Celtic Lands - 75th Anniversary D-Day Landings

From the British Isles to the coast of France, take a voyage to the Celtic Lands with the Columbia Alumni Association (CAA) from June 4 - 14, 2019. 


Waitlist only effective September 4, 2019.

From the coast of France to the British Isles, take a voyage to the Celtic Lands with the Columbia Alumni Association (CAA) from June 4 - 14, 2019. This special itinerary explores the lands and seas traversed by the Iron Age tribes known as the Celts, along with their enduring influence and the captivating historical legacies of more recent times. Their immeasurable contributions to the culture of Europe’s civilizations are surrounded in mystery, legend, and folklore, and are rooted in a wealth of art, science, and mythology.

Experience the rich traditions and astonishing beauty of Normandy’s storied coastline and the British Isles during this once-in-a-lifetime Celtic Lands voyage. By exclusive arrangement, walk the hallowed D-Day beaches of Normandy, France, with Dwight David Eisenhower II, grandson of General and President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and meet Allen Packwood, an expert on British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Director of the Churchill Archives Centre and a Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge, England. Both Professor Eisenhower and Mr. Packwood will join us for a portion of the cruise to lecture and share their insights regarding two of the most influential figures of the 20th century.

Cruise across the English Channel and into the waters of the Celtic and Irish Seas aboard the specially chartered Five-Star, Small Ship Le Boréal, featuring only 110 suites and staterooms. Explore cities, villages, and islands that abound with living Celtic heritage, calling at ports inaccessible to larger vessels.  View the treasures of Celtic history in Dublin, Ireland, and follow in the footsteps of medieval and modern princes in North Wales. Discover Scotland’s misty, legend-haunted, and seldom-visited Inner Hebridean Islands, and call on the majestic Isles of Scilly. Admire the austere beauty of the Scottish Highlands before concluding in Glasgow.

Join us for this extraordinary visit to the historic D-Day beaches of Normandy commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day Landings, where Allied forces turned the tides of World War II, and the Celtic Lands of Scotland and Ireland. Travel with alumni, friends, and participants from cosponsoring associations on this once-in-a-lifetime program. You are encouraged to contact the Alumni Travel Study Program at 866-325-8664 or travelstudy@columbia.edu for more details and to reserve your place.

Dates and Prices:

Trip Dates: June 4 - 14, 2019

Prices: from $6,995 per person based upon double occupancy

Single occupancy cabins are offered in select categories with an additional supplemental charge. Please contact us for rates and availability prior to sending in a reservation request for single space. While we can not guarantee roommate matching, we are happy to try and find a share for any single travelers interested in such options.

Taxes are an additional $495 per person and are subject to change.

Program Itinerary:

June 4, 2019 - Depart the U.S.

Depart the US on independently arranged flights to London, England

June 5, 2019 - London, England/Windsor (Runnymede)

Upon arrival, transfer to the deluxe Runnymede on Thames Hotel.  Join fellow travelers for dinner at the hotel this evening.

June 6, 2019 - London/Portsmouth/Embark Le Boréal

After breakfast, enjoy a scenic transfer from London to Portsmouth, including a visit the D-Day Museum and Southwick House, Dwight D. Eisenhower’s headquarters on the 75th-Anniversary of the invasion of Normandy, with an exclusive lunch and lecture in the historic Portsmouth Guildhall.

June 7, 2019 - Caen, France, for Omaha Beach

Dock in Caen and travel through the scenic countryside to the historic Normandy beaches. In the company of Dwight David Eisenhower II, walk where Allied forces landed on June 6,1944, under the direction of his grandfather, Supreme Allied Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower. Contemplate the solemn commemorative crosses and Stars of David in the American Military Cemetery overlooking Omaha Beach. Envision the heroic soldiers of the U.S. Army Second Ranger Battalion, who scaled the 100-foot sheer cliffs to capture German gun emplacements at Pointe du Hoc.

une 8, 2019 - Cherbourg, Normandy, for Utah Beach and Sainte-Mére-Èglise

Today, visit Utah Beach, and Sainte-Mére-Èglise, the first French village to be
liberated by American forces; and the American Military Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer. Continue to Arromanches to see the remnants of Mulberry Harbor, constructed by the British to support Allied landings on the Normandy beaches. View an absorbing wraparound short film  documenting the D-Day campaign at the Arromanches 360 Circular Cinema; or choose to see the famous 230-foot-long Bayeux Tapestry, a stunning visual chronicle of the Norman Conquest of 1066.

