Teeming with wildlife and stunning scenery, discover the breadth and beauty of Alaska's national parks, varied landscapes, and cultural heritage.

Starting at: $6,395 Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 The magnificent Mt. Denali and the park road  Puffin perched on an outcropping  Forests and mountains of Denali National Park  Bear with cubs  Caribou in Denali National Park  Husky puppies  Float plane ready for take-off, Lake Hood  The city of Anchorage  Men in traditional dress at the Alaska Native Heritage Center. Credit: Alaska Native Heritage Center  Dancers at the Alaska Native Heritage Center. Credit: Alaska Native Heritage Center  Landscape of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park  Looking out on a glacier, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park  Kennecott Mines, Wrangel-St. Elias National Park  The marina at Seward  Glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park  Orca whale sighting, Kenai Fjords National Park  Breaching whale  Puffins in the waters of Kenai Fjords National Park  Steller Sea Lions, Kenai Fjords National Park  Bald eagle  Sea otters in Prince William Sound

Alaska's Natural Wonders

11 days from $6,395

Teeming with wildlife and stunning scenery, discover the breadth and beauty of Alaska's national parks, varied landscapes, and cultural heritage.

or Call 855-330-1542

Accommodations

* Click on hotel name to visit hotel web-site.

Anchorage Marriott Downtown

Anchorage, Alaska, United States

Centrally located in downtown Anchorage, this 393-room hotel sits just steps from shopping and dining, the Anchorage Museum, and the Performing Arts Center, and offers views of downtown, the Chugach Mountain Range, and Cook inlet. Hotel amenities include a restaurant, bar, café, fitness center, indoor pool, laundry and dry cleaning services, and complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access. Each air-conditioned guest room features a private bath with hairdryer, TV, coffee maker, and phone.

Number of nights: 2

Denali Park Village Lodge

Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska, United States

Located seven miles south of the Denali National Park entrance, the Denali Park Village Lodge property is nestled along the banks of the Nenana River. The lodge’s property is spread across 20 acres and offers light hiking and interpretive trails. Lodge amenities include a restaurant, Alaskan-style saloon, lobby with fireplace, outdoor seating area overlooking the wilderness, gift shop, and complimentary park shuttle service. Each of the 188 air-conditioned guestrooms features a private bath with hairdryer, TV, and phone.

Please note: only one of the property’s seven two-story buildings has an elevator.

Number of nights: 3

Kennicott Glacier Lodge

Kennicott, Alaska, United States

This family-owned lodge offers guests breathtaking Alaskan scenery, overlooking 25 miles of glacier and surrounded by 14 of the continent’s highest mountain peaks. A replica of one of the town’s historic copper mining buildings, the Kennicott Glacier Lodge sits in the heart of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park – America’s largest national park – and is the park’s only lodge. The main building offers a 190-foot-long front porch with a panoramic view of the Chugach and Wrangell Mountains, as well as a restaurant, reading/family room, TV/gathering room, complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access, and a number of outdoor activities. Each of the spacious guest rooms features a private bath.

Please note: guest rooms do not have phones, TVs, or minibars. However, they do offer electrical outlets.

Number of nights: 2

Knik River Lodge

Palmer, Alaska, United States

Surrounded by the dramatic Chugach Mountains, this European-style lodge presents incredible views of the Knik River Valley, which serves as a habitat for moose, Dall sheep, wolves, lynx, bears, and more. The lodge has two restaurants and offers complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access. Each of the 22 guest cabins has a private bath with hair dryer, private deck, kitchenette with mini-fridge, microwave, tea- and coffee-making facilities, and TV.

Number of nights: 1

Seward Windsong Lodge

Seward, Alaska, United States

Set in a glacial valley by the Resurrection River, just outside Seward and down the road from spectacular Exit Glacier, the Seward Windsong Lodge makes an ideal base for exploring Kenai Fjords National Park. Lodge amenities include a restaurant, bar, espresso bar, and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access. The hotel also provides shuttle service to Exit Glacier for guests interested in taking a walking tour. Each of the 180 guest rooms has a private bath with hairdryer, coffee maker, minibar, TV, and phone.

