World War II historian to accompany Avalon cruise

History buffs – and anyone with a personal connection to Canada’s efforts during World War II – will have a memorable travel opportunity next summer as war historian and award-winning military author Tom Douglas will accompany Avalon Waterways’ week-long Paris to Normandy’s Landing Beaches cruise. The cruise departs on July 23 July and sails from the French capital to several historic sites including Gonflans, near Napoleon and Josephine’s Chateau de Malmaison and to medieval Rouen. From there, the group will take a daylong coach tour to the Normandy Landing Beaches where visits will include the Canadian Juno Beach Centre, the artificial Mulberry Harbour at Arromanches and the Canadian War Cemetery at Beny-sur-Mer. Douglas, who will be available throughout the cruise for personal chats about Canada’s military heritage, will also deliver an onboard lecture about the D-Day invasion. The author of four best-selling books about Canada’s role in the two world wars, Douglas is also the 2012 recipient of a Minister of Veterans Affairs’ Commendation for his efforts to keep alive the remembrance of the sacrifices and achievements of Canada’s veterans. The cruise includes guided sightseeing in each city port-of-call as well as free time – especially in Paris and Les Andelys, home to the 900-year-old Chateau Gaillard; accommodation in spacious outside cabins; all meals (wine and beer included at dinner); nightly port talks and light entertainment. This cruise aboard the Avalon Creativity is priced from $2,935 (for an outside stateroom in Category E). (