We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Ellwood's D-Day Battle Tour”
Review of D-Day Battle Tours

D-Day Battle Tours
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Rene van Oirschot, Monica Baan and Ellwood Von Siebold of D-Day Battle Tours will provide you with one of the most memorable Normandy D-Day tours. D-Day Battle Tours offers you a quality choice of World War Two D-Day tours with Normandy tours tailor made to match your time schedule and level of interest. D-Day Battle Tours is an established tour company located in the centre of Sainte Mere Eglise, Normandy. We aim to provide a battlefield tour experience which is informative, flexible and memorable for you and your group.
Reviewed October 24, 2013

Having spent 5 years in the 82d Airborne as an Airborne Ranger, Master Parachutist, I was very much looking forward to our tour Ellwood. One couple was late for our briefing prior to departure and Ellwood spent time, energy and effort attempting to locate them prior to beginning the tour. The couple arrived and Ellwood started his tour by giving one of the best tactical and strategic overviews on the D-Day invasion that I have ever heard either in Command and General Staff College or at the War College.
As a former Airborne soldier, the trip to the Airborne museum was fantastic for me and made me appreciate the true courage of my early airborne brothers. The trips to Utah and Omaha beaches were illuminating on the hardships and obstacles faced by our invading forces.
As a former Ranger, the trip to Point du Hoc was especially meaningful to me, as I saw first hand just how demanding this most vital mission to D-Day success was accomplished.
Ellwood was one of the most outstanding historians on D-Day operations that I have ever encountered. His information about the facts of U. S. Army and German soldiers at his house and the true facts about John Steele and the church steeple were truly enlightening.
I would highly recommend Ellwood's tours to anyone. He will still be conducting tours in the summer months and you would certainly not be disappointed with your time with him. His tours are well worth the money.

3  Thank John D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (317)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language

173 - 177 of 317 reviews

Reviewed October 22, 2013

We found this tour through Rick Steves and I listened to a podcast that Rick made with Ellwood. That convinced me that he was the one I wanted to be our tour guide while we were in Normandy. We spent the first few days in Normandy touring some of the sights on our own to get a background for our tour. Ellwood did not disappoint! We spent time with him at his home in Ste Mere Eglise and he went over some of the events that occurred on June 6 and what we would be seeing and learning about. He asked about personal connections to the events and at least half of the group had one. He really knows how to draw his clients into the discussion and how to make it a personal event for each individual. We had saved the American Cemetary for our experience with Ellwood and that was the first day of the government shut-down, so it closed. His van was quite comfortable for eight of us and the speakers were fine. His delivery was top notch and we would recommend his DDAY Battle Tour for anyone looking for the best tour guide experience!

Thank buddybberea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 21, 2013

I've studied World War II many times over the years and was very excited to be able to see the locations in person. Ellwood's tour was recommended and did not disappoint! We visited the Airborne Museum, St Mere Eglise church, Utah Beach, Pointe du Hoc, and Omaha Beach. Unfortunately due to the government shutdown the American cemetery was closed, otherwise we would have ended the day with that.

Ellwood is able to seamlessly combine the historical events with the overarching strategy, external factors, and the personal stories of the veterans who fought in the battles -- in a way that can't help but excite you over the fascinating material and locations. He showed genuine interest in making the tour valuable for everyone on it, which included answering all of our random questions! I learned so much.

Being Canadian, at the end of the tour Ellwood was kind enough to recommend where we should visit to learn more about Juno Beach and the battle for Caen. My only regret is that we did not have enough time to take the Canadian and British site tour with him! I would highly recommend D-Day Battle Tours to family and friends. Best day of my trip! Thanks Ellwood!

Thank Brenda L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 29, 2013

We were so excited to take this tour and were willing to pay the money up front without questions asked. There were many critical moments where we decided this was a complete and utter waste of our money:
1. Ellwood had someone else pick us up for the train station (we payed for transfer). The other tour guide told us to wait for Ellwood to show up. While we waited Ellwood started the tour without us without regard to the fact that we were sitting outside waiting for him. He did not look for us until after he had started giving the background.
2. Ellwood next took us to the airborne musee, which we had to pay for seperately. We spent an hour looking at quality items from the invasion at Sainte-Mère-Eglise. This would have been fine if we could not have seen a majority of the items in our home town of Washington, DC. Therefore this was yet another waste of our time and money (we wondered if he had financial investment in this museum). He claimed how unique the items were just to respond when asked where the artifacts were kept (haughtly I might add), the Smithsonian in Washington, DC.
3. Next we walked around town as he told us some awesome facts (ones which both my fiance and I agreed we could've read out of a book)- fair enough.
4. He dropped us off at a local cafe for lunch-- fair enough.
5. We toured in the van at this point. For some ridiculous reason he decided to use a loud speaker in the van. I'm not exagerating when I say we used ear plugs because the volume was giving us a headache. Most of our questions were met with distane and arrogance. He explained how long he had been doing these tours and that he was planning on retiring soon (awesome, but no reason to treat patrons like crap). Again, most of the information shared would easily have been gathered from the tour guide who picked us us from the train station who was by far nicer and more interested in actually teaching then lecturing us.
6. When we were dropped off at the train station Ellwood asked for payment in full, in euro "as clearly stated in the email." I misunderstood the previous emails and we did not have the full amount in euros. I offered to give him a check. He scoffed. He scolded. I offered to give it to him in US dollars. His reply "what would I do with that." I asked about the check that in which I went out of my way to mail him over seas to secure our spot. He told me it was filed somewhere and he would never cash it. I don't know about anyone else, but I don't feel comfortable having a uncashed check with someone forever more. If he had it with him, that would be another thing all together, but here was this rude, egotistical man who already had a hundred fifty dollar check sitting in his office and wanted me to give him that amount plus the remainder in untraceable bills? He had his associate email me as soon as possible after this conversation to clearly state I was in the wrong as not having followed their directions.

