GUIDED VISITS OF D-DAY AND THE BATTLE OF NORMANDY SITES
There are numerous Normandy-area companies that operate tours of the D-Day beaches and Battle of Normandy sites. Most companies are based in Bayeux or Caen and some have developed special tours for Canadians (see below). While there are many tour companies in Canada, France, England and other countries offering tours of the Normandy battlefields and D-Day sites, only a few offer battlefield tours of Juno Beach and the Canadian sector with stops at the Juno Beach Centre. Below, is a list of tour companies we recommend to visitors looking for tours of Normandy and the Canadian sector:
Mémorial de Caen
Follow the Canadians’ Footsteps Tour : Visit of Le Mémorial de Caen Museum and 5 hour bilingual guided tour (Bernières-sur-Mer; the Juno Beach Centre in Courseulles; the Canadian Cemetery in Bény-sur-Mer and the Abbaye d’Ardenne).
Normandy Sightseeing Tours
This Normandy based company offers tailor-made private tours of the D-Day Battlefields for small groups of between one and eight people. Whether following the route of a family member or just curious to learn more about one of man’s greatest ever military feats.
ACSM organises tours of the D-day landing beaches for individuals or groups. They offer a special guided tour that lasts about five hours in the Canadian footsteps by minivan (8 pax max. / 80€ per adult).
Link Paris – Canadian Normandy D-Day Tour
Link Paris provides a Canadian D-Day tour itinerary departing from Paris in the morning and return via rail the same evening. This tour includes a guided tour of the Caen Memorial, lunch and sites on the Canadian D-Day sector of the landing beach.
Normandy Battle Tours
This Normandy-based company now offers a tour of the Canadian sites in Normandy. Daily tours start from Bayeux near the tourist office and upon request, other pick up locations are available. Reservation advised.
This Normandy-based association offers tours of the D-Day Landing beaches in Second World War vehicles. Operated by a Frenchman who is a very knowledgeable collector and who speaks excellent English, tours can be tailored for Canadians. Reservation advised.
Battle Honours Ltd.
This British-based company offers tailor-made tours for individuals, families, small groups and/or clubs, as well as large coach tours which allow you to join a group of like-minded people wishing to visit the battlefields in Northwest Europe. They offer battlefield tours of both the First and the Second World Wars accompanied by expert guides. Clients from all over the world are welcomed. Reservation advised.
This British-based company with over 30 years of experience offers History and Battlefield Tours for adult groups as well as school groups. Their tours are carefully designed and cover World War I, World War II and Napoleonic History. Visit their website for sample tour itineraries and additional information.
Publivol (in French only)
Francis Hahn, a professional pilot with 20 years of experience, offers flights over the D-Day Beach. Departure from Carpiquet airport. Reservation advised.
Normandy D Day Tours
Personalized or sector-specific tours available for 1 to 8 people. Tours in available in English or French.
Pegasus Battlefield Tours
This company provides in-depth private 1 to 5 day tours on the Canadian Sector as well as other tours on the Allied beaches and beyond, including Dieppe and Vimy Ridge. All tours are conducted by published author and experienced battlefield historian Gary Weight.
There are also day tours of the D-Day landing beaches leaving from Paris, but we do not have information about these companies. You may find them by searching the Internet.
NORMANDY TOURISM INFORMATION
Courseulles-sur-Mer (Google translation)
To learn more about the seaside town of Courseulles-sur-Mer where the Juno Beach Centre is located, please visit the town’s official website. You will also find information on the local government, upcoming events, hotels, restaurants, etc.
Normandy Tourist Board Official Website
Visit this site to find a hotel, map, calendar of events and for other practical information about Normandy.
Bayeux-Bessin Tourist Office
Visit this website for tourist information (maps, restaurants, hotels, etc.) for Bayeux and the Bessin region.
Caen Tourist Office
Visit this website for tourist information for the Caen area.
Normandie Qualité Tourisme
The Juno Beach Centre recently obtained the “Label Normandie Qualité Tourisme” which is awarded by the Normandy Chambers of Commerce and Industry. Visit their website to discover the hotels, restaurants, campgrounds and tourist sites that have been awarded this prestigious prize for the quality of the reception, services and tourist information offered to visitors.