Number of nights: 2

Activity Level

Activity Level 3:  Moderate / Active


Expectations: Most trips will feature long touring days, many full-day excursions, and a full and active itinerary with a faster pace and longer distances. Some tours may have activities with higher intensity and more active choices/options. Excursions require standing and walking for extended periods of time over more difficult terrain (cobblestones, city hills, stairs without handrails, limited or no access to elevators, muddy/slippery walking/hiking trails), and walking to city centers where coaches are prohibited. Specific itineraries may feature hiking, use of local transportation, extended overnight train travel, extensive use of Zodiac crafts or other smaller ship conveyances, or multiple internal plane rides. Some itineraries may require early morning departures and later evening returns. Travelers may be in remote and/or rugged regions, and may be touring at higher altitudes with steep ascents/descents. Leisure time may be limited (sometimes only in the later evenings). Certain tours feature more active excursions (such as moderate hiking, swimming, snorkeling, canoeing, bicycling, rafting, or kayaking), though another choice may be offered for an alternate skill level. Walking/hiking tours may feature up to six-mile walks/hikes.

Appropriate for: Travelers who are physically fit, lead active lives, are comfortable participating in long days of activities, and expect some physical exertion.

Reading List
The Nature of Alaska: An Introduction to Familiar Plants, Animals & Outstanding Natural Attractions (Waterford Press Field Guides) by Kavanagh, James (2005) Paperback
By: Waterford Press
New copy. Fast shipping. Will be shipped from US.
Coming into the Country
By: John McPhee
Coming into the Country is an unforgettable account of Alaska and Alaskans. It is a rich tapestry of vivid characters, observed landscapes, and descriptive narrative, in three principal segments that deal, respectively, with a total wilderness, with urban Alaska, and with life in the remoteness of the bush. Readers of McPhee's earlier books will not be unprepared for his surprising shifts of scene and ordering of events, brilliantly combined into an organic whole. In the course of this volume we are made acquainted with the lore and techniques of placer mining, the habits and legends of the barren-ground grizzly, the outlook of a young Athapaskan chief, and tales of the fortitude of settlers―ordinary people compelled by extraordinary dreams. Coming into the Country unites a vast region of America with one of America's notable literary craftsmen, singularly qualified to do justice to the scale and grandeur of the design.
Guide to Marine Mammals of Alaska: Fourth Edition
By: Kate Wynne
The authoritative book on Alaska marine life, Guide to Marine Mammals of Alaska is a clear and concise look at all twenty-nine of Alaska’s mammal species, including whales, dolphins, seals, walrus, and polar bears. Now in its fourth edition, this award-winning book is fully revised with updated information on range and status of all the species.Meant to be a user-friendly and travel-ready resource, the guide provides an overview of each species with data on body type, size, color, behavior, habitat, and more. Maps detail range and migration patterns while full color photos accompany each entry. A glossary, introduction to mammal types, and naming chart make recognizing the different Alaska mammals easy and accessible.  In addition to the extensive photographs, the book includes Pieter Folkens’s highly accurate illustrations to assist in precise identification.The book itself is a rugged tool that is waterproof and spiral bound, encouraging readers to get out and start spotting fascinating Alaska creatures from land or from sea.
By Mike Miller - Alaska's Southeast: Touring The Inside Passage (Eleventh Edition) (2008-05-28) [Paperback]
By: Mike Miller
Alaska Inside Passage 1:900,000 (Seattle to Anchorage) Visitor's Map ITMB, 2012 edition
By: ITMB
Alaska's Inside Passage 1:900,000 (Seattle to Anchorage) Visitor's Map ITMB, 2012 edition This detailed, double sided map covers the Pacific coast of Washington State, British Columbia and Alaska between Seattle and Anchorage. It maps the routes followed by cruise ships and Alaska Ferries heading north from Seattle and Vancouver to Alaska. Included are inset street plans of Seattle, Victoria, Vancouver (BC) and Anchorage. Coverage divides the coastline north / south. One side of the map presents Vancouver Island and the coastline as far north as Prince Rupert (with inset maps of Seattle, Victoria, and Vancouver); the reverse shows the coastline north to Glacier Bay and an onward inset map to Anchorage (including an inset map of the city). Cartography has altitude colouring with peak heights indicated. Glaciated