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Celtic Lands: 80th Anniversary D-Day & the Battle of Normandy

Program Overview

Discover the legacy of the Celts in Scotland, Wales, Ireland, England, and France on this carefully curated 9-night itinerary. Enjoy two full-day excursions to the hallowed beaches of Normandy on the 80th anniversary of D-Day—each accompanied by acclaimed historians Dwight David Eisenhower II and Allen Packwood OBE. Your Celtic journey begins in Glasgow, Scotland, before continuing to the Isles of Iona and Tobermory and then onward to Wales. From there, you will cruise to Dublin, Ireland, and then on to England before arriving at the shore of France to visit Utah Beach in Cherbourg and Omaha Beach in Caen. Complement your tour with the Edinburgh and Glasgow Optional Extension and/or the London Optional Extension.

*This program also runs in the reverse direction.

Program Details

May 28 to June 7, 2024 (Le Dumont d'Urville) June 4 to 14, 2024* (Le Dumont d'Urville)
From approximately $7,195 plus air View Terms & Conditions
  • Eleven-day, 9-night cruise from Glasgow, Scotland, to London, England, featuring guest speakers Dwight David Eisenhower II and Allen Packwood OBE.
  • Excursion from Fort William through the breathtaking Scottish Highlands, featuring Glencoe, Scotland's most scenic glen.
  • Leisure time in the charming 18th-century port town of Tobermory, Isle of Mull.
  • Visit to the inner Hebridean Isle of Iona featuring the historic Iona Abbey.
  • City tour of Dublin to see St. Patrick's and Christ Church cathedrals and visit Trinity College to see the Book of Kells.
  • Two full-day excursions to the historic D-Day beaches of Normandy on the 80th anniversary of D-Day, accompanied by special guest speakers Dwight David Eisenhower II and Allen Packwood OBE.

*This program also runs in the reverse direction.

Day 1 - Depart Home City

Day 2 - Arrive in Glasgow, Scotland/Embark Le Dumont d'Urville

Day 3 - Fort William/Glencoe

Day 4 - Isle of Iona

Day 5 - Llandudno, Wales/Bodnant Garden/Caernarfon Castle

Day 6 - Dublin, Ireland

Day 7 - Day at Sea

Day 8 - Cherbourg, France/Utah Beach/Sainte-Mère-Église/Pointe du Hoc

Day 9 - Honfleur/Caen, France/Omaha Beach/Normandy

Day 10 - Portsmouth, United Kingdom/Disembark

Day 11 - Return to home city

Itinerary will also operate in the reverse direction.

View detailed program itinerary >

Le Dumont d'Urville

Exclusively Chartered, Five-Star Luxury Small Ship

Le Dumont d'Urville, launched in 2019, ushers in a new generation of 5-star small ships, combining revolutionary design and a new standard of luxury for unparalleled cruising. Dock in smaller ports inaccessible to larger ships, where authentic cultural experiences and majestic scenery await you.

View Le Dumont d'Urville Deckplan >

Learn more about The PONANT Fleet >

Edinburgh and Glasgow Optional Extension

Explore 2 of Scotland’s greatest cities and their histories of clans, medieval knights, and royal and religious intrigue on this 4‑day itinerary. Visit Edinburgh Castle and view the Crown Jewels of Scotland. See the sites of Trossachs and visit Stirling Castle, home of the Stuart kings. See Glasgow’s 12th‑century cathedral and the Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum. Accommodations are in the 5‑star Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa.

London Optional Extension

Take an immersive, half-day London City Tour to see the iconic West End landmarks of London, including Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, and Piccadilly Circus. Visit the Churchill Museum to walk in his footsteps through the underground maze of rooms in the wartime bunker, such as the War Cabinet Room and the Map Room, which has remained intact as it was at war’s end. Accommodations are in the 5‑star InterContinental London Park Lane.

Depending on your chosen departure date, optional extensions may be a Pre-Program or Post-Program.

Optional Extensions are available at an additional cost. Details will be provided with your reservation confirmation.

Grandson of General and President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Professor David Eisenhower is a noted historian of World War II and the Cold War. His 1986 bestseller, Eisenhower: At War 1943–1945, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in History. Eisenhower received a B.A.in history cum laude from Amherst College. Following graduation, he served in the United States Naval Reserve for three years as an officer on the USS Albany; shortly afterward, he earned his J.D. cum laude from The George Washington University Law School. Today, Eisenhower is Senior Fellow of the Foreign Policy Research Institute and a Public Policy Fellow at the Annenberg School of Communication and the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania, where he teaches “Communication and the Presidency.”

