Travel from vibrant Cairo and the Great Pyramids to Abu Simbel and Aswan, plus take a classic voyage along the Lower Nile from Aswan to Luxor.

Starting at: $5,297 Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Sunset on the pyramids  Traditional felucca on the Nile  Philae Temple at Aswan. Credit: Egyptian Tourism  Wall decoration in tomb in the Valley of the Queens. Credit: Egyptian Tourism  Luxor Temple illuminated at night  The Khan el-Khalili bazaar. Credit: Egyptian Tourism  The Great Temple of Ramses II at Abu Simbel. Credit: Tony Ford  The Great Pyramids of Giza  Evening at the Temple of Luxor  The deity of Horus at the Temple of Edfu

Ancient Egypt and the Nile

Featuring Abu Simbel

14 days from $5,297

Travel from vibrant Cairo and the Great Pyramids to Abu Simbel and Aswan, plus take a classic voyage along the Lower Nile from Aswan to Luxor.

or Call 855-330-1542

Accommodations

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

Four Seasons at the First Residence

Cairo, Egypt

Number of nights: 5

Mövenpick Resort Aswan

Aswan, Egypt

Number of nights: 2

Steigenberger Nile Palace

Luxor, Egypt

The Steigenberger Nile Palace sits on the banks of the Nile, in the heart of the city’s historic center and a short drive from the Temple of Luxor.  The 285-room hotel features four restaurants and three bars; fitness center; spa with sauna, steam bath, and massage treatments; heated outdoor pool; rooftop tennis court; on-site doctor; Internet access; bookstore; gift shops; hairdresser; and laundry and dry cleaning services.  Air-conditioned guest rooms each have private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, mini-bar, TV, and phone.

Number of nights: 3

Activity Level

Level 2: Moderate

Expectations: Long touring days with many full-day motor coach excursions. Standing and walking for long periods of time during city tours, museum visits, and/or outdoor activities. Walking over sometimes difficult terrain (e.g. cobblestones, city hills, stairs without handrails, the absence of elevators, climbing aboard trains with high steps); some longer walks to get to city centers where coaches are prohibited. Possible exposure to higher altitudes. River cruises may offer a choice of excursions with varying activity expectations.  (Typical travel opportunities: Most Cultural Stays, River Cruises, some Land Journeys, U.S. Train Tours)  


Appropriate for: Travelers who are physically fit and comfortable with long days of touring (both walking tours and coach time). 
 

Tour Extension

Jordan: Petra and Amman

Discover the fabled “rose-red city, half as old as time” on this exciting exploration, plus ancient Jerash and the capital of Amman.

The extension includes:

  • Air transportation Cairo/Amman
  • 4 nights accommodations: 2 nights in Petra at Mövenpick Resort Petra (Superior First Class); 2 nights in Amman at Grand Hyatt Amman (Deluxe)
  • 9 meals: 4 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners
  • Extensive included sightseeing: Madaba (City of Mosaics); Mt. Nebo pilgrimage site; full day at Petra; Amman’s Roman theatre and Citadel; Roman ruins of Jerash
  • Services of a professional Tour Director
  • Private motorcoach transportation
  • Gratuities for Tour Director, dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers

Accommodations

Mövenpick Resort Petra

Petra, Jordan

The 183-room Mövenpick Resort Petra is located at the entrance to Petra and features a mixture of Western, contemporary, and traditional architecture and artwork.  On-site amenities include two restaurants, bar, and lounge; indoor and outdoor pools; tennis courts; fitness center; spa with steam bath; complimentary Wi-Fi internet access (in public areas); gift shop; and laundry and dry cleaning services (for a fee).  Each air-conditioned guest room has a private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, minibar, tea- and coffee-making facilities, TV, and phone.