Normandie Sites (in French only)
The Acadian Week (in French only)
From August 8 to 15, St-Aubin-sur-Mer hosts the annual Acadian Week Festival entitled “La semaine acadienne”. Created in 2005 to pay tribute to the Acadian soldiers of the North Shore Regiment of New Brunswick who landed on the beach on June 6, 1944, this festival also celebrates the vitality of today’s Acadian communities. A new theme is showcased each year: Nova Scotia (2007), New Brunswick (2008), Prince Edward Island (2009), Maritime Quebec (2010), “Acadian Youth” (2011), “Acadian Women” (2012), “Acadia from A to Z” (2013), and to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy, the “Great Landing” (2014).
Gîtes de France
Visit this website to find a Bed & Breakfast in the Normandy region.
SOS dispos – Normandie
Last minute accommodation availabilities in Normandy.
Logis du Calvados
Visit this website to find a ‘Logis de France’ hotel in the Côte de Nacre region.
SOME SECOND WORLD WAR MUSEUMS IN NORMANDY & ELSEWHERE
Inaugurated on June 4th, 2000, by H.R.H. the Prince of Wales, the Memorial Pegasus is dedicated to the men of the 6th Airborne Division, including the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion.
D-Day Museum Arromanches
Inaugurated in 1953 and located in Arromanches in front of the vestiges of the artificial harbour (Mulberry B), this museum is devoted to the incredible feat of technology achieved by the British in building and setting up the artificial harbour.
Monument and museum recounting the final stage of the long and bloody Battle of Normandy. Polish soldiers distinguished themselves against desperate attacks from the German troops who were surrounded.
America Gold Beach Museum
Museum commemorating two momentous events of the 20th Century. 1) The America Museum commemorates the first official Air Mail link between the United States and France on July 1st, 1927, as well as the early days of the Air Mail service. 2) The Gold Beach Museum explains the detailed preparations for the Landings on June 6th, 1944.
19th August 1942 Memorial / Dieppe Jubilee Association
The Jubilee Association was created in 1989 to ensure remembrance of the ill-fated military Jubilee Operation. Since June 2002, the Jubilee Association is responsible for the “19th August 1942 Memorial” dedicated to the Dieppe Raid and located in a former theater near the beach in Dieppe.
D-Day in miniatura – The First Italian Museum on D-Day – Crema, Italy
The history of the D-Day landings is presented though models and dioramas. In 2011 the museum organised, in collaboration with the Juno Beach Centre, the presentation in three Italian towns of the temporary exhibit “The Canadians in Italy” created by the Juno Beach Centre in 2008 for the 65th anniversary of the landing in Sicily.
Silent Wings Museum West Texas, USA
The Silent Wings Museum, a public institution, preserves and promotes the history of the World War II military glider program by creating an environment for collecting, documenting, interpreting and exhibiting artefacts and information for public education and enjoyment.
CANADA IN THE SECOND WORLD WAR
Veterans Affairs Canada
Features a great deal of information for everyone, such as history links, news stories, guides to the Canadian war memorials, a youth page and teacher resources.
Canadian Virtual War Memorial
This web site, built and maintained by Veterans Affairs Canada, contains information about more than 116,000 Canadians and Newfoundlanders who have lost their lives in major conflicts since 1884. In addition to being a tribute to the men and women who served and gave their lives for Canada, the web site has a searchable database and the facility for members of the public to contribute to the memorial by submitting images, letters and other memorabilia.
The Canadian Battlefields Foundation
This Foundation was established in 1992 to educate and actively promote public awareness of Canada’s role in both World Wars. The Foundation has established and maintains a Memorial Garden, on the grounds of Le Mémorial, in Caen, France, to recall the Canadian participation in the Battle of Normandy. Two battlefield viewing areas and memorial sites have also been established in Normandy: one at Point 67 south of Caen and one at St. Lambert-sur-Dives. Visit the CBF website to learn more about the foundation’s objectives and their annual European battlefield study tour for university students.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
The British Commonwealth War Graves Commission, established by Royal Charter in 1917, marks and maintains the graves of the 1.7 million members of UK and Commonwealth forces who were killed in the two World Wars and other conflicts. The CWGC also builds memorials to those who have no known grave and maintains records and registers. Their online register can be searched for details of the 1.7 million members of UK and Commonwealth forces who were killed in the two World Wars and other conflicts, as well as for details of the 67,000 Commonwealth civilians who died as a result of enemy action during the Second World War. Visitors can search the database for details of grave site, date of death, age, address of a close relative, etc.
