Announcing: “Heroes and Legends of World War II” Europe Tour July 10 – 23, 2013

Statue

Walk With Us
in the Footsteps of Heroes

Jet

Lyon Air Museum Presents
“Heroes and Legends of World War II”
A Tribute to “The Greatest Generation in Aviation”
(and ALL Who Served)
A Tour of Historic Sites and Museums in England and France
Featuring the Internationally Famous Duxford Air Show
July 10 – 23, 2013

Lyon Air Museum is sponsoring a “Tour of a Lifetime” international adventure that will appeal to everyone interested in World War II history. In the summer of 2013 we will travel to England and France on a journey of discovery and remembrance. In twelve unforgettable days we will visit historic sites in both countries that played a key role in winning the war in Europe. We will visit the fabulous American Air Museum at Duxford, England (the creation of which was due in large part to Major General William Lyon’s efforts), and witness the awesome Duxford “Flying Legends” Air Show, featuring immaculately restored World War I and II vintage planes in action. We will visit the room where “Ike” Eisenhower and his staff planned the liberation of western Europe, then begin a two-day tour of the places in Normandy where it happened. We will walk the tranquil sands of Omaha Beach, once stained with American blood. We will gaze at the sheer cliffs at Pointe du Hoc, which American Rangers climbed to neutralize big guns that could have wreaked havoc on the landing ships. We will visit Sainte-Mère-Église, where American Airborne troops landed in the midst of devastating enemy fire. On a lighter note, we will enjoy the sights and sounds of two of the world’s greatest cities: regal London and “The City of Light,” glorious Paris!

Upgraded, superior rooms in comfortable hotels, three-course gourmet meals, knowledgeable and dedicated tour leaders, and a well-paced schedule make this tour a perfect way for the first-time visitor to experience these historic places, while the experienced traveler will appreciate the opportunity to re-visit familiar sites in an unhurried manner.

In offering this outstanding tour for 2013 we are building on the success of our 2012 “D-Day+68” tour, which was unanimously praised by the participants. Throughout this brochure and highlighted in blue are comments about that tour from some of those intrepid travelers. All live in Southern California, except as noted. Several photos in this brochure were taken by participants on our 2012 tour.

People

Photo Credit: Rob Scott with the imposing American Air Museum in the background, “Walking the Flight Line” at the “Flying Legends” Air Show is a special treat that awaits us as the pilots ready their rare warbirds for flight.

The Lyon Air Museum 2013 Tour Itinerary

 Wednesday, July 10

The tour group assembles at Los Angeles International Airport, where we board a non-stop, overnight British Airways flight in BA’s upgraded “World Traveler Plus” class to London’s Heathrow Airport. (Participants from areas other than Southern California will fly independently to London.)

The “World Traveler Plus” section of British Airways’ Boeing 747-400 series aircraft is, as shown in this seating diagram, a completely separate section with just 36 seats, located between First Class and “Club World” class. It features wider, more comfortable seats than those in the standard “World Traveler” class at the back of the aircraft, with head and foot rests and a greater decline. Individual video screens offer a wide range of entertainment options, and with just 36 passengers, attentive meal and beverage service is assured.

Thursday, July 11

We arrive at Heathrow, clear Customs & Immigration, then are transported by private coach to the Radisson Blu Portman, a modern, four-star hotel ideally situated in the heart of London’s fashionable Mayfair district.

radison-blu

The Radisson Blu Portman, a quiet oasis in the busy city.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This evening, a “Welcome to London” cocktail reception and three-course gourmet dinner in a private room of the hotel set the stage for the exciting events to follow.

members

Members of our 2012 tour group get acquainted at their welcoming dinner.

Friday, July 12

Start the day with a bountiful breakfast buffet in the hotel. Then we’re off to experience London!

We’ll see Buckingham Palace, the Mall and Admiralty Arch, Trafalgar Square, Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament and “Big Ben.” Then on to majestic St. Paul’s Cathedral, which miraculously survived the Nazi bombs that leveled the areas around it. Next, the infamously historic Tower of London, where a Yeoman Warder (“Beefeater”) will give us a tour featuring a look at the stunning Crown Jewels.

Returning to our private coach we’ll ride across Tower Bridge to the Anchor at Bankside, an ancient pub overlooking the river, from which Samuel Pepys watched the Great Fire of London. We’ll enjoy a hearty three-course “pub lunch” on the pub’s riverside terrace (weather permitting), then travel back to Whitehall for a tour of the Churchill War Rooms, the authentically preserved underground headquarters of the British High Command that served as the nerve center of the war planning effort during World War II.