Number of nights: 2

Grand Hyatt Amman

Amman, Jordan

Located in the center of the historic city of Amman, the luxurious Grand Hyatt Amman offers a host of amenities to help guests enjoy their stay here.  Along with its sophisticated and stylish décor, the Grand Hyatt Amman boasts two upscale restaurants, outdoor cocktail lounge, and terrace bar; 55-foot indoor/outdoor swimming pool; hairdresser and beauty salon; full spa; shopping gallery; fitness center with workout equipment, sauna, steam room, and whirlpools; laundry and dry cleaning services (for a fee); and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access.  Each air-conditioned guest room features a private marble bath with hairdryer, tea- and coffee-making facilities, minibar, in-room safe, TV, and phone.

Number of nights: 2

Ship

Mövenpick M/S Hamees

The Mövenpick MS Hamees has a comfortable and contemporary design and is among the largest and best-appointed crafts on the river Nile. Enjoy a truly memorable journey from Luxor to Aswan and experience some of Egypt’s most scenic and historical sights with top facilities and attentive staff.

Travel in style and enjoy lounging at the swimming pool, reading or playing games in the reading and playroom, or enjoying the sun on the sun deck, offering a recreational area as well as a selection of eating and drinking options.

Mövenpick M/S Hamees

The Mövenpick MS Hamees has a comfortable and contemporary design and is among the largest and best-appointed crafts on the river Nile. Enjoy a truly memorable journey from Luxor to Aswan and experience some of Egypt’s most scenic and historical sights with top facilities and attentive staff.

Travel in style and enjoy lounging at the swimming pool, reading or playing games in the reading and playroom, or enjoying the sun on the sun deck, offering a recreational area as well as a selection of eating and drinking options.

