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|A WEEK IN
9 Days, 8 Nights (including one en route)
AUGUST 10 to AUGUST 18, 2008
7 nights in Deauville
4 days of racing at Deauville, Clairefontaine, and Cabourg
Farm visits in Normandy
The Deauville Select Yearling Sale
An Excursion to the D-Day Landing Beaches
Sun Aug 10
Depart U.S., if not joining the trip from France or elsewhere in Europe.
Mon Aug 11
Arrive in Paris. You will be met at the airport (most likely Charles de Gaulle) and transferred to the Royal Hotel in Deauville on the English Channel coast of France. We can also meet you in Central Paris if you are already there. The transfer will take approximately three hours.
You might choose to take the rest of the day to relax and adjust, however there is racing this afternoon at Clairefontaine, the more casual of Deauville's two racecourses. Staying active will help with your time-zone acclimatizing. Once we know everyone's arrival details, we'll set a meeting place and time, have a coffee together, and head over to the racecourse.
Clairefontaine is quite beautiful, heavily planted with flowers and situated up next to low adjacent hills. Its mixed cards of flat and jump racing showcase country racing at its best. We can set you up with lunch at the course and you can stay for as long as you want, then cab the ten minutes back to the hotel when you're ready.
A simple first night is recommended as we have a busy week ahead. We'll organize a casual no-host group dinner at a local restaurant for those who want company.
THE ROYAL HOTEL: The Royal, and her nearby sister The Normandy, are the places to stay in Deauville. Channel-facing, but set back from the busyness of the beach, both have justifiable worldwide reputations as first class resort hotels, combining traditional atmosphere, fine service, and a middle-of-it-all location. We've chosen the Royal because the rooms are larger. The Royal and Normandy are both operated by the Barriere Group, and you can have a look at their website at www.lucienbarriere.com to learn more about the properties.
You have a choice between a large deluxe / ocean-front room or a cozy standard room. A buffet breakfast is included each morning.
Tue Aug 12
Deauville is sometimes referred to by Americans as the "Saratoga of France". It could just as easily be called the "Del Mar of France", because in addition to its seaside ambience it also fulfills the same function in France that Saratoga and Del Mar do in the U.S.: in August the urban (Paris, in this case) racing circuit shuts down and the horses and everybody associated with them gets out of town for the month and comes here.
The racing dates back to 1864, making it exactly contemporaneous with Saratoga. The Duc de Morny, brother to Napoleon III, brought racing and its associated glamor to this new resort, one of the first in the world built from scratch to cater to what was then the newly "discovered" pleasure of sea bathing. The Duc remains much in evidence today: the main square in town bears his name, and so does one of the biggest races of the season. Deauville is delightfully walkable, and over the course of our week here individual exploring will be well rewarded.
We'll enjoy another of Deauville's great aspects today. In addition to being the Saratoga and Del Mar of France, it's also the Kentucky. Just inland in Normandy is the country's principal Thoroughbred breeding area and the home of many of its leading farms. For this reason, by the way, Deauville is "twinned" with Lexington and Ireland's Kildare in the Sister City program.
We'll visit a farm or two, and afterwards have lunch at a restaurant out in the country before heading back to town. There's racing at the main Deauville course this afternoon, and depending on the quality of the card and the amount of progress we make getting through lunch, we might decide to drop in and get our feet wet on a couple of races.
Early evening, we'll regroup and motor a few miles down the Cote Fleurie to Cabourg and its trotting races. Trot racing is huge in France, and courses devoted to it outnumber flat tracks by a very large margin. It's a surprising amount of fun if you've not been before. Many of the races have the rider sitting right on the horse instead of pulling a sulky, and going very fast indeed. And there's the usual amount of stride-breaking just when you think you're about to win or lose your exacta - the betting has a bit of a casino aspect to it.
We'll have dinner at the course.
Wed Aug 13
This morning we'll walk over to the main Deauville racecourse, which is also known as Deauville-la-Touques. This is where all the big races are run, and it also serves as the principal training ground for the area. We'll meet up with a trainer and watch some work.
Later in the morning we'll travel the coast again in the opposite direction toward Honfleur and start with a special treat - a visit to a Calvados distillery. A brandy made from apples, Calvados is one of Normandy's most famous agricultural products. We'll most likely be sampling quite a bit of it this week, as it's the traditional ending point for any dinner in this part of France - and often the start of a long post-dinner period. Today we'll see how it's made, and along with a simple lunch, do a little sampling.
Following this we'll continue on to Honfleur itself. The town wraps itself around an intimate boat harbor and is historic as well as picturesque. Samuel Champlain set out from here in 1608 to explore Canada, and in the middle of the 19th Century the area was one of the major cradles of impressionist art. Today Honfleur is filled with shops and galleries.
