FAQ
ACSM-TOURS is based between Caen and Bayeux cities just at the limit between the landing sectors of Juno and Sword.

For less traffic and to take full advantage of the excursion, we advise you to arrive and return to the city of Bayeux. Otherwise you will lose an hour and fifteen minutes to make the trip between Caen and the landing beaches. The train stops first in Caen and the second stop is 20 minutes later in Bayeux.

Normandy is a huge area. It takes about 5 to 6 hours to travel along the coast. Bayeux is the ideal city to go to the landing beaches and the Mont-St-Michel.

If you wish to visit the Normandy countryside called Pays d'Auge with its cider and cheese route, the seaside resorts like Deauville, Trouville or the towns of Lisieux, Rouen, Jumièges, Etretat, Fécamp, Giverny, the port of Honfleur will be perfect.

For less traffic and to take full advantage of the excursion, we advise you to arrive and return to the city of Bayeux. Otherwise you will lose an hour and fifteen minutes to make the trip between Caen and the landing beaches. The train stops first in Caen and the second stop is 20 minutes later in Bayeux.

Normandy is a huge area. It takes about 5 to 6 hours to travel along the coast. Bayeux is the ideal city to go to the landing beaches and the Mont-St-Michel.

If you wish to visit the Normandy countryside called Pays d'Auge with its cider and cheese route, the seaside resorts like Deauville, Trouville or the towns of Lisieux, Rouen, Jumièges, Etretat, Fécamp, Giverny, the port of Honfleur will be perfect.
The team
The management has about thirty years of experience in tourism, hostpilatility management and passenger transport. The managers have lived abroad (Great Britain, USA, Russia) and have a master's degree in the various fields mentioned above. They are fluent in French, English, Russian and Spanish. They give priority to the quality of a service rather than its quantity. it is therefore not an impersonal, soulless multinational. Each client is unique and we thank them for the effort they make to travel thousands of kilometres and share experiences with our guides and drivers. Also, we cannot disappoint him. We therefore do everything possible to make sure that his stay in France remains unforgettable and that we are part of one of his best memories.

Our guides are either tour guides or have experienced battlefield profiles, some of whom may be retired ex-military personnel. Most of our guides have a degree in general history or art history. They can cover all local or national historical periods or different themes such as painting, sculpture, architecture, ceramics ... They hold a certified diploma which authorises them to guide inside all public buildings (churches, cathedrals, abbeys, state museums such as St-Michael abbey, the Louvre, Orsay ...). Without this professional card, a guide is not allowed to enter. It is also a guarantee of professional seriousness since the professional card is awarded by the French public authorities.

Concerning our drivers and driver-guides, they have also passed all the diplomas to drive sedans, minibuses up to 8/9 seats and minicars over 9 seats. Our drivers have clean driving licences and have received first aid training. They are all non-smokers, discreet, well educated and courteous.

Our staff is regularly trained in the low season for new excursions or new transport and safety regulations.
Why choose ACSM-TOURS?
Our many colleagues are certainly just as good as we are at providing the same services. However, some of them do not accept people with reduced mobility due to lack of experience, animals or do not have products designed for children and families at all. we are above all an agency adapted for visitors who cannot follow groups mainly for health reasons or because they simply want to stay as a couple or a family.

We also offer tailor-made services. They are examples but can be adapted to the client's wishes. We cover Normandy and Brittany mainly. But we operate in the north of France and Paris. On request, we can even accompany a client throughout France. Indeed, it is often more advantageous to have the same driver-guide during the whole service who will have integrated the clients' life habits. The driver-guide will take care of the luggage transport and you will be able to go off the beaten track what you cannot do by going from one point to another by public transport. The last advantage is the saving of time in connections and avoiding any disruption in public transport (defective equipment, strikes ...).

The last point is also the stability of the staff. We have a low turnover. Our senior guide has been working for us since 2014. We leave a lot of initiative to our guides to take the best initiatives in order to satisfy the customer.
Your stay in France

If you have decided to travel all over France, we have providers in each region. Thanks to our network, we can put you in contact with many suppliers (hotels, restaurants, tour guides ...). We can even get you some discounts from those suppliers.