Reading List
DK Eyewitness Travel Guide Egypt
By: DK Travel
DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Egypt is your in-depth guide to the very best of the oldest tourist destination on Earth.Take day trips and excursions to see ancient pyramids, visit the monuments of the Nile Valley and the souks, mosques and madrassas of Islamic Cairo, experience local festivals and markets, and don't miss out on the delicious street food.Discover DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Egypt.   • Detailed itineraries and "don't-miss" destination highlights at a glance.    • Illustrated cutaway 3-D drawings of important sights.    • Floor plans and guided visitor information for major museums.    • Guided walking tours, local drink and dining specialties to try, things to do, and places to eat, drink, and shop by area.    • Area maps marked with sights.    • Detailed city map of Cairo includes street finder indexes for easy navigation.    • Insights into history and culture to help you understand the stories behind the sights.    • Hotel and restaurant listings highlight DK Choice special recommendations. With hundreds of full-color photographs, hand-drawn illustrations, and custom maps that illuminate every page, DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Egypt truly shows you this country as no one else can.Recommended: For a pocket guidebook to Cairo, check out DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Top 10 Cairo & the Nile, which is packed with dozens of top 10 lists, ensuring you make the most of your time in the city.Series Overview: For more than two decades, DK Eyewitness Travel Guides have helped travelers experience the world through the history, art, architecture, and culture of their destinations. Expert travel writers and researchers provide independent editorial advice, recommendations, and reviews. With guidebooks to hundreds of places around the globe available in print and digital formats, DK Eyewitness Travel Guides show travelers how they can discover more.DK Eyewitness Travel Guides: the most maps, photographs, and illustrations of any guide.
Egypt - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture
By: Jailan Zayan, Culture Smart!
This revised and updated edition of Culture Smart! Egypt reveals a country in the throes of change. The largely secular revolution that started in Cairo’s Tahrir Square in January 2011 became the flagship of the Arab Spring revolts. The uprising resulted in a political effervescence, with new parties, movements, and groups all jostling for space in the new political landscape. But the situation remains fluid. Free elections produced a parliament dominated by Islamists and the country’s political and social identity has yet to be defined. Egypt’s heady spirit of change is both rooted in and challenged by traditional and deeply conservative values. The timeless Egypt that has inspired conquerors, academics, and artists for millennia is home to 82 million people who call it Omm Eddunia, Mother of the World. It is the people who are Egypt’s true wealth. They are friendly, cheerful, proud, and renowned for their sense of humor. In bringing the narrative up to date, this new edition of Culture Smart! Egypt explores the codes and paradoxes of Egyptian life. It outlines the country’s history and shows the forces that have shaped its sensibility. It explains values and attitudes, and guides you through local customs and traditions. It opens a window into the private lives of Egyptians, how they behave at home, and how they interact with foreign visitors. It offers practical advice, from how to make friends to avoiding faux pas. It sets out to make your encounter as rich as possible by taking you beyond the clichés to the real people.
Egypt and the Egyptians by Brewer, Douglas J., Teeter, Emily (2007) Paperback
By: Cambridge University Press
Will be shipped from US. Used books may not include companion materials, may have some shelf wear, may contain highlighting/notes, may not include CDs or access codes. 100% money back guarantee.
The Nile: Travelling Downriver Through Egypt's Past and Present (Vintage Departures)
By: Toby Wilkinson
The Nile, like all of Egypt, is both timeless and ever-changing. In these pages, renowned Egyptologist Toby Wilkinson takes us on a journey downriver that is both history and travelogue. We begin at the First Nile Cataract, close to the modern city of Aswan. From there, Wilkinson guides us through the illustrious nation birthed by this great river.         We see Thebes, with its Valley of the Kings, Valley of the Queens, and Luxor Temple. We visit the fertile Fayum, the Great Pyramid of Giza, and finally, the pulsing city of Cairo, where the Arab Spring erupted on the bridges over the water. Along the way, Wilkinson introduces us to the gods, pharaohs, and emperors who joined their fate to the Nile and gained immortality; and to the adventurers, archaeologists, and historians who have all fallen under its spell. Peerlessly erudite, vividly told, The Nile brings the course of this enduring river into stunning view.
Egyptian Mythology: A Guide to the Gods, Goddesses, and Traditions of Ancient Egypt
By: Geraldine Pinch