House of Parliament

The Houses of Parliament and Big Ben

Anchor Pub

The Anchor Pub

Tower

The Tower of London

Map Room

The Map Room in the Churchill War Rooms

CityWe’ll return to our hotel for a bit of a rest, then an early dinner* before going “out on the town.”Instead of staying together as one group we will divide into two or three parties, each of which will attend one of the many “live” theater productions in London’s exciting West End Theater District.*If you prefer, you can dine after the theater on our À la Carte voucher plan, in the hotel or at any other restaurant and be reimbursed for the cost of the meal, up to a specified amount.    “The tour exceeded my expectations.” Dr. W. B.

 

Saturday, July 13

You have three choices today:

The People1. Spend the day on your own in London, doing independent sightseeing, shopping at the fabulous department stores, perhaps taking a ride on the “London Eye,” a giant Ferris wheel with enclosed cabins that offer spectacular aerial views of the great city.

2. Escorted by the Assistant Tour Leader, travel by private coach to the beautiful, historic Georgian city of Bath, famous for its ancient Roman baths and its links to Jane Austen. You will be given a walking tour of Bath by a professional guide, concluding with a three-course lunch at Brown’s, one of the city’s best restaurants.

Right: Some of the participants on our 2012 tour survey Bath’s extraordinary architecture.

The Plane

3. Visit the RAF Museum in North London. Situated on the site of the London Aerodrome, the museum displays over 100 aircraft from around the world. Then visit and tour HMS Belfast, a preserved, World War II vintage Royal Navy cruiser, anchored in the Thames.

Left: Immaculate Me 262 at the RAF Museum is the genuine article, not a replica. Below left: The RAF Museum’s iconic P-51 Mustang. Below right: HMS Belfast framed by Tower Bridge.

The Plane

Dinner this evening will be on our À la Carte voucher plan, in the hotel or at the restaurant of your choice.

Sunday, July 14: Duxford Day!

To maximize our available time at Duxford we will travel from London to Cambridge by regional train, with a private coach providing transport between the Cambridge railway station and nearby Duxford Airfield. En route, we’ll visit the American Cemetery and Memorial at Madingley, to pay our respects to the thousands of Americans who died during the European Air War. We then proceed to Duxford, where we will have the balance of the morning free to explore the many wonders of the American Air Museum and the other displays at the huge, historic Imperial War Museum complex.

Duxford

Above: The American Air Museum at Duxford displays an incredible collection of preserved planes, including a P-47, B-17, B-24, B-29, B-52, and an SR-71, plus over a dozen other historic aircraft, all under one very large roof!

Below: The AAM’s immaculately preserved B-17G, “Mary Alice.”

The plane

airspace

The “AirSpace” building at IWM Duxford also presents a wide range of important planes, including a Concorde.

The afternoon is devoted to one of the most spectacular World War II “warbird” aerial exhibitions ever staged: “Flying Legends!” A dazzling array of over 50 fully operational WWI and WWII fighters and other rare aircraft will take to the skies over Duxford to perform breathtaking displays of not only the planes but the skill of the pilots who man them*. We’ll enjoy this premiere international aviation event in the exclusive “Gold Pass” seating area, with a gourmet lunch included. This premium ticket also allows us to “walk the flightline” before the planes take off.

Among the rare warbirds expected at the 2013 show are a P-47G Thunderbolt; P-38 Lighting; F4U-4 Corsair; two Hispano Buchons; nine Spitfires; three Hawker Sea Furies; Hawk 75; many P-51s; two P40s; three Yak Fighters;  Nieuport 17; Fokker DR1; Sopwith Triplane; B-17G Flying Fortress Sally B; PBY Catalina Miss Pick Up; Avro Lancaster and Hawker Hurricane.

vintage fighters

Photo Credit: Frank Mormillo
A photo taken in 1944? No, it was shot 68 years later, as over two dozen WWII vintage fighters flew over southeastern England during the 2012 “Flying Legends” Air Show ─ a sight you’re unlikely to see anywhere else!                                                    *Exact program of events subject to operational availability of scheduled aircraft and appropriate weather conditions.

Dinner in London tonight will again be on our À la Carte plan.

Monday, July 15

 We depart London today by private coach and head south to Portsmouth, the most important of the many embarkation points for the D-Day landings. En route, a special treat!

Did you ever wonder what it was like for the American Airmen stationed in England during the war, when they traveled by steam-powered train to London on a weekend pass? Well, you’ll get a taste of it today, without the jostling crowds and without the threat of a German bomb dropping on you!

