My husband and I will be in Normandy in late June and we would like to do a full day Normandy D-Day tour. My husband is a WWII history buff and I want to be sure to book a tour that he will really enjoy. We will be staying overnight in Bayeux before and after the day of the tour. Can anyone recommend either Overlord tours or Bayeux Shuttle and advise which company would be better? I looked at the website for each and it looks like there may have been some changes to the tours since I last looked at them online a couple of years ago. Thank you.
I think this may be a difficult question to answer, because most likely very few people have taken tours conducted by both companies. I liked my Overlord tour, but I might have liked a Bayeux Shuttle tour just as much.
Do you have much date flexibility? If not, that might help with the decision. It's possible one of the companies won't be offering the tour you're interested in on a date that works for you. You might email both and lay out your date parameters to see what they say. It may be too early for definitive information on late June, but it doesn't hurt to ask.
In 2018 we took the Overlord tour and found it to quite comprehensive. Our guide was professorial in his knowledge of the D-Day battles and was extremely through. He had some visual aids and told us fascinating stories We were in a comfortable Mini van with 3 other travelers.
We loved Bayeux and would urge you to stay a fourth day. It’s a charming town with a gorgeous cathedral, the tapestry, charming restaurants and bakeries and is compact and easily walkable. You’ll be exhausted after the D-Day tour and you’ll enjoy having a day to do nothing.
Both tours seem to receive good comments from people that have taken them. I'm probably more familiar with Overlord Tours and have seen a lot of good reviews for them.
Depending on your budget, one of the very best guides in Normandy is Dale Booth but his tours are a bit pricey - https://www.dboothnormandytours.com/ . For a WWII history buff, one of Dale's tours would be a good choice. I've toured with Dale and he's an excellent guide!
Again depending on your budget, you could have a look at tours by Paul Woodage - https://www.ddayhistorian.com/ . He's an exceptional guide and so knowledgeable that he's often used by History Channel and others. I found his tour of Canadian sites to be outstanding. During the tour, he used a book with "before & after" pictures and seeing what a location looked like in 1944 vs. what it looks like now really made the history come alive.
I agree with the suggestion to stay in Bayeux for an extra day if possible. It's a beautiful city and has some nice hotels and restaurants. There's also a great WW-II Museum there as well as the famous Bayeux Tapestry which depicts a much earlier battle.
It would take months to see all the sites there, so you'll have to prioritize on which ones you most want to see. Having a guide is the best way to tour, as they provide transportation and know where all the sites are, so you won't waste any time wandering about and will be able to tour more efficiently.
Let me tell you my experience last October. I had booked a tour with Bayeux Shuttle. They cancelled on me two days before the tour. They told me they were having financial problems and when I got to Bayeux found their offices closed and was told, by third parties, their guides were suing them for back pay. (Their offices were literally down the street from my hotel. I passed it every day and never saw anyone in there.)
Fortunately, I was able to book a last minute Overlord Tour. It turned out to be one of the best one day tours I have ever taken.
I will say this....Bayeux Shuttle did refund my money right away. But, still, having a tour cancelled two days before is not something you want to hear. Especially since they confirmed the tour the day before.
Go with Overlord.
I'd recommend a private tour with Chris, visitdday.com, if you'll have a car. You drive (very easy), he navigates and tells stories, stopping often to point out things you'd never see on your own. Much more flexibility and tailored to your interests. He's the best guide we've ever had. We have done full days with him twice now.
Stay in Bayeaux a few days, it really is worth the time.
Thank you everyone for all of your responses to my question! Everyone has been so helpful and I really appreciate all of the information. I will book a tour soon and also will also consider revising my itinerary to add another day in Bayeux.