June 9, 2019 - Tresco, Isles of Scilly, England

Tresco is the second largest of the Isles of Scilly. Located 30 miles off the Cornish coast, it has  dramatic rocky outcrops, bronze age burial sites, romantic castle ruins, and the Tresco Abbey Garden which was established in the 1830s and hosts a  collection of more than 20,000 exotic plants from all corners of the world.

June 10, 2019 - Dublin, Ireland

Built astride the River Liffey, Ireland’s historic capital has retained its rich heritage of Georgian architecture. Enjoy a panoramic tour of the city, including the landmark St. Patrick’s and Christ Church Cathedrals and grand O’Connell Street, lined with bronze and marble statues of Irish statesmen; stroll through the stately quadrangles of Trinity College; and view the incandescent illuminations of the ninth-century Book of Kells. The afternoon is at leisure to walk along colorful Grafton Street, savor a pint of Guinness in a neighborhood pub or visit the National Gallery of Ireland, one of the best repositories of Celtic treasures in the world. On board the ship this evening, enjoy a specially arranged traditional Irish music and dance performance.

June 11, 2019 - Holyhead, Wales, for Caernarfon

From Holyhead, transfer across the diminutive Isle of Anglesey and over the Menai Strait to North Wales, one of the cradles of Celtic culture. Here, the people hold fast to the old ways and Welsh remains their mother tongue. Visit beautiful Bodnant Garden, one of the finest examples of 19th-century Victorian landscape artistry. Stop in the charming seaside resort town of Llandudno for lunch, followed by a stirring private choir performance of Welsh hymns. Tour the imposing UNESCO World Heritage-designated Caernarfon Castle, an impenetrable 13th-century fortress built by Edward I of England as a defense against the marauding Welsh. Following the tradition of seven centuries of monarchs, Queen Elizabeth II invested the future heir to the British throne, her son Charles, as “Prince of Wales” at Caernarfon in 1969. Enjoy views of the beautiful, glacier-sculpted peaks and valleys of the Snowdonia Mountains on your return to the ship.

June 12, 2019 - Isle of Iona, Scotland/Tobermory, Isle of Mull

Go ashore at the sheltered port of Tobermory on the Isle of Mull, where brightly painted houses are nestled between the hills and the harbor. After time at leisure, visit 13th -century Duart Castle, the ancestral home of the Clan Maclean, and enjoy lunch in the castle’s tea room.

Ferry across the Sound of Iona to the neighboring Hebridean Isle of Iona, birthplace of Scottish Christianity. In A.D. 563, the Irish monk Columba founded a monastery here, where scribes would spend their entire lives painstakingly copying and illuminating religious tracts and transcribing ancient Celtic sagas into written form, preserving a record of oral bardic tradition. In later years, Iona became the burial place of Scotland’s kings, including Duncan and Macbeth. At Iona Abbey, stroll through the serene, restored monastery and see the churchyard’s intricate Celtic crosses.

June 13, 2019 - Fort William for the Scottish Highlands

Take a journey through the lush, resplendent beauty of the legendary Scottish Highlands.  Enjoy the splendor of majestic Glencoe-Scotland’s most scenic glen, and the bucolic village of Glenfinnan.

June 14, 2019 - Glasgow/Disembark ship/Return to the U.S.
Disembark this morning in Glasgow and transfer to the airport for flights home

Acclaimed Guest Speakers:

Dwight David Eisenhower II

Grandson of General and President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Professor Eisenhower is an acclaimed historian and Director of  the Institute for Public Service at the Annenberg Public Policy Center, University of Pennsylvania. Professor Eisenhower has written two seminal works about his grandfather: Eisenhower:At War 1943-1945 and Going Home to Glory: A Memoir of Life with Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961 - 1969 (co-author).

Allen Packwood

Allen Packwood, an expert on British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Director of the Churchill Archives Centre and a Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge, England will deliver two lectures on Churchill.