ares are marked and national parks and other protected areas are highlighted. The principal roads, minor roads, railways and oil pipelines are marked. Symbols denote points of interest, waterfalls, campgrounds, hospitals, ports, airports, seaplane bases, ski resorts, recreation sites, lighthouses, boat launching and fishing sites and visitor centres. The map is annotated with both practical advice and historical / geographical information for travellers. Indexed for place names. As the actual routes followed by the numerous cruise lines vary, their actual sailing routes could not be shown, but they generally follow the coastline within viewing distance of either the mainland or coastal islands, or both. Marked are the regular ferry routes followed by both BC Ferries and Alaska Ferries in their network of watery trails joining coastal communities, and the large cruise ships follow much the same routes.
Alaska: Saga of a Bold Land
By: Walter R. Borneman
The history of Alaska is filled with stories of new land and new riches -- and ever present are new people with competing views over how the valuable resources should be used: Russians exploiting a fur empire; explorers checking rival advances; prospectors stampeding to the clarion call of "Gold!"; soldiers battling out a decisive chapter in world war; oil wildcatters looking for a different kind of mineral wealth; and always at the core of these disputes is the question of how the land is to be used and by whom.While some want Alaska to remain static, others are in the vanguard of change. Alaska: Saga of a Bold Land shows that there are no easy answers on either side and that Alaska will always be crossing the next frontier.
Looking at Indian Art of the Northwest Coast
By: Hilary Stewart
Bold, inventive and highly graphic, the indigenous art of the Northwest Coast is distinguished by its sophistication and complexity. It is also composed of basically simple elements, which, guided by a rich mythology, create images of striking power. This indispensable and beautifully illustrated book is the first to introduce everyone, from the casual observer to the serious collector of Northwest Coast prints, to the forms, cultural background and structures of this highly imaginative art. The elements of style are introduced; the myths and legends which shape the motifs are interpreted; the stylistic differences between the major cultural groupings are defined and illustrated. Raven, Thunderbird, Killer Whale, Bear: all the traditional forms are here, deftly analyzed by a professional writer and artist who has a deep understanding of this powerful culture.
Only Kayak: A Journey Into The Heart Of Alaska
By: Kim Heacox
In this coming-of-middle-age memoir, Kim Heacox, writing in the tradition of Abbey, McPhee, and Thoreau, discovers an Alaska reborn from beneath a massive glacier, where flowers emerge from boulders, moose swim fjords, and bears cross crevasses with Homeric resolve. In such a place Heacox finds that people are reborn too, and their lives begin anew with incredible journeys, epiphanies, and successes. All in an America free of crass commercialism and overdevelopment. Braided through the larger story are tales of gold prospectors and the cabin they built sixty years ago; John Muir and his intrepid terrier, Stickeen; and a dynamic geology professor who teaches earth science "as if every day were a geological epoch." Nearly two million people come to Alaska every summer, some on large cruise ships, some in single kayaks--all in search of the last great wilderness, the Africa of America. It is exactly the America Heacox finds in this story of paradox, love, and loss.
Into the Wild
By: Jon Krakauer
In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter.  How McCandless came to die is the unforgettable story of Into the Wild.Immediately after graduating from college in 1991, McCandless had roamed through the West and Southwest on a vision quest like those made by his heroes Jack London and John Muir.  In the Mojave Desert he abandoned his car, stripped it of its license plates, and burned all of his  cash.  He would give himself a new name, Alexander Supertramp, and , unencumbered by money and belongings, he would be free to wallow in the raw, unfiltered experiences that nature presented.  Craving a blank spot on the map, McCandless simply threw the maps away.  Leaving behind his desperate parents and sister, he vanished into the wild.Jon Krakauer constructs a clarifying prism through which he reassembles the disquieting facts of McCandless's short life.  Admitting an interst that borders on obsession, he searches for the clues to the dries and desires that propelled McCandless.  