From stories of resurrected mummies and thousand-year-old curses to powerful pharaohs and the coveted treasures of the Great Pyramids, ancient Egypt has had an unfaltering grip on the modern imagination. Now, in Egyptian Mythology, Geraldine Pinch offers a comprehensive introduction that untangles the mystery of Egyptian Myth.Spanning Ancient Egyptian culture--from 3200 BC to AD 400--Pinch opens a door to this hidden world and casts light on its often misunderstood belief system. She discusses the nature of myths and the history of Egypt, from the predynastic to the postpharaonic period. She explains how Egyptian culture developed around the flooding of the Nile, or the "inundation," a phenomenon on which the whole welfare of the country depended, and how aspects of the inundation were personified as deities. She explains that the usually cloudless skies made for a preoccupation with the stars and planets. Indeed, much early Egyptian mythology may have developed to explain the movement of these celestial bodies. She provides a timeline covering the seven stages in the mythical history of Egypt and outlining the major events of each stage, such as the reign of the sun God. A substantial A to Z section covers the principal themes and concepts of Egyptian mythology as well as the most important deities, demons, and other characters. For anyone who wants to know about Anubis, the terrifying canine god who presided over the mummification of bodies and guarded burials, or Hathor, the golden goddess who helped women to give birth and the dead to be reborn, or an explanation of the nun, the primeval ocean from which all life came, Egyptian Mythology is the place to look.
The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt
By: Toby Wilkinson
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “Magisterial . . . [A] rich portrait of ancient Egypt’s complex evolution over the course of three millenniums.”—Los Angeles Times   NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post • Publishers Weekly   In this landmark volume, one of the world’s most renowned Egyptologists tells the epic story of this great civilization, from its birth as the first nation-state to its absorption into the Roman Empire. Drawing upon forty years of archaeological research, award-winning scholar Toby Wilkinson takes us inside a tribal society with a pre-monetary economy and decadent, divine kings who ruled with all-too-recognizable human emotions. Here are the legendary leaders: Akhenaten, the “heretic king,” who with his wife Nefertiti brought about a revolution with a bold new religion; Tutankhamun, whose dazzling tomb would remain hidden for three millennia; and eleven pharaohs called Ramesses, the last of whom presided over the militarism, lawlessness, and corruption that caused a political and societal decline. Filled with new information and unique interpretations, The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt is a riveting and revelatory work of wild drama, bold spectacle, unforgettable characters, and sweeping history.   “With a literary flair and a sense for a story well told, Mr. Wilkinson offers a highly readable, factually up-to-date account.”—The Wall Street Journal   “[Wilkinson] writes with considerable verve. . . . [He] is nimble at conveying the sumptuous pageantry and cultural sophistication of pharaonic Egypt.”—The New York Times
Searching for the Lost Tombs of Egypt
By: Chris Naunton
An exciting archeological exploration of ancient Egypt that examines the potential for discovering the remaining “lost” tombs of the pharaohs. Tombs, mummies, and funerary items make up a significant portion of the archeological remains that survive ancient Egypt and have come to define the popular perception of Egyptology. Despite the many sensational discoveries in the last century, such as the tomb of Tutankhamun, the tombs of some of the most famous individuals in the ancient world―Imhotep, Nefertiti, Alexander the Great, and Cleopatra―have not yet been found.Archeologist Chris Naunton examines the famous pharaohs, their achievements, the bling they might have been buried with, the circumstances in which they were buried, and why those circumstances may have prevented archeologists from finding these tombs.In Searching for the Lost Tombs of Egypt, Naunton sheds light on the lives of these ancient Egyptians and makes an exciting case for the potential discovery of these lost tombs.  110 Illustrations
Writings from Ancient Egypt
By: Penguin Books
A collection of rare texts from Ancient Egypt, newly translated for this essential edition   The fascination that Ancient Egypt holds in our minds has many sources, but at the heart of it lie hieroglyphics. This extraordinary writing system was for many years seen as the ultimate puzzle, before finally being cracked in the 1820s. Preserved carved in stone or inked on papyri, hieroglyphic writings give a unique insight into an awe-inspiring but also deeply mysterious culture.   For this collection, Toby Wilkinson has translated a rich selection of pieces, ranging from accounts of battles to hymns to stories to royal proclamations. Entertaining and revelatory, this is an essential resource for studying one of humankind’s great civilizations.   For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Religion and Ritual in Ancient Egypt
By: Emily Teeter
