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frequently asked questions

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why did you choose the name "Normandy American Heroes" for your company?

The last two decades has seen an increased interest in World War 2. Visiting the locations where many of the iconic battles were fought is important to understand clearly what the soldiers achieved individually to free the world. Normandy American Heroes strongly believes all Americans who fought in Normandy are heroes, whether resting in peace here in the hallowed grounds of Colleville sur Mer or Saint James American cemetery or back at home. Thus the name we chose, Normandy American Heroes to recognize the sacrifice of all those men and women who fought for our freedom.


What makes you the best in Normandy?

Simply put, Normandy American Heroes, a young startup, has only one objective; become the best at what it does. In terms of World War II tours in Normandy, no one comes close to offering the quality and quantity you will get from us. All year round you will find a guaranteed departure on one of our all-inclusive tours. Our tour guide is an historian who has mastered his craft at the American Cemetery of Colleville sur Mer, la Pointe du Hoc for the ABMC (American Battle Monument Commission) and at the Utah beach museum and monuments. We have an office in France (Bayeux, Normandy), with an office in Southern California. Our entire staff speaks fluent English. Book with us and you will feel the Normandy American Heroes difference. Our secured and guaranteed payment system thru Sogenactif, subsidiary of the renowned bank Société Générale will allow you to shop online with utmost confidence. We will show you the key role achieved by the soldiers who fell in battle or had the privilege to survive and make it back home. They served with competence, devotion to duty and skill in battle for the Infantry Divisions, the Army Air Corps and the Navy. Each story is unique and moving. Needless to say all veterans we had the privilege to welcome do not consider themselves heroes, the heroes are the ones resting here in Normandy. Simply put, Normandy American Heroes means a unique experience of World War 2 in Normandy.


What makes Normandy American Heroes different from other tour companies who offer private tours?

Let’s face it, the other tour companies in Normandy offer regular tours of the main sites for a large variety of travelers who in majority of cases do not know each other. Language barrier and/or culture can be awkward and last but not least often do not share the same interest. Normandy American Heroes all inclusive tour is your tour focusing exclusively on the story within the stories. All our visitors are welcomed as privileged guests, we are proud to say that the WWII veterans are treated as family. Our tours are tailored made so that you have a unique personalized experience of what those extraordinary men achieved here in Normandy. Thanks to our key contacts at the National Archives and Records Administration, MD and Library of Congress in Washington D.C., we can anticipate your venue in Normandy and make all the possible research to trace the footsteps of your next of kin (NOK) to make your trip memorable.


Why doesn’t Normandy American Heroes use its own vehicle for the tour?

The majority of the tour companies in Normandy have a chauffeur/guide trying to do both line of work. Normandy American Heroes decided from the start not to combine driving and guiding unless the party is of 6 or less. Why? We believe it’s important that our Interpretive Guide Rudy continues to be available at all times when the party exceeds 6. Let’s be realistic, it’s impossible if he is driving a party that exceeds 6.


Why Is Normandy American Heroes tour suited for children?

Normandy American Heroes strongly believes history must be passed on to future generations. It’s an extremely meaningful learning experience that your children will carry on in their day to day life as they grow into responsible adults. Rudy, our Interpretive Guide went at the age of 8 with his father to Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp. He can still clearly remember the emotion he felt at that age. Please be aware there is no age restriction as such; just remember that a lot of walking is done during the tour. Normandy American Heroes will of course do it’s best to adapt your tour to your children needs so that the whole family leaves with a memorable experience here in Normandy.


Why shouldn’t I do this on my own?

You could. Just keep in mind that you’ll need to rent a car and drive to all of these places in a foreign country, book accommodation, find restaurants with English menus, and read up on all of the sites. Once you’ve finished, you’ll realize that it would have been cheaper and much easier to book with Normandy American Heroes.


What is included in Normandy American Heroes One Day All Inclusive Normandy Private Tour price?

Our price is per person per day and includes hotel pick-up and drop-off, lunch, chauffeur, interpretive guiding, museums entries and refreshments en route. Lunch includes a soft-drink or water.


What about gratuities?

Our onboard staffs (guide and/or chauffeur) are 100% dedicated to serving you. Tips for them are not included in the tour price, but are a voluntary way of showing satisfaction for a good service.


Where is your head office located?

We are located in Bayeux, France and have a Tour Manager based in southern California, Steve Judd. The address listed on our website is a mailing address only. If you would like to visit our office in Bayeux, France, please contact us for an appointment and we’d be happy to receive you.