Digging deeply, he takes an inherently compelling mystery and unravels the larger riddles it holds: the profound pull of the American wilderness on our imagination; the allure of high-risk activities to young men of a certain cast of mind; the complex, charged bond between fathers and sons.When McCandless's innocent mistakes turn out to be irreversible and fatal, he becomes the stuff of tabloid headlines and is dismissed for his naiveté, pretensions, and hubris.  He is said  to have had a death wish but wanting to die is a very different thing from being compelled to look over the edge. Krakauer brings McCandless's uncompromising pilgrimage out of the shadows, and the peril, adversity , and renunciation sought by this enigmatic young man are illuminated with a rare understanding--and not an ounce of sentimentality. Mesmerizing, heartbreaking, Into the Wild is a tour de force. The power and luminosity of Jon Krakauer's stoytelling blaze through every page.
Travels in Alaska
By: John Muir
“Most people who travel look only at what they are directed to look at. Great is the power of the guidebook maker, however ignorant.”
The Island Within
By: Richard Nelson
Here is Nelson's luminously wise account of his exploration of an unnamed island in the Pacific Northwest. This book revises our own relationship with nature, allowing us to observe it and also to participate in it with reverence and a sense of wonder.
Passage to Juneau: A Sea and Its Meanings
By: Jonathan Raban
With the same rigorous observation (natural and social), invigorating stylishness, and encyclopedic learning that he brought to his National Book Award-winning Bad Land, Jonathan Raban conducts readers along the Inside Passage from Seattle to Juneau. The physical distance is 1,000 miles of difficult-and often treacherous-water, which Raban navigates solo in a 35-foot sailboat.But Passage to Juneau also traverses a gulf of centuries and cultures: the immeasurable divide between the Northwest's Indians and its first European explorers-- between its embattled fishermen and loggers and its pampered new class. Along the way, Raban offers captivating discourses on art, philosophy, and navigation and an unsparing narrative of personal loss.
Murder at Five Finger Light: A Jessie Arnold Mystery
By: Sue Henry
The Jessie Arnold mysteries offer “real thrills set against the wild beauty of Alaska” (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)—and this time, Jessie unscrambles a deadly puzzle along the Alaskan Inside Passage… Two of Jessie’s friends are throwing a party at their new digs—an old lighthouse on the Alaskan Inside Passage. Not a party in the typical sense, but one where guests earn their keep by scraping, painting, and generally restoring Five Finger Light, named after the long, low islands around it. So Jessie decides to leave her partner-in-crime, Alex, alone for a few days and lend a hand. With the company of old friends and a view to die for, Jessie won’t soon forget this weekend—especially when she stumbles across a dead body. Looks like an accident. But even as a frantic Alex learns that someone’s cut the phone lines and wrecked the radio, Jessie realizes there’s a killer loose on the island. Worse yet, the killing spree might not be over—even though the party certainly is....
Alaska: A Novel
By: James A. Michener
In this sweeping epic of the northernmost American frontier, James A. Michener guides us through Alaska’s fierce terrain and history, from the long-forgotten past to the bustling present. As his characters struggle for survival, Michener weaves together the exciting high points of Alaska’s story: its brutal origins; the American acquisition; the gold rush; the tremendous growth and exploitation of the salmon industry; the arduous construction of the Alcan Highway, undertaken to defend the territory during World War II. A spellbinding portrait of a human community fighting to establish its place in the world, Alaska traces a bold and majestic saga of the enduring spirit of a land and its people.   Praise for Alaska   “Few will escape the allure of the land and people [Michener] describes. . . . Alaska takes the reader on a journey through one of the bleakest, richest, most foreboding, and highly inviting territories in our Republic, if not the world. . . . The characters that Michener creates are bigger than life.”—Los Angeles Times Book Review   “Always the master of exhaustive historical research, Michener tracks the settling of Alaska [in] vividly detailed scenes and well-developed characters.”—Boston Herald   “Michener is still, sentence for sentence, writing’s fastest attention grabber.”—The New York Times
The Reader's Companion to Alaska
By: Alan Ryan
The Alaskan frontier is revealed at its most inspiring and unforgiving, through the eyes of its awestruck visitors. An enraptured John Muir first glimpses Glacier Bay; Jon Krakauer marvels at the sight of a grizzly’s footprints in the snow; Erma Bombeck comments on the “cruise from hell,” and more. Map.