I would not recommend Ellwood and his tour to anyone. In the contray, I wish I could remember who picked us up from the train, because he was by far the better guide!

6  Thank Erica S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DDay-Ellwood, Owner at D-Day Battle Tours, responded to this reviewResponded October 16, 2013

As the Managing Director of DDay Battle Tours, after much consideration I am compelled to respond to the review posted the 29th September 2013, on this site concerning the opinions of Erica S. who had a tour of the Normandy US invasion zone with myself, Ellwood Von Seibold as the guide, because of it's misleading and offensive nature.

My observations are as follows:

Para 1. What Erica S.failed to mention is that her and her partner arrived more than an hour late on the Paris train, and as such I was obviously obliged to go back to St Mere Eglise to start the tour without them, otherwise those tour members who had arrived on time would have been unfairly disadvantaged through no fault of their own. When the Erica S party did arrive they were included into the tour immediately, and therefore the statement that I did not look for them until after I had started is a fabrication. This is endorsed by four of the other 5 persons on the tour.

Para2. Erica's statement that the majority of the items seen in the Airborne Museum here in St. Mere Eglise can be seen in their home town of Washington DC is simply not true. She was obviously not listening when I explained that most of the exhibits are unique because they had been used in the Normandy campaign, with the exception of the Waco glider ( another example can be seen in the Smithsonian museum - hence the snide reference to my mention of that institution ) A visit to the Airborne Museum in St Mere Eglise has been, and always will be, a structured part of my tour, and the statement that I have a financial stake in the museum is both untrue and absurd.

Para5. I use a headset and PA system in my tour bus in order that everyone can clearly hear any ongoing commentary as we drive along. It can easily be adjusted for volume, but no mention of excessive noise was made during the tour by anyone.

Para6. The issue of payment is the main cause of of this person's problem, and the method to do so was made very clear to her from the start. An email was sent to Erica S. on the 19th September 2012 agreeing to her tour for the 9th April 2013 which clearly stated that the total tour fee is due in Euro cash at the end of the tour. It also stated that a deposit cheque in US dollars was to be sent to secure the tour, and would be destroyed at the end of the tour. All of this was further endorsed when she received the following week the Official Confirmation. Again, all of the payment stipulations were clearly laid out. There is, therefore, NO question of Erica S misunderstanding the payment conditions, she simply did not honour her obligations and unpleasantness followed at the end of the tour when she pretended not to be able to pay as agreed.
At the time I sensed an impending problem,and on my instruction my PA immediately sent to Erica S an E-mail after the tour to remind her of our booking and payment processes and where to read them on the documentation sent to her. We were NOT alerted to the fact that Erica S was still upset as she mentioned that she had just re-read the confirmation and understood how our process works in her reply email. I have kept copies of all our correspondence as proof to these series of events.
The reference to the danger of my holding customers checks is unfounded. Would I cash anyone's check in the hope it would go unnoticed, and thus endanger my reputation for a few dollars? My PA holds all the cheques in a safe in the office and we take this part of the process very seriously.All customers at the end of the tour are given the option of having their check back, or it will simply be destroyed. Also, the reference to "untraceable bills"is a thinly veiled insinuation to some sort of illegal activity on my part, whereas the reality is that all the local guides operate the same system of Euro cash payments. At the point of sale this is the only way we can all avoid currency conversion discrepancies, fee balances and bank charges.
Lastly the question must also be asked why it took more than six months for Eric S. to post this review after such a distressing experience?
I can only therefore conclude that the motivation for such a review has certainly not been to impartially inform, but to denigrate and mislead by untruth and false insinuation.

I would like to simply bring to everyone's attention my excellent reputation on Trip Advisor ( Award for Excellence 2012, 2013 ) endorsed by many customers over the years, and allow readers to draw their own conclusions.

As for myself,I will continue to provide the best of DDay Tours for those who are seriously interested in military history, and I look forward to seeing future customers in 2014- the 70th anniversary of DDay.

Sincerely

Ellwood Von Seibold - DDay Battle Tours

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 24, 2013

My husband is very interested in D-Day so it was his idea to take this tour, but I can absolutely say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. Our guide was an expert on everything about D-Day and gave us a very interesting history lesson. We visited key places and learned about key events. My husband felt that it was a little rushed, but for me it was the perfect amount of time.

Thank PenelopeTsernoglou
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed D-Day Battle Tours also viewed

Sainte-Mere-Eglise, Manche
Sainte-Mere-Eglise, Manche
 
Sainte-Mere-Eglise, Manche
Sainte-Mere-Eglise, Manche
 

Been to D-Day Battle Tours? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing