Exclusive for Mail on Sunday readers: Set sail for Dunkirk and Normandy with the D-Day Darlings and mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day with this stunning battlefield tour
This year sees the 75th anniversary of VE Day. On May 8, 1945, the whole of Europe celebrated the Allies’ final defeat of Hitler and the Nazi scourge.
This exclusive six- day trip offers readers the chance to discover the incredible true stories of heroism and sacrifice that helped to achieve that victory, as you take moving, expertly guided tours of the key beaches and battlefields in Normandy and Dunkirk.
You will commemorate the anniversary of VE Day itself with a special dinner in Caen, where you will also hear a fascinating talk by military historian Michael How.
The 1940s-inspired D-Day Darlings will perform wartime music during dinner on board Princess Elizabeth
In Dunkirk, you will enjoy a unique performance by the celebrated 1940s-inspired group the D-Day Darlings. Five of the Darlings, including lead singer Katie Ashby, will perform at a gala dinner on board Princess Elizabeth, a paddle-steamer that helped to evacuate Allied troops from the beaches of Dunkirk in 1940.
It will be a fittingly evocative climax of a tour designed to both illuminate and commemorate one of the most dramatic chapters in British history.
Reasons to book
Gala dinner with the D-Day Darlings
A highlight of your trip will be a special gala dinner held in an extraordinary venue: the historic paddle-steamer Princess Elizabeth, which was one of more than 700 private ships used to evacuate Allied troops from Dunkirk during Operation Dynamo. You will also enjoy a spellbinding live performance by the D-Day Darlings, whose wartime songs and costumes will help this unique evening capture the spirit of the 1940s.
Explore the D-Day beaches and Dunkirk
Your ship awaits: the paddle-steamer Princess Elizabeth will take guests on a journey from Portsmouth to Caen and Dunkirk
OUR SPECIAL GUESTS
Formed ten years ago by lead singer Katie Ashby, the D-Day Darlings are Britain’s premier wartime musical act, combining classic songs from the First and Second World Wars with brilliant choreography and striking period costumes.
Last year, the D-Day Darlings won acclaim as finalists on ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent, where judge David Walliams said their wonderful performance was ‘the most incredible celebration of this country’.
The D-Day Darlings have since released a successful debut album, I’ll Remember You, and won a Breakthrough Award at the Brits. Dame Vera Lynn is among their fans.
You will visit a number of fascinating battlefields during the tour, which will bring the horrors and heroism of the Second World War into sharp focus. These include many of the key locations of the D-Day campaign: Pegasus Bridge, Sword Beach, Omaha Beach and Arromanches-les-Bains, where you’ll learn about the extraordinary Mulberry artificial harbour that made the audacious D-Day landings possible. In Dunkirk, you will take a poignant tour of the beach that witnessed the dramatic evacuation of 340,000 British, French and Belgian troops in 1940, before discovering the true story of Operation Dynamo.
Your expert guide
You will be guided throughout your trip by military historian Michael How, who will share his knowledge and insights. He has led tour groups to many of the great battlefields of the First and Second World Wars, including Arnhem, Ypres, the Somme, Normandy and Dunkirk.
VE Day anniversary dinner
You will mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day itself with a memorable dinner at Le Mancel restaurant in the grounds of Chateau de Caen, where you will also hear Michael How give a fascinating private talk followed by a Q&A session.
May 7 Ferry from Portsmouth to Caen
May 8 VE Day dinner in Caen
May 9 D-Day beaches
May 10 Arromanches and Dunkirk
May 11 Dunkirk and D-Day Darlings gala dinner
May 12 Return to London
WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THE TRIP
- Return coach travel from London (or meet at Portsmouth) and throughout the tour.
- Overnight ferry with accommodation in twin cabin from Portsmouth to Caen.
- Two nights at the Mercure Port de Plaisance in Caen.
- VE Day dinner at Le Mancel in Caen.
- Dinner and live performance by five D-Day Darlings on board Princess Elizabeth.
- Two nights at the Borel Hotel in Dunkirk.
- Lunch at Le Courbet in Hermanville.
- Tours and entrance fees throughout the trip.
- Services of a tour manager and military historian Michael How throughout.
How to book
The dates: May 7-12, 2020. The price: £1,249pp*.
Call 020 3993 8070 quoting reference VEMS 0501
To find out more, visit mailtravel.co.uk/ww2tour
Terms and conditions
- Based on two people sharing. Subject to availability. Our travel partner, Travel Editions, is ABTA-bonded and this trip is ATOL-protected. For full terms and conditions, go to mailtravel.co.uk/ww2tour. To find out more, call Travel Editions on the booking number above.