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Old 07-14-2006, 05:47 PM
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We are sailing on the Oceania Regatta on 9/12.
We are wanting to visit the WWII beaches at Normandy.
Has anyone done this trip from the port of Saint-Malo? We are in port for 11 hours and understand that it is 100 miles or 2 1/2 hours from the port. That would only give about 4 hours. Is it enough time to experience the beaches? Since we sail at 8 we want to be sure to be back by 6:30 - 7:00. What should be the priorities?
Thanks so much for your help.
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Old 07-14-2006, 05:47 PM
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We are sailing on the Oceania Regatta on 9/12.
We are wanting to visit the WWII beaches at Normandy.
Has anyone done this trip from the port of Saint-Malo? We are in port for 11 hours and understand that it is 100 miles or 2 1/2 hours from the port. That would only give about 4 hours. Is it enough time to experience the beaches? Since we sail at 8 we want to be sure to be back by 6:30 - 7:00. What should be the priorities?
Thanks so much for your help.
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Old 07-15-2006, 08:09 PM
 
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This is one of those questions where its hard to give good advice. We have traveled throughout Europe and spent some time in Normandy. If you have your heart set on seeing the beaches, you could make the trek, but you info is pretty accurate that you will need to allow about 5 hours round trip. Is 4 hours enough to see Normandy? I guess it is Ok if you want to rush, but we spend a full 1 1/2 days driving in the area and that seemed about right. You could probably rush through Omaha Beach, Pointe du Hoc, and the American Cemetery (amazing place). Personally, we try to plan our port days closer to the ship in order to avoid spending so much time en route. This is why we return to many areas on land trips where we have a rental car and plenty of time. From St Malo I think many will go to Mont St Michel which is the major tourist attraction in the region. I will also admit that given a choice, we would choose Normandy over Mont St Michel.
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Old 07-16-2006, 12:19 AM
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If you think this will be your only chance to see the beaches, go for it! With an experienced driver you can see the beaches, the cemetery (will bring you to your knees...very emotional), a quick browse through a museum and get a feel for the area in a four hour time period. It will be a bit rushed, but if you don't feel you'll be back for a land-based tour, I would do it. Mont St. Michel has become a huge tourist trap and is best viewed from a distance...or on a post card. It's beautiful, but swarming with tourists at any time of year so it's difficult to really get a feel for the place...although a bit of time in St. Michael's Chapel is quite special. Whatever you decide, savor the time!
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Old 07-16-2006, 06:51 AM
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thanks so much. Is there a particular musueum that you suggest? Someone else said the circular one at Arromanche is the must see.
Thanks
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Old 07-16-2006, 05:49 PM
 
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I am not normally a big museum person, but one of the most amazing WWII museums in the world is located in the French city of Caen and goes by several different names including the "Museum of Peace." We stopped there on a whim while driving away from Normandy and we were literally speachless. This museum pretty much tells the story of what happened between WW1 and WWII that allowed the Nazis to rise to power. It also highlights much of France's participation in WWII and is actually very accurate and critical of France (almost unheard of in France). Rick Steves has a good review of this museum which you can access at
http://www.ricksteves.com/plan/desti...ance/dday2.htm
I might add that when we were there a group of German high school students was touring the place with their teacher...and they were absolutely speechless. An amazing place that is little known.
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Old 07-16-2006, 06:02 PM
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Hank,
Thanks so much for the information. I really appreciate it.
Barb
 
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beaches, cruise, distance, dock, france, malo, normandy, oceania, port, saint, scruise, ships, st, visit, whats, wwii

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