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This tour, from 9 am to 5:30 pm, with our guide Mike Van Den Dobbelsteen, was superb! Outstanding! More exciting and informative than we ever expected. We learned so much and shared profound emotions that are strong even to this day. We were highly moved and know that words can not express our thanks and gratitude to Mike for sharing his passion and knowledge about D Day with us.
Great experience. Our guide was very knowledgeable, had visual aids, multimedia TV videos in the van and was interactive with questions. Mike was very kind, went during January the cold time so our group was small which allowed one on one interaction. We had enough time for photos and we got to visit the American Cemetery during the lowering of the flags. It was a great experience. Highly recommended and would do it again.
Had the full day Normandy D-Day beaches tour and this turned out to be the highlight of our 12 day vacation in France. Our tour guide Mike was extremely knowledgeable about the history of the Allied invasion. He literally made you feel like you were there that day as he explained what really happened at the various battle sights we visited. It was a very sobering and enlightening experience and an important part of our history. Highly recommend this tour to others who want to learn about this major event in our battle for freedom.
I simply cannot say enough about this fantastic tour! It was everything we had hoped for, and so much more. First, I must brag about Mike, our guide. Mike was FANTASTIC! He was informative with an exhaustive knowledge of all things D-Day, yet he conveyed the information in an extremely accessible way. Our small group included those who were very informed on D-Day and those who had very little knowledge of the events, and Mike made each one feel as though they were continually learning new things. His facts, mixed with anecdotes and stories, brought the events of June 1944 alive in a stunning fashion. Moreover, Mike was more than willing to adjust the trip schedule to accommodate the personal interests of the group. For example, when he learned that four of us were from Virginia, and had visited the Operation Overlord memorial in Bedford, VA the town that lost the largest number of men per capita of any US city, he took us to the statue at Omaha Beach that commemorates the Bedford Boys and is the sister statute to the one in Virginia. An extremely moving moment for us, and all thanks to Mike.
Of course, Mike had plenty to work with as we traveled from the landing beaches to the towns in Normandy made famous during the invasion. In each town, Mike made the events of the day come alive as if we were there. And he related the events to popular movies The Longest Day, Saving Private Ryan, etc and tv shows Band of Brothers, pointing out where those Hollywood versions were accurate and where they were not. Coupled with the multimedia presentation in the van as we moved from one place to the next--a highly effective way to convey additional information and to show then and now pictures of the areas we were passing through--it was as thorough overview as we could ask for.
I should note that at first we were concerned because we would not be visiting any of the museums along the way--time simply would not allow it--but these fears were quickly allayed. Quite frankly, Mike's presentation and the multimedia show in the van was far better, and more informative, than any museum with its docents would have been. In fact, we were glad NOT to have spent time in the museums so that we could spend more time with Mike in the actual historical places.
Speaking of which, Bayeux Shuttle owner Andy Sutherland's idea to purchase to buy a small French farmhouse, made famous in a Life Magazine photo, to use as a lunch stop midway through the tour was a stroke of genius. They have redecorated the home to look just like it might have looked when US soldiers stopped there for a rest in June 1944, and they had homemade sandwiches--made to your personal order--ready for us when we arrived. It was a blast to pose with the guns and uniforms of that time as we took lots of historical reenactment photos. Like the multimedia part of the tour, this is truly a unique aspect of the day something you will not find with any other tour group in Normandy, and truly makes Bayeux Shuttle standout from its competition.
Mike also timed our visit so that we would arrive at the US Memorial Cemetery at Omaha Beach at 5pm, in time for the very moving playing of taps and the retiring of the U.S. Flag for the evening. As if visiting the Cemetery was enough, being able to watch the flag lowering was beyond words. Mike then walked us through the cemetary, showing us many of the famous men buried there as well as many of those who were not so famous. I've been fortunate enough to visit Arlington National Cemetery, as well as U.S. memorial cemeteries in Tunis, Tunisia and Pusan, South Korea, but nothing compared to the cemetery at Omaha Beach.
Without complaint or concern, Mike even extended our tour at the end of the day, well into dark, to ensure we got to see everything. We can't thank him or praise him enough for this fantastic day. If you are coming to Normandy, particularly to see the beaches and do an historical tour, you simply must use Bayeux Shuttle. They work well with you to schedule your tour, and then to bring the events of the day alive while on the tour. And be sure to request Mike as your guide. I'm sure the others are just as good, but our personal experience with Mike clearly makes him the best of the best! You will not be disappointed!
Fantastic 5 stars! Our guide was great. I've keep his name for future friends who may want to do a tour.
Wonderful tour led by Mike our very knowledgeable and enthusiastic guide. The history tells its own story but Mike's detailed explanations pulled it all together for my wife and I. Really enjoyable trip and highly recommended for all.
The tour was amazing. Our guide Lloyd, did an amazing job on the tour of conveying all the history at all the sites we visited. We visited 7 sites, and had about 40 minutes at each site after driving about 15-20 minutes between each site on the bus. Even the bus ride time was educational with Lloyd explaining us various things, and some videos as well. Lloyd is incredibly knowledgeable about the Normandy history, and it shows through the great tour we had. This tour is highly recommended.
Lloyd was a fantastic guide. He was extremely knowlegable in all aspects of the Normandy invasion. His passion for his work made this a memorable experience for us.
This was a great tour! Our guide, Jon, was wonderful! He was full of stories and information. We had a small group and the sites were amazing. I would recommend this tour to my friends and family, especially if they could get Jon.
Great tour of the American D-Day sites. It's a fast, easy way to see everything. Our tour guide was very knowledgable and we are so glad we did this tour. Highly recommend!
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