My wife and I will be visiting Paris on a Rick Steve's city tour but will have 2 full days after the tour ends to see a little more of France. I would very much like to visit Normandy. My plan is to catch an early morning train to Caen or Bayeux and pick up a half day D-day tour. We'll overnight in Caen or Bayeux and then pick up a tour to Mont. St. Michel. We'll need to then catch the train back to Paris in the later afternoon as we fly out the next day. Please advise of a reputable tour company that I can book such a 2 day tour. In order to save money I prefer a mini-bus tour if at all possible. Thanks for any guidance and advice that is offered.
Jack, Some of the tours offer only full day tours, but some that you could check are: Overlord Tour D-Day Historian Tours Dale Booth Tours Your best bet for a half-day tour is probably Overlord. I haven't toured with them, but have heard good reports. I have toured with D-Day Historian and Dale Booth, and they're both outstanding! I'd suggest staying in Bayeux. If you have a spare hour or two, be sure to see the famous Bayeux Tapestry. There's also a great WW-II Museum there. Happy travels!
You may have trouble finding a company that will do both D-Day and MSM. I presume you know that D-Day tours tend to be expensive, but you are pressed for time, justifying the cost. We had a car, but many people have posted here about staying at the Hotel Churchill in Bayeux and using their van to MSM. But you have to make sure that you have an extra train or two to Paris in case your return to Bayeux is somehow delayed. I wish I were sure about this, but on July 7, I didn't happen to see a single small van come right up to the MSM walls. I only saw Veolia Shuttles and city bus routes come close to the entrance. That suggests (but does not prove) that licensed tour operator clients still have to use the provided shuttle busses for the last 1.8KM. (They run continuously, but you might worry if you have an extra two steps added to your day.) I think you can feel confident about what a tour operator tells you. But the whole MSM arrival and departure experience has been redone this season, so web posts from before May, 2012 won't be much help to your research.
For Mont St Michel, check the shuttle offered by the Hotel Churchill. www.hotel-churchill.fr/mont-saint-michel-shuttle/index.php?lang=fr I did this 3 years ago. It gets back to Bayeux around 3pm so you have plenty of time to get to Paris that day.