After departing London in our private coach we’ll stop at Alton, the northern terminus of the Mid-Hants Railway, a private, historic line staffed by railway enthusiasts. We’ll take a delightful ride behind a magnificently restored British steam locomotive, traveling in preserved vintage “carriages,” just like the ones the GIs rode. Upon arrival at the end of the line at New Alresford we’ll enjoy a pub lunch, then rejoin our coach and continue on to the Portsmouth Marriott Hotel. Dinner in the hotel on our À la Carte plan.

Train

Above: Dramatic vintage steam action on the Mid-Hants Railway!

Below: The Portsmouth Marriott and its spectacular atrium lounge/restaurant.

MarriotMarriot

“The tour was a rousing success and I will always cherish the memories. It was a privilege to be part of such a remarkable event. Your diligence and attention to detail is unprecedented in all my years of  travel.” Mr. R. K.

Tuesday, July 16  

After a bountiful buffet breakfast in the Marriott we travel to the nearby village of Southwick, where we will tour Southwick House, a stately manor home that was taken over by the Royal Navy during World War II. In 1944, in the months leading up to D-Day, Southwick House was the headquarters of the Allied commanders, including Allied Supreme Commander General Eisenhower, Naval Commander-in-Chief Admiral Ramsay, and Army Commander-in-Chief General Montgomery. We’ll sit in the very room where Eisenhower and his staff planned the landings, while the dramatic story is re-told by an expert narrator. The large wall map used in planning D-Day is still in place, showing the positions of the involved forces at the moment the first landings commenced. This memorable event will be followed by lunch at the Golden Lion, a nearby village pub that was frequented by “Ike” and “Monty.”

Next, we visit the Tangmere Military Aircraft Museum, located on the site of RAF Tangmere, one of many bases where Spitfires and Hurricanes rose to intercept German bombers during the Battle of Britain. The museum has a wide range of aircraft and artifacts ranging from pre-World War II planes to modern jets.

southwick house

Above left: Southwick House.
Above right: Southwick House’s D-Day Map Room and the Golden Lion Pub.
Below Left: The Tangmere museum is a little-known gem!               Photo Credit: Tangmere Military
Aviation Museum/Iain Garrett

Dinner tonight will be provided in the hotel or at nearby restaurants on our À la Carte voucher plan.

“It was truly a trip we will never forget.” Mr. and Mrs. M. L.

Wednesday, July 17

We offer a choice today between two outstanding attractions: Historic sailing ships, or historic automobiles.

Option #1: Visit Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard, where three stellar attractions await: HMS Victory, Nelson’s flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar; HMS Warrior, a gigantic ironclad warship powered by both steam and sail (it was the “nuclear deterrent” of 1860!); and the Mary Rose, a warship of King Henry the 8th’s fleet that sank near Portsmouth in 1545. It was salvaged in 1982 in what was at the time the most complex and expensive marine archaeological project ever attempted.

HMS Victory
HMS Victory
HMS Warrior
HMS Warrior

Below: The new Mary Rose Museum, currently under construction (it will be finished before our visit), and a sailor’s wooden beer mug in remarkably good condition, retrieved from the wreck after being submerged for over 400 years!

HMS

Dinner tonight will again be provided in the hotel or at nearby restaurants on our À la Carte voucher plan.

 “We were pleased with all aspects of the trip . . . destinations, pubs, restaurants, ferry, airline, site selections, coaches, drivers, train ride and hotels. Our expectations were exceeded, due in part to your flexibility and attention to detail.” Mr. and Mrs. J. Y.

Option #2: Visit the fabulous National Motor Museum at historic Beaulieu, the ancestral home of the Montagu family, set in the scenic New Forest (so named because it was created during the reign of Henry the 8th!). Housing a collection of over 250 automobiles and motorcycles telling the story of motoring on the roads of Britain from the dawn of motoring to the present day, the award winning National Motor Museum appeals to all age groups. From World Land Speed Record Breakers including Campbell’s famous Bluebird to film favorites such as the magical flying car, “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,” the National Motor Museum ranks among the best automobile collections in the world.

A special feature of the National Motor Museum, one that will be on view for a limited time (including the day we will visit) is “Bond in Motion,” celebrating 50 years of James Bond films with 50 cars, featuring the actual cars used in many of the films, including the iconic Aston Martin DB5.

A one hour guided tour of the National Motor Museum is included in our visit.

The motor museum is only one of several attractions at Beaulieu. You’ll have time to stroll the spacious grounds which include the ruins of the 13th century Abbey and the Palace Home of the Montagu family.

The National Motor Museum is so vast, it’s impossible to show its scope in a few pictures. Here is just a glimpse.

