London and Normandy via the English Channel
Crossing the English Channel as the Allied Forces did on June 6, 1944 is on the bucket list of many family members of the Greatest Generation. For this reason, we have operated D-Day programs for over 30 years. Each 5th commemorative year, the experience takes on added poignancy, and is now the jewel in the crown of ATA’s military history-themed programs. Participants visit key Churchill sights in London, like the War Room itself, and learn about the Enigma Machine at Bletchley Park that deciphered the German’s encoded messages. During anniversary years, they also attend official D-Day ceremonies alongside of British, French and American dignitaries. In many cases, family members of D-Day veterans return home from this trip understanding for the first time the true nature of their loved one’s wartime experience.
This program highlights how ATA can take a well-told story and skillfully weave it throughout an itinerary. The places we visit are carefully curated and showcase the destination through the lens of history. It also demonstrates the seasoned organizational skills required to manage a myriad of details, including securing official invitations for travelers to attend the official D-Day ceremonies. Our planning for the 75th anniversary began two years in advance, allowing us to secure prime hotel space and add departures as space filled up. After travelers were booked, we also communicated extensively with them to set expectation vis-à-vis traffic logistics, security concerns, and Brexit! In the end, all nine groups had very memorable experiences.