What if I am not a history buff?

Our tours are carefully balanced to appeal to both history buffs and to those just looking to take an interesting, rewarding vacation. Background information is provided on the war, as well as present day information about the Normandy cities, towns and country-sides we visit. Maps, videos, and presentations shared during the tour will give you a fuller picture of the grand events recounted. Moreover, our tours present a variety of historical landmarks beyond tanks, guns and battlefields.


Are departure dates for the tours guaranteed?

Yes all tour departure dates are guaranteed.


Do you offer free time on the tours?

Some free time can be given in selected places on the tours for shopping and individual sightseeing. Normandy American Heroes has no affiliation whatsoever with any of the shops at your disposal, and there is no pressure from us to make additional purchases on the tours.


Do you accommodate special dietary needs?

Yes, we are able to cater to special dietary needs without limiting options. In the past we have accommodated vegetarians, gluten free and lactose intolerant passengers. An advanced notice of 30 days is necessary to advise our caterers.


Who is your interpretive guide?

Our interpretive guide Rudy is a local expert who devotes his time in passing on his knowledge and sometimes even personal experience, fluent in American English. Having lived in the States and worked for Halliburton Energy Services, he perfectly understands the refinements of the American culture.


Who is your chauffeur?

We have chosen to work with a recognized local company who provides us with local chauffeur who do not speak English if the party does exceed 6. Why? Because we strongly believe that what we share together must not be divulged.


Is it safe to travel to Normandy, France?

Absolutely! Normandy is probably the region where Americans are the most loved in the world. The locals are extremely grateful to their American liberators and haven’t forgotten what they achieved 70 years ago. You will have the privilege to meet some of those civilians who witnessed Dday during our tour, pending on their health as some of them are now in their late 80’s. For more information on France in general visit the site of the U.S. Department of State – Bureau of Consular Affairs.


How do I book a tour with Normandy American Heroes?

Fill in the Contact us form on our website, or send us an email. We also have an office in Southern California where you will be able to reach with no time difference our US Tour Manager Steve Judd.


How soon should I book with Normandy American Heroes?

We encourage everyone to book as soon as they know when they will travel to Normandy. Our dates fill up quickly and you need to be sure you make the cut.


What is the deposit amount required to book a tour with Normandy American Heroes?

Your tour can be reserved upon receipt of a 30% deposit. Your deposit is credited towards the total tour cost. We offer a discount from the list price to early-bird shoppers who complete payment three months in advance


Now that I am ready to book, how do I make arrangements to pay you?

You will pay online using a transaction code provided by us through our secured website to our professional bank account at the Société Générale of Bayeux, Normandy, France. Normandy American Heroes accepts Visa, MasterCard and American Express payment.

We strongly recommend that you contact your bank before payment as they may refuse to execute your order as a fraud-prevention measure.


Do you have a payment plan?

Once you have reserved your place on a tour with your 30% deposit, we are happy to work with you on an individual payment plan. This option is not available if you chose the non-refundable price, which requires full payment at the time of booking.


Do you have a special discount for 2017?

We offer a discount from the list price to early-bird shoppers who complete payment two months in advance of their booking.


Do you have a special offer for 2017?

Yes we offer an option to book at the non-refundable rate, which affords the passenger a larger discount from the list price, but the full cost of the tour must be paid at the time of booking and no later than March 31st of the tour year. The two discounts may not be used in conjunction.


Can I give the tour as a gift?

Of course! We would love to help you surprise someone. Rest assured we will stay discrete during the booking and payment process.


Do you offer international travel insurance?

No, we do not offer travel insurance. We do, however, recommend that you purchase a travel insurance package. The most important travel insurance provisions are likely those covering refunds for last-minute cancellation and for emergency medical coverage. Medical coverage is especially important outside the United States, where many US policies will not apply.


What airport do I need to arrive at?

For the Congressional Medal of Honor Private tour & A La Carte Normandy Campaign tour we recommend that you arrive at the Charles De Gaulle Airport (CDG) in Paris, France where we can pick you up and drive you to Normandy (quote upon request for the All Inclusive One Day Normandy Private tour), approximately 4 hours drive pending on traffic.

For the Cross Channel Attack Heritage tour we recommend that you arrive a the London Heathrow Airport (LHR), United Kingdom. We will meet you upon your arrival at your hotel. Should you prefer to be picked up at the airport an additional cost will be charged.