You can wander around at your own speed and we'll set an agreed-on rendezvous time to meet up for the ride back to Deauville. But you can stay as long as you want and cab it back to Deauville on your own instead if you prefer. On last year's trip we had a scheduled next stop and we had to leave Honfleur long before anyone was ready to.
We'll make another restaurant booking in Deauville tonight, and all are welcome to join in on a no-host basis.
Thu Aug 14
Today is another non-racing day, but it's likely to be one of the more memorable days of the week.
Probably the two most momentous events in Normandy's history occurred not far from Deauville almost a thousand years apart. And we're not talking garden-variety momentous here: In 1066 the Duke of Normandy, soon to be known as William the Conqueror, embarked on his invasion of England and became the last to be successful at pulling off this particular military problem. It laid the beginnings for the evolution of the English-speaking culture that has been the world's most influential over the last millennium.
And if the great cross-Channel invasion undertaken on D-Day, June 6, 1944 by the Americans, British, and Canadians hadn't been successful, it's arguable that instead of wrestling with French on this trip we'd be battling Russian.
We'll visit various significant spots relating to the 1944 landings, which were made along a 50-mile front of the Channel coast. Last stop will be the place that's most moving to Americans: Omaha Beach. This is where the invaders encountered the stiffest resistance, and the outcome here was very much in doubt for most of D-Day. On the bluff above the beach is the famous Cemetery - actually official U.S. territory - where the American dead of the entire Normandy campaign are buried. It's a place not possible to visit without emotion, and you will come away very proud of what our fellow countrymen accomplished here.
Fri Aug 15
This is an unstructured day. You can catch up on some sleep, do a little shopping, maybe go back for a sit at the caf´ you've decided is your favorite.
This afternoon is the opening session of the Deauville Yearling Sale, the premier yearling sale in France. The sales grounds are adjacent to the main racecourse, within easy walking distance of the hotel. Perhaps you will have had a chance to wander up and have a look prior to this, but today you'll have as much time as you want. The sale starts at 2:30PM, and typically the most highly-regarded youngsters go through the ring during this first session. Buyers from all over Europe attend.
We'll have a dinner booking made in town for this evening, for those who want to hook up for it on a no-host basis.
And we may organize a group assault on the casino later if there's a demand. (The casino is virtually next door to our hotel, so don't wait until now if this is something you enjoy. It's open all night, and admission to the elegant rooms away from the slot machines is easily arranged for the properly dressed.)
Sat Aug 16
The main Deauville course is running today and we'll head over for lunch and the races. The restaurant overlooks the racecourse, and, as the race viewing from there is excellent, we'll use our table to come and go from for the day.
The French authorities are making some changes to the racing calendar in 2008, and as of now we do not know what specific races will be carded today. With everybody in town for the sales we would expect there will be some Group-level racing, and we will update this itinerary with that information as soon as we have it.
The 2nd session of the yearling sale starts immediately after the racing today, and there is also polo in the racecourse's infield at the same time. The Gold Cup polo matches have been on all week, by the way, so if this is a special interest of yours hopefully you will have found the time to enjoy it. This day and early evening is a good demonstration of just how difficult it is to do everything there is to do in Deauville.
We'll have identified a time and a place for those interested to rendezvous for a no-host dinner.
Sun Aug 17
A lazy or active morning - your choice - is followed by our principal day of racing at Deauville-la-Touques. We'll again have lunch in the restaurant overlooking the course and use our table as our headquarters for the day.
The featured race is the Prix Jacques le Marois, the richest and one of the most significant one-mile races of the entire European racing season. We may see some candidates for the Breeders Cup Mile here - Six Perfections pulled off the double in 2003 and dual Mile winner Miesque also won this race twice in the same years. The sensational Dubai Millennium listed it as one of his scores and last year Manduro demonstrated his versatility by taking it easily. The Marois always has a major bearing on the European Mile divisional championship.
We'll post the supporting card races when the information is released.
Again, apre-la-course, there is polo in the infield and yearlings being auctioned at the nearby sales grounds.
Tonight will be our last evening together. We'll arrange a nice no-host restaurant booking, and we hope everyone will want to come along.
Mon Aug 18
Unfortunately, the organized itinerary ends after breakfast and checkout this morning. Time to go home for those that have to. We'll organize transport down to Charles de Gaulle airport for your flight home, or into Central Paris if that's your next stop. And if you're continuing on by train or rental car, we'll get you there, too.
Bonne chance and travel safely.
This trip will close on May 15, 2008. Payment in full and all necessary paperwork must be received by us no later than this date to insure that you will be able to travel on the trip.
COME EARLY, STAY LATE:
This itinerary is designed to be full and busy. For those preferring a more leisurely experience, we invite you to consider coming to Deauville earlier and / or lingering awhile after our planned trip is over.
Staying on here, relaxing in the sea air, has many positives. Walk the town and beach a bit, and spend more time at your own favorite restaurant or sidewalk café. Play golf. The racing continues after our dates here, and either Deauville or Clairefontaine are open most days. And there are many options available for those who would like to explore Normandy more closely.
