An immersive look at what unfolded in Malta between 1940 and 1943, with insightful commentary from expert guides

Malta was an essential base in the Allied war effort, playing a pivotal role in disrupting supply lines to Libya and supplying British armies in Egypt. Yet it faced unrelenting aerial attacks by the Luftwaffe and Italian Air Force. German bombers laid siege to Malta, targeting towns and supply convoys, leading the tiny island to become the most bombed place on Earth.

On this five-day tour in May 2023, you'll visit museums and sites that piece together the story of what happened in Malta between 1940 and 1943, with expert commentary from two expert guides - James Holland and Mike Peters. It brings alive the stories James tells in his book, Fortress Malta - An Island Under Siege.

From your base at the five-star Grand Hotel Excelsior in Valletta, you'll take a walking tour of the town to visit key sites and board a harbour cruise to learn more about what happened at sea. You'll visit the Malta at War Museum in nearby Birgu, as well as air raid shelters and tunnels, and hear a talk by Professor Timmy Gambin on British heroes in Maltese waters at Malta University. On the third day of explorations, there are visits to Mosta, Mdina, and Dingli. A highlight will be hearing from Ray Polidano, the Director General of the Malta Aviation Museum Foundation.

You'll visit underground war rooms, museums, and memorials and sites where planes came down as you hear the stories behind the losses. James and Mike will bring events to life, including how convoys of Allied ships sailed from Gibraltar and Egypt to resupply the island when it was under siege by the German forces.

You'll learn the details of Operation Pedestal, which suffered heavy casualties but proved that German and Italian efforts to obtain superiority had failed when further convoys provided enough supplies to break the siege. The operation secured Malta and the Mediterranean as bases for the Allied forces to launch amphibious landings in North Africa, Sicily, and mainland Italy.

Guests will receive a complimentary copy of James' latest book as a memento of the trip.

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Your expert guides

James Holland
Historian, writer, broadcaster

The author of Normandy 44, Sicily '43, and Brothers in Arms , James Holland is a best-selling and award-winning historian, writer, and broadcaster. He has written over thirty books, presented numerous TV documentaries, and co-hosts the hugely successful podcast, We Have Ways of Making You Talk, with Al Murray .

Mike Peters
Battlefield guide

Mike served in the British Army for more than thirty years. As an Army Air Corps Soldier, and later in his career as an Officer, he served in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan. He has maintained a lifelong interest in military history, working as a Battlefield Guide, an author, and recently as a TV Historian. Mike has published Glider Pilots at Arnhem, Glider Pilots in Sicily, and Bomb Group - a history of the 381st Bomb Group USAAF.

Price includes

  • James Holland and Mike Peters will travel with the group for the duration of the tour
  • Copy of James Holland's latest book, which can be signed during the trip
  • Four nights five-star accommodation at Grand Hotel Excelsior
  • Enjoy a talk from Professor Timmy Gambin about the British Heroes in Maltese Waters
  • Harbour cruise
  • Walking tour of Valletta
  • Visit Ta 'Qali Aviation Museum with Ray Polidano, director general of the Malta Aviation Museum Foundation
  • All breakfasts, a welcome dinner, and farewell dinner

Book now

From
Sun, Sun, May 14, 2023
To
Thu, Thu, May 18, 2023
Duration
5 Days
Price per person
£1,399*

* From price is FOR SUBSCRIBERS, per person, based on two people sharing a room, subject to availability. Price and itinerary correct at time of print but may be subject to change. Single supplement £360. Deposit 20%. Local charges such as tourist tax may apply. **Flights are not included, please call if you would like to discuss flight arrangements. In the case of unforeseen circumstances, expert(s) may be substituted, and any expert-led events may be subject to change. Expert(s) will not join you for your full trip duration unless otherwise stated. Travel insurance is not included but required for most of our overseas trips, and should be taken out at time of booking. Images used may not reflect your actual tour experience. This holiday may be sold through other selected brands. Tour is operated by and subject to the booking conditions of TS Travel Ltd (ATOL bonded).

From
Sun, Sun, May 14, 2023
To
Thu, Thu, May 18, 2023
Duration
5 Days
Price per person
£1,449*

* From price is FOR ALL OTHER TRAVELLERS, per person, based on two people sharing a room, subject to availability. Price and itinerary correct at time of print but may be subject to change. Single supplement £360. Deposit 20%. Local charges such as tourist tax may apply. **Flights are not included, please call if you would like to discuss flight arrangements. In the case of unforeseen circumstances, expert(s) may be substituted, and any expert-led events may be subject to change. Expert(s) will not join you for your full trip duration unless otherwise stated. Travel insurance is not included but required for most of our overseas trips, and should be taken out at time of booking. Images used may not reflect your actual tour experience. This holiday may be sold through other selected brands. Tour is operated by and subject to the booking conditions of TS Travel Ltd (ATOL bonded).

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Standard Double Room

Price (per person) £1399.00 * Single Occupancy Supplement £360.00

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Standard Double Room

Price (per person) £1449.00 * Single Occupancy Supplement £360.00

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Itinerary

  1. Day
    1
    Arrive in Malta
    Malta, Malta

    Welcome to Malta. If booked onto the group flights, a group transfer has been arranged. For passengers arriving outside the group arrival / departure times a private transfer can be arranged for an additional cost. You will take a 20-minute transfer to the five-star Grand Hotel Excelsior, where you'll have time to settle in and enjoy the splendid surroundings of this luxury hotel.

    Tonight, you'll meet your group over a welcome dinner at the hotel.

    Meals - Dinner
  2. Day
    2
    Valetta
    Valletta, Malta

    After breakfast, you'll meet your guide in the lobby for a walking tour of Valletta, which will provide the perfect introduction and set the scene for the explorations to follow. You'll take a route past the Malta Opera House, Lower and Upper Barracca Gardens, and the Siege Bell - a memorial that rings daily in memory of those lost in the war. You'll also see the Lascaris War Rooms, a network of secret underground tunnels and chambers from where all air and sea operations were observed and controlled.

    There's free time for lunch at your leisure before you board the coach to Sliema. Your explorations continue in the afternoon, taking a harbour cruise to see Marsamxett Harbour, Sliema Creek, Manoel Island - home to the 10th Submarine Flotilla Base - and Grand Harbour, including the Three Cities and Frenchman's Creek.

    After, you'll return to the hotel and the evening is yours to spend as you wish.

    Meals - Breakfast
  3. Day
    3
    Birgu
    Birgu (Vittoriosa), Malta

    You'll meet your guide after breakfast, ready to board a coach for a 15-minute journey to Birgu.

    You'll visit Malta at War Museum and air raid shelters and tunnels during the tour. There's free time for lunch before you visit Malta University for an exclusive and interactive 3D underwater experience with marine archaeologist, Professor Timmy Gambin, on the many ship and aircraft wrecks he and his team have discovered in Maltese waters.

    Meals - Breakfast
  4. Day
    4
    Mosta, Mdina, and Dingli
    Mosta, Malta

    After breakfast, you'll board the coach and head to Mosta. The world famous dome of this beautiful church was hit by a bomb that clattered onto the floor below but did not detonate, leading the Maltese people to declare a miracle and a sign of divine intervention protecting the nation. Next is the Ta'Qali Aviation Museum with Ray Polidano, the Director General of the Malta Aviation Museum Foundation. You'll also visit the site of the old military hospital at Imtarfa.

    You'll travel to Mdina next, where there's free time for lunch before rejoining your group to visit the stunning valley around the tiny church of Santa Katerina, where Pilot Officer Alex Mackie's Hurricane was shot down. Next, you'll head to Dingli Cliffs and also see an unusual relic of the air battle for Malta: two Spitfire cannons still embedded into the ground where the aircraft crashed in 1942.

    You'll return to Valletta for a farewell dinner in the town.

    Meals - Breakfast, Dinner
  5. Day
    5
    Return to London
    Valletta, Malta

    After a final breakfast, you'll check out of the hotel and travel home

    Meals - Breakfast

Accommodation

Grand Hotel Excelsior, Valetta, Malta

5
Valletta, Malta

A large, five-star hotel within the 16th century fortifications of Valletta, the Grand Excelsior Hotel is on the waterfront with its own marina and views over Marsamxett Harbour. There are indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a health and beauty centre, and a choice of dining venues. You’ll stay in a Deluxe room, although upgrades to a room with a sea view may be available on request and additional nights can be arranged if you wish to extend your stay.

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Availability

From
Sun, Sun, May 14, 2023
To
Thu, Thu, May 18, 2023
Duration
5 Days
Price per person
£1,399*

* From price is FOR SUBSCRIBERS, per person, based on two people sharing a room, subject to availability. Price and itinerary correct at time of print but may be subject to change. Single supplement £360. Deposit 20%. Local charges such as tourist tax may apply. **Flights are not included, please call if you would like to discuss flight arrangements. In the case of unforeseen circumstances, expert(s) may be substituted, and any expert-led events may be subject to change. Expert(s) will not join you for your full trip duration unless otherwise stated. Travel insurance is not included but required for most of our overseas trips, and should be taken out at time of booking. Images used may not reflect your actual tour experience. This holiday may be sold through other selected brands. Tour is operated by and subject to the booking conditions of TS Travel Ltd (ATOL bonded).

Valletta (MLA)
From
Sun, Sun, May 14, 2023
To
Thu, Thu, May 18, 2023
Duration
5 Days
Price per person
£1,449*

* From price is FOR ALL OTHER TRAVELLERS, per person, based on two people sharing a room, subject to availability. Price and itinerary correct at time of print but may be subject to change. Single supplement £360. Deposit 20%. Local charges such as tourist tax may apply. **Flights are not included, please call if you would like to discuss flight arrangements. In the case of unforeseen circumstances, expert(s) may be substituted, and any expert-led events may be subject to change. Expert(s) will not join you for your full trip duration unless otherwise stated. Travel insurance is not included but required for most of our overseas trips, and should be taken out at time of booking. Images used may not reflect your actual tour experience. This holiday may be sold through other selected brands. Tour is operated by and subject to the booking conditions of TS Travel Ltd (ATOL bonded).

Valletta (MLA)
Call now to book 02045 715 202
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