Alaska: Tales of Adventure from the Last Frontier
By: Spike (editor) Walker
For thousands of years Alaska has called to us. The hardy souls who first answered that call endured bitter temperatures, maddening isolation, and often harrowing adventures for the privilege of living there, and many lost their lives in the process. From the earliest human explorers to Russian fur trappers, from Klondike gold seekers to today's miners and oilmen, from Alaska's native people to the millions of tourists who visit the state every year, people have come to Alaska to marvel at its beauty, rejoice in its riches, and measure themselves against its challenges. The wonder of Alaska, as well as its terrifying dangers, come to life in this anthology, featuring true adventures described by some of the best writers in the world, each hand picked by bestselling writer and Alaska aficionado Spike Walker. Alaska: Tales of Adventure from the Last Frontier will open your eyes and stir your soul as it celebrates the untamed beauty of Alaska.Inside you will find unmatched tales of adventure by the following authors:Spike WalkerJack LondonLarry KaniutRoger A. CarasLew FreedmanDana StabenowGary PaulsenJean AspenAnn Mariah CookJohn MuirWashington IrvingAnd many more...
Guide to the Birds of Alaska, 6th edition
By: Robert H. Armstrong
GUIDE TO THE BIRDS OF ALASKA has been a must-have for Alaska birders for more than thirty years. In the sixth edition, Robert Armstrong provides hundreds of new photographs. Every bird is now illustrated including the casuals and accidentals. This comprehensive guide provides the most current knowledge about the birds in Alaska.
Travellers' Wildlife Guides Alaska
By: Dennis Paulson, Dr Les Beletsky
Alaska has both vast wilderness tracts and a modern transportation system, making eco-travelling in the state easy as well as exciting. From the broad expanses of tundra in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the rich seabird colonies of the Bering Sea to the glacier-bedecked snowy mountains and magnificent forests of the Southeast, wildlife viewing opportunities abound. In this book is all the Information you will need to find, identify, and learn about Alaska's magnificent animal life.
Alaska Birds: A Folding Pocket Guide to Familiar Species (A Pocket Naturalist Guide)
By: James Kavanagh, Waterford Press
The Last Frontier State is the permanent or migratory home of 493 species of birds, including the state bird, the willow ptarmigan and the bird with the longest migration route in the world, the artic tern, who winters in the Antarctic (2,200 miles each way). This beautifully illustrated guide highlights over 140 familiar and unique species and includes an ecoregion map featuring prominent bird-viewing areas. Laminated for durability, this lightweight, pocket-sized folding guide is an excellent source of portable information and ideal for field use by visitors and residents alike. Made in the USA.
Alaska Wildlife: A Folding Pocket Guide to Familiar Species (A Pocket Naturalist Guide)
By: James Kavanagh, Waterford Press
The state marine mammal, the bowhead whale, is one of thousands of species of animals inhabiting the diverse ecosystems found throughout the Last Frontier State. This beautifully illustrated guide highlights over 140 familiar and unique species of mammals, birds, amphibians, fishes and seashore creatures and includes an ecoregion map featuring prominent wildlife-viewing areas. Laminated for durability, this lightweight, pocket-sized folding guide is an excellent source of portable information and ideal for field use by visitors and residents alike. Made in the USA.
24x36 World Wall Map by Smithsonian Journeys - Tan Oceans Special Edition (24x36 Paper Folded)
By: Smithsonian Journeys
Swiftmaps is proud to partner with Smithsonian Journeys to bring a new and exciting World Map series to the American marketplace. Featuring eye-catching bold and vivid colors complemented with rich vintage tan ocean tones that will make this the perfect reference piece --- sure to stand-out and highlight any home or business wall. The precise detail and digital accuracy shows color-matching visual shaded 3D relief and other physical features without sacrificing the maps readability. Now printed on high-quality 80 lb. paper and professionally FOLDED in a compact 8x10 inch size. FEATURES: 1) Africa centered allowing viewers to see continents complete and intact 2) Clearly labeled country and city names for easy location 3) Latitude and longitude indications 4) Shaded relief of ocean and land topography 4) Desirable Miller Projection. The Smithsonian Journeys wall map series serve not only as a handy reference piece, but as an eye-catching accent for any room or office. NOTE: each map is professionally folded to 8x10 inches and when unfolded the map is 24 inches high and 36 inches wide.
Travel Insurance

