Encounter a pristine landscape of glaciers and fjords, see amazing wildlife in their natural habitat, and learn about the environmental challenges to the Arctic while cruising Norway’s Svalbard. 

Starting at: $6,995 * Price includes special offer Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Polar bears in Norway's arctic landscape

An Arctic Cruise of Norway’s Svalbard

Aboard the 220–guest L'Austral

11 days from $6,995

Encounter a pristine landscape of glaciers and fjords, see amazing wildlife in their natural habitat, and learn about the environmental challenges to the Arctic while cruising Norway’s Svalbard. 

or Call 855-330-1542

Accommodations

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

Hilton Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport Hotel

Paris, France

With a location at Charles de Gaulle Airport, between the three main terminals, our hotel is the perfect setting to explore all that Paris has to offer. The Hilton Paris Charles de Gaulle is just 40 minutes from all the attractions of central Paris, including the Louvre and Eiffel Tower. For a truly magical trip, visit Disneyland Paris.

All of the guest rooms at our Paris hotel feature bright, contemporary décor and WiFi, while the large bathtubs in the marble bathrooms are the perfect place to relax. Looking for a special treat? Upgrade to our newly renovated Deluxe rooms, or to Executive rooms for Executive Lounge access with complimentary breakfast, refreshments and evening cocktails.

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 (muddy/slippery walking/hiking trails). Specific itineraries may feature hiking, use of local transportation, 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. 

Pre-Tour Extension

Normandy Pre-Tour Extension - 4 days, 3 nights

Few places on earth are as lovely, captivating and historically fascinating as the glorious country of France, with its ancient past and endless charm and beauty.

Transfer to Rouen, the historic capital of Normandy. It was here that the first bridge was built across the Seine. On a walking tour through this classic Norman city, admire the imposing 13th-century Cathedral of Notre Dame, one of the loveliest Gothic edifices in France and a favorite subject of Monet’s. In the Vieux Marché (Old Market), see the Place St-Marc where Joan of Arc was martyred, and the magnificent 16th-century stained-glass windows of the heroine’s namesake cathedral, the Church of Ste-Jeanne-d’Arc. Once belonging to the Church of St. Vincent, these stunning windows were hidden away for safekeeping during World War II, rediscovered then built into the Church of Ste-Jeanne-d’Arc to be admired today.  Enjoy time in the medieval town of Honfleur, a picturesque city that influenced many Impressionist painters including Eugène Boudin and Claude Monet.

Then, travel through the scenic countryside to the historic Normandy beaches.  Walk where Allied forces landed on June 6, 1944, and contemplate the solemn commemorative crosses and Stars of David in the American Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer overlooking Omaha Beach. 

Spend three nights in the deluxe Hotel De Bourgtheroulde

Post-Tour Extension

Paris Post-Tour Extension – 3 days, 2 nights  

Spend two additional nights in the “City of Lights”—the signature cosmopolitan site of love, literature, and style, Paris pervades in our cultural consciousness as a glowing gem of artistic and aesthetic triumph. 

Stop in Giverny to visit Claude Monet’s gardens and house, where he painted many of his masterpieces. See Paris’ famous landmarks along the World Heritage site banks of the River Seine and admire the unrivaled collection of art in the Louvre.

Spend three nights in the Five-Star Hotel Scribe Paris Opera, ideally located nearby the Opéra Garnier and within a short walk to the Louvre.

Ship

L'Austral

The highly acclaimed L'Austral, launched in 2011, represents the newest generation of five-star small ships, featuring state-of-the-art design, distinctive sophistication, and only 110 staterooms.


Spacious Ocean-View Suites and Staterooms, most with Private Balconies

Each large, deluxe suite and stateroom (200 to 484 square feet) features a private bathroom with shower and luxurious five-star hotel amenities. Most accommodations have two twin beds that convert to one queen bed, individual climate control, satellite flat screen television, wireless Internet access, safe, minibar, full-length closet, writing desk/dressing table, plush robes, and slippers.

Chic and Casual Dining

International and regional cuisine are served in the stylish, spacious Le Coromandel dining room in single, unassigned seating; alfresco in the casual indoor-outdoor Le Rodrigues Restaurant; or from 24-hour room service. Continental and buffet breakfast, buffet lunch, afternoon tea, and a four-course dinner are served daily. Complimentary alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are included.

