Skip to Main Content
France/United States

D-Day to the Allied Victory: A Transatlantic Voyage on QM2

Program No. 24969RJ
Learn about the end of World War II from the D-Day landings up to the Allied Victory on the shores of Normandy and on a transatlantic voyage on Queen Mary 2.

Enroll with Confidence

We want your Road Scholar learning adventure to be something to look forward to—not worry about. Learn more

Protecting the Environment

We offset a portion of the emissions created by your travel. Learn more

At a Glance

Calling all history buffs! This will be a look into World War II that you’ll never forget — join us on an epic learning adventure that pairs firsthand visits to sites like Omaha Beach and the Museum of the Liberation with a transatlantic voyage. Your journey begins in Paris, where you’ll explore museums including the Hôtel National des Invalides, a vast monument that houses the Army Museum and an interactive exhibit on Charles de Gaulle. After further exploration of Paris and Normandy, take your learning to the seas onboard the renowned Queen Mary 2, with in-depth lectures from a historian traveling with you. By the time you come into port in New York City, you will have deepened your knowledge and fascination of World War II history from the D-Day Landings to the end of the war.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walking 2-3 miles daily on field trips; paved streets with some cobblestones, gravel paths, beaches and grass lawns. Extent of walking and other activities aboard ship according to personal preference.

What You'll Learn

  • Explore D-Day landing sites in Normandy and learn about these battlefields with a historian.
  • Marvel at the architectural wonder of Versailles and get a new perspective of Paris during a river cruise along the Seine.
  • Learn from a history expert on board Queen Mary 2 as they share their insight into the political and military history of World War II.
Featured Expert
All trip experts
Profile Image
Spencer Jones
Dr. Spencer Jones is an award-winning historian and author with a special interest in the First World War, Second World War and the life of Sir Winston Churchill. He is a Senior Lecturer in Armed Forces and War Studies at the University of Wolverhampton, UK, and serves in the British Army as the Regimental Historian of the Royal Artillery. His most recent publication is "The Darkest Year: The British Army on the Western Front 1917."

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 with a special interest in the First World War, Second World War and the life of Sir Winston Churchill. He is a Senior Lecturer in Armed Forces and War Studies at the University of Wolverhampton, UK, and serves in the British Army as the Regimental Historian of the Royal Artillery. His most recent publication is "The Darkest Year: The British Army on the Western Front 1917."
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.
All itineraries and excursions are subject to change. Weather and water conditions may affect the progress of the ship, and we may miss ports if it is not safe to dock. The operators reserve the right to change the content and duration of excursions without prior notice and so the cruise itinerary should always be regarded as provisional. Whenever possible, Road Scholar’s published daily schedule will indicate port arrival and departure times. Prior to departure, if there is a major change, we will make every effort to alert you. For less significant changes, we will update you during orientation. Thank you for your understanding.
Print All
Map details are not available for this location.
14 days
13 nights
33 meals
12 B 10 L 11 D
DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrive Paris, Check-in, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Paris
D
NH Paris Opera Faubourg

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 3:00 p.m.

Afternoon: After checking in to the hotel we’ll have some time to relax and settle in before our Orientation meeting. Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Our program is staffed with both a Study Leader who will lecture, conduct field trips, and serve as an information resource on program-related topics, and a Group Leader who will accompany us throughout the program and deal primarily with logistics. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
3
Liberation Museum, Memorial de la Shoah
Paris
B,L,D
NH Paris Opera Faubourg

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach with 4-5 steps up/down. Walking of about 2 miles; standing up to 2 hours.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: This morning we will attend our first lecture and learn about France under Nazi Occupation.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: We will visit the Liberation of Paris General Leclerc Museum, here we will learn about the events leading up to the liberation of Paris and the end of World War II. Next, we will visit the Memorial de la Shoah, the museum exhibits relate to the Holocaust and German occupation of parts of France and Paris during WWII. The actual memorial to the victims stands at the entrance. The wall is inscribed with the names of 76,000 men, women and children deported from France to Nazi extermination camps.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Invalides Army Museum, Seine River Cruise
Paris
B
NH Paris Opera Faubourg

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach with 4-5 steps up/down. Walking of about 2 miles; standing up to 2 hours.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: This morning we will visit the Invalides Army Museum with our Study Leader and Group Leader. The museum has one of the largest military history and art collections in the world. The Hotel des Invalides was founded by Louis XIV to house veterans and wounded soldiers. The museum's collections contain over 500,000 pieces covering a period from the Middle Ages up to the present day.

Lunch: On your own.

Afternoon: Free time to explore Paris on your own.

Dinner: On your own.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Versailles, Omaha Beach
Bayeux
B,L,D
Mercure Omaha Beach

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach with 4-5 steps up/down. Walking up to 3 miles throughout the day; extended periods of standing at field trip sites; sandy terrain on beaches; paved and gravel paths and sidewalks at field trip sites.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will check out of our hotel in Paris and head to Versailles where we will visit the Palace of Versailles. It's origins date back to the 17th century, was a hunting lodge, a seat of power, and from the 19th century, a museum. We will explore the palace with our Study Leader and Group Leader.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: We will continue to Omaha Beach, upon arrival, we will learn about the American maneuvers in Operation Overlord. We’ll begin at Omaha Beach, where we’ll learn about central D-Day operations while exploring on foot with our Study Leader and Group Leader. The assault on Omaha was one of the most challenging of all; the beach lies in front of steep hills and cliffs, concentrating the German defenses and machine gun fire on the beach itself. Harsh weather and sea conditions complicated matters further, as nearly all of the Allied units landed some distance from their planned targets and few tanks made it to shore. By evening, the Allies had gained a tenuous foothold at Omaha, but this came at a heavy cost. Casualties numbered in the thousands, and first-hand accounts make for sobering reading. We will then check in to our hotel.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
St Mere l'eglise, Utah Beach
Bayeux
B,L,D
Mercure Omaha Beach