The National Motor Museum is so vast, it’s impossible to show its scope in a few pictures. Here is just a glimpse.

national motor museum 2

Below: It’s humble, but it’s home: the Montagu family’s little cottage.

Below: It’s humble, but it’s home: the Montagu family’s little cottage.

Dinner tonight will be provided for both groups in the hotel or at nearby restaurants on our À la Carte voucher plan.

Thursday, July 18

This morning we’ll visit the Portsmouth D-Day Museum, which features the Overlord Embroidery, a remarkable, handmade pictorial presentation of the D-Day story. At 272 feet in length, this is the world’s longest embroidery of its kind, a tribute to the sacrifice and heroism of the men and women who took part in Operation Overlord. An accompanying audio commentary brings the events of the Embroidery to life. The Museum’s film show captures the wartime atmosphere, enhanced by extensive displays of personal memorabilia, maps, uniforms, vehicles and other historic artifacts. A real LCVP landing craft is on view, as is a rare Beach Armoured Recovery Vehicle (BARV) tank.

D-Day-Museum

Then we’ll travel across the English Channel to Normandy as the troops did in June 1944: by sea! But in much greater comfort! The Mont St Michel, flagship of the Brittany Ferries Line, is as luxurious as a cruise ship, with elegant restaurants and duty-free shops. We’ll enjoy a gourmet dinner aboard the big ship as we proceed to France, then transfer by coach to the Best Western Plus Hotel Malherbe in Caen.

Brittany-Ferries

Crossing the Channel in Style, Aboard the Mont St Michel.

Friday, July 19

Today is the first of two days devoted primarily to the D-Day sites and museums that line the Normandy coast for several kilometers, beginning with Ouistreham, the site of Sword Beach. It was the easternmost of the three British/French/Canadian landing areas.

Before visiting the beaches we will visit the vast Caen Memorial. This is by far the largest, most impressive, and most complete presentation of the World War II story anywhere — not just the D-Day events, and not even just the war itself, but beginning with the years leading up to 1940 from the First World War. It is an amazingly well done presentation told through a combination of film sequences, material exhibits, and other media which one experiences in chronological order while walking through an elaborate maze. There is also a film presentation that is definitely worth seeing.

We’ll then travel to Arromanches-les-Bains, where the Allies established an ingenious, floating artificial harbor, code named Mulberry, without which the liberation might have failed. A museum with an animated model of the Mulberry gives the visitor a better understanding of this remarkable achievement.

Next on the agenda is a look at the Longue-sur-Mer Gun Battery, the only original German coastal artillery remaining in place in the region. Finally, we visit the Pegasus Bridge Museum and Memorial, a tribute to the British Airborne forces who captured the important bridge in the early hours of 6 June 1944.

Caen Memorial

Caen Memorial

Longue-sur-Mer

The ominous German artillery at
Longue-sur-Mer

Below left: The floating “Mulberry” harbor was an engineering triumph. Below right: The original “Pegasus” bridge was replaced by a new bridge several years ago, but has been preserved as part of the Pegasus Bridge Museum.

Mulberry
Pegasus Bridge

Dinner tonight will be provided at the hotel or nearby restaurants on our À la Carte voucher plan.

“This was a fantastic trip ─ such great timing and planning.” Mr. H. B., Albuquerque, New Mexico

Saturday, July 20

Today we visit the American Sector, including Omaha Beach and its museum, Pointe du Hoc, Utah Beach and its museum, and Sainte-Mère-Église, where elements of the 82nd Airborne Division landed in the early hours of June 6, 1944, in the face of devastating enemy fire. One of those brave men, Private John Steele, hung for hours with his parachute tangled in the church steeple while the battle raged below. En route back to Caen we will visit the American Cemetery and Memorial overlooking Omaha Beach at Colleville-sur-Mer, where over  9,000 Americans who gave their lives for freedom on D-Day and in the subsequent campaign to liberate western Europe are buried and honored.

Omaha-Beach

Omaha Beach as the Germans saw it.

Pointe-du-Hoc

Above left: Pointe du Hoc, with bomb craters still visible. Above right: The museum at Utah Beach.

Below left: The Airborne museum at Sainte-Mère-Église. Below right: The American Cemetery and Memorial.

Airborn-Museum

A group lunch will be provided in Sainte-Mère-Église at the appropriately named Auberge John Steele. Dinner tonight will again be provided at the hotel or nearby restaurants on our À la Carte voucher plan.

 “We enjoyed all aspects of the trip.” Mr. and Mrs. R. L.