This book is a vivid reconstruction of the practical aspects of ancient Egyptian religion. Through an examination of artifacts and inscriptions, the text explores a variety of issues. For example, who was allowed to enter the temples, and what rituals were preformed therein? Who served as priests? How were they organized and trained, and what did they do? What was the Egyptians' attitude toward death, and what happened at funerals? How did the living and dead communicate? In what ways could people communicate with the gods? What impact did religion have on the economy and longevity of the society? This book demystifies Egyptian religion, exploring what it meant to the people and society. The text is richly illustrated with images of rituals and religious objects.
Mirage: Napoleon's Scientists and the Unveiling of Egypt
By: Nina Burleigh
Two hundred years ago, only the most reckless or eccentric Europeans had dared to traverse the unmapped territory of the modern-day Middle East. But in 1798, more than 150 French engineers, artists, doctors, and scientists—even a poet and a musicologist—traveled to the Nile Valley under the command of Napoleon Bonaparte and his invading army. Hazarding hunger, hardship, uncertainty, and disease, Napoleon's "savants" risked their lives in pursuit of discovery. The first large-scale interaction between Europeans and Muslims in the modern era, the audacious expedition was both a triumph and a disaster, resulting in finds of immense historical and scientific importance (including the ruins of the colossal pyramids and the Rosetta Stone) and in countless tragic deaths through plague, privation, madness, or violence. Acclaimed journalist Nina Burleigh brings readers back to the landmark adventure at the dawn of the modern era that ultimately revealed the deepest secrets of ancient Egypt to a curious continent.
Cairo: The City Victorious
By: Max Rodenbeck
From a noted journalist who has spent much of his life in Cairo, here is a dazzling cultural excavation of that most ancient, colorful, and multifaceted of cities. The seat of pharaohs and sultans, the prize of conquerors from Alexander to Saladin to Napoleon, Cairo--nicknamed "the Victorious"--has never ceased reinventing herself.With intimate knowlege, humor, and affection, Rodenbeck takes us on an insider's tour of the magnificent city: its backstreets and bazaars, its belly-dance theaters and hashish dens, its crowded slums and fashionable salons, its incomparably rich past and its challenging future. Cairo: The City Victorious is a unique blend of travel and history, an epic, resonant work that brings one of the world's great metropolises to life in all its dusty, chaotic beauty.
How to Read Egyptian Hieroglyphs: A Step-by-Step Guide to Teach Yourself, Revised Edition
By: Mark Collier, Bill Manley
Hieroglyphs are pictures used as signs in writing. When standing before an ancient tablet in a museum or visiting an Egyptian monument, we marvel at this unique writing and puzzle over its meaning. Now, with the help of Egyptologists Mark Collier and Bill Manley, museum-goers, tourists, and armchair travelers alike can gain a basic knowledge of the language and culture of ancient Egypt. Collier and Manley's novel approach is informed by years of experience teaching Egyptian hieroglyphs to non-specialists. Using attractive drawings of actual inscriptions displayed in the British Museum, they concentrate on the kind of hieroglyphs readers might encounter in other collections, especially funerary writings and tomb scenes. Each chapter introduces a new aspect of hieroglyphic script or Middle Egyptian grammar and encourages acquisition of reading skills with practical exercises. The texts offer insights into the daily experiences of their ancient authors and touch on topics ranging from pharaonic administration to family life to the Egyptian way of death. With this book as a guide, one can enjoy a whole new experience in understanding Egyptian art and artifacts around the world.
Common Birds of Egypt
By: Bertel Bruun
More than 100 of Egypt's most common bird species are illustrated in color and described in both English and Arabic in this fully revised edition of a favorite book. An introduction provides notes on habitats, migration, conservation, and where to watch birds, and there is a complete checklist of the 430 birds of Egypt, with English, scientific, and Arabic names.
When Women Ruled the World: Six Queens of Egypt
By: Kara Cooney
This riveting narrative explores the lives of six remarkable female pharaohs, from Hatshepsut to Cleopatra--women who ruled with real power--and shines a piercing light on our own perceptions of women in power today.Female rulers are a rare phenomenon--but thousands of years ago in ancient Egypt, women reigned supreme. Regularly, repeatedly, and with impunity, queens like Hatshepsut, Nefertiti, and Cleopatra controlled the totalitarian state as power-brokers and rulers. But throughout human history, women in positions of power were more often used as political pawns in a male-dominated society. What was so special about ancient Egypt that provided women this kind of access to the highest political office? What was it about these women that allowed them to transcend patriarchal obstacles? What did Egypt gain from its liberal reliance on female leadership, and could today's world learn from its example? Celebrated Egyptologist Kara Cooney delivers a fascinating tale of female power, exploring the reasons why it has seldom been allowed through the ages, and why we should care.