Allen Packwood OBE Guest Speaker

Meet acclaimed guest speaker Allen Packwood OBE, Director of the Churchill Archives Centre and a Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge, England. He was co-curator of “Churchill and the Great Republic,” a Library of Congress exhibition, and of “Churchill: The Power of Words,” a display at the Morgan Library in New York. Packwood is the author of How Churchill Waged War, has lectured extensively on Sir Winston Churchill, and organized a 2009 conference titled “The Cold War and its Legacy”—attended by senior representatives from China, Germany, Romania, the Russian Federation and the U.S.

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Program Itinerary

Day 1 Depart Home City

Depart home city for your flight to Glasgow, Scotland.

Day 2 Arrive in Glasgow, Scotland/Embark

Arrive in Glasgow and transfer to Greenock to embark the 5-star Le Dumont D’Urville. 

Day 3 Fort William/Glencoe

Travel to the ancient Highland landscape of Glencoe on one of Scotland’s greatest scenic drives, known for its high peaks and secluded glens. Explore the Visitor Center, nestled in a wooded glade. Relish dramatic views on a drive via the coastal district of Appin and the narrow mountain Pass of Brander. Enjoy a whiskey tasting at Ben Nevis Distillery and explore Fort William at leisure. Join your fellow travel companions for the Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner this evening.

Day 4 Isle of Iona

Visit the tiny inner Hebridean Isle of Iona, the birthplace of Christianity in Scotland and burial place of Scottish kings. Tour its restored abbey with intricate Celtic crosses, and marvel at the island’s white sand beaches, romantic lochs, and spectacular views. Later, join Allen Packwood OBE as he discusses the complexity of the D‑Day operations and Winston Churchill’s role in its undertaking.

Day 5 Llandudno, Wales/Bodnant Garden/Caernarfon Castle

Visit the world-class Bodnant Garden. Its 80 acres of formal gardens, woodland, and meadows feature botanical collections from around the world, and exotic and rare plants and trees. Venture farther into the Welsh countryside for lunch and an unforgettable Welsh Choir performance. Then, experience the grandeur of the UNESCO World Heritage‑designated Caernarfon Castle, a 13th‑century fortress built by Edward I of England as a defense against the marauding Welsh.

Day 6 Dublin, Ireland

Enjoy a guided panoramic tour of Dublin, featuring St. Patrick’s and Christ Church cathedrals, Trinity College, the Book of Kells, and grand O’Connell Street, lined with statues of Irish statesmen. Explore more of Dublin during free time and experience a traditional Irish music and dance presentation by the Merry Ploughboys.

Day 7 Day at Sea

The ship sails from Dublin to Cherbourg, France. Join Professor David Eisenhower II, who shares personal stories from his grandfather and Operation Overlord—the Allies’ code name for the military campaign that launched the D‑Day invasion at Normandy on June 6, 1944. 

Day 8 Cherbourg, France/Utah Beach/Sainte-Mère-Église/Point du Hoc

Visit the Utah Beach D-Day Museum, built on the very beach where the first American troops landed on June 6, 1944. Immerse yourself in the chronological recounting of D-Day in ten sequences. In Sainte‑Mère‑Èglise, one of the first French villages to be liberated by American forces during World War II, see the town and its famous church, and hear the story of American soldier John Steele. After lunch, visit Pointe du Hoc, a promontory with a 100‑foot cliff overlooking the English Channel on the coast of Normandy. Hear how the U.S. Army Ranger Assault Group scaled the cliffs to capture this critical Nazi stronghold. 

Day 9 Honfleur/Caen, France/Omaha Beach/Normandy

Travel to Longues‑sur‑Mer to see the coastal German artillery battery and historic monument. Visit Omaha Beach, the code name for this section of the coast, where Allied forces landed, to walk the historic Normandy shores. At Colleville‑sur‑Mer, in the company of Professor, Eisenhower, contemplate the solemn commemorative crosses and Stars of David in the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial. Canadian travelers can visit the Juno Beach Bény‑sur‑Mer Canadian War Cemetery. Conclude your evening with the Captain’s Farewell Reception and Dinner on board with your fellow travelers. 

Day 10 Portsmouth, United Kingdom/Disembark

After disembarking, take a guided visit to the Portsmouth D-Day Story museum. View the Overlord Embroidery, illustrating the history of Operation Overlord in 34 panels. Enjoy lunch at Portsmouth Guildhall with a lecture by Lord Roberts of Belgravia, author of Churchill: Walking with Destiny. Travel to Southwick House, a Georgian manor house, to explore General Eisenhower’s D-Day operation headquarters. Transfer to London and check in to the hotel.

Day 11 Return to Home City

Following breakfast, continue on the Post‑Program Option or transfer to the London for your return flight home.