Ultimate Dive Trip on the WWII Wrecks of the
Dive The Wrecks Of D-Day
This is the ultimate wreck dive trip you’ve been waiting for. Extreme Dive Adventures presents a signature expedition: diving the Shipwrecks of the Normandy Invasion. We will travel together first to the UK, then cross the English Channel along the same route that many of the Allied soldiers traveled on D-Day. We will explore historic Cherbourg, France from our luxury hotel/homebase. Our diving will be from a private dive boat under the command of a French captain with unrivaled experienced in the region. A variety of wrecks are on our hit list-from Sherman tanks and landing craft to a “secret” German Schnellboot. All of these sites are casualties of one of the greatest battles in the history of the 20th century. JW Morris, a professional maritime archaeologist with more than 2 decades of experience in the area will be your personal guide, providing historical briefings, site rundowns, and archaeological insights. For the serious wreck, diver, photographer or student of history, this trip is not to be missed.
Trip Schedule: July 24th - August 2nd 2011
Guide: J.W. (Billy Ray) Morris
On June 6, 1944 a massive allied force gathered off of the coast of Normandy, France. It was the largest armada ever assembled with 6,900 total vessels involved, and it had but a single purpose-to take the French coast back from an occupying Nazi force that was established, dug in, and had a huge advantage in the natural terrain. The battle was fierce and the casualty rates were unprecedented but at the end of the day the allies had a foothold on the beach. It was an enormous strategic victory and marked the beginning of the end of Hilter’s occupation of Europe.
Today Normandy is still alive with the memories of that monumental battle. The cobblestone streets of the city of Cherbourg contain many memorials to those who gave everything. The waters just off the limestone cliffs and wide swaths of beaches are littered with remnants of the battle-ships, tanks, landing crafts, an array of the casualties that marked this historic occasion. These sites are true treasures and their historic value is priceless.
Ethics and Exclusivity
This is an extremely exclusive expedition. Months of negotiations have been undertaken to allow us the privilege of visiting these sites. It is only through the generosity of our French colleagues that we have been able to put together the logistics and gain permission to dive with them. At least one of the wrecks we will visit has “Secret” status. Our French colleagues are the only divers ever to visit it.
We cannot emphasize enough that these wrecks are priceless artifacts. Many, if not all of the sites are considered war graves and every precaution will be taken to assure that all due respect is adhered to at all times. We are not treasure hunters and artifact hunting is absolutely forbidden. There are no exceptions to this rule.
Depart from NYC LaGuardia Airport. Arrive in London Gatwick, next day AM.
- Fast train from London to Portsmouth, England (approximately 1.5 hours)
- Check into Marriott Hotel, Portsmouth U.K.
- Tour of the Mary Rose-the only 16th century warship on display anywhere in the world.
- Tour Lord Nelsons flagship the HMS victory
- Spend the evening in Portsmouth visiting local eateries and English Pubs
- Ferry across the English Channel from Portsmouth to Cherbourg, France (approximately 4 hr trip)
- Check into the La Regence hotel
- Briefing by guides on the history of the battle and overview of the dive sites
- Gear check
- Spend the evening exploring the beautiful historic district of Cherbourg, shopping, enjoying French food and wine.
- These days encompass our 5 days of diving on this trip. Each day will begin with a full breakfast, transportation to our private dive vessel, dive and safety briefings and of course diving the wrecks of the Normandy Invasion.
- Ferry from Cherbourg to Portsmouth.
- Spend the evening in Portsmouth.
- Fast train from Portsmouth to London.
- Flight from London to LaGuardia, NY
Round trip airfare from LaGuardia, NYC International Airport to London, Gatwick Airport
Roundtrip transportation from London, England to Portsmouth to Cherbourg France
All transfers, and departure taxes
Luxurious accommodations in Portsmouth, England and Cherbourg, France
Private dive boat
Portsmouth, England (Nights 2 and 9)
Portsmouth is the UK’s only island city, and it has been a significant deep water port for centuries. The city is rich in history and culture, with a recorded past that dates back before Roman times. Today Portsmouth is a thriving coastal city with a heavy shipbuilding and Royal Navy influence. Many of the tourist attractions in Portsmouth revolve around maritime history, and the city is abundant with museums and monuments to past battles.
Cherbourg, France -Nights 3 through 8-
The area surrounding Cherbourg has documented inhabitants dating back to the Paleolithic era. Located on the Cotentin peninsula, it is a relatively remote region of France but has served as an important deep water port since medieval times. The area is brimming with museums, monuments, and memories of the proud past of this region. Fishing has long been a part of the Cherbourg economy and the city is known for it’s fresh shellfish. Restaurants, cafes, and shops line the streets in the historic district.