Women Travelers in Egypt: From the Eighteenth to the Twenty-first Century
By: Brand: The American University in Cairo Press
Until late in the nineteenth century, few guidebooks acknowledged the presence of women as travelers―although women had been traveling around the world for centuries. Women’s accounts of their journeys, distinct from those of male travelers, began to appear more frequently in the early nineteenth century, and Egypt was a popular destination. Women had more time to watch and describe; they were more dependent on the Egyptian staff; they spent time both in the harems of Cairo and with the women they met along the Nile. Some of them, like Sarah Belzoni, Sophia Poole, and Ellen Chennells, spoke Arabic. Others wrote engagingly of their experiences as observers of an exotic culture, with special access to some places no man could ever go.From Eliza Fay’s description of arriving in Egypt in 1779 to Rosemary Mahoney’s daring trip down the Nile in a rowboat in 2006, this lively collection of writing by over forty women travelers includes Lady Evelyn Cobbold, Isabella Bird, Winifred Blackman, Norma Lorimer, Harriet Martineau, Florence Nightingale, Amelia Edwards, and Lucie Duff Gordon.
Out of Egypt: A Memoir
By: André Aciman
This richly colored memoir chronicles the exploits of a flamboyant Jewish family, from its bold arrival in cosmopolitan Alexandria to its defeated exodus three generations later. In elegant and witty prose, André Aciman introduces us to the marvelous eccentrics who shaped his life--Uncle Vili, the strutting daredevil, soldier, salesman, and spy; the two grandmothers, the Princess and the Saint, who gossip in six languages; Aunt Flora, the German refugee who warns that Jews lose everything "at least twice in their lives." And through it all, we come to know a boy who, even as he longs for a wider world, does not want to be led, forever, out of Egypt.
Death on the Nile: A Hercule Poirot Mystery (Hercule Poirot Mysteries)
By: Agatha Christie
The tranquillity of a cruise along the Nile was shattered by the discovery that Linnet Ridgeway had been shot through the head. She was young, stylish, and beautiful. A girl who had everything . . . until she lost her life. Hercule Poirot recalled an earlier outburst by a fellow passenger: "I'd like to put my dear little pistol against her head and just press the trigger." Yet in this exotic setting nothing is ever quite what it seems.
Crocodile on the Sandbank (An Amelia Peabody Murder Mystery)
By: peters-elizabeth
Amelia Peabody is Elizabeth Peters' most brilliant and best-loved creation, a thoroughly Victorian feminist who takes the stuffy world of archaeology by storm with her shocking men's pants and no-nonsense attitude! In this first adventure, our headstrong heroine decides to use her substantial inheritance to see the world. On her travels, she rescues a gentlewoman in distress - Evelyn Barton-Forbes - and the two become friends. The two companions continue to Egypt where they face mysteries, mummies and the redoubtable Radcliffe Emerson, an outspoken archaeologist, who doesn't need women to help him solve mysteries - at least that's what he thinks.
The Mamur Zapt and the Spoils of Egypt (Mamur Zapt, Book 6)
By: Michael Pearce
Winner of the CWA Last Laugh Award, an irresistible historical mystery in which the Mamur Zapt investigates the illegal trade of antiquities in the Cairo of the 1900s.Cairo, 1908. Captain Gareth Owen, the Mamur Zapt or head of Cairo’s Secret Police, turns his attention to the illegal trade of antiquities when Miss Skinner arrives. She’s a woman with the habit of asking awkward questions. But what is she doing looking for crocodiles? And mummified ones at that?Owen’s new brief is to see that Egypt’s priceless treasures stay in Egypt. But when Miss Skinner narrowly escapes falling under a conveyance, Owen must labour to thwart killers and face an even graver problem: whether to ask the pasha's lovely daughter to marry him….
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 engages 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

  • The expertise of a Smithsonian Journeys expert, tour director, and local guides throughout the tour
  • All gratuities for the expert, tour director, on-tour guides, cruise staff, 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 over-bb night 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 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 855-330-1542 Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. - 7 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time), or SJReservations@si.edu or at www.SmithsonianJourneys.org/Contact. 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. Refunds will be made 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 airfare, rates are based on 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 flights are usually done at airport check-in. The tour operator is unable to guarantee any seat assignments.

When planning our tours that include 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.