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Odyssey at Sea: World War II in France & the British Isles

Sail back in time as we study the historic and cultural impact that World War II had on the British Isles and France on a special voyage aboard our premiere floating campus.
Rating (4.4)
Program No. 23806RJ
13 days
Starts at

Odyssey at Sea: World War II in France & the British Isles

Sail back in time as we study the historic and cultural impact that World War II had on the British Isles and France on a special voyage aboard our premiere floating campus.
13 days
Starts at
13 days
Rating (4.4)
Starts at
Program No. 23806RJ

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At a Glance

Join us aboard our favorite ship for a voyage across the English Channel to discover the people, places and events behind the world’s largest seaborne invasion — D-Day. Starting with an exploration of Greenwich’s naval legacy in England, you’ll learn the history behind D-Day operations as you cross the Channel to France to explore Utah and Omaha Beaches, Pegasus Bridge and other key sites with an expert, followed by a visit to the first town liberated after American paratroopers landed in the early hours of the siege. Then, sail back to England, where a visit to the site of a rehearsal for the D-Day invasion will deepen your understanding of the strategies and challenges that shaped this event before rounding out your cultural discoveries with explorations of several colorful English and Irish towns. Relive this turning point in history and its lasting effects alongside experts and equally passionate learners on this insightful learning adventure in France and the British Isles.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Delve into the events of D-Day with experts at Utah and Omaha Beaches, including a visit to a cemetery memorializing the fallen.
  • Explore Sainte-Mère-Église, the first town liberated during Operation Overlord when American paratroopers landed in the early hours of D-Day, and learn about the significance of airborne operations with a local expert.
  • Visit Queenstown Story and Museum and retrace the steps of the adults & children who emigrated from Ireland
  • Sail exclusively with ship mates who are all Road Scholar participants, like-minded travelers who are as dedicated to learning as you are.

General Notes

We’ll have up to 350 Road Scholar participants on the ship, divided into groups of 35 for shore excursions.
Featured Expert
All Experts
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Spencer Jones
Dr. Spencer Jones is an award-winning historian and author. He is Senior Lecturer in Armed Forces and War Studies at the University of Wolverhampton and serves as the Regimental Historian for the Royal Regiment of Artillery. He is the author of several books including “From Boer War to World War: Tactical Reform of the British Army 1902-1914” and “At All Costs: The British Army on the Western Front 1916.”

