Wednesday, February 8, 2017

National WWII Museum offering unique French tour

This October, The National World War II Museum in New Orleans will embark on a seven-day, six-night tour of France, based on Alex Kershaw's New York Times best sellers — “Avenue of Spies” and “The Bedford Boys” — with the author serving as featured historian. Guests will get an up-close view of the beaches of Normandy, while hearing stories of sacrifice about the Bedford Boys who came ashore with Company A, 116th Regiment, 29th Infantry Division during the first wave at Omaha Beach on D-Day.

The tour will take participants through Paris with Kershaw, who will provide depth and context to the espionage that occurred there more than 70 years ago.

“Avenue Foch, one of the most upscale and exclusive streets in Paris, was home to ‘Avenue of Spies’ protagonist Dr. Sumner Jackson and his family,” says Kershaw. “Their address at Number 11 was both a meeting place for the French Resistance and a drop site for crucial information. High-ranking Nazis took up residence nearby putting the Jackson's in constant danger. These are the types of stories the tour group will hear in order to bring to life the courage and bravery that inevitably helped America win World War II.”

Prior to touring in the “City of Lights,” participants will also visit historic sites throughout Normandy, including Omaha Beach, where the landing craft transporting the Bedford Boys came ashore, as well as Utah Beach, St. Lo and Sainte-Mère-Église, where paratroopers landed during the pre-dawn hours of D-Day. Touring in Normandy will culminate at the Normandy American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer, where guests can pay respects to the fallen Bedford Boys, nine of which are among the 9,387 Americans buried in the soil they helped to liberate.

Soldiers and Spies will take place from Oct. 12-18. Pricing for the tour is $5,995 per person based on double occupancy, which reflects an $800 per couple early booking savings discount when reserved by March 31, 2017. The program features accommodations at Hotel Villa Lara, the only four-star boutique hotel property in the Normandy region, and at the Westin Paris – Vendome. Most meals, beverages and all gratuities are also included. For a detailed itinerary and registration information, visit or call 877-813-3329 Ext 257.


Cheré Coen is the author of “Forest Hill, Louisiana: A Bloom Town History,” “Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana” and “Exploring Cajun Country.” She writes Louisiana romances under the pen name of Cherie Claire. Write her at