The author of Battle of Britain, Normandy '44, Dam Busters, and Fortress Malta, James Holland is a bestselling historian, writer, and broadcaster. He has written and presented the BAFTA-shortlisted BBC TV documentaries Battle of Britain and Dambusters, and Normandy 44 - a special BBC anniversary film telling the full story of the wider D-Day campaign. Co-founder and programme director of the Chalke Valley History Festival, James has his own collection at the Imperial War Museum, and is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.
Berlin, Colditz, Dresden and the Dam Busters with James Holland
The Second World War was the conflict that shaped the modern world. On this special nine-day escorted tour you will visit some of the great German cities involved, including Berlin and Dresden, and locations - including the Mohne Dam, famously the target of the "bouncing bombs" brought to life by the Dam Busters biopic, and infamous Colditz Castle, site of the Great Escape.
You will be joined on this fascinating holiday by a special guest: the acclaimed WW2 historian and TV presenter James Holland:
"I'm thrilled to be joining this trip. The Dams Raid was one of the most remarkable air operations of the war and to see the dams for real is to marvel at how those men of 617 Squadron ever managed to pull it off - at night, over unfamiliar terrain and with mists in the valleys below. It's astonishing. It is also fascinating to venture into the heart of what had been the Third Reich and to see not only Berlin but other famous landmarks from the Nazi era."
Reasons to book
Exclusive talk and Q&A with James Holland
See the best of Berlin
Discover Erfurt, Leipzig and Dresden
See the site of the real Dambusters
Explore Colditz Castle with James Holland
Book signing and time with James
Your expert guide
- Exclusive talk and Q&A with historian, author and TV presenter James Holland
- Return luxury coach transport (return flight option also available - leaves tour after Dresden, supplement applies)
- Eight nights' half -board accommodation in four-star hotels (breakfast and dinner)
- Guided tours of Berlin and Dresden, plus explore Leipzig and Erfurt
- Explore Colditz Castle with James Holland
- Copy of James's book Dam Busters: The Race to Smash the Dams 1943 (one per booking)**
Day1UK to BelgiumCalais, France
Relax aboard the coach as you cross to Calais, with a meal included before you arrive at your overnight hotel.
Day2Belgium to BerlinBerlin, Germany
Today we head east to the country's cosmopolitan capital city, Berlin. We spend three nights here, staying at the four-star Park Inn Alexanderplatz Hotel. We also include a pass to access the hotel's rooftop terrace, so you can enjoy the views from the 37th floor!
Day3Guided tour of BerlinBerlin, Germany
Enjoy a guided city tour of Berlin today, seeing some of the main highlights of this fascinating city, including the impressive Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag government building.
Day4Private talk from James HollandBerlin, Germany
Explore the fascinating city of Berlin at further at your own pace today. Berlin has many interesting sights and museums, including the Museum at Checkpoint Charlie, and a wealth of bars and restaurants. This evening, James Holland will join the group and give a private talk and Q&A where he will draw on his superb knowledge of the Second World War.
Day5Berlin to DresdenDresden, Germany
Our journey takes us on to Leipzig today, in the company of James Holland. Leipzig was home to the peaceful mass demonstrations that ultimately led to the reunification of Germany. We then travel with James to infamous Colditz Castle, set high on a clifftop and renowned for its role as a maximum security prisoner of war camp during the Second World War. We then continue onwards to the historic city of Dresden, where we enjoy two nights' stay at the four-star Pullman-Newa Hotel.
Day6Guided tour of DresdenDresden, Germany
This morning we enjoy a guided tour of the rebuilt city of Dresden, much of which was damaged by bombs during the Second World War. Rising from the ashes, meticulous restoration has resulted in the wonderful city we visit today.
Heading west today, we visit historic Erfurt, with its well-preserved medieval old town, impressive cathedral and quaint winding streets to explore. We then continue on to Hotel Maritim, Bad Wildungen, where we stay tonight.
Day8Möhne DamMöhne Dam , Germany
Today we travel to the dramatic Möhne Dam in the Nord Rhine-Westphalia region of Germany. This artificial lake was famously the target of the 'bouncing bombs' during the Second World War Dambusters raid. Following our visit, we continue across the border and into Belgium, where we stay this evening.
Day9Belgium to UKCalais, France
We leave Belgium and head back to Calais and continue our onward journey home.