National Archives of Canada: War
A substantial and sophisticated site, with virtual exhibitions, on-line publications, and the on-line research tool called ArchiviaNet, which provides access to finding aids and thematic guides to manuscripts and government records.
Royal Canadian Legion
Canada’s largest veterans’, ex-service persons’ and community service organization with more than 500,000 members and more than 1,600 branches in Canada, the USA (21) and Germany (3).
Remembrances: Canada and the Second World War (Virtual Museum of Canada)
Trivia and Games, Canada’s role in the Second World War, 3D Corvette Virtual Tour…
Canadian Department of National Defence
Provides a comprehensive study of Canada’s involvement in major wars, as well as peacekeeping initiatives.
The Canadian Letters & Images Project
The Canadian Letters and Images Project is an online archive of the Canadian war experience, from any war, as told through the letters and images of Canadians themselves. The objective of the Canadian Letters and Images Project is to let Canadians tell their own story in their own words and images by creating a permanent online archive which preserves Canada’s wartime correspondence, photographs, and other personal materials, from the battlefront and from the home front.
Wartime Canada: A window into the Canadian experience during the World Wars
The site makes the visual heritage of ‘Canada at war’ freely available in digital form. The emphasis is on the kind of material that is usually regarded as disposable – the very material that was omnipresent in the lives of Canadians during the First World War and the Second World War.
Canadian Military Journal
Canadian Military Journal is the official professional journal of the Canadian Forces and the Department of National Defence.
Canadian Military History Gateway
An online service that provides access to websites and digitized resources about Canada’s military history.
The Canadian Wartime Experience: The Documentary Legacy of Canada at War
This site is maintained by the University of Manitoba. It provides free access to a collection of several thousand digitised pimary source materials: such as documents, newspaper articles, letters, photographs and prints relating to the experience of Canada and Canadians during various wars from 1899-1970s. They include the Boer War (1899-1903); First World War (1914-1918), Second World War (1939-1945); Korean War (1950-1953) and Vietnam War (1957-1975). They cover information relating to military movements, battles and training well as oral history accounts from soldiers and servicemen/women. The site also includes a section for educators with suggested classroom activities. Rights information is available from the web site.
Heroes Remember is a special website that offers Canadians and others of all ages the chance to learn about history through the eyes of those who lived it. On the site, you’ll find video and audio conversations recorded with hundreds of Canadian Veterans over the past 30 years.
The Memory Project
A campaign to support the efforts of Canadian veterans to share their experiences. The Veterans Archives contain stories about Canadians whose lives were touched by war. The Memory Project is a print and Internet initiative of the Dominion Institute.
The Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies
Fosters research, education, and discussion of historical and contemporary conflict. It promotes an open forum to discuss historical and contemporary conflict.
Comrades and Colleagues
Database of those who served in 5938 military Units in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
Canada’s Military Heritage
Chronology of war, photos & facts, dispatches from the front, educational resources and operation legacy.
Camp X Historical Society
Established in recognition of the courageous men and women who were trained in subversive warfare and covert techniques, those who fought behind enemy lines, who lived in the shadows, or who served at Camp X.
Allied Merchant Navy of the Second World War
Articles about the role of the Merchant Navy, including CPR ships, in the Second World War; stories and anecdotes from merchant sailors; notices and news for veterans; message board and related links.
CANADIAN SECOND WORLD WAR MUSEUMS IN CANADA
British Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum (Brandon, Manitoba)
Virtual tour and history of Manitoba museum dedicated to the Second World War. Song and video tribute to these veterans.
Canadian War Museum
The Canadian War Museum in Ottawa is “dedicated to both education and remembrance.” The Gallery Tour takes you through the Colonial Period, the Victorian Era, the First and Second World Wars, right up to modern-day Canadian peacekeeping missions. The information is presented in easy-to-read, bite-sized chunks that allow visitors to move through the site quickly. The essence of this museum is also available online.
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