Spacious Public Areas and World-Class Service and Facilities

Inviting and spacious public areas accommodate all passengers comfortably. Enjoy views from the Panoramic Lounge, nightly entertainment in the Main Lounge and lectures, cultural performances and film screenings in the state-of-the-art theater. There is a library, Internet salon, Sun Deck, swimming pool, beauty salon, spa, Turkish bath-style steam room, full range of fitness equipment and two elevators. The infirmary is staffed with a doctor and nurse. The highly trained and personable, English-speaking, international crew provides attentive service.

Respect for the Environment

The state-of-the-art propulsion system and custom-built stabilizers provide an exceptionally smooth, quiet and comfortable voyage by minimizing vibration and engine noise. The ship’s Clean Ship status offers an extreme rarity among ocean cruising vessels, showcasing the paramount importance of and commitment to energy efficiency and environmental protection of marine ecosystems. The ship has 10 Zodiacs.

L'Austral

The highly acclaimed L'Austral, launched in 2011, represents the newest generation of five-star small ships, featuring state-of-the-art design, distinctive sophistication, and only 110 staterooms.


Spacious Ocean-View Suites and Staterooms, most with Private Balconies

Each large, deluxe suite and stateroom (200 to 484 square feet) features a private bathroom with shower and luxurious five-star hotel amenities. Most accommodations have two twin beds that convert to one queen bed, individual climate control, satellite flat screen television, wireless Internet access, safe, minibar, full-length closet, writing desk/dressing table, plush robes, and slippers.

Chic and Casual Dining

International and regional cuisine are served in the stylish, spacious Le Coromandel dining room in single, unassigned seating; alfresco in the casual indoor-outdoor Le Rodrigues Restaurant; or from 24-hour room service. Continental and buffet breakfast, buffet lunch, afternoon tea, and a four-course dinner are served daily. Complimentary alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are included.

Spacious Public Areas and World-Class Service and Facilities

Inviting and spacious public areas accommodate all passengers comfortably. Enjoy views from the Panoramic Lounge, nightly entertainment in the Main Lounge and lectures, cultural performances and film screenings in the state-of-the-art theater. There is a library, Internet salon, Sun Deck, swimming pool, beauty salon, spa, Turkish bath-style steam room, full range of fitness equipment and two elevators. The infirmary is staffed with a doctor and nurse. The highly trained and personable, English-speaking, international crew provides attentive service.

Respect for the Environment

The state-of-the-art propulsion system and custom-built stabilizers provide an exceptionally smooth, quiet and comfortable voyage by minimizing vibration and engine noise. The ship’s Clean Ship status offers an extreme rarity among ocean cruising vessels, showcasing the paramount importance of and commitment to energy efficiency and environmental protection of marine ecosystems. The ship has 10 Zodiacs.