For the convenience of our travelers, Smithsonian Journeys includes an on-tour Provided Insurance Plan through Travel Guard with the price of your tour. This travel insurance plan includes On-tour medical evacuation insurance (up to $100,000), emergency medical expense coverage (up to $25,000), dental expense coverage (up to $500), travel medical assistance and worldwide travel assistance (U.S. Residents only, not including U.S. Territories). Travel must be more than 100 miles from the Insured’s primary residence.

In addition, you may want to consider purchasing travel insurance to protect your investment from unforeseen events, such as missed flight connections, lost luggage, and cancelled plans. There are many plans you can consider. For your convenience, you may visit www.TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys or call Travel Guard at 1.800.208.6142 to learn more.

Terms and conditions

Mission

Smithsonian Journeys engage travelers in the mission of the Smithsonian – “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, 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 a Smithsonian Journeys expert, tour director, and local guides throughout the tour
  • All gratuities for the expert, tour director, on-tour guides and drivers
  • On-tour medical evacuation insurance (up to
    $100,000), emergency medical expense coverage (up to $25,000), dental expense coverage (up to $500), travel medical assistance and worldwide travel assistance (U.S. residents only, not including U.S. Territories. Destination must be at least 100 miles from the insured’s primary residence.)
  • Pre-tour information, including a reading list
  • Luggage handling for one bag per person
  • All on-tour transportation, unless otherwise noted
  • All accommodations for the duration of the tour
  • Meals, as noted in the itinerary (B-breakfast; L-lunch; D-dinner)
  • All sightseeing and visits as noted in each  itinerary
  • Airfare to/from your departure city, transfers, airline taxes, surcharges, and fees, which are subject to change until final payment is made (for air inclusive guests only)

What Is Not Included in the Tour Cost

  • Passport and all visa fees and photos; immunization(s); and any other travel documentation fees as required
  • Optional travel insurance, including cancellation/delay/lost baggage insurance (learn more at TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys)
  • Personal items, unless otherwise stated, such as wine, liquors,  a-la-carte orders
  • Expenses incurred by our tour operator in making any individual travel arrangements in conjunction with the tour
  • Airline baggage and other airline fees and associated taxes, unless noted in Tour description
  • Transfers when purchasing “land only” package
  • Communication Charges (e.g.: phone, internet,   etc.)
  • Airfare from your hometown to your departure city (for air inclusive guests only)
  • Other items noted as optional or not specifically mentioned as included

Registration

To submit a reservation request, please use our secure online system at SmithsonianJourneys.org or contact a Cultural Travel Specialist, at 1-855-330-1542 Mon-Fri 9 am - 7 pm; Sat 9 am – 4 pm (Eastern Time). Submitting an online request does not guarantee space on a tour. You will be notified by a Reservation Specialist of your status once your request has been received and processed. Please note: No new registrations can be accepted within 30 days of most tours. Some tours are more restrictive; please see individual tour pages for these exceptions.

To complete your reservation, the following information is required.

Upon reservation, we will need to obtain from you the following, in accordance with the Transportation

Security Administration’s (TSA) Secure Flight program (for details, please visit www.tsa.gov), as well as for our travel partners: for international tours your full name as it appears on your passport, date of birth, and gender; for domestic tours – your full name as it appears on the accepted form of government-issued photo identification that you plan to use, date of birth, and gender.

For tours that include round-trip airfare: If you provide incorrect information to the ticketing agent, or if you use a different passport/identification than originally cited, you will be responsible for charges associated with the ticket’s reissue.

Payments

A deposit of $500 per person for a land tour reservation, unless otherwise noted, is required to reserve a space on a tour.  All payments may be made by credit card or check to the tour operator.  Deposits are applied to the final payment of the tour price.

Final payment is due 95 days prior to departure unless otherwise noted.  Balance is due upon invoicing.  If full payment is not received by the final payment due date, your place cannot be guaranteed on the tour.

Late Registration

Any registration received within 95 days of departure is considered “on-request” and is subject to specific confirmation. Some tours are more restrictive. Smithsonian Journeys will process the credit card deposit of $500 per person, then payment in full must be made immediately by credit card, or by check 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 pay- ments made will be refunded in full. Late registration confirmation procedures apply to any participant who is transferred from the wait list to the tour within the designated late registration period for that tour.

For additional information, please contact a Cultural Travel Specialist, at 1-855-330-1542 Mon-Fri 9 am - 7 pm; Sat 9 am – 4 pm (Eastern Time), or SJReservations@si.edu and SmithsonianJourneys.org.

A Note about Costs

All prices are based on two persons sharing a room/cabin. All prices are quoted in U.S. dollars. Tour costs are based upon current airfares, tariffs, currency values, and on the basis of a presumptive 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.

Wait List

If the tour of your choice is fully subscribed, you may choose to be placed on a waitlist by contacting a Reservation Specialist at 1-855-330-1542 Mon-Fri 9 am - 7 pm; Sat 9 am – 4 pm (Eastern Time), or SJReservations@si.edu. Individuals on the wait list will be contacted if space becomes available and can inquire about tour status by contacting a Reservation Specialist. If you choose to withdraw from a wait list, please notify us.  

Cancellation and Refund Policy

Following enrollment, a participant’s withdrawal from the tour for any reason, including, but not limited to, illness, injury, family engagements, work-related issues, or geopolitical concerns, etc., will be deemed a cancellation. Please understand that there will be no exceptions to our cancellation policy.