We are not a travel agency. We cannot sell plane or train tickets, hotel nights or offer you a tourist package. We are an incoming agency specialized mainly in Normandy, Brittany, North of France (World War I battlefields) and design tours for tour operators and travel agencies. We provide road transportation by car or coach, guided tours and we can book restaurants or activities. We also work with two main travel agencies that have been seriously established in France for more than 30 years and are used to working with foreign clients.

For any information concerning our various service providers in France, do not hesitate to write to us. We will also be able to give you examples of prices on certain services. It is necessary to count approximately 110€ for a comfortable room based on 2 persons in Normandy in a 3* and approximately 27€ per person for a complete meal with 3 courses, a drink and a coffee. For lunch, the cost will be about 20€ per person and for French breakfast about 10€ per person.
Means of transport in Normandy
Coming from Paris by train, it takes 2h00 and 2h30 by car. You can also arrive by plane to Deauville or Caen from many French and European cities including England. You can also come from the United Kingdom by ferry to Caen or Cherbourg. Finally, you can reach Rennes train station to go directly to Charles de Gaule airport by TGV. This is the ideal solution for an end or beginning of your stay and visit the Mont-Saint-Michel on the way. There are also bus lines with a journey time of 3h30 and serving major cities such as Caen. But the best way to optimize your trips from one region to another is the private sedan or minibus which allow you to save time in connections, avoid delays, go off the beaten track where buses can't go and finally leave your luggage in safety which will be taken care of by our driver.
The weather in Normandy
The weather in Normandy is temperate. There is little snow on the landing beaches but a little more towards Rouen and inland. Temperatures are neither too low nor too high. They range from 4-10 degrees (40-50 Fahreneits) in winter to an average of 19-25 degrees (66-77 Fahreneits) in summer.

In Normandy it does not rain more than in the south but it rains every day. The showers are often short. The rainiest months are November and January. The weather frequently changes from sunny to cloudy. This is why impressionist painters loved Normandy because they liked to capture the changing light. On the coast there can be a lot of wind.

In spring and summer, the sun rises very early around 5:30 am and sets around 10:30/11:00 pm. In winter, it rises around 8:00 am and sets at 5:00 pm.
How to prepare your tour ?
Wear comfortable shoes like sneakers, clothing and equipment that protect you from the cold, rain and wind in winter (hats, scarves, gloves, umbrellas) and from the sun in summer (sunglasses, hat or cap).

If you come from Paris by train, don't forget to bring drinks and snacks for both the outward and return journey. There is no catering service on the train on the Paris-Normandy line. Your guide will be able to show you a place to buy fresh sandwich and drink on the way back from the excursion.
Insurance
You are insured inside the vehicle in the event of a road accident and if one of our driver guides injures you in any place. However, our insurance does not cover you for accidents outside the vehicle. We strongly advise you to take out insurance covering your leisure and activities.If you wish to rent a bicycle or any other means of transport (boat, plane ...) with one of our guides, you will not be covered by our insurance. You will have to hire one of these means of transport on your behalf to be covered either by your own insurance or that of the hiring company.
Health issues and reduced mobility
We accept people with reduced mobility on condition that they inform us of their actual state of health for reasons of travel in certain towns or places with paved streets, numerous staircases or paths that are impassable in rainy weather. Only tours that can be a problem for health or/and reduced mobility will be mentionned in our program.

For us it is very import ant to assess at the time of your registration, any problems issues with your disability, handicap, mobility, dietary restriction or any other health conditions that may affect or limit your tour participation.

If, in the case of a group excursion, the guide sees that the person with limited capacities cannot follow the excursion properly that will slow down the rest of the group provoking a big chance for not covering the entire tour, he may not allow this person to board. In that case, there won’t be any refund if the person didn’t give full information about his health state and his mobility.

For private excursions, we cannot guarantee the totality of the program of the excursion in the presence of a person with reduced mobility. We indicate the places that are difficult to access during the excursion but do not hesitate to tell us about any difficulties you may have for adpating the program. The person with reduced mobility must be accompanied by a member of his or her group. The driver-guide is not allowed for any manipulations.