Near Windsor, England

    •    One night in the deluxe Runnymede on Thames Hotel, with breakfast.
    •    Dinner in the hotel.
    •    Scenic transfer from London to Portsmouth, including a visit the D-Day Museum and Southwick House, Dwight D. Eisenhower’s headquarters, with an exclusive lunch and lecture in the historic Portsmouth Guildhall

On board the specially chartered, Five-Star M.S. LE BOREAL

    •    Eight-night cruise from Portsmouth, England, to Glasgow, Scotland, featuring port calls at Caen for the Normandy beaches Utah and Omaha and the 75th anniversary of D-Day, and Cherbourg, France; Tresco, Isles of Scilly, England; Dublin, Ireland; Holyhead, Wales, for Caernarfon; Scotland’s Hebridean Islands including Mull and Iona; and Fort William, Scotland, for the Scottish Highlands.
    •    Elegantly appointed, Five-Star Suite or Stateroom, each with a private bathroom.
    •    Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Receptions.
    •    Complimentary alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages are available throughout the cruise.
    •    All meals-early continental breakfast, buffet breakfast, buffet lunch, afternoon tea and dinner-throughout the cruise, featuring fine international and regional cuisine, served at single, unassigned seatings.
    •    Complementary wine is served with lunch and dinner.
    •    Complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the ship.
    •    Two full-day excursions to the historic beaches of Normandy with visits to Utah and Omaha beaches; Sainte-Mére-Èglise, the first French village to be liberated by American forces; and the American Military Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer.
    •    An opportunity to watch a short film documenting the D-Day campaign at the Arromanches 360 Circular Cinema overlooking Gold Beach and the Mulberry Harbor site or to see the legendary Bayeux Tapestry, chronicling the Norman Conquest of 1066.
    •    Visit to the lush, 19th-century Tresco Abbey Gardens, home to more than 6000 plant species.
    •    City tour of Dublin, featuring a visit to Trinity College to see the iconic Book of Kells, and free time to explore the city at your own pace.
    •    Traditional Irish music and dance entertainment aboard ship while in Dublin.
    •    Visit to Caernarfon Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and 19th-century Bodnant Garden, with picturesque views of the magnificent Snowdonia Mountains In Wales.
    •    Private performance by the renowned Welsh Maelgwyn Choir and lunch in Llandudno.
    •    Visit to the Isle of Iona, Scotland’s “cradle of Christianity,” featuring the historic Iona Abbey.
    •    Panoramic tour of the Isle of Mull, featuring an excursion to Duart Castle, with lunch and time at leisure in Tobermory.
    •    Excursion through the Scottish Highlands featuring Glencoe, Scotland’s most scenic glen, and the bucolic village of Glenfinnan.

Additional Inclusions

    •    Transfers and luggage handling abroad for participants whose arrival(s)/departure(s) coincide ,with the scheduled group transfer(s).
    •    All excursions and visits, as outlined above,with experienced local guides.
    •    Gratuities to local guides and drivers on included excursions and transfers.
    •    Complimentary bottled water in your Suite or Stateroom and on excursions.
    •    Hospitality desk aboard ship.
    •    The services of experienced Travel Directors throughout tile program.
    •    Complimentary use of a state-of-the-art audio headset for each participant during guided excursions.
    •    Travel document wallet, name badge and pre-departure information.    

Not included:
Airfare; Taxes; passport fees; visas and fees for obtaining visas; personal expenses such as laundry and telephone calls; accident/sickness, trip cancellation, and baggage insurance; gratuities to ship and hotel personnel; optional sightseeing excursions; excess baggage charges on aircraft; local departure air taxes; airfare and associated local taxes*, airport facility taxes and federal inspection fees not listed int he "included features" section of the program brochure; transfers and baggage handling to/from airport/hotel on day(s) of arrival and/or departure if you are arriving earlier or later and/or departing earlier or later that scheduled group transfer(s); meals and and alcoholic beverages not listed in the "Included Features" section of the program brochure; and all other services not specifically mentioned in the "Included Features" section of the program brochure.

Please call us toll-free at (866) 325-8664 or email us at travelstudy@columbia.edu for more details.