The Barriere Group has promised to accommodate extensions as best they can, but the space is not blocked or guaranteed. Please let us know as soon as possible if you wish to do this. This is the height of the season in Deauville, and the hotels in town are extremely busy. The farther in advance you let us know, the more likely they are to be able to accommodate you.
ITINERARY & PRICES:
The itinerary includes:
The itinerary does not include:
- Seven(7) nights lodging at The Royal Hotel, Deauville. Two room categories are available.
- Breakfast each morning as indicated.
- At least Four(4) escorted days' racing at Deauville, Clairefontaine, and Cabourg, including transportation to and from the racecourse, course admission, and race card.
- Lunch on Six(6) days: at Clairefontaine Racecourse on August 11, in the country on August 12, at the Calvados distillery on August 13, picnic-style in or near the coach on August 14, and at Deauville-la-Touques Racecourse on August 16 and 17.
- Dinner on One(1) night: at Cabourg Racecourse August 12.
- Partial-day excursion into Normandy with visits to at least one farm, August 12.
- Calvados distillery and Honfleur excursion on August 13.
- Full-day excursion to the D-Day landing beaches, August 14.
- Transfer from Charles de Gaulle airport or Central Paris to the Royal Hotel, Deauville.
- Transfer from the Royal Hotel, Deauville, to Charles de Gaulle airport or Central Paris.
- Complimentary racing newspaper each day.
- Accompaniment throughout by a Deauville-hardened American host.
The Cost of the Trip does not include:
- Airfare to and from the U.S.A.
- The cost of dinner or lunch except on days indicated above.
The Cost of the Trip Is:
- Any charges incurred at hotels other than the basic cost of the room, including but not limited to room service, mini-bar, television or video, restaurant or bar service, laundry or dry-cleaning, business services, golf or other activities, and activities arranged through hotel concierge. (All group members will be required to provide a credit card imprint upon check-in to guarantee payment for any individual charges.)
- Excess baggage charges. Please check intra-European baggage limitations.
- Costs related to obtaining passports or visas.
- Travel insurance.
- Alcoholic beverages.
- Charges incurred for anything other than what is specified in the "Itinerary Includes" summary above.
- Personal gratuities. As part of our arrangements, we will tip our drivers and the hotel staff on behalf of the group. Group members should appropriately tip anyone who provides them with personal assistance, including special assistance by the hotel staff. Please note your principal escort does not expect and will not accept a gratuity.
In a deluxe / ocean-front room:
$5,075 per person, based on double occupancy (twelve or more travelers)
$5,225 per person, based on double occupancy (ten or eleven travelers)
$5,375 per person, based on double occupancy (eight or nine travelers)
In a standard room:
$4,175 per person, based on double occupancy (twelve or more travelers)
$4,325 per person, based on double occupancy (ten or eleven travelers)
$4,475 per person, based on double occupancy (eight or nine travelers)
Single supplement in a standard room: $1,815, regardless of group size
Single supplement in a deluxe, ocean-front room: $2,725, regardless of group size
*Please note we have not received final pricing for some minor elements of the itinerary, and therefore the final price of the trip is subject to minor adjustment until we do.
Single travelers will be accommodated in the same class of deluxe / ocean-front or standard rooms as the double-occupancy members of the group, according to the category selected.
We will attempt to match single travelers wishing to double up and thereby avoid the Single Supplement, however it will always be the single traveler's decision whether or not to accept a roommate. Because of the limited number of rooms that we have been able to reserve at these very busy times, we regret we must reserve the right to limit the number of single travelers on each trip.
Trip prices are subject to change up to thirty(30) days prior to trip departure to reflect fluctuations in currency exchange rates between the United States and the European Union. Dollar prices quoted here are based on the following exchange rate:
1 US $ = 0.694 Euro // 1 Euro = 1.44 US $
- Additional Nights at the Royal Hotel, Deauville, if available: will vary, depending on length of stay and the specific nights chosen.
*In the event the French authorities alter some of the currently proposed racing dates, some of the activities listed in the itinerary above may be transferred from one day to another.
*Please note the approximate transfer time from central Deauville to Charles DeGaulle airport is approximately three hours. We recommend leaving Deauville a minimum of six(6) hours prior to your departure time. Therefore, we advise a departure time for your flight from Charles de Gaulle be as late in the day as you can make it, consistent with the time you want to be back in the U.S.
*This trip is designed for eight to fourteen people. Although we will make every effort to operate the trip, we reserve the right to cancel the trip if it has less than eight subscribers. Should we need to do this, all payments made toward the cost of the trip will be fully and promptly refunded.
*You must have a valid passport to enter France.
View the itineraries for our other 2008 trips:
For June, click here For August-September, click here
Racing photos © www.actionplus.co.uk
For October-November, click here
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