What airport will I be departing from?

We recommend that you leave from Charles De Gaulle Airport (CDG) in Paris, France.


Can I arrive earlier than my start date of the tour and can I stay longer after the tour ends?

Yes, we strongly recommend that you come a few days earlier and stay longer to take the time to discover our beautiful country. This will enable you to get over the jet-lag.


How do I meet up at the start of the tour?

We will contact you approximately a month prior to your tour departure with information regarding the exact meeting place and time based on the tour and options you have chosen.


Can I expect an itinerary for my tour before departure?

Your itinerary detailed in our signed service offer will be sent to you electronically approximately a month prior to your tour departure confirming what has been agreed and advising you of any changes due to an unforeseen event occurring in Normandy.


Can I talk to previous passengers who have taken your tours?

We can provide, upon request, contact information of some of our previous passengers who have agreed to speak with those interested in our tours about their experience with us. You may also view our testimonial section of the website, our professional page on Facebook and Trip Advisor.


What type of vehicles do you use?

We use luxury vehicles in Normandy, air conditioned, with reclining seats. When organizing a tour with up to 6 guests Normandy American Heroes uses its Hyundai IX55, a luxurious 7 seaters.


What type of hotels will we stay at?

For the Cross Channel Attack Heritage tour, the Congressional Medal of Honor Private tour and the A La Carte Normandy Campaign tour you will be staying in First Class Hotel Accommodations carefully chosen by Normandy American Heroes.


What types of currency are used on the tours?

Simple, Euro is used exclusively. It is best to exchange money before departure or at the airport of Roissy Charles de Gaulle (CDG) when you arrive, as it becomes challenging once you are in the beautiful country-side of Normandy. Although there are ATMs almost everywhere, there is an additional charge per use of a foreign card. Credit cards are often accepted to varying degrees. Visa is the most commonly accepted card, followed by MasterCard.

British Pounds is the currency used during the Cross Channel Attack Heritage tour.

Do not forget to let your bank know that you’ll be travelling and using your card abroad as they may block your purchase as a fraud-prevention measure.


I take prescription medication, should I take this with me?

Absolutely! You will want to take your medication with you. You do not want to depend on being able to get your prescription filled while you are in Normandy or the U.K. as American prescriptions are not accepted. Many drugs that are sold over the counter in the US require a prescription in Europe. Also, many drugs have different names and/or contents than in the US. So if you have a pain killer or a motion sickness pill that you know works for you, better to bring it along, because chances are you won’t find it in Europe. Staying in Bayeux can be reassuring as we have a hospital renowned in Normandy for its professionalism and dedication to its patients.


Is there a dress code with Normandy American Heroes?

We do not have a dress code for the tour. You need to be comfortable while travelling. Pack versatile clothing good for all types of weather as in Normandy we have four seasons in one day! You should bring sturdy, waterproof shoes that you feel comfortable wearing all day and that are also comfortable on uneven terrain such as on beaches and cobblestones. Why? Our tour involves an important amount of walking and standing, sometimes in off beaten path. A waterproof jacket is useful, as well as some warmer layers for chilly evenings. We trust you will understand that we strongly recommend wearing suitable clothing when paying your respect to the fallen at the American Cemeteries of Colleville sur Mer and Saint James. Last but not least, do let us know if there are any mobility issues so we can make the necessary arrangements when possible for your tour with us.


What is the weather like in the Southwest of England and Normandy, France?

There is no one answer to this question. Please review the BBC's forecast before your arrival.

 

What should I pack for the tour?

Since you’ll probably be taking lots of pictures, don’t forget your camera, memory cards and charger. Other electronic devices you might bring, such as a cell phone or laptop will also need their chargers. You will need an adaptor that would transform the US two-prong plugs to the round continental European two-prong. To reduce your phone cost we recommend that you buy a local SIM card that you can easily get upon arrival at the airport or in Bayeux. Why? Your carrier will charge you an additional charge and/or leave you without service during your trip abroad.


What other sites do you recommend to visit in Normandy?

Normandy is rich both for its history as far back as William the Conqueror invasion of England at the famous battle of Hasting in 1066 to its local gastronomy such as but not limited to the famous Camembert, the Mussels of Barfleur, the Caramel of Isigny sur Mer, the awesome Scallops of Port en Bessin. We have answered the most frequently asked questions of our guests, if you cannot find the information you are looking for, or would like to provide feedback, please email us at rudy@normandyamericanheroes.com or contact us here.

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