Question about the Heart of France tour. I see the Normandy day only takes you to the American sites. Have any Canadians skipped this day and arranged to go to Juno Beach and the Canadian memorial instead? Just wondering about logistics and catching up with the group.
We did all the US, UK and Canadian beaches in two days. How many days is the tour in that area? It was all very well marked.
Suki are you saying the Rick Steves tour spends 2 days in Normandy and hits Juno as well? What I'm reading is that it only spends on day in Normandy and only goes to the American sites.
Maybe you could contact the RS office about this. In your place, I would book a Juno Beach tour and visit the Canadian cemetery on the day the. RS tour goes to the American landing beaches.
I've done the Paris and Heart of France tour and it does not cover the British and Canadian beaches as there is just one day dedicated to the landings. It is a day where you are staying in the same lodging the night before and the night of so you could easily go off on your own. There is usually not a group dinner on this night so you'd be on your own anyway.
I'd think it would be very easy to schedule your own tour to cover the areas you want to see. You'd let the guide know ahead of time as well as your tour buddy.
Are you familiar with the RS "buddy system"? On the first night everyone chooses a buddy that is someone they are not traveling with. When the group meets up to go somewhere the guide will call out "Buddy check", you'll make eye contact with your buddy OR you'll let your guide know your buddy is not there. They'll do the same for you so if you are going off on your own instead of doing a group activity you'll just let others know so they are not waiting for you.
You would want to talk with the RS office ahead of time to get information on which city your particular tour will be staying in. They used to always stay in Bayeux but I've seen some comments recently where they stayed other places. You'd need to coordinate this with your guide so they could pick you up.
If you do this, do let us know how it works out! I've been to Normandy twice, once on a Rick Steves tour and once on a Road Scholar tour. The Road Scholar tour did the Utah/Pointe du Hoc/Omaha/American Cemtery/St-Mere-Eglise loop that most US focused tours do but also had a day where we saw the Mulberry harbor at Arromanches, did Pegasus Bridge area and saw Longue-sur-Mer. Very interesting. I'd like to do a full tour of the British and Canadian landing sights some time.
Thank you for the info Pam. Where we are staying those days is my biggest concern so I don't miss my bus. I am familiar with the buddy system. We were on the Loire to South of France tour in May and looooved it. If we book this tour I'll check with the RS tour to discuss my options. I'm sure the American beaches are interesting if things won't work out, but I would prefer to see my own history.
I completely understand Allan! I do remember the D-Day guide we had on the Rick tour asking if there were any Canadians. On that particular tour there were none so I'm not sure what he would have added if there had been. Still, seeing the particular beaches is an important part of history for each country that participated in the landings.
Once you decide on a date or date range, I'd talk with the office. They may or may not have the hotels assigned yet altho I think they work 2 years ahead on that. At least they should be able to give you an idea of when that information might be available.
We were on the tour in May 2019 and arranged (from Canada) a 2.5 hour private tour of Juno Beach and the Canadian Cemetery by local taxi from Bayeux the day before the D Day Beach tour of the American sites (very interesting, so do not miss them to go to the Canadian sites). My wife and I and an American couple we met on the tour (max 4 people can go in taxi for same price) did not go to the Bayeux Tapestry but got the taxi to pick us up there. We were back with the main group in time for dinner in Arromanches. The main group made sure our luggage got to the hotel.
Thanks for the info Jim. I definitely don't want to miss the tapestry and Bayeux so that means I'd have to choose either the Canadian or American site on the Normandy day. Being Canadian, I'm leaning toward Juno Beach but I'm curious why you think the American site is worth seeing over the Canadian site?