We regret we cannot provide any wheelchairs but we can store manual ones for the participants bringing their own. For this reason, we need to be informed about the dimensions of chairs with reduced mobility or walkers. If you do not inform us in advance, we might not be able to provide sufficient storage space for the wheelchair. We are not able to accommodate electric wheelchairs and scooters on the tours due to the limited accessibility of a number of sites visited.

We can provide portable chairs free of charge on request. Some places provide free wheelchairs for reduced mobility. And we also can rent canes or/and a wheelchair during your tour or your stay.The participant with health issues has to be with antoher passenger that will provide him a full assistance during the tour to get up and get down the vehicle. The driver has not the right to move the passenger. We also cannot provide individual assistance to passengers for walking, dining or other physical needs. Due to the nature of the sites, (walking on uneven terrain, lots of stairs ...), a physically able companion is required for some passengers. Any participant arriving without a physically able companion may be excluded from portions of the tour or may be expelled from the tour at the discretion of our guide. We are not responsible for any costs incurred due to nonparticipation in a tour program.

We regret that the tour vehicles are not equipped with wheelchair lifts or ramps for sedans, minibus and minicars. All participant must be able to get on and off the vehicles on their own. Please be aware that requirements for restricted mobility are different in Europe than in Northern America, and that public facilities in Europe may not be fully accessible to participants with restricted mobility or disabilities.
Food and dietary needs
Your guide will suggest you some restaurants or bakeries that are carrefully selected by us to provide a simple and local food for a quick lunch break. But if you have health restrictions such as diabetes, lactose or gluten intolerance, or food allergies, as well as preferences such as vegetarianism, vegan, kosher meal plans, please inform us at the time of booking for your special dietary needs. We will do our best to find the appropriate restaurant or shop in advance. This rule is alvo valid for the food, wine and brandy tours.
How does the booking process work ?
If you are interested in a tour, please fill in the form carefully and check your email address before sending your request. Our tours are suggestions. Feel free to ask us for some changes.

We will reply within 48 hours maximum outside weekends and bank holidays. We will send you a quote with the details of the service, the different means of payment and the sales policy.

After your acceptation, we will send you a confirmation of the tours with the details (number of people, pick-up/drop-off places and time).
What is the difference between a private tour and a group tour ?
Aprivate excursion is reserved just for you. We suggest a program but you are free to make changes according to your wishes. Departure and return times as well as pick-up and drop-off locations are flexible.You pay a flat rate per vehicle, whereas the rate for a group excursion is individual. A minimum number of participants is required for group departures depending on the size of the vehicle, none for private tours.

Private tours are recommended to get off the beaten track, looking for something special, in places that are not easily accessible for large vehicles, for people with reduced mobility or who want to take their time, for families with children or people accompanied by their pets.
Where is the pick-up locations and times ?
For private tours, the pick-up locations and times are flexible. But we will advise you a leaving hour to enjoy better your tour and avoid heavy traffic. In addition, we will suggest you an organization to escape some crowded places at certain time and will optimize your schedule by matching stops to some pleasant places for a lunch break.

For group excursions, a meeting point will be indicated in your confirmation. If you are arriving from the train station, you will be picked up and dropped off at the same meeting point.
Arrangements of the tour
Before and during the tour, we reserve the right to modify the arrangements and the order of the itinerary of the tour due to local conditions and any other unexpected and unavoidable events beyond our control (force majeure) like bad weather, road constructions, low and high tides.

If the services described for our tour cannot be supplied due to causes beyond our control, all reasonable efforts to supply comparable services will be made.
What happens if I am late for a private excursion?
If you are late, your guide will wait for you but unfortunately the time of the excursion will be shortened. This can be made up for by charging overtime. No refunds will be made for reduced time of the tour.
What happens if I am late for a group excursion?
If you are late, your guide will not be able to wait for you because of the other participants of the excursion. No refunds will be made for missing of the tour.
What happens if my train arrives late?
If your train arrives late, our guide will be waiting for you if it is a private tour. Unfortunately the time of the excursion will be shortened. No refund will be given for this delay due to the railway.

