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How much time on RS HOF?

We are trying to decide whether to do Paris & Normandy and take an RS tour or do it independently. My question is
How much time does the RS tour spend doing the Normandy beaches? Is it as much time as the all day American tour with Dale Booth? We have looked at Dale’s website and an all day American tour is 675 e. Can anyone who has done the Paris & HOF tour comment?

Posted by
7096 posts

Day 9: Normandy's D-Day Beaches
We'll spend the day with a local expert who will give us a powerful tour of the Normandy beaches where, in June of 1944, the Allied D-Day landings took place by sea and air. We'll visit Pointe du Hoc, where Army Rangers scaled the cliffs in pre-dawn darkness, and the American Cemetery, where 10,000 stark white markers memorialize the Americans who gave their lives on the beaches below. We'll also visit the strategic town of Ste-Mère Eglise, the airborne drop site made famous by The Longest Day and Band of Brothers. We'll return to our Normandy home base in time for dinner on your own. Bus: 2 hours. Walking: strenuous.

Presumably you have seen this from the 'Itinerary' section of the Tour description.

My interpretation is that it is an 'all day' tour.

Hopefully someone who has been will comment, or next week contact the RS office.

Posted by
5639 posts

diveloonie, as I recall, our Normandy visit was all day. We visited Ste Mere Eglise (sp), Utah Beach, a "Band of Brothers" monument, lunch at a local place, Omaha Beach, Pointe du Hoc, and ending at the American Cemetery for the daily lowering of the flag ceremony. Not much time for the museum, but that was a full day. The area of interest is about 50 miles long on winding roads, so it takes a lot of time just to travel between points.

We had a very good local guide, who made a difference, otherwise your just walking around big open spaces. We were very satisfied with what we saw and the quality of the guide.

At 675 €, that's what? - about a 20% of the cost of the whole HOF tour for one day. Wow.

If you you are concerned about seeing enough, take the HOF and add a few days on either end.

Posted by
1683 posts

Thank you both. @Stan-was your local guide Dale Booth? Does he do any of the RS guiding to the beaches?

Posted by
12 posts

Dale Booth was our guide when we took the tour. He was excellent! And, yes, it was a full day tour. We took the tour in 2015.

Posted by
5639 posts

No I dont recognize that name. Our guide was a Frenchman. But that was 2015, and I'm sure they use a number of local guides.

Posted by
6182 posts

You should make sure that you visit the British and Canadian beaches too.

Posted by
4448 posts

We just came off this tour a couple of weeks ago, and our guide was Silvain Kast. My husband and I thought he was quite good; we heard later that some of our tour mates thought Silvain talked too much. I myself appreciated the information, with plenty of color and details.

One thing he showed us that hasn't been mentioned is the German cemetery. He talked about who was buried there; most of them were conscripts - many not even German, much less Nazis. He also urged us to remember the German cemetery, and compare it to the American one when we ended our tour there.

Of course more time would have been better; that would be true regardless of who your guide is. I would have been satisfied with less time at Ste Mére-Eglise myself, but I'm sure each of us would have allotted the time differently. I do second the idea of having a guide when you go.

I also like the idea of taking the HOF tour, then adding a few days on at the end. If you want more time at the beaches, it would not be hard to arrange a day trip from Paris.

Posted by
1101 posts

My RS HOF tour was several years ago and Dale was our D-Day guide. He does an excellent job of describing the events of the day. Paints a vivid picture of the day and brings it alive. It was an all day tour with a break for lunch.

Our tour ended at the American cemetery.. it happened to coincide with the flag lowering ceremony and playing of taps. Standing there amongst all the white marble crosses and watching the ceremony is quite a moving moment. It really hit me then as to the sacrifice made by so many brave folks so many years ago.

Posted by
3103 posts

I took this tour last summer. Full day at d day sites. Carefully preordered a picnic lunch at museum to maximize our time onsite. RS tours are masters of logistics.

Posted by
1 posts

I just returned two days ago from the Paris and HOF tour. Our RS guide was Linda and our D-Day guide was Sylvain - both were fantastic. As others have mentioned, it was a full day, starting with the German Cemetery, then on to St Mere-Eglise, Utah Beach, Pointe du Hac, Omaha Beach and ending at the American Cemetery. I was grateful for the schedule planned by the experts. I had been concerned that I would feel too rushed, but at the end of the day, it felt very complete, and I got the big picture of June 6, 1944. Of course I can always spend more time in any museum, and I might visit again someday, but RS provided me with much more than I expected and a wonderful understanding of the days leading up to D-Day and after. Hard to imagine another one-day tour being any better. Hope this helps!

Posted by
811 posts

I was with Jane and agree with her. I like our local guide.

Posted by
4448 posts

Kim, I was reading the tour evaluations, and one of our tour mates was complaining that we only had 20 minutes at Omaha Beach. But that's not strictly true; we spent a considerable amount of time there with Sylvain explaining the role of Omaha in the invasion, and pointing out landmarks and strategic sites. After a thorough introduction, we then had 20 minutes on our own. I agree more time would have been better, but I'm concerned someone might think we were seriously shorted on time.

Posted by
1683 posts

Thanks again everyone! We are leaning towards the RS HOF tour, even though we have not yet taken our first one, which is in October. I know we will love it though!