The National World War II Museum will host an exclusive, educational travel program aboard Silversea Cruises’ luxurious Silver Cloud cruise ship next year to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the invasion of Normandy.
The 10-day trip will feature an elite group of renowned historians: award-winning journalist and best-selling author Tom Brokaw; Pulitzer Prize winner and best-selling author Rick Atkinson; best-selling World War II author Dr. Donald L. Miller; historian and author Dr. Robert M. Citino; Phil Reed, founder of the Churchill Museum, London; Dr. Gordon H. "Nick" Mueller, president and CEO of The National World War II Museum; and Dr. Keith Huxen, the Samuel Zemurray Stone Senior Director of Research and History at The National World War II Museum.
"Our ‘70th Anniversary of D-Day Cruise’ is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for scholars of WWII, history buffs and those who experienced World War II firsthand to visit these famous sites during this momentous anniversary," Mueller said. "It is also an ideal trip for luxury travel enthusiasts, as the ship’s amenities are truly top-of-the line."
The "70th Anniversary of D-Day Cruise" will begin May 30, 2014, in Lisbon, a center of intrigue and espionage during World War II. Cruise-goers will have the chance to visit many of the historic sites in the old city before sailing north to St. Nazaire on the Brittany Coast. During World War II , this historic port featured a dry dock important to German naval forces and served as a base for the German U-boats. It was the target of a famous British commando raid in 1942.
Following the trip to St. Nazaire, the ship will cruise onto the English Channel, stopping at the town of St. Peter Port where many German military installations still remain. There, the group will visit with locals who survived the war under German occupation. The Silver Cloud will then visit the English port of Portsmouth before docking for five nights in the Caen Canal in the heart of Normandy.
During the Normandy stopover, daily touring opportunities will be offered to sites, including the D-Day invasion landing beaches, the Abbey de Caen, the Memorial de Caen, the Airborne Museum and Hill 314 at Mortain. Many of these visits will include unique accounts from veterans and French civilians who experienced the war firsthand.
The group will also take part in the 70th anniversary ceremonies at the Normandy American Cemetery overlooking Omaha Beach and will visit the Utah Beach Museum and the Memorial de Caen for special after-hours receptions. The mayor of Caen has invited the group to tour the famous 11th century Norman Abbey for a farewell reception on behalf of the city.
Further stops will include Pointe du Hoc, Sainte-Mere-Eglise, Pegasus Bridge, as well as British and Canadian beaches.
Costs for the cruise vary depending on accommodations but include food and beverages, luxurious suite accommodations, lectures and tours. Airfare is not included as part of the cruise package. For more information, click here or call (877) 813-3329, Ext. 257.