In a group tour, your guide will not be able to wait for you because of the other participants of the excursion. No refunds will be made for mixing the tour.
What happens if my boat arrives late?
If your boat arrives late, our guide will be waiting for you. Unfortunately the time of the excursion can be shortened. No refund will be given for this delay due to your cruise ship.
What happens if my boat doesn't dock?
If your boat doesn't dock for any reason (bad weather, strike ...), we guarantee a refund. More details in the terms and conditions section.
What happens if we can't honour our performance?
To date, we have always honoured our services even if we have encountered external or internal failures (strikes, sick staff, human error in booking). We try to respect our commitments as much as possible and try to find a solution to offer you the quality of a service for which you have paid. We never ask for extra charges if we have to use an external service provider to honour our service. However, in certain extreme and last minute cases, it would be impossible for us to offer you our services under good conditions. We would be obliged to cancel your visit either by refunding you or by issuing a credit note if you so wish. If the time of your visit has been shortened due to our fault, we will offer you either to make up the time or to give you a partial refund in the event of total non-fulfillment of the service.
Back to ship Guarantee
Since the very first day of our operation in 2014, there has never been a client of ours missing its ship. We know how to deal with the cruise shore excursion market and know exactly at what time our clients need to be back at their cruise ship's pier.

If we miss the ship for any reason (trafic, accidents, breakdown), we guarantee your timely return to your ship to the next port of call. Don't be intimidated by the scare tactics of cruise lines to make you pay higher prices for their shore excursions. Our guides are local, professional, licensed. Our vehicles are safe and you are covered by our insurance company. It depends on the tours, but no cancellation fees on most tours with 48 hours notice. If there is a deposit or a full payment, the money is blocked on an escrow account. See for more details in the terms and conditions section.
Family activities
Our excursions are designed for kids and teenagers to have fun, but also for adults to learn.

The family programme are led by expert guides and storytellers. The whole family can enjoy the tour.

We have a range of different activities : cultural like visiting a medieval castle, a viking village and many other museums in connection with WWII history like the Peace Memorial Museum in Caen ; food tours (ice cream made in a farm, oysters, snails farms, cookies factories, toffees), cooking classes (french baguette, croissants, cakes, candies), outdoor (tree bath, biking, fishing on a boat, hiking, gardens), creative (painting, drawing, pottery ...), unique and exclusive experiences (jeep, tank tours, immersive reenactments in a real german battery with a picnic in a 40's french typical café, lama or donkey hiking, the cheese, brandy and cider paths, stud farms, the illuminated Christmas villages) and many other things to do.

We have different supports according to the age of the participants such as quizz and treasure huntings. All family is involved in that unique and unforgettable experience.
Family & Roots
If you have any information to share with us about family members who may have been involved in the landings such as their division, regiment, landing sector, we would be happy to research and take you to the exact locations where this person fought.
Children and minors
Due to the subject matter of the tours and the nature of the locations we visit (cemeteries, war footages, etc.), the participant must be 10 years old (10). Minors should be accompanied by an adult parent or legal guardian. Be aware that the children have a maximum concentration of one hour. it is necessary to alternate cultural and play activities: museum, outdoor activities, breaks, movies ...

On request, we can provide quiz by age, excellent brainstorming in family.

The legal age limit in France is eighteen (18) years for driving, drinking, getting into nightclub.
Pets
We all are pet lovers in our company. We support local animal shelters. Please note that most museums and cemeteries do not allow animals inside the premises. At Mont-Saint-Michel, there is a kennel. However, it is possible to take your pet in the village of Mont-Saint-Michel but not in the abbey. In the same way, certain beaches are forbidden to pets during the summer period. On request, we can also provide you with a map of the beaches where pets are allowed. Most of the hotels and restaurants accept pets for an additional fee. Your guide will be able to look after your pet if you need to go to places where they are not allowed. If you have a driver plus a guide, our driver will be able to take full care of your pet. We also provide food bowls and baskets. Please let us know the type of animal and its dimensions in advance. There may be an extra charge for cleaning the vehicle at the end of the service.
Museums and sites
Most museums are open from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm generally without interruption including weekends and holidays except May 1st, December 25th and January 1st. In Normandy, opening hours are reduced in winter often from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm with a lunch break between noon and 2:00 pm. Some museums are closed from November to the end of February with an opening just for school vacations. Most museums are closed in January.