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Spencer Jones
Spencer Jones View biography
Dr. Spencer Jones is an award-winning historian and author. He is Senior Lecturer in Armed Forces and War Studies at the University of Wolverhampton and serves as the Regimental Historian for the Royal Regiment of Artillery. He is the author of several books including “From Boer War to World War: Tactical Reform of the British Army 1902-1914” and “At All Costs: The British Army on the Western Front 1916.”
Profile Image of Matt Palczynski
Matt Palczynski View biography
Matt Palczynski is an art historian and consultant who believes that art-related experiences can teach us so much about ourselves and the world around us. Based in Palo Alto, he has given hundreds of art-related lectures at museums, universities, and organizations worldwide. His recent/upcoming talks include those for Stanford, Microsoft, The Wharton School, and The Barnes Foundation. Matt holds a Ph.D. in art history.
Profile Image of Kevin Durjun
Kevin Durjun View biography
Kevin Durjun has conducted Road Scholar Online Adventures in murder mystery, monarchy, theatre, and Edinburgh. He has a degree in Experimental Psychology from the University of Sussex and was the CEO of the British Acupuncture Council. A registered acupuncturist himself, Kevin advises numerous Chinese Medicine organizations. He hosts the weekly radio show “Acupuncture Point” for UK Health Radio and recently published “Delicious Mauritius Tastes and Tales from My Mother’s Kitchen,” a cookery book inspired by the beautiful island of Mauritius.
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James Haines View biography
James Haines has been exploring Europe with educational groups for thirteen years. As a teacher with a degree in theatre and history, he has taught on a wide variety of courses, from university programs to management training courses. He has lived in both the UK and Spain, where he has enjoyed discovering remote backroads while hiking. James likes to share his enthusiasm for art, history, and drawing in his spare time. He is currently studying to become an official Blue Badge Guide for London.
Profile Image of Jill Rosenfield
Jill Rosenfield View biography
Jill Rosenfield lives in Jerusalem and works full time as an Israeli official guide and Road Scholar group leader. For the past 25 years, she has lead a wide variety of groups. She loves introducing the historical, cultural, and culinary wonders of Israel. Jill grew up in Rhodesia, Zimbabwe, before moving to South Africa to finish her schooling and university. After graduating, she emigrated to Israel and worked for many years as a special education teacher, then changed careers and became a licensed Israeli guide.
Profile Image of Liz Broomfield
Liz Broomfield View biography
Liz Broomfield is a British group leader with many years’ experience accompanying guests on trips all over the world. She has a continuing passion for travel and for sharing new places and people and experiencing local traditions with the guests in her charge. Liz is dedicated to providing the best educational travel experience possible. She resides on the beautiful south coast of England and her pastimes include, fitness, yoga, walking, and sea swimming. She has recently taken up drawing and T’ai chi.
Profile Image of Olivier Horslaville
Olivier Horslaville View biography
Olivier Horslaville is a Normandy native dedicated to preserving the region's fascinating heritage through leading groups and lecturing through France and Europe. After receiving degrees in art and archeology at l'Ecole du Louvre to become a museum curator, he embraced the opportunity to work as a certified guide and to share his passion for history and culture with guests. Olivier is committed to heritage associations. He shares his time between Fécamp in Normandy and Strasbourg in Alsace.
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David Crowe View biography
David Crowe worked in education for more than 40 years teaching history, physical education, and serving as vice principal of his school. He has a degree and PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate in Education) in history. Following retirement in 2014, he returned to the classroom to teach history in the International School of Monaco. David lives between the UK and the south of France, following his passion for adventure, skiing, climbing, sailing, kayaking, and cycling. David has led Road Scholar programs in Scotland and Scandinavia.
Profile Image of Jean Pierre Enguix
Jean Pierre Enguix View biography
Jean Pierre Enguix has a very diverse background, ranging from plane pilot, to group leader, and cruise director. Always on the move, tourism has been his profession for the last 30 years. Jean Pierre is precise and meticulous and strives to anticipate the stages of his work. He speaks several foreign languages. Among his strengths are presentation, attention, culture, and precision.
Profile Image of Libby Chandler
Libby Chandler View biography
Libby Chandler has had a love and passion for travel since her twenties. She was very lucky to have grandparents in Spain, a mother with her roots in Northern France, and was partly schooled in Austria. When she is not leading groups of students of all ages, Libby may be found up a mountain somewhere in Nepal or trying to be Monet in her garden.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
From Beachhead to Brittany: The 29th Infantry Division at Brest, August-September 1944
by Joseph Balkoski
Bletchley Park and D-Day: The Untold Story of How the Battle for Normandy Was Won
by David Kenyon
Everything We Have; D-Day 6.6."44
by Gordon H Mueller
Every Man a Hero: A Memoir of D-Day, the First Wave at Omaha Beach and a World at War
by Ray Lambert & Jim DeFelice
Omaha Beach: D-Day, June 6, 1944
by Joseph Balkoski
Ireland: The Emerald Isle and Its People
by Mark Morris and Anthony Cassidy
D-Day Through French Eyes: Normandy 1944
by Mary Louise Roberts
The Isles: A History
by Norman Davies
Amphibious Assault: Manoeuvre from the Sea
by Tristram Lovering (editor)
The D-Day Companion
by Jane Penrose
The Geology of Cornwall
by E.B. Selwood, Eric M. Durrance, C.M. Bristow
Ireland 1912-1985
by J.J. Lee
The Making of the British Landscape: How We Have Transformed the Land, from Prehistory to Today
by Francis Pryor
Admirals: The Naval Commanders who Made Britain Great
by Andrew Lambert
The Churchill Factor: How One Man Made History
by Boris Johnson
The point of the Churchill Factor is that one man can make all the difference. On the eve of the fiftieth anniversary of Winston Churchill's death, and written in conjunction with the Churchill Estate, Boris Johnson explores what makes up the 'Churchill Factor' - the singular brilliance of one of the most important leaders of the twentieth century. Taking on the myths and misconceptions along with the outsized reality, he portrays - with characteristic wit and passion - a man of multiple contradictions, contagious bravery, breath-taking eloquence, matchless strategizing, and deep humanity.
Churchill: A Biography
by Roy Jenkins
From the admiralty to the miner's strike, from the Battle of Britain to eventual victory over Nazi Germany, Churchill oversaw some of the most important events the world has ever seen. Winning the Nobel Prize in Literature for his personal writing and cautioning against a powerful Soviet Russia in his later years in office, his larger-than-life and complex personality has continued to fascinate writers and historians. In this comprehensive biography, Roy Jenkins faithfully presents these events, while also managing to convey the contradictions and quirks in Churchill's character. Weaving together in-depth analysis and brilliant historical research, Jenkins has succeeded in crafting this magnificent one-volume account packed with insights that only a fellow politician can convey. Bringing to life the statesman, writer, speaker and leader, Churchill is packed with insights into one of the most important figures of the twentieth century.
A History of the British Isles: Prehistory to the Present
by Kenneth L Campbell
The D-Day Atlas: Anatomy of the Normandy Campaign
by Charles Messenger
Decision in Normandy
by Carlo D'Este
Field Marshal Montgomery's battleplan for Normandy, following the D-Day landings on 6 June 1944, resulted in one of the most controversial campaigns of the Second World War. Carlo D'Este's acclaimed book gives the fullest possible account of the conception and execution of Montgomery's plan, with all its problems and complexities. It brings to light information from diaries, papers and letters that were not available in Montgomery's lifetime and draws on interviews with senior officers who were involved in the campaign and have refrained from speaking out until now. Lt Col. Carlo D'Este retired from the US army in 1978 to write full time
Coast: The Journey Continues
by Christopher Somerville
The Command of the Ocean: A Naval History of Britain 1649-1815
by N.A.M. Rodger
Pegasus Bridge
by Stephen Ambrose
In the early hours of 6th June 1944, a small detachment of British airborne troops stormed the German defence forces and paved the way for the Allied invasion of Europe. Pegasus Bridge was the first engagement of D-Day, the turning point of World War II. This gripping account of it brings to life a daring mission so crucial that, had it been unsuccessful, the entire Normandy invasion might have failed. The author of this book traces each step of the preparations over many months to the minute-by-minute excitement of the hand-to-hand confrontations on the bridge, a story of heroism and cowardice, kindness and brutality. *Also available on audio cassette: (ISBN - 0736613358)
D-Day Through German Eyes: The Hidden Story
by Holger Eckhertz
Ireland in the 20th Century
by Tim Pat Coogan

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