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach with 4-5 steps up/down.Walking up to 3 miles throughout the day; extended periods of standing at field trip sites; sandy terrain on beaches; paved and gravel paths and sidewalks at field trip sites.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will head to sites at the western end of the Allied landing zone. At Sainte-Mère-Église, we’ll see the first town liberated during Operation Overlord when American paratroopers landed in the early hours of D-Day. The church for which the town is named features a sculpture commemorating the ordeal of John Steele, who spent two hours hanging from his parachute caught on the spire as fighting ensued below him. While here, we will also learn about the operations of the US 82nd Airborne Division.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Moving on, we’ll reach Utah Beach, one of two American landing sites in Normandy, where we’ll explore on foot with our Study Leader and Group Leader. Utah’s two sectors, Uncle Red and Tare Green, are located between the towns of Dunes-de-Varreville (North) and La Madeleine (South).

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
Check Out, D-Day Museum in Arromanches, Embark QM2
Le Havre
B,L,D
Queen Mary 2

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach with 4-5 steps up/down. Walking of about 2 miles; standing up to 2 hours.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will check out of the the hotel and head to the D-Day Museum in Arromanches. Located on the seafront, the geographical center of the D-Day Landing Beaches. The museum is located at the exact point where the Allies built one of two artificial ports used for supplying the troops engaged in the Battle of Normandy.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: We will board our motorcoach and ride to Le Havre where will complete embarkation procedures, and board the Queen Mary 2. This is a Road Scholar Adventures Afloat program. Port stops are subject to change as weather and ocean conditions could affect the progress of the vessel. The cruise itinerary should therefore be regarded as provisional. The time in each port is set by the cruise line. The cruise line reserves the right to change the itinerary without prior notice. Aboard the Queen Mary 2, breakfast and lunch are in the venue of your choosing. Afternoon tea is served in the Queens Room. Road Scholars are invited to have dinner together in the Britannia Restaurant. Snacks, juice, tea, coffee, water are available 24 hours a day in the buffet restaurants and there is 24-hour room service.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. The Queen Mary 2 is a floating city. The options for activities and entertainment are many and varied. You might like to see a show in the ballroom, go dancing, listen to music, watch a movie in the theatre, have a beverage and a chat with new Road Scholar friends in one of the bars, or wander through the library — one of the best shipboard libraries anywhere — to find a book and curl up in that perfect reading chair.

DAY
8
Lecture, Free Time
At Sea
B,L,D
Queen Mary 2

Activity note: Full day at sea

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Our Study Leader will present the first of a series of dynamic and informative lectures.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Free time. The ship offers a variety of enrichment activities. You might attend a presentation by a guest speaker, attend a class such as watercolor painting or ballroom dancing, take a dip in one of the swimming pools, or any of the many other choices.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. Choose from a variety of activities on board, from movies to shows or simply enjoying the ambience of the different themed bars.

DAY
9
Lecture, Free Time
At Sea
B,L,D
Queen Mary 2

Activity note: Full day at sea

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: We will learn more about D-Day and WWII.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Free Time. Weather permitting, you might like to take a leisurely stroll around the Promenade Deck and take in the fresh sea air.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. You may choose to enjoy a show in the ship’s theatre, practice your dance steps in the ballroom, or simply return to your stateroom and enjoy one of the movies screened on the ship’s TV.

DAY
10
Lecture, Free Time
At Sea
B,L,D
Queen Mary 2

Activity note: Full day at sea

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: We’ll settle in with our Study Leader for another illuminating lecture about WWII.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Free Time. Take advantage of the many educational, social, and physical activities available, or simply relax in a deck chair with a view of the glistening Atlantic.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. You might like to visit the Queen Mary 2’s beautiful theatre, home to nightly productions with stars of stage and screen alike.

DAY
11
Lecture, Free Time
At Sea
B,L,D
Queen Mary 2

Activity note: Full day at sea

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: We will learn more about the D-Day Invasion with our Study Leader.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Free time. A perfect opportunity to visit the spellbinding planetarium show, polish your bridge skills during a tournament, or perhaps retreat to the spa for a massage.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. The Golden Lion, a traditional English pub aboard the QM2, runs a competitive pub quiz — perfect for showing off your newly gained knowledge.

DAY
12
Lecture, Free Time
At Sea
B,L,D
Queen Mary 2

Activity note: Full day at sea

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: We will continue learning about WWII.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Free time. You might like to explore the history of the Cunard Line at a unique exhibition running through the halls of the ship.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. The Queen Mary 2 travels with expert sommeliers, who host nightly wine tasting and appreciation events.

DAY
13
Lecture, Free Time
At Sea
B,L,D
Queen Mary 2

Activity note: Full day at sea

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Our Study Leader will deliver the final on-board lecture.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Free Time. Take advantage of the many educational, social, and physical activities available, or simply relax in a deck chair.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for disembarkation in the morning.

DAY
14
Arrive New York, City, Disembark, Program Concludes
New York City
B

Activity note: Since the ship is scheduled to arrive in New York in the morning, we recommend not booking any departure flights until 1:00 p.m. or later.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: This concludes our program. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






Recommended For You