Reading List
Svalbard: Spitsbergen, Jan Mayen, Franz Josef Land (Bradt Travel Guide)
By: Andreas Umbreit, James Proctor, Roger Norum, Anika Paust
The Bradt guide to Svalbard, including Spitsbergen, Franz Josef Land and Jan Mayen, is a unique, standalone guidebook to this evocative Arctic archipelago, a place that is plunged into darkness for four months each year and where there are 4,000 snow scooters for a population of just 2,500, and where the main city, Longyearbyen, was founded by an American (John Longyear, a Bostonian, started the Arctic Coal Company and set up a mining operation for some 500 people in 1906). This new sixth edition has been thoroughly updated throughout and offers new material on everything from adventure tours to accommodation, environmental change to restaurants. Also covered are the restoration of Barentsburg and the opening of Svalbard's historic mine to visitors. Newly updated and amended, this edition reflects important recent changes in the archipelago, making it the perfect guide to a quintessential bucket-list destination.Possibly the most remote destination in the developed world, Svalbard is the planet's most northerly settled land and the top (if not the end) of the world, and it was on and around Svalbard that most of David Attenborough's Frozen Planet was filmed. A trip to Svalbard easily lends itself to notching up geographic superlatives and adventurous travellers seek out experiences such as husky driving and hikes across the permafrost. The main tourist period falls in Svalbard's brief summer, from June to August, when it's light around the clock and not very cold. However, increasingly popular for winter sports – especially because the next few years will enjoy unusually high Northern Lights activity – are the so-called ‘light winter' months (March–May), when there is both sunlight and snow. The winter season (November/December–March) offers many possibilities for outdoor adventure – and the polar night is an experience in itself. Despite winter temperatures that can drop to over 40 below zero, Svalbard's glorious mountains, majestic fjords and sprawling valleys are the perfect setting for adventurous journeys out to the back of beyond. This brand-new edition of Svalbard provides all of the practical and background information you'll need to explore this wild place, turning the hostile into the hospitable.
Svalbard: An Arctic Adventure
By: MR. Robert L. Ozibko
A wonderful story about a trip to the Arctic illustrated with magnificent photographs. This book is well organized, and meticulously written. It presents an informative guide to a remote and obviously beautiful part of our planet that many readers have heard of but few have actually visited—or thought of visiting until now. The approachable, friendly style of the writing and the narrative flow seamlessly to the last page. Svalbard does a fine job of bringing to life a remote and exciting part of the world in a short, neatly-packaged travelogue that should appeal to all readers—from avid travelers to armchair travelers to fans of exotic places. The overall descriptive and stylish tone of the book should make for a positive reading experience. .
Svalbard : Flora & Fauna : Pocket Guide
By: Diego Punta Fernández, Santiago Imberti, Luciano Bernacchi
Svalbard - Flora and Fauna : Pocket Guide Authors:Diego Punta Fernández, Santiago Imberti, and Luciano Bernacchi Size folded 8"""" x 3.5"""", Size opened 8 x 33.5"""" Laminated paper English Designed as a travel companion for visitors throughout remote and natural landscapes, we would like these pocket guides help you to discover some of the most distinctive features that make the southern tip of South America a unique and remarkable region. -31 birds -15 mammals -21 plants -Where to look for them -Common names -Scientific (latin) names -Families -Natural sizes
True North: Travels in Arctic Europe
By: Francis Gavin
The stark, vast beauty of the remote Arctic Europe landscape has been the focus of human exploration for thousands of years. In this striking blend of travel writing, history and mythology, Gavin Francis offers a unique portrait of the northern fringes of Europe. His journey begins in the Shetland Isles, takes him to the Faroes, Iceland, Greenland, Svalbard and on to Lapland. Following in the footsteps of the region's early pioneers, Francis observes how the region has adapted to the 21st century, giving an observed insight into the lives of people he encounters along the way. As with all the best travel writing, "True North" is an engaging, compassionate tale of self-discovery, whilst blending historical and contemporary narratives in the tradition of Bruce Chatwin and Robert Macfarlane.
Out in the Cold: Travels North: Adventures in Svalbard, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland and Canada
By: Bill Murray
An inspired tale of high adventure, Out in the Cold is Bill Murray’s vivid portrait of adventure across the vast Northern Atlantic from the Arctic north of Norway to Nova Scotia. Murray begins in pursuit of a total solar eclipse in Svalbard, 800 miles from the North Pole. He tests the culinary appeal of wind-dried sheep in the tiny Faroe Islands, befriends Inuit bone carvers in Greenland and camps with an itinerant Italian musician who dreams of building Greenland’s first luxury resort. He stands naked and freezing on an Icelandic glacier and later (with his clothes on), on the wind-battered Canadian bog where the first European stood 500 years before Columbus. With a light touch, wry analysis and remarkable depth of reportage, Bill Murray weaves high adventure with practical science and absorbing history, taking the pulse of an under-explored, fragile region on the precipice of change. By turns evocative, astonishing and always a jolly good ride, Out in the Cold is a sprawling and rewarding tour of the Atlantic northlands today.
A Woman in the Polar Night by Christiane Ritter (2010-07-15)
By: University of Alaska Press
Expedition Svalbard: Lost Views on the Shorelines of Economy
By: Tyrone Martinsson, Gunilla Knape, Hans Hedberg
In September 2011 a group of scientists, artists and writers embarked on an expedition to North-West Svalbard, the northern extremity of Norway. Travelling on the M/S Stockholm, each of them recorded the event from their own professional and personal perspective. The sites on the route map of the journey facing the northern shores of the Polar Sea all have a story to tell, natural or cultural. The book is a narrative of the places visited by the expedition with the many different approaches shaping the views of the land encountered. The poetics of artists and photographers meeting the environmentalist writers and researchers of science and history tells the story of an expedition following its historic predecessors. The history of photography and earlier travel accounts as well as burning contemporary issues guided the journey into the Arctic.
Bear Island
By: Alistair MacLean
Reissue of the classic tale of adventure and death on a mysterious Arctic island, from the acclaimed master of action and suspense.A converted fishing trawler, Morning Rose carries a movie-making crew across the Barents Sea to isolated Bear Island, well above the Arctic Circle, for some on-