Air War Europe: Colditz, Dambusters & the Great Escape

9 days from £849pp.


Colditz Castle

Visit: Colditz Castle, Battlefields

Lancaster Bomber

Visit: Lancaster Bomber, Battlefields

Reichswald Forest War Cemetery

Visit: Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Battlefields

Checkpoint Charlie

Visit: Checkpoint Charlie, Germany

About the Tour

Follow the story of WW2 Airmen from the Dambusters to Colditz Castle in Germany and Holland as we look at the battlefields of the war in the air above Europe involving the men of RAF Bomber Command. On this tour we visit the RAF graves in Reichswald Forest War Cemetery then travel through the Ruhr Valley area on trips to the Eder Dam and Möhne Dam examining the Dambusters Raid. We later visit Colditz Castle, examine the fire-bombing of Dresden and the story of the Great Escape. In Berlin we look at raids on the Nazi capital and also visit the Luftwaffe Museums in Gatow and Hannover. The tour ends with a visit to the grave of Dambuster hero Guy Gibson VC.

Tour Includes


  • 8 nights hotel with continental breakfast
  • Specialist Battlefield Guide
  • Convenient local joining points
  • Travel by Silver Service or upgrade to Luxuria
Dates & Prices

Once you have booked your tour either online, or by telephone ( 01709 787 463 ), you have the flexibility of how you pay off the remainder of your balance. You can:

  • Use our balance payment facility online to make and track your card payments. You can pay as much as you want up until your final due date or pay it all, the choice is yours.
  • Send payments via online banking.
  • Send payments via cheque.
  • Call us and make a card payment, either a small amount or as lump sum until your final due date.

Our contact and online banking payment details will be on your confirmation invoice to remind you of your choices.

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Your Itinerary

    Depart from your chosen pick-up point and travel to the port where a coach interchange will take place, you will then join your tour coach for the Channel crossing. On arrival on the continent we continue to our first overnight hotel in the Netherlands.

    Reichswald Forest War Cemetery

    Reichswald Forest War Cemetery

    We continue our journey into Germany and visit Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, the largest WW2 British Cemetery in Europe - nearly half the 7,400 graves are men from Bomber Command. From here we travel to the Möhne Dam, stopping en-route at Rheinberg War Cemetery where some of the Dambusters are buried. The Möhne Dam, in the Ruhr Valley, was heroically breached by the Lancasters of 617 Squadron (Dambusters) in 1943. At Mohne you can walk on top of the dam and still see where the breach was made. Of the 20 massive dams constructed in the Ruhr Valley, six dams were selected as targets with three of these being the primary targets - the Möhne, the Eder and the Sorpe dams. Between the Möhne and Sorpe, they held back 76% of the total water available to the industrial valley, one of the main reasons they were primary targets. If breached, these dams would bring the whole industrial valley to a standstill, causing massive damage to the steel industry, devastating production of tanks, aircraft, guns and locomotives which were all vital to Germany's war effort. As well as visiting Mohne Dam, we also make a stop at the Eder Dam en route to our overnight hotel in the former East German city of Jena, a centre of the optical industry.

    • Included meals: Breakfast
    Colditz Castle

    Colditz Castle

    Today we will visit the castle and museum at Colditz (entrance and guided tour approximately €7.50 per person), the infamous ‘bad boys camp’ and scene of many ingenious escape bids. Perched above a sleepy town of the same name, Colditz has a varied history, although we will concentrate on its use as an internment camp for Allied prisoners during WW2. Hear the story of the ‘Red Fox’, Mike Sinclair, killed on an escape attempt, and also the story of Douglas Bader, plus many more. From Colditz we continue to Dresden and our hotel where we will stay for two nights.

    • Included meals: Breakfast
    Dresden

    Dresden

    We stay in Dresden this morning to uncover the tumultuous history of this great city. As the seat of the Saxon royalty, Dresden became arguably Germany’s most beautiful city. During the war it suffered almost complete destruction; however, it has since been painstakingly restored to resemble its former glory. This afternoon is spent at leisure in Dresden, or alternatively you can join our optional visit to the Bundeswehr Military History Museum which has an unparalleled collection of WW2 artefacts.