Sunday, July 21 

Today we travel by private coach from Caen to Paris, with an extended stop at Rouen, where we’ll have a three-course group lunch. In Paris we check into the elegant Regina Louvre Hotel for a two-night stay.

Rouen’s-Cathedral


Above: Rouen’s Cathedral (a favorite subject of the Impressionists) and the city’s famous clock tower.

Market-Square

Above: Rouen’s Market Square and Joan of Arc Chapel. Below: The ideally situated, très chic Regina Hotel.

Regina-Hotel

Tonight’s dinner is on our À la Carte plan, in the hotel or at any of the many nearby brasseries and cafés.

Monday, July 22

A full day in Paris at your leisure, with a “hop on/hop off” sightseeing tour on an open-top bus available; otherwise, enjoy this glorious city on your own. Shop at the fabulous department stores, visit the Louvre and/or explore the Carousel du Louvre, a trendy shopping center (both just a short walk from our hotel).

As a Grand Finale to your tour, tonight’s dinner will be aboard a Bateau Mouche, a luxurious cruise ship that glides through the “City of Light” on the River Seine.

Arc-d’-Triomphe

Paris Icons: The Arc d’ Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower.

Bateau-Mouche

A Bateau Mouche cruises past Notre Dame.

Enjoyed the tour immensely.” Mr. G. T.

Tuesday, July 23

And so we come to the end of our great travel adventure . . . with memories that will last a lifetime!

After a final bountiful breakfast in the hotel we’ll transfer by private coach to Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport, where we’ll board a British Airways flight to London Heathrow. There we will connect to our non-stop flight to Los Angeles in the upgraded “World Traveler Plus” section.

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Program Specifications, Terms and Pricing

This custom-designed tour is sponsored by Lyon Air Museum and created and operated by seasoned group travel professionals. The tour has been designed to complement the style and intellectual content of Lyon Air Museum’s programs of education and its celebration of “The Greatest Generation in Aviation.”

This tour is limited to a maximum of 22 participants plus two Tour Leaders. It has been designed to accommodate adults only. Persons with physical disabilities are welcome, but we cannot guarantee access to all European program venues for those who are unable to walk or climb stairs unassisted. If you have any disabilities or mobility issues, contact Lyon Air Museum before signing up for the tour.

Unlike “bargain” tours in which only a few meals and events are included, this is a complete, deluxe travel experience with no hidden fees or “extras.” All air, land and sea transportation, as specified in the itinerary, is included. Admission to all of the listed tour venues is included. All taxes, fees and gratuities are included; we never “pass the hat” to tip our wait staff and drivers. Our meal program includes a full, unlimited buffet breakfast in the hotel every day except arrival day, and dinner every day except departure day ─ plus seven group lunches. All group meals are three courses with, in most cases, a choice of two or more main dishes. Wine is included with all group dinners.

The tour price is $6,995 per person, based on double occupancy (two persons to a room) in either twin or double-bedded rooms in quality hotels with private bath. Queen-size beds may be available on request.

Price includes round-trip air transportation from/to Los Angeles in British Airways’ upgraded “World Traveler Plus” section. If you will be joining the tour from other areas and/or will be extending your stay in Europe, the “land only” price of the tour (excluding air fare) is $5,495 per person. (We will be happy to book your independent air travel and any other special arrangements.)

For participants who are traveling alone we will, at your request, attempt to pair you up with another single traveler. If you occupy hotel rooms alone a single supplement of $1,500 will apply.

The program price includes a fully paid Comprehensive Travel Insurance Policy with health and property coverage. (Details provided on request.)

A deposit of $1,000 per person is required to secure a reservation on this tour.

In the unlikely event that we are obliged to cancel this tour, all deposits and payments will be refunded in full. If a group member withdraws from the tour in the period from the date of booking until 90 days prior to departure, the cancellation fee is equal to the deposit paid and any insurance premium paid at the time of booking. For cancellations between 89 and 76 days before departure, a refund of 50% of the full tour cost, less any insurance premiums, will be made. For cancellations between 75 and 61 days before departure, a refund of 40% of the tour cost, less any insurance premiums, will be made. For cancellations between 60 and 15 days before departure, a refund of 25% of the tour cost, less any insurance premiums, will be made. For cancellations from 14 days before departure, no refund will be made.

To reserve space on this spectacular tour, download and complete the reservation form and forward it with your $1,000 per-person deposit to Lyon Air Museum, 19300 Ike Jones Road, Santa Ana, CA 92707; Phone: 714-210-4585; Fax:714-210-4588; E-mail: info@lyonairmuseum.org

Click here to download a printable PDF version of the tour brochure and the reservation form.