Please note that there no catering corners inside the museums in Normandy. There are only coffee machines with snacking.
Our vehicles
Our vehicles are cleaned every day. In general, they are new every 3 years. We have sedans and minibuses from Ford S-max, Mercédès Classe B or V, BMW 5 Series, Volkswagen Caravelle, Passat, Touran and Multivan.

Drivers and driver-guides are prohibited from wearing earphones, headsets or headphones while driving. For road safety reasons, it is not recommended to talk to the driver.

Seat belts must be fastened at all times inside the vehicles. Fines imposed for the violation of the latter rule will be borne by the passenger.

Different child car seats until 10 years old can be provided for free on request. You have to specify the age of your child for an adapted car seat.

We apply inside our vehicles a strict no smoking including also e-cigarettes, no alcoholic beverage containers, no food. Water bottles are at your disposal. Ask our driver-guide for a break.

Any damage caused inside the vehicle will be charged.
Passenger behavior
If you encounter any problem on the tour, inform us as soon as possible so that we can provide assistance to you which may include for example the lost of your passport, credit card, health problems ….

If the problem is caused by you intentionally or your negligence, we may charge a fee for that damage.

We reserve the right to expel any person from the tour interfering with the smooth operation of the tour including for exemple an excessive consumption of alcohol, the carriage and use of drugs and dangerous items such as weapons.

Further, we reserve the right to immediately expel from the tour any passenger who has not fully declared his reduced mobility or health issues that could slow down the smooth operation of the tour.
French & Norman lifestyle
For cabs and uber-type services, there are no UBER or equivalent services in Normandy. We call an uber service in France, VTC which means passenger vehicle with driver. The cost of a VTC is about the same for cabs but you will know the price in advance and you will be sure to be expected at your arrival at the train station or airport. Indeed, cabs can be very busy during rush hours.

If there is a tramway in a Normandy city, it runs every day from 6:30 am to 11:00 pm from Monday to Sunday including public holidays. Normandy is rather poorly served by bus and the frequency is often about 1 bus per hour. There are practically no buses on Sundays and public holidays. The Normandy side to access the landing beaches is practically non-existent including Mont-St-Michel. The best way to see the landing beaches, the Mont-St-Michel, the seaside resorts such as Honfleur, Etretat, Deauville .... and the Normandy countryside such as the Pays d'Auge is a minibus excursion which departures are mainly from Bayeux or Caen.

In France, supermarkets are open continuously from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm and sometimes 9:00 pm from Monday to Saturday. Some stores are open on Sunday morning from 9:00 am to noon. The most famous national supermarkets are Carrefour, Leclerc and Super U. These are stores equivalent to the Wallmart brand. In the city center, you have the Monoprix brand with exclusive or gourmet products. There are very few night grocery stores in Normandy except in Caen, Rouen, Le Havre.

Restaurants are open from noon to 11:30 pm and in the evening from 7pm to 9:30 pm. Few restaurants apart from brasseries offer continuous service. Many restaurants unfortunately do not offer written menus in English. But avoid restaurants that offer a multitude of meals such as pizza, pasta, grill, seafood. This is often a sign of frozen food prepared in the microwave. The smaller the menu, the more the products will give you a guarantee of quality and freshness and especially prepared on demand. It takes about 1h30 between order taking and payment to eat quietly.

If you wish to eat faster, go to a bakery to eat a sandwich, a salad, quiches-lorraine, croque-monsieurs and other specialties. Don't hesitate to buy a baguette, preferably a Festival baguette, a traditional, soft baguette to be eaten with a good local cheese at a local cheese shop. Opt for livarot, camembert or pavé d'auge cheeses. Most bakeries offer gluten-free or special breads with seeds, nuts, dried fruits ... Every city has its very good baker, but Paul's bakeries often offer you a place to eat. Most bakeries sell cold drinks to take away but no hot drinks except at Paul's. Most bakeries close in the city center on Mondays, and on Saturdays and Sundays in the business districts.