    • Included meals: Breakfast

    Today we cross the border into Poland to Zagan to visit the German POW camp, Stalag (Luft) III (entrance to the museum approximately €2 per person). The camp, founded in 1943, was one of the six special German POW camps specially built for the ever increasing amount of POW aircrews. At the height of the camps use, about 10,000 commissioned and non-commissioned officers were in the camp. The Stalag (Luft) III became famous for what was known as ‘The Great Escape’. In March 1944, a large group of 80 Allied prisoners got out during ‘The Great Escape’. They dug a tunnel with the nickname ‘Harry’. Only three men managed to escape to free territory. Of the rest, 50 were murdered by the Gestapo. We will uncover the story of the escape and the reprisals ordered by Hitler, and visit the memorial, before continuing to our hotel in the Berlin area for two nights.

    • Included meals: Breakfast
    Berlin

    Berlin

    In Berlin we look at the raids on the city but start at the impressive air force museum in Gatow, which has a large collection of aircraft from WWI to the Cold War Period. We then visit Berlin War Cemetery where many RAF Bomber Command Crews are buried. Around the city we see Flak Tower defences and the air raid shelters used to protect Berliners from the bombs. In the evening join us on an optional visit around Berlin’s WW2 sites.

    • Included meals: Breakfast
    Hannover

    Hannover

    In the morning, we see one of the last remaining Flak Towers then travel to Hannover and visit the Air Force museum (entrance approximately €6 per person) which has some impressive WWII items as well as a memorial to Second World War air crew. In Hannover itself we see some of the signs of the bombing raids, ending the day at Hannover War Cemetery where more than 2,000 graves of bomber crew casualties can be found. We stay overnight in Hannover.

    • Included meals: Breakfast
    Rheinberg War Cemetery

    Rheinberg War Cemetery

    We travel into Holland, stopping at Rheinberg War Cemetery where some of the Dambusters are buried. We end at the grave of Guy Gibson V.C. whose war ended when his Mosquito crashed at Steenbergen. We stay overnight in Belgium.

    • Included meals: Breakfast

    We leave the hotel after breakfast and travel to the Channel port. You will leave your tour coach behind as you join your transfer vehicle for your return journey to your original departure point.

    • Included meals: Breakfast

    Your Excursions

    Included Excursions & Visits

    • Battlefield visits as described

    Optional Excursions & Visits

    • Entrance fees to museums & places of interest (extra cost)

    Notes

    EVENING MEAL PACKAGES - For your convenience, pre-book 4 evening meals to be taken at your hotels in Dresden and Berlin. £70 per person. 


     

    Single Room Supplement from £189.00 (9 days).

    Certain excursions are included in the price of your holiday. If you choose not to go on an included excursion, for whatever reason, no refunds will be made.
    Yes, you will receive one with your Travel Documents, which are sent 7-10 days before departure.
    We believe that our holidays may not be suitable for children under 8 years old (except for Disneyland Paris bookings) however, we will consider individual requests on application. Customers aged 18 and under at the time of travel must be accompanied by an adult, parent or guardian aged over 18 years old.
    You can check weather averages at here.

    Accommodation

    You will stay overnight in Holland at the NH Koningshof in Veldhoven, near Eindhoven, or similar, and the 4-star Best Western in Jena, then two nights at the 3-star Ramada Resident Hotel (2017 departures), Achat Premium (2018 departures)  or Hotel Azimut in Dresden, two nights at the 3-star Grand City Berlin East, or similar on the outskirts of Berlin, overnight at the 4-star H4 Hotel in Hannover, or similar and finally overnight at a city-style hotel in Belgium.

    Holland

    Nh Koningshof

    Nh Koningshof

    Germany

    Best Western Hotel Jena

    Best Western Hotel Jena

    Germany

    Grünau Hotel

    Grunau

    Nh Koningshof


    The Nh Koningshof hotel is located in a green area on the outskirts of Veldhoven and is about 10km from Eindhoven city centre which is known as the 'The Silicon Valley of Europe'. The hotels facilities include Wi-Fi/Internet access, Gym, swimming pool*, air conditioning, a restaurant, a bar and lounge. All bedrooms feature Tea and Coffee making facilities, hairdryer, telephone and en-suite bathroom. *The swimming pool can close without prior notice.

    • Swimming Pool
    • English Speaking Staff
    • Bureau de Change
    • Guest Lounge
    • Bar
    • Restaurant
    • Lift
    • WiFi Available
    • TV
    • Tea and Coffee Making Facilities
    • Hairdryer
    • Bath and/or Shower
    • Telephone

    Best Western Hotel Jena


    The Best Western Hotel Jena is located close to major highway links and sits between areas of Mittleres Saaletal zwischen Camburg und Göschwitz and Kernberge - Wöllmisse. The hotel facilities include Bureau de change, lounge, a bar, a restaurant , bicycling rentals, steam room, 24hr reception and Wi-Fi/Internet access. All bedrooms feature T.V with major channels, air conditioning, telephone, desk, hairdryer and en-suite bathroom.

