A Guided Tour
|April 26 – May 3, 2014|
Perhaps no world capital has been more central to the history of the 20th century than Berlin. Now a vibrant modern metropolis, traces of the city’s turbulent past – whether as the hub of Hitler’s ‘Thousand Year Reich’ or as the front line of the Cold War – may be found on nearly every corner.
We are pleased to announce that we are again offering a tour of ‘Battlefield Berlin.’ Our weeklong visit will primarily focus on three crucial aspects of the city’s recent past. You will walk the same streets as some of the most detestable villains of the modern age as we discuss Berlin’s role as capital of the Third Reich and witness the legacy of their crimes at places like Sachsenhausen concentration camp. As that regime collapsed, the city became a battlefield. There, in the last days of April 1945, teenage boys and old men fought the Red Army street by street while their Führer issued orders to long-destroyed units from his underground bunker just off Wilhelmstrasse and a terrified civilian populace merely tried to survive. You will visit sites from this final battle of the Second World War in Europe, beginning with the bloody fields around the Seelow Heights and ending with the Reichstag, where Soviet troops raised their flag on the night of April 30: symbolically, if not quite actually ending the most intensely destructive contest in history. The city’s four decades of Cold War history will not be forgotten, as we will see the remnants of the Berlin Wall and explore the headquarters and prison of the STASI – East Germany’s feared secret police, the keepers of the most efficient police state in history. We invite you to join us as we spend seven days and nights visiting the locations, both famous and forgotten, where the modern world was shaped.
Your Berlin tour will include the following:
- Seven days and nights in Berlin.
- Accommodations in one of Berlin’s most popular hotels with breakfasts included.
- Welcome and farewell dinners.
- Coach transportation for our trip to the Seelow Heights.
- Admission to all scheduled museums and attractions.
- Study booklet with maps and educational materials.
- City transit pass.
- An active itinerary of daily guided tours of Berlin and environs.
Our itinerary includes:
- Hitler’s bunker site
- Reich government district
- The Reichstag
- The Brandenburg Gate
- Unter den Linden
- The 1936 Olympic Stadium
- Topography of Terror exhibition
- Humboldthain Flak Tower
- Kaiser Wilhelm church
- Holocaust Memorial
- Siegessaüle – ‘Victory Column’
- Preserved air raid shelters
- Soviet memorials
- Sachsenhausen concentration camp
- Seelow Heights and Oderbrüch battlefields, including Zhukov’s CP
- Karlshorst surrender museum
- Bendler Block (as seen in the film “Valkyrie”)
- Battle-damaged buildings;
- Remnants of the Berlin Wall
- Checkpoint Charlie
- The TV Tower
- Hohenschönhausen STASI prison
- and more!!
Tour price is $2,120. per person, based upon double occupancy.
Single Supplement: $325.
Berlin – Travel Information
The dates we will be in Germany are April 26 – May 3, 2014. Participants will be departing their North American airports on April 25 for the overnight flight. Our return date – the date you be flying back to your North American airport, unless you decide to stay longer after the tour – is May 3.
Air Travel: Each tour participant will need to make their own flight arrangements. This allows you to utilize frequent flier miles and other benefits you may have accrued. It is also likely that many of you will be coming from different states. If you happen to live in the south-central portion of Pennsylvania or the Washington-Baltimore area, where a number of our participants come from, it may be possible to organize a car pool and book on the same flight; this can be discussed in more detail once you are registered for the tour.
Once you are booked, we will provide you with information concerning our group’s Berlin hotel where we will meet. As participants arrive throughout April 26, they will be able to check into a room and rest up. The next morning, we begin our tour of Berlin.
Accommodations: Our Berlin hotel is a highly rated 3-star property with an excellent in-house restaurant and a great variety of dining options within an easy walking distance.
Meals: Breakfasts are included in the price of the tour, plus two dinners. Other meals will be ‘on your own.’ Each day’s itinerary will include a lunch stop.
Materials: Registered participants will receive an educational booklet containing maps, historical and travel information that will enhance your visit.
Health: Please be certain to check with your health insurer to determine whether their coverage extends to travel in Germany. If not, or if you desire additional coverage, you are strongly advised to consider obtaining travel insurance, which can also cover you for matters like luggage loss or damage, trip cancellation, etc.
Personal Mobility: Please note that our tour itinerary will at times involve frequent walking, and there will be occasions when you may be standing or walking for up to 30 minutes. Berlin is a mostly flat city, but plan to traverse sidewalks and city streets and (during the visit to Zhukov’s command post) woods trails. It is imperative that you advise us if you or any member of your travel party has a physical disability or other medical condition that might inhibit full participation in the tour, as we may not be able to provide the necessary assistance required. If in any doubt about how a disability might impact your participation and enjoyment of the tour, we strongly encourage you to contact us so we may discuss whether this trip is suitable for your situation.
Extended Visits: Should you decide to remain in Europe for additional sightseeing after May 3, we will do our best to assist you with arrangements if we can.
Once you are booked for the tour, we will provide you with electronic travel newsletters that will assist you in planning for the trip.
BerlinTour – Booking Terms and Conditions.
Booking the Tour: Please note that spaces will be reserved on a ‘first-come, first served’ basis. It is our intention to limit the number of persons on our Berlin tour to approximately 17 people. This will ensure that we have an intimate and manageable group size, increasing your enjoyment of the trip. As interest in this tour has been considerable, you are urged to reserve your space as early as possible. (Should interest far exceed space, the possibility of adding an additional Berlin tour exists, but is not guaranteed at this stage). Battleground reserves the right to cancel a tour if insufficient bookings are received, rendering it impossible to provide the tour as advertised. In such a case, notification of cancellation will be provided at the earliest possible time, and no later than 45 days from April 26, 2014. We also reserve the right to cancel a tour for reasons beyond our control that render us incapable of providing said tour as advertised.
The total cost of the tour is $2,120.00 per person, based on double occupancy. If a single room is desired, the supplement is $315.00. As the number of single rooms is limited, please be sure to indicate this preference when you send your deposit.
A deposit of $250 per person is required to book your place on the tour. If two family members are booking, traveling and lodging together, the applicable deposit will be reduced by $25 per person (i.e. $225/person). Should you have to cancel your booking, your deposit is refundable up to 90 days prior to the tour departure date of April 25, 2014, less a $45 per person administrative charge.
Any deposit received after the tour spaces are fully filled will be immediately returned to the sender.
50% of the balance of the tour price is due 90 days prior to the tour (January 25, 2014). The remaining balance of the tour price must be received no later than 40 days prior to the start of the tour (March 17, 2014). We will not be able to send out reminders, so please make note of these dates.
Payment is to be made via check, payable to ‘Stuart R. Dempsey.’ Please indicate ‘Berlin Tour’ in the memo space. Upon receiving any payment, you will promptly be sent a statement of receipt via email (or by U. S. Mail if requested). Your payments will be placed in a dedicated account.
Booking requests must be made via our Booking Form. Be sure to fill this out completely.
|Booking Form PDF||Booking Form Doc|
Cancellation: If it becomes necessary for you to cancel your trip, you may due so at any time, subject to terms and conditions listed below. Because we incur costs in processing your travel arrangements, you will have to pay applicable charges as follows:
Number of days cancellation is Applicable charge as %
received prior to April 25, 2014: of the total tour price:
90 days or more: $45 cancellation fee
89 – 75 days: Deposit only
74 – 50 days: 20% of total price
49 – 30 days: 40% of total price
29 – 15 days: 60% of total price
14 – 8 days: 80% of total price
8 or less days: 100% of total price
By signing the tour booking form, you are agreeing to all terms and conditions as provided in this document.
The date of cancellation is considered to be the date upon which we receive notification. Written notice of cancellation must be made by the individual who made the booking (or, if not possible, by next of kin.) Verbal notice of cancellation may be accepted only under certain emergency circumstances, as determined by us.
Any booking status changes requested by our clients will be made when possible, though these cannot be guaranteed. If we can make such changes easily, we will not charge for doing so, but we reserve the right to apply a fee of up to $25 for doing so if necessary.
We want your tour to be as personally enjoyable and meaningful as possible, so any special requests concerning the tour will be honored wherever possible, but are not guaranteed. Such requests must be provided in writing at the time the booking is made, or at the earliest possible date prior to the tour. If an additional charge is required to meet a request, we will advise you of it.
Passports and Documents: Citizens of the United States and Canada must have a valid passport to enter Germany. The expiration date of your passport must be more than 90 days after our date of departure (thus, it must be valid until at least (August 1, 2014). You are responsible for having and bringing an up to date passport, and we assume no responsibility if you fail to due so and cannot travel as a result.
Physical/Medical Concerns: Our tour will require some walking along sidewalks, streets, and steps. Tour participants must be able to stand and walk for 30 minutes at a time without rest or assistance. While the itinerary is not excessively strenuous, you must take these considerations into account before making your booking. You must provide us with notice of disabilities/medical conditions that might impact your travel at the time you book the tour (or, if newly diagnosed, as early as possible prior to the tour date). We do not accept any liability for your failure to inform us of limiting conditions, and reserve the right to reject any booking from any person who has not notified us of relevant disabilities or who we deem insufficiently fit to participate.
Behavior: You are responsible for your conduct and that of anyone in your travel party that you have booked. We reserve the right to refuse to book, or to remove from the tour, you or any member of your party, if your behavior or that of a member of your party, is dangerous, disrespectful to other people, or otherwise disruptive. We will not provide a refund or pay any costs incurred by you under these circumstances.
Travel insurance: We strongly urge all participants to obtain travel insurance prior to the tour. You will typically receive the best rates and coverage by purchasing travel insurance as soon as you book the tour. You can determine the level of coverage you require, but it should include items such as luggage and trip cancellation protection, and applicable medical insurance (you should check with your health insurer to determine if your medical coverage is valid in Europe). Websites of companies such as TravelEx are easy to navigate to determine cost vs. coverage, and AAA members can discuss insurance options with their local office.
Travel Information: We will provide booked participants with electronic informational newsletters prior to the trip, including logistics, travel suggestions, and the like. We want you to be an informed traveler!
We reserve the right to make minor modifications to any tour itinerary as deemed appropriate by the tour director/guide.
While we will of course make every effort to fulfill our obligations to our clients regarding all aspects of the advertised tour, we can assume no liability for damage, loss, or expense caused by events or circumstances beyond our control (‘Force Majeure’). Force Majeure is defined as unforeseeable or unavoidable situation(s) beyond our control including but not limited to: war, civil unrest, terrorism, strike/labor dispute, natural disaster, flood, earthquake, volcanic eruption, fire, adverse weather conditions, nuclear disaster, or the threat of any of these occurrences.
|2010 Berlin Photos|
Part of our group at the Seelow Heights Museum
|The 1945 Soviet memorial in Tiergarten|
|Dinner & birthday party in Berlin||Rainy day at KZ-Sachsenhausen|
|Brandenburg Gate & Pariser Platz||Part of the Berlin Wall & Goering’s Air Ministry|
|Sign for Zhukov’s Command Post, Reitwein||The Reichstag|
|Statue of Sgt. Masalov, Treptower Park||T-34 at the German-Russian War Museum|
A Client's Review of our most recent European Tour:
“I wanted to take this time to write you in order to thank you for the wonderful experience I had on your 2012 Normandy Invasion Tour. As an avid student of history with an undergraduate degree in that discipline, I have learned that it is very difficult to convey the feelings and emotion associated with historical events in the printed word alone. The study of history by its very nature can be devoid of these feelings. An event the size, scope, and complexity of the D-Day Invasion with its’ historical impact will never be duplicated.
These factors help to emphasize how wonderful your tour was. I have never witnessed a tour group that has been so engrossed in the many individual presentations that were made. After our first day in Normandy (Pegasus Bridge), I felt that the trip could not get any better. To my surprise, the tour seemed to increase in interest and excitement with each passing day! Your high level of preparation for the tour was evident at all times.
All aspects of the tour were remarkable. The itinerary, lodging, comfortable transportation, camaraderie and involvement of participants, and above all your superb presentations, made this the most memorable trip I have ever experienced. The tour allowed us all to absorb and experience to a large degree what our fellow Americans, allies, and foes encountered during this Historic event. While visiting military cemeteries and landing beaches there were many moments when there was not a dry eye in the group!
Obviously the significance of these events coupled with the locations deeply impacted each of us, but again I can’t over emphasize your role in this.
Thank you again for an experience of a lifetime!”
-- Steve M., NJ