Scuba diving off the coast of the Cotentin Peninsula is considered extreme. We have planned the expedition during the best possible time to dive this area of France, but conditions here vary widely. Water temperatures remain near 50 degrees Fahrenheit at depth, making dry suits a must. Tidal conditions can be severe in this region, and water clarity can vary greatly, however, we have specifically scheduled our diving days with the best possible tidal coefficient for the month. This expedition is only suitable for divers of advanced training and sound physical conditioning.
We will be diving in conjunction with a local French guide, captain, and mate. These divers are without question the most experienced of anyone in the world with these wreck sites and local conditions. They have graciously allowed us use of their private dive boat (pictured).
Portsmouth Marriott Hotel, Portsmouth UK
A full service accommodation in the heart of Portsmouth, the Marriott hotel offers newly renovated spacious rooms with wired and wireless Internet access. Luxury beddings with cotton rich linens allow you to rest in total comfort. A full restaurant, lively bar and lounge, and 24-hour room service will satisfy your culinary needs. The location is convenient to most of the major attractions in Portsmouth.
Hotel La Regence, Cherbourg, France
“The finest hotel in all of Cherbourg.” The La Regence is decorated in the classic Cherbourgeois style offering 21 guestrooms and a restaurant specializing in local seafood delicacies and homemade desserts. The hotel overlooks Cherbourg Harbor in the heart of the historic district, where fabulous restaurants, brasseries and shopping abound. Each room offers LCD televisions, DVD players, and free WiFi access. The hotel is convenient to the harbor, train station, and the Cite de la Mer maritime museum.
Our expedition team will assemble at NYC LaGuardia Airport where we will board a transatlantic flight to London’s Gatwick Airport in England. The journey will take place over night and we will arrive in London in the AM of the following day.
After our arrival at Gatwick Airport we will clear customs and board the fast train to Portsmouth, England. This leg of the journey takes approximately 1.5 hours. Once we have arrived in Portsmouth we will be shuttled to the Portsmouth Marriott hotel. We will check in and get acclimated before departing for afternoon tours of the Mary Rose (The only 16th century warship remains on display anywhere in the world.) and the HMS Victory (Lord Nelson’s flagship of the British Royal Navy) both are world class maritime museums. We will then spend the evening in Portsmouth where we will sample some of the best fish and chips, and British Pubs on the planet.
We will check out of the Portsmouth Marriott hotel and ride the Ferry across the English Channel to Cherbourg, France. In Cherbourg we will check into the La Regence Hotel and get acclimated before we gather for the official historic briefings and overview of the dive sites by JW Morris. The briefings will include an overview of each wreck site to help in identification and assist each expedition member to get the most out of each dive. The evening will be spent exploring the historic district of Cherbourg.
These are our diving days. Weather conditions and tidal coefficients will dictate which wreck sites we will visit each day. The list of prospective sites is as follows:
- 3 Sherman tanks
- Munitions Transport with intact guns
- LST 523 - Transporting men of the 300th engineers, hit a mine or was torpedoed with substantial loss of life. -Tanks remains visible on the interior.
- USS Meredith DD-726 (Sumner class) Destroyer, sunk by German aircraft off Utah Beach -35 crew lost-.
- British torpedo boat, either a Thornycraft, or a Vosper, includes 2 large torpedo tube throws.
- Empire Broadsword-British infantry landing ship. Mined and sunk after landing her British troops.
- Liberty Ship
- U Boat UB 390-This German submarine is also available as a very special offering to our group, however, due to the extreme depth, individual experience and certification will dictate the availability.
- Our last day of diving will be on a newly discovered, German Schnellboot. This wreck site has been only recently discovered by our host and so far has not been available to any divers outside of the discovering crew.
On this day we will bid “Adieu” to Cherbourg, its fantastic wrecks, food, wine, and hospitality as we take the ferry back to Portsmouth, UK. We will again check into the Marriott Hotel and enjoy the sights and attractions of Portsmouth, UK.
Our expedition is winding down as we take the fast train to London, Gatwick Airport and board our flight to La Guardia. Though we go our separate ways at this point, we will depart with new friends, memories of fantastic wreck diving, lots of photos, and the greatest appreciation of the many brave souls who gave their lives for their country.
“We are Divers, We are Archaeologists, We are Real People”
President EDA (941) 932-7702