Discover Panama: A Family Adventure
Smithsonian Journeys are designed to engage travelers in Smithsonian’s mission - “the increase and diffusion of knowledge”. Like the Institution, our tours enrich our guests’ lives and satisfy their curiosity about the world. Your participation benefits the work of Smithsonian's 19 museums, the National Zoo and nine research centers, helping to preserve our national treasures and shape the future through science, research, and exhibitions.
What Is Included in the Tour Cost
- Expertise of local guides throughout the tour.
- All entrance fees.
- Accommodations based on double and triple occupancy at comfortable and distinctive tourist level hotels and lodges.
- Meals per the itinerary.
- Beer, wine, and soda at the welcome and farewell dinners.
- Tips for guides, drivers, mentor, porters, hotel staff, and wait staff.
- Services of a bilingual national guide who will accompany you throughout your trip.
- Services of a mentor on each trip with 8 or more guests.
- All excursions as listed in the itinerary.
- Bottled water each day for the land portion of your tour.
- Airport transfers for families arriving on the scheduled arrival day and departing on the scheduled departure day.
- Comprehensive travel insurance for all guests. A detailed copy of the included policy will be sent with your pre-departure materials.
- Guaranteed departures; no minimums.
What Is Not Included in the Tour Cost
- Soda, beer, wine and spirits except for the welcome and farewell meals.
- Optional activities and entrance fees for free time.
- Fees for passports, visas, and immunizations.
- International flights.
- Meals and expenses en route.
- Laundry, phone/fax/email, and other items of a personal nature.
Space is reserved in the order of receipt of phone or web reservations.
To submit a request for a reservation, call 1-888-466-3590 to speak with a Reservations Specialist, M-F, 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (Eastern Time).
To complete your request, the following is necessary:
Deposit of $700 per person, per tour, payable by check to the tour operator or by major credit card is required to reserve a space on a tour program. Deposits are applied to payment of the program price.
Please note: Payment is due in full no later than ninety (90) days prior to the date of your departure (120 days for adventures that depart in December), unless otherwise noted. Final payment can be made by personal check, cashiers check, wire, or credit card.
Any registration received within 90 days of departure (120 days for December departure) is considered a “late registration” and must be subject to special confirmation. Payment in full must be made immediately by credit card or by check and sent by overnight mail to the tour operator before confirmation is possible.
Once confirmed, cancellation penalties apply as set forth below. If confirmation is not possible, all payments made will be refunded in full.
Late registration confirmation procedures apply to any participant who is transferred from the wait list to the program within the designated late registration period for that program.
For additional information, please call a Reservations Specialist, at 1-888-466-3590 from Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (Eastern Time) or e-mail Reservations@SmithsonianJourneys.org
A Note About Costs
Tour costs are based upon current airfares, tariffs, currency values, and on the basis of a minimum number of participants. While we will do everything possible to maintain the listed prices, they are subject to change. Due to fluctuations in oil prices, a fuel surcharge may be added to your tour fee (e.g. internal flights, cruises, etc.). Details and costs will be advised prior to departure.
If the program(s) of your choice are fully subscribed, you will be placed on a wait list. If you choose to withdraw from the wait list, please notify us.
Please note that we are unable to keep you apprised of your status on the wait list. We will call you only if a space becomes available, but you are welcome to call us at your convenience to inquire about your status at 1-888-466-3590.
Cancellation and Refund Policy
Per person cancellation fees are based on date of notice to Smithsonian Journeys.
Please understand that there will be no exceptions to our cancellation policy.
- 121 days plus before departure, Fee: Deposit amount per person
- 120-91 days before departure, Fee: Deposit amount per person (January to November Adventures), 50% of the package price (December Adventures)
- 90-60 days before departure, Fee: 50% of the package price (January to November Adventures), 65% of the package price (December Adventures)
- 60 days or less before departure, Fee: 100% of the package price
- Cancellation by the Smithsonian: full refund.
- No refund for unused portions of the tour, including but not limited to, missed meals, hotel nights, and sightseeing.
Individual Arrivals and Group Transfers
Over the years, Smithsonian travelers have become more independent, often making their own travel arrangements to meet the tour group. Therefore, we no longer feature a designated group flight on most tours. However, on most tours, transportation from the arrival airport to the ship/hotel is included in your tour cost if you arrive in time to meet the scheduled group transfer. Your first tour bulletin will thoroughly explain the details of the options available for your individual flights.
Air Tickets Purchased Independently of the Tour
We urge you to check airline cancellation penalties before purchasing airline tickets since international departure times and flights can change. Neither Smithsonian Institution nor the tour operator accepts liability for cancellation penalties related to domestic or international airline tickets purchased independently in conjunction with a tour.
Smithsonian Family Adventures include travel insurance. Information on coverage is available upon request and will be sent to participants upon registration.
Physical and Medical Considerations
Please note that these tours require that participants be in good physical condition: you must be capable, without assistance, of walking a minimum of two miles over uneven terrain and of climbing stairs that may not have handrails. Participants should have sufficient stamina to keep pace with an active group of travelers on long days of touring. If you have any questions about your ability to participate in a tour, please call us at 1-888-466-3590.
Some tours have additional notes regarding physical and medical considerations, which are noted on the Special Tour Information link.
Itinerary or Program Modifications
Smithsonian strives to improve tour itineraries and their features. If improvements can be made, or unforeseen circumstances beyond our control make changes necessary, we reserve the right to vary itineraries and to substitute hotels. Every effort will be made to carry out the program as planned but alterations may still occur after the final itineraries are sent. Please note that weather conditions may force changes to the advertised sailing schedule on cruise programs. The ship’s captain has the authority to change the ship’s schedule.
Smithsonian chooses hotels based on a combination of their location, service, atmosphere, price and family-friendliness. On adventure tours and programs in out-of-the-way places, best-available hotels are used. In most cases, hotels have elevators and meeting rooms for Smithsonian lectures. Program prices are based on two persons sharing a room with a bath.
Singles and Roommates
Hotel rooms are always reserved for single travelers, however the number of single rooms available on a tour may be limited. Therefore we recommend that you register early. Please note that a single supplement will apply for a single room. If you are traveling alone and wish to share a room, we will do our best to find someone of the same gender and smoking preference to share with you. If you are matched with a non-smoking roommate, it is mutually agreed that you cannot smoke in your hotel room. When a roommate cannot be found, the single supplement will be charged.
Smithsonian Journeys offers special tours and cruises for families traveling with children. Depending on the tour, children should be a minimum of 6 to 10 years old at the time of travel. Even when accompanied by a guide and/or a mentor, you are primarily responsible for your child's safety. Please do not leave your children unattended. If the group is going out on an excursion, children may not stay behind unless accompanied by an adult.
Preparing for Your Journey
Prior to departure, you will receive Tour Bulletins containing both tour specific and general tour information to help you prepare for your travel experience.
Tour Bulletin 1 includes such information as:
Tour Bulletin 2 includes such information as:
- Passport and visa information
- Flight information
- Weather, clothing, and packing suggestions
- A suggested reading list
- General information about the countries you will visit, e.g. the food, customs, medical precautions and currency.
- Baggage tags
- Emergency contact information
- Detailed daily itinerary
Special Travel Arrangements
Participants may wish to extend their stay in the group hotel either before or after the tour. Our tour operators will work with you on these arrangements, dependent upon space availability.
Participants on tour may be photographed for the educational and promotional purposes of the Smithsonian Institution and Thomson Family Adventures. Photographs may be printed in publications and posted on websites to promote Smithsonian Journeys. Travelers who prefer that their image not be used must advise the tour manager at the beginning of the tour.
For the comfort of all participants, we ask that there be no smoking during all group activities, including excursions and meals.
RESPONSIBILITY STATEMENT AND LIABILITY DISCLAIMER
Read Carefully: Responsibility Statement and Liability Disclaimer
Smithsonian Journeys are managed by professional tour operators hired as independent contractors. The use of tour operators allows the Smithsonian to offer its members a wide array of educational travel opportunities. The tour operator acts only as an agent for the respective suppliers by making arrangements for transportation, accommodations, and other services. Neither the Smithsonian Institution nor the tour operator shall be held liable for personal injury, death, property damage or accident, delay or irregularity arising out of any act or omission of these suppliers. The Smithsonian Institution and the tour operator reserve the right, without penalty, to make changes in the published itinerary whenever, in their judgment, conditions warrant, or if they deem it necessary for the comfort, convenience, or safety of tour participants.
The Smithsonian Institution and the tour operator also reserve the right, without penalty, to withdraw the tour announced, to decline to accept any person as a participant in a tour, or to require any participant to withdraw from the tour at any time, when such action is determined by tour staff to be in the best interests of the health, safety or general welfare of the tour group or the individual participant, subject only to the requirement that the recoverable portion of the total amount paid that corresponds to the cost of unused services and accommodations be refunded, if any. Participants are encouraged to purchase airline tickets no sooner than 60 days before the tour begins to avoid airline cancellation penalties if a tour is canceled or otherwise modified subsequent to the participant’s purchase of those tickets. The Smithsonian Institution and the tour operator accept no liability for the purchase of non-refundable airline tickets to the tour departure city and return. Baggage and personal effects are at all times the sole responsibility of the participant.
Dates, schedules, program details, and costs, although provided in good faith based on information available at the time of publication of the brochure or catalog, are subject to change and revision.
AS A CONDITION OF ACCEPTANCE OF ANY APPLICATION, EACH APPLICANT MUST AGREE TO THE STATEMENT SET FORTH BELOW:
The undersigned has read carefully the Responsibility Statement and Liability Disclaimer set forth above, the schedule of activities for this tour, as well as the terms and conditions of application and participation as set forth in the tour brochure(s), and recognizes and accepts any risk associated with the tour and the conditions, including the refund policy, set forth in the tour brochure(s). The undersigned further acknowledges that there are many risks and uncertainties inherent in any travel tour, including but not limited to the hazards of various modes of transportation, forces of nature, acts or omissions of foreign governments, terrorism, war or insurrection, theft, illness, and damage to person or property due to the negligent acts or omissions of tour staff or others. In consideration of, and as part payment for, the right to participate in the tour, the undersigned, on behalf of himself, his dependents, heirs, executors, administrators and assigns, agrees to release the Smithsonian Institution, its Regents, officers, employees, representatives or agents, the United States, and the tour operator and its officers, employees and agents, from liability for personal injury, death, property damage or loss suffered by any person in connection with this tour, even if caused by the negligence (but not the reckless, willful, or fraudulent conduct) of tour staff or other related persons or entities. In addition, by registering for this tour, the applicant certifies that he or she is mentally and physically capable of full participation in this tour.
By registering for a Smithsonian Journey, the participant agrees to the Responsibility Statement and Liability Disclaimer and the Terms and Conditions herein.