Trip Highlights

Commemorate the historic D-Day landings during this eight-night Celtic Lands journey. By exclusive arrangement, visit the hallowed Utah and Omaha Beaches in Normandy, France, with Dwight David Eisenhower II, grandson of General and President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and meet Allen Packwood, Director of the Churchill Archives Centre at the University of Cambridge. Cruise aboard the exclusively chartered, Five-Star small ship Le Jacques Cartier from Honfleur, France, to England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland, with guided excursions in each port of call. Visit UNESCO World Heritage-designated Caernarfon Castle near Holyhead, Wales; admire the austere beauty of the Inner Hebridean Isles of Iona and Mull and the storied treasure of Iona Abbey; walk in the footsteps of medieval and present-day princes in North Wales; and view relics of the rich Celtic heritage at Trinity College Library in Dublin, including the Book of Kells. Paris and Giverny Pre-Program and Glasgow and Edinburgh Post-Program Options available.


  • The exclusively chartered, Five-Star, small ship Le Jacques Cartier/Le Dumont-d’Urville cruises into ports inaccessible to larger vessels.
  • Visits to the historic Utah and Omaha Beaches of Normandy, accompanied by Professor David Eisenhower.
  • A shore excursion included in each port of call.
  • Exclusive, specially designed historical and cultural itinerary—experience the legacy of the Celts in France, Ireland, Wales and Scotland.
  • Excursion through the Scottish Highlands to visit Eilean Donan Castle.
  • Featuring Scotland’s seldom-visited Inner Hebridean Islands.
  • Follow in the footsteps of medieval and modern princes at Caernarfon Castle in North Wales.
  • View the treasured Book of Kells in Dublin’s Trinity College Library.
  • Complimentary alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages throughout the cruise; complimentary
  • Wi-Fi aboard ship (conditions permitting).
  • Paris and Giverny Pre-Program and Glasgow and Edinburgh Post-Program Options


Pre-Program Option – Paris/Giverny

Experience the “City of Light” and Monet’s cherished gardens in nearby Giverny. Enjoy a panoramic tour of Paris, renowned for its historic and aesthetic influence, and a walking tour at fascinating Montemartre. Enjoy a visit to Monet’s Gardens—an exquisite living canvas—in charming Giverny. Tour the Impressionist Master’s house and admire his lily pond and iconic Japanese bridge. Spend two nights in the Five-Star InterContinental Paris Le Grand.

Post-Program Option – Edinburgh/Glasgow

Explore two of Scotland’s greatest cities and their histories of fascinating clans, medieval knights and royal and religious intrigue. Visit Glasgow’s 12thcentury cathedral, the only medieval church in mainland Scotland to survive the reformation of 1560, and the historic Edinburgh Castle. Spend two nights in the FiveStar Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh The Caledonian.

*The Travel Program outlined here is subject to the features, final pricing and terms and conditions set forth in the published Travel Program brochure.


Shared departure: This departure is shared with other universities.


Day 1 & 2 – Depart Gateway City/Paris, France/Honfleur

Depart for Paris. On arrival, transfer to Honfleur and embark the Five-Star Le jacques cartier. Professor David Eisenhower will share captivating personal insights about his grandfather and Operation Overlord—the Allies’ code name for the military campaign that launched the D‑Day airborne and amphibious invasion at Normandy. Enjoy dinner on board the ship this evening.

Meals: Dinner

Day 3 – Caen, France/Omaha Beach/Arromanches

Drive to Longues‑sur‑Mer, where the coastal German artillery battery remains intact. Continue to Omaha Beach, where Allied forces landed on June 6, 1944, and walk the historic Normandy shores. Then, in the company of Professor Eisenhower, contemplate the solemn commemorative crosses and Stars of David in the American military cemetery at Colleville‑sur‑Mer.

Following lunch, travel to Arromanches and view a wraparound short film documenting the D‑Day campaign at the Arromanches 360 Circular Cinema or choose to see the world’s most famous embroidery, the 230-foot‑long Bayeux Tapestry, a graphic chronicle of the Norman Conquest of 1066.

This evening, attend the Captain’s Welcome Reception and Dinner.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Reception, Dinner

Day 4 – Caen/Pointe du Hoc/Utah Beach/Sainte‑Mére‑Èglise/Cherbourg

Visit Pointe du Hoc to envision the heroic U.S. Army Second Ranger Battalion scaling this cliff promontory and survey the serene English Channel.