Per person cancellation fees are based on the date of written notice to Smithsonian Journeys. Tour operator will refund on the following basis:

  • Cancellations within 7 days of booking:  Full Refund (unless it is within final payment date, 95 days before departure)
  • Cancellations after 7 days of booking:  Full Deposit Retained
  • Cancellations made within final payment date, 95 days before departure:  No Refund
  • Cancellation by Smithsonian Journeys:  Full Refund or Credit

Please understand that there will be no exceptions to our cancellation policy.

Smithsonian Journeys recommends that all participants purchase travel insurance.

If your flights are delayed or if for any reason you are prevented from joining the tour on the scheduled departure date and time, or if you choose to leave the tour early, we cannot provide a full or partial refund or credit toward a future tour.

Smithsonian Journeys reserves the right to cancel any tour due to low enrollment and when a U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory is issued for the destination.

Changes to Your Reservation 

We will not charge a fee for any changes made to your reservation outside of 95 days before departure. From 94 to 30 days before departure, if you make any changes to your reservation, a $100 per person administrative fee will apply, in addition to any fees or penalties imposed by airlines, hotels, or other third parties. Changes are subject to availability and cannot be guaranteed. If your reservation changes from double occupancy to single occupancy for any reason or at any time, you will be charged the single supplement.

Please note that no changes to your departure date and no name changes are allowed within 95 days of departure. No changes to your reservation can be made within 30 days of departure.

Air Service

For tours that include round-trip international airfare, rates are based on an economy class from designated departure cities as shown. Airfares from other cities are available upon request.  Airline upgrades at additional cost may be available on request for the international portion of your flight.  If an air schedule requires an overnight stay in a gateway city, the cost of the overnight will be at your expense.  For tours that include round-trip international airfare, the tour operator will be happy to help with arrangements. Please note that seat assignments for your international flights are usually done at airport check-in. The tour operator is unable to guarantee any seat assignments.

When planning our tours that include international round-trip airfare, the tour operator contracts with those airlines that they feel provide the level of service, routings, and value necessary for your entire trip. While another airline may offer a more direct connection, it may be at a price unavailable at the lower group rates that enable us to offer you the best possible travel value. Please note that frequent flyer mileage credits are issued at the discretion of the airline(s) and may not be available for the flights on your tour. If you prefer to make your own airline reservations, “land only” pricing is available on most of our tours.

Air Service/Tickets Purchased Independently of the Tour

International and domestic air schedules are subject to change at any time. Tours can also be canceled due to low enrollments. If you make your own airline reservations, we recommend that you do not purchase nonrefundable tickets or tickets with high penalties for changes. 

We urge you to check airline cancellation penalties before purchasing airline tickets since international departure times and flights can change. Neither the 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.

Travel Insurance- Cancellation/Delay/Lost Baggage

Smithsonian Journeys recommends that all participants purchase travel insurance.  Learn more at TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys.

Travel Documents and Information

Participants are responsible for obtaining any documents required for their participation in the tour such as a valid passport, all visas, vaccination certificates, and any other documents. If your tour requires a visa or other entry documents, we will send you the appropriate information after you make a reservation.  Failure to obtain documents does not negate the terms and conditions, and any extra costs incurred for rerouting or delay due to travel without the necessary documents will be the participant’s responsibility. If you are not a U.S. citizen, please contact your embassy or consulate to ensure you obtain the proper documentation.

For all international departures, a passport valid for at least six months after the completion of your tour, and with at least six blank visa pages, is required for U.S. citizens on all tours. The U.S. Department of State will no longer add visa pages into U.S. passports beginning January 1, 2016. The decision to discontinue this service was made to enhance the security of the passport and to abide by international passport standards. Beginning January 1, 2016, applicants in need of additional pages in their valid passports must obtain a new passport. For more information on how or where to apply, please visit Travel.State.Gov/ApplyEarly or call the National Passport Information Center toll-free at 1-877-487-2778/1-888-874-7793 (TTY/TTD).

For more information about traveling to destinations abroad, we recommend the “Learn about your destination” section on the U.S. Department of State travel website www.travel.state.gov.  For medical information, we recommend contacting the Centers for Disease Control at (877) FYI-TRIP or www.cdc.gov/travel

Physical and Medical Considerations

To enjoy the travel experience, participants should be in good physical and mental health. All tours require an element of walking (up to two miles per day over uneven terrain) and of climbing stairs, often without handrails. Participants should have sufficient stamina to keep pace with an active group of participants on long days of touring. If you have any questions about your ability to participate in a tour, please call us at 855-330-1542. Any physical condition, diet, or special request for accommodation must be identified in writing on the Personal Information Form when the reservation is made. Some tours have additional information regarding physical and medical considerations, which may be discussed with the Reservation Specialist at 855-330-1542.