Concerning accomodation, it all depends on what you are looking for. The hotel for business events is not very present in Normandy. Some establishments are located in medium-sized towns or in the countryside. These establishments have of course a restaurant often gastronomic. For a comfortable establishment, you should aim for at least a 3-star hotel. Be careful because a good number of hotels offer very few ice fridges. In addition, check if your room will be equipped with an air conditioner.

Some old buildings cannot offer this comfort. In the same way that some establishments such as castles often do not have elevators for aesthetic reasons. It is still common not to find a boudoir for a hot snack. We recommend French or international hotel chains such as Ibis, Mercure, Novotel, Holiday Inn or Best Western for an international standard level. If you wish to live in the French way, we recommend guesthouses called gîtes in French. Gîte de France and Cléavacances are the most famous brands in France for a guarantee of seriousness. You also have the apparthotel formula but very little developed outside the big cities.

Generally, breakfast time starts at 7:00/7:30 am until 10:00 am. Most three star hotels offer a French breakfast with bread, butter and jam. From 4 stars, continental breakfast is possible with eggs, sausages, ham, cheese ...

The check-in at the hotel or other accomodation is not before 1 pm and the check-out is 11 am or noon at the most.

We also have an exclusive list of luxury houses that we can provide you on request: mills, farms, castles, estate, golf course with accommodation on site, thalassotherapy.

Concerning pharmacies, they are open from Monday to Saturday from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm. But in small towns of less than 50,000 inhabitants, they are closed from 12:00 to 14:30. The same opening days are also applicable for post offices.

If you need to see a doctor, you should pay like any french people around 20€ for a normal consultation but you won’t get any refund.

Banks are either open from Monday to Friday or from Tuesday to Saturday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm with a break between 12:00 and 2:00 pm. There is no exchange office except in Caen at certain opening hours.

For laundries, the operation is 7 days a week between 7:00 am and 8:00 pm.

Concerning the police located in the city, the station is open 7 days a week but in the countryside, you will be connected by phone to a central station in a bigger city.
Customer references (Trip advisor, Google ...)
We have been established since 2014. Our clientele is made up of people requiring a great deal of discretion. In addition, we work a lot with tour operators and travel agencies. In fact, we do not communicate the name of our company because the customer only knows the company with which he bought his trip. In fact, we have very few opinions on the tripavisor website. We can give you on request letters of recommendation from our different partners, emails written directly by our direct customers.

We are referenced with the tourist offices of Caen, one of the biggest in Normandy and the one of Honfleur. We are also registered with the two tourist organizations of Normandy (Comité Départemental du Tourisme and Comité Régional du Tourisme) and with our two professional federations (Fédération Nationale des Guides-Interprètes Conférenciers and the Fédération des Guides normandes). These organizations give a pledge of seriousness and quality of our services.
Tips
It is still customary to give tips to certain service providers in charge of your well-being such as the hairdresser, beautician, waiter, driver, guide ... The amount is not clearly established in France.

However, in restaurants or cafés, the words "service included" are indicated on the final bill. This does not mean that this part of the amount goes to the waiter. It is an old tradition that goes back to after the war to avoid hidden work and for terrace service that warranted more work. At the time, this amount corresponded entirely to the waiter's salary.

Nowadays, a waiter earns about 8€ net per hour (the minimum wage).Therefore, he will appreciate a tip if the customer is totally satisfied with his work. Unfortunately, if you leave the tip on a credit card, it will not go back to the waiter. Generally speaking, for all tourism staff, it is a variable income supplement that pleases the employee, who feels that he has fully met his customer's expectations.
Weapons
If you wish to buy collectors' weapons, ask the seller to send them to you by parcel. he will make the necessary customs declarations. If you buy a weapon, you will be stopped at customs before leaving European territory with the risk of going to the police station, paying a fine and having your weapon seized.
Complaints
If you have a complaint during the tour, please contact as soon as possible our General Manager to solve the problem on the spot. contact@acsm-tours.com

If the problem has not been solved properly you can submit your compaint in writing to the CEO contact@acsm-tours.com within thirty (30) days after the end of your tour. The CEO will study within thirty (30) days your case in order to give you a possible compensation.

Updated March 2021
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