Continue to the Church of Angoville‑au‑Plain, an emergency aid station on D‑Day, and view its modern stained‑glass rendition of the American Airborne parachute drop. Nearby, visit Utah Beach, the westernmost shore of the five landing areas of the Normandy invasion, and the Utah Beach D‑Day Museum for a chronological account of the landing retold through an immersive curation of artifacts and oral histories.

In Sainte‑Mére‑Èglise, one of the first French villages to be liberated by American forces during World War II, see its famous church, where American soldier John Steele caught his parachute on the steeple and “played dead” for two hours before being taken prisoner. Reboard the ship in Cherbourg. 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5 – Tresco/Isles of Scilly/England

Visit the family-owned island of Tresco, famed for its 19th‑century Tresco Abbey Gardens, weather permitting.

Blooming with more than 6000 exotic plant species, this subtropical landscape is built around the ruins of a Benedictine Abbey. Walk among spires of indigo viper’s bugloss, broad‑leafed tree ferns, flourishing aloes and bright pink South African suikerbos. Visit the garden’s Valhalla Museum, home to an eclectic collection of 60 shipwrecked figureheads recovered across the Isles of Scilly.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6 – Holyhead, Wales

From Holyhead, transfer across the quaint Isle of Anglesey and over the Menai Strait to North Wales, the cradle of Celtic culture, where Welsh remains the mother tongue.

Visit beautiful Bodnant Garden, one of the finest examples of 19th‑century Victorian landscape artistry, framed by the magnificent peaks of Snowdonia. Enjoy lunch in a local restaurant followed by a private choir performance of Welsh hymns. Experience the grandeur of the UNESCO World Heritage‑designated Caernarfon Castle, an impenetrable 13th‑century fortress built by Edward I of England as a defense against the marauding Welsh.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7 – Dublin, Ireland

Built astride the River Liffey, Ireland’s historic capital has retained its rich heritage of Georgian architecture. The panoramic tour of the city highlights 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, founded in 1592, and view the ninth-century Book of Kells, the world’s most famous medieval manuscript. Your afternoon is at leisure.

On board the ship this evening, enjoy specially arranged, traditional Irish music and dance performed by The Merry Ploughboys.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8 – Isle of Iona, Scotland/Tobermory/Isle of Mull

Visit the Hebridean Isle of Iona, the birthplace of Christianity in Scotland. In A.D. 563, the Irish monk Columba founded a monastery here, where scribes would spend their lives painstakingly copying religious tracts and transcribing ancient Celtic sagas. Stroll through the serene, restored abbey and see the churchyard’s intricate Celtic crosses.

Steeped in Viking myth and Celtic lore, the Isle of Mull is a land of extraordinary beauty, with pink granite cliffs, white-sand beaches and clear, blue waters. The island’s mysterious moors are studded with Iron‑Age duns, brochs and menhirs that recall the Hebridean Island’s rich prehistory. Go ashore at the photogenic port of Tobermory, the island’s capital, where brightly painted houses, cafés and boutiques are nestled between woodland‑fringed hills and the boat‑filled harbor. Enjoy time at leisure.

Later, join Allen Packwood on board the ship as he discusses the complexity of the D‑Day operations and Sir Winston Churchill’s role in its undertaking.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9 – Kyle of Lochalsh

Enjoy sweeping views of the Black and Red Cuillin mountain ranges at Sligachan and the heather-woven hills and rocky shorelines of Sleat, the “Garden of Skye.” Visit the 13th‑century Eilean Donan Castle, named for a sixth‑century Irish saint.

Magnificently sited at the entrance to Loch Duich, the castle was built in 1214 to defend against attack from the Danes. Today, the castle is home to a small museum that displays Jacobite relics.

This evening, attend the Captain’s Farewell Reception on board the ship. 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Reception, Dinner

Day 10 – Glasgow, Scotland/Return Home

Following breakfast, continue on to the Edinburgh and Glasgow Post-Cruise Option or transfer to the airport for your return flight.

Meals: Breakfast


Show Full Itinerary

Your Journey

Celtic Lands

By participating in an Alumni Association of the University of Michigan travel trip, you have stated that the Alumni Association has the exclusive right to use video and other visual/audio portrayals of You or Your likeness taken during Your trip in any medium of any nature whatsoever for any purpose, including advertising or promoting the services of the trip without any compensation being paid to You. Any such portrayal or likeness shall be the exclusive property of the Alumni Association of the University of Michigan.

(10 days)
Starting price: $6,995
Deposit per person: $800
Gohagan & Co.
Type: Cruise, Land & Cruise, Shared Departure

You must be an Alumni Association member to travel with us. Questions? Call Michigan Alumni Travel at 855.764.0064.

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By using this site, you accept our use of cookies.