Please be aware that health care standards, facilities, and services abroad may be different or even inadequate for treating certain health conditions.  It is essential that you inform us in writing (on the provided Personal Information Form) of any existing condition for which you may require medical attention or accommodation during the tour. We will make reasonable efforts to accommodate the needs of our participants; however, the services of a personal nature cannot be expected or guaranteed. By forwarding the deposit for pre-registration or registration in full, you affirm that you do not have any physical or other limitations that would create a hazard for yourself or other participants or would require adjustments to the tour for other participants.

Itinerary or Tour Modifications

Smithsonian Journeys strives to improve tour itineraries and their features. If improvements can be made, or unforeseen circumstances beyond our control make changes necessary, at our sole discretion, we reserve the right to vary itineraries and to substitute elements of the tour.  These elements include, but are not limited to:  hotels, staff, speakers, experts, and services for any stated in the itinerary.

Every effort will be made to carry out the tour as planned but alterations may still occur after the final itinerary has been sent to you. Please note that weather and other conditions may force changes to the advertised sailing schedule on cruise tours. The ship’s captain has the authority to change the ship’s schedule.

Hotel Accommodations

Smithsonian Journeys chooses hotels based on a combination of location, service, atmosphere, and price. On adventure tours and tours in out-of-the-way places, best-available hotels are used. Tour prices are based on two persons sharing a room with a bathroom.

Singles and Roommates

Hotel rooms are always reserved for single participants, 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 most likely apply for a single room. If you are traveling alone and wish to share a room/cabin, 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/cabin. When a roommate cannot be found, a single supplement will be charged. Please note that the single rooms in many foreign hotels may be smaller than those to which you are accustomed.

Children

All tours except family journeys are designed for adults. Some may be suitable for children 16 and older. Regardless of age, children must pay full price unless otherwise noted, moreover, a parent or guardian must accompany those under 18.

Special Travel Arrangements

Participants may wish to extend their stay in the group hotel after the tour. Our tour operators will work with you on these arrangements, dependent upon space availability. For participants using air, only post-tour extensions are offered. Tour operator may be able to assist land only participants with pre-tour arrangements.

Should you decide not to participate in certain parts of the tour or use certain goods included in the tour, no refunds will be made for those unused parts of the tour or goods.

Dispute Resolution

If a complaint arises, the participant should first inform a member of the on-tour staff, so that the staff can attempt to rectify the matter. If the issue remains unresolved, the individual should submit the complaint in writing to Smithsonian Journeys within 30 days of the completion of the tour.

The Smithsonian Journeys staff will make a good faith effort to resolve any dispute.  In the event that the parties are unable to resolve the dispute, the parties may agree to use a method of non-binding Alternative Dispute Resolution to resolve the dispute.  In the event that the parties are unable to agree on the method of Alternative Dispute Resolution to use, or in the event that either party is dissatisfied with the outcome of that alternative dispute resolution method, such efforts shall not constitute a waiver by either party of the right to file suit.

Photography and Video

Participants on tour may be photographed or recorded (audio and video) for the educational and promotional purposes of the Smithsonian Institution and Smithsonian authorized third parties. This content may be used in marketing publications and posted on websites to promote Smithsonian Journeys without compensation to the participant. Participants who prefer that their name, voice and/or image not be used must notify us in writing prior to the beginning of the tour.

Smoking Policy

 For the comfort of all participants, we ask that there be no smoking during all group activities, including excursions and meals. On certain cruises, there is no smoking aboard the ship. Your pre-tour bulletins will provide further information.

READ CAREFULLY: RESPONSIBILITY STATEMENT AND  LIABILITY DISCLAIMER

Smithsonian Journeys tours are organized and administered by professional tour operators hired as independent contractors. The use of designated tour operators allows the Smithsonian to offer participants 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 its designated 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 (including, but not limited for inappropriate, or offensive behavior) 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.

Dates, schedules, tour details, and costs, although provided in good faith based on information available at the time of publication on the website, in 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 materials, and recognizes and accepts any risk associated with the tour and the conditions, including the refund policy, set forth in the tour materials. 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 including, but not limited to, weather, flooding, and high/low water levels, acts or omissions of foreign governments, terrorism, war or insurrection, theft, illness, bites from or attacks by animals, insects, or pests, 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.