our esteemed historian authors and all-inclusive touring, this unique educational program combines learning and sightseeing with a whole new level of luxury.

DONALD L. MILLER, PHD

Donald L. Miller, PhD, is the John Henry MacCracken Professor of History Emeritus at Lafayette College and one of the outstanding historians of World War II, along with other topics in American history. His books on World War II include The Story of World War II, D-Days in the Pacific, and Masters of the Air: America’s Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany. Masters of the Air, named “outstanding book of the year” by World War II magazine, is the primary source for Apple TV’s upcoming miniseries, in which Miller is serving as chief historical consultant. He was also a consultant for HBO’s miniseries The Pacific, and served as writer and chief historical consultant for WWII in HD, a 10-hour series that aired on the History Channel. His works on other history subjects include City of the Century: The Epic of Chicago and the Making of America, and Vicksburg: Grant’s Campaign that Broke the Confederacy, which was released in October 2019. Miller is a longstanding member of the Museum’s Presidential Counselors advisory body. He is among scholar participants in the Museum’s overseas tours and has been a leading figure in summer workshops for teachers.

ALEXANDRA RICHIE, DPHIL

Alexandra Richie, DPhil, is a historian of Germany and Central and Eastern Europe, with a specialization in defense and security issues. She completed her B.A. (Hons) in Political Science at the University of Victoria and went on to study at St. Antony’s College, Oxford, where she wrote her doctoral thesis, “The Political Manipulation of History in East and West Germany.” Richie is also the author of Faust’s Metropolis: A History of Berlin, which was named one of the top ten books of the year by American Publisher’s Weekly, and Warsaw 1944: Hitler, Himmler, and the Warsaw Uprising, which won the Newsweek Teresa Torańska Prize for best nonfiction book of 2014 and the Kazimierz Moczarski Prize for Best History Book 2015. She has contributed to many articles, documentaries, radio, and television programs, and is the Convener of the Presidential Counselors at The National WWII Museum. She is also a member of the Senate at the Collegium Civitas University in Warsaw, Poland, and the Władysław Bartoszewski co-chair of History and International Studies at the Collegium Civitas.

JOHN C. MCMANUS, PHD

John C. McManus, PhD, is Curators’ Distinguished Professor of US military history at the Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T). As one of the nation’s leading military historians, and the author of 14 well-received books on the topic, he is in frequent demand as a speaker and expert commentator. In addition to dozens of local and national radio programs, he has appeared on CNN.com, Fox News, C-Span, the Military Channel, the Discovery Channel, the National Geographic Channel, Netflix, the Smithsonian Network, the History Channel, and PBS, among others. He also served as historical advisor for the bestselling book and documentary Salinger, the latter of which appeared nationwide in theaters and on PBS’s American Masters series. During the 2018-2019 academic year, he was in residence at the US Naval Academy as the Leo A. Shifrin Chair of Naval and Military History, a distinguished visiting professorship. His current project is a major three-volume history of the US Army in the Pacific/Asia theater during World War II. The first volume, Fire and Fortitude: The US Army in the Pacific War, 1941-1943, received the Gilder-Lehrman Prize for Military History.

Keith Lowe

Keith Lowe is the author of several major works of history. His first book, Inferno, was a critically acclaimed study of the bombing of Hamburg in 1943. His second book, Savage Continent, became a Sunday Times top 10 best seller and went on to win both the Hessell-Tiltman Prize for History and Italy’s national Cherasco History Prize. It is now a standard work on the wave of violence and revenge that swept Europe after the war. The Fear and the Freedom is an intimate history of the long-term consequences of the Second World War and the shadow that it still casts over our lives today. It was shortlisted for the Historical Writers’ Association Non-fiction Crown, and has been adapted as a 12-part radio series in the Czech Republic. His latest book, Prisoners of History, examines our monuments to the war, and asks what they are really saying about our history and ourselves. Written at a time when statues around the world were being torn down by both governments and protesters, it is a timely look at some of the world’s most important symbols of our collective past. Lowe regularly speaks on TV and radio, and he often lectures on postwar history at venues across Europe and North America. He has written for a variety of newspapers and journals, including The Daily Telegraph, The Times, The Wall Street Journal, El Paìs and the NeueZürcherZeitung. He lives in London with his wife and two children.