    • English Speaking Staff
    • Bureau de Change
    • Guest Lounge
    • Bar
    • Restaurant
    • Lift
    • TV
    • Hairdryer
    • Bath and/or Shower
    • Telephone

    Grunau


    The 4-tar family-run Grunau hotel is located the wooded and lake-rich surrounding of Berlin and is also close to the Berlin Schonefeld airport. The hotel's facilities include bicycle rental, a restaurant, a bar, mini ten-pin bowling lane, terrace, sauna and wi-fi/internet access. All bedrooms feature bright and friendly rooms with desk, telephone, seating corner, safe, flat screen T.V, wi-fi/Internet access and en-suite bathroom.

    • English Speaking Staff
    • Bar
    • Restaurant
    • Lift
    • WiFi Available
    • TV
    • Hairdryer
    • Bath and/or Shower
    • Telephone

    Germany

    City Hotel Berlin East

    City Hotel Berlin East

    Germany

    H4 Hotel Hannover Messe

    H4 Hotel Hannover Messe

    Germany

    Achat Premium Dresden

    Achat Premium Dresden

    City Hotel Berlin East


    The 4 Star City Hotel Berlin East is located close to Alexanderplatz and also other sporting facilities like the Sportforum, the Velodrome and Max-Schmeling-Halle. The hotel has good links to the highway and public transport. The hotel facilities include a bar, lounge, a restaurant, fitness area and Wi-Fi/Internet access. All bedrooms feature Hairdryer, T.V, Telephone and en-suite bathroom.

    • English Speaking Staff
    • Guest Lounge
    • Bar
    • Restaurant
    • Lift
    • TV
    • Hairdryer
    • Bath and/or Shower
    • Telephone

    H4 Hotel Hannover Messe


    The 4 Star superior H4 Hotel Hannover Messe is located close to the Hannover Trade Fair Grounds (site of EXPO 2000), just to the south of Hanover and has good access to the motorway network and public transport. Hanover, the state capital of Lower Saxony, offers a variety of attractions, including the Royal Gardens of Herrenhausen, Adventure Zoo and Lake Maschsee. The hotel facilities include a cosy Irish Pub, a restaurant, a fitness centre including sauna and a large swimming pool* and Wi-Fi/Internet access. All hotel guest rooms have recently been renovated and feature T.V with major channels, Tea and Coffee making facilities, hairdryer, telephone, air conditioning, safe and en-suite bathroom. *The swimming pool can close without prior notice for necessary maintenance.

    • Swimming Pool
    • English Speaking Staff
    • Bar
    • Restaurant
    • Lift
    • WiFi Available
    • TV
    • Tea and Coffee Making Facilities
    • Hairdryer
    • Bath and/or Shower
    • Telephone

    Achat Premium Dresden


    The Achat Premium Dresden hotel is located in a quiet area but with close links to the highway system. The hotels features include a lobby bar, a restaurant, lift and Wi-Fi/Internet access. All bedrooms feature a modern décor with T.V, hairdryer, telephone and en-suite bathroom with shower.

    • English Speaking Staff
    • Guest Lounge
    • Bar
    • Restaurant
    • Lift
    • WiFi Available
    • TV
    • Hairdryer
    • Bath and/or Shower
    • Telephone

    H4 Hotel Hannover Messe


    The 4 Star superior H4 Hotel Hannover Messe is located close to the Hannover Trade Fair Grounds (site of EXPO 2000), just to the south of Hanover and has good access to the motorway network and public transport. Hanover, the state capital of Lower Saxony, offers a variety of attractions, including the Royal Gardens of Herrenhausen, Adventure Zoo and Lake Maschsee. The hotel facilities include a cosy Irish Pub, a restaurant, a fitness centre including sauna and a large swimming pool* and Wi-Fi/Internet access. All hotel guest rooms have recently been renovated and feature T.V with major channels, Tea and Coffee making facilities, hairdryer, telephone, air conditioning, safe and en-suite bathroom. *The swimming pool can close without prior notice for necessary maintenance.

    • Swimming Pool
    • English Speaking Staff
    • Bar
    • Restaurant
    • Lift
    • WiFi Available
    • TV
    • Tea and Coffee Making Facilities
    • Hairdryer
    • Bath and/or Shower
    • Telephone

    Achat Premium Dresden


    The Achat Premium Dresden hotel is located in a quiet area but with close links to the highway system. The hotels features include a lobby bar, a restaurant, lift and Wi-Fi/Internet access. All bedrooms feature a modern décor with T.V, hairdryer, telephone and en-suite bathroom with shower.

    • English Speaking Staff
    • Guest Lounge
    • Bar
    • Restaurant
    • Lift
    • WiFi Available
    • TV
    • Hairdryer
    • Bath and/or Shower
    • Telephone

    If you prefer, then you can join the tour at the hotel. To do this, we will require a copy of your passport for identification purposes and you must advise us at the time of booking.

    No reduction will be given if you should choose to do this.

    All hotel rooms benefit from private bathroom facilities.
    Some hotels have tea and coffee making facilities. Please check the tour pages for more information or call our Customer Service Department on 01709 830333.
    Most hotels have a lift, please call our Customer Service Department on 01709 830333 for more information.
    Some hotels have ground floor rooms. Please email for information on individual hotels or call our Customer Service Department on 01709 830333.
    Your hotels will supply towels in your room.

    We are unable to guarantee that the hotel will be able to meet your dietary requirements. We find that the majority of European countries do not generally cater for vegetarians and that the meal supplied may well be what everyone else is having minus the meat.

    We will of course endeavour to arrange for a vegetarian meal at the hotel. We do however suggest that you advise us of your dietary requests at the time of booking and recommend that you speak to the receptionist on arrival with regard to your request.

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    Travel Information

    Departure times given for each region are approximate. Please check your travel documents to confirm the actual timings.

    Front row seats can be reserved for £14pp (up to 6 days' duration), £22pp (7 & 8 days' duration) and £25pp (9 days' duration and over) on all European tours. This offer is only available for bookings of two or four persons on the front row and is subject to availability. In addition to this, seats on the second row can be reserved for £7pp (up to 6 days duration), £14pp (7 & 8 days duration) and £17pp (9 days duration and over). Guaranteed front/second row seats cannot be reserved on transfer journeys to/from the interchange. Children under 15 years cannot occupy a front row seat due to French Law. Central view seats are free.

    Please note: On some coaches the legroom on front seats may be slightly less than that available on other seats due to the presence of a modesty board in front.

    If your tour is cancelled for any reason and front/second row seats are not available on your new tour, you will be refunded the supplement. No other compensation will be payable.

    Alternatively, we can take seating requests on your booking. However, requests are not guaranteed. All seat numbers are confirmed on travel documents approximately 7-10 days prior to departure.

    We guarantee that all passengers on the same booking will be seated together on the main tour coach. Seats on the transfer coaches to and from the interchange are not allocated.
    Hot and cold drinks are served on your main tour coach. Prices are approximately £1 or €1.25 Euro per drink. Prices will be confirmed by your driver.

    Transfer coaches are routed approximately 2-3 weeks before departure. The route taken depends on where paassengers are booked to travel from on any particular date as to which route is taken. If you require further detailed information regarding the route to the port you can contact our Customer Service Department on 01709 830333 two weeks before you are due to travel.

    With regard to the route taken by the main tour coach, this is determined by the driver.

    All main tour coaches have on-board toilets. Transfer vehicles to and from the interchange may not have on-board toilets. When non-British coaches are used on transfers and tours (air holidays only) an on-board toilet may not be available. However, comfort stops will be made during long journeys.
    All coaches feature air-conditioning. Should the air-conditioning system break down for a period exceeding 12 hours, compensation will be awarded up to a maximum of £10 per fare-paying passenger per tour.
    All our coaches and transfer vehicles operate a 'no smoking on board policy'. The use of electronic cigarettes is strictly forbidden.
    In the interest of fellow guests, do not take hot food or ice cream on board.
    alcohol can only be taken on board our vehicles at the discretion of your driver.
    Depending on the location of your pickup point, you may be picked up by coach (not necessarily the on you are touring on), minibus, taxi, National Express or Megabus service. You may then be taken to another centralised pickup location or service station. We operate a passenger interchange at Stop 24 Services, where you will meet the tour coach you are holidaying on and then continue on with your outbound journey. Similarly, on the way home, you may also change transfer vehicles at another location, to take you to your final drop off point.
    Your allowance is one medium sized suitcase per person, which should weigh no more than 20kg when full. We may refuse to carry larger or heavier cases. Hand luggage should be stored in the overhead racks aboard the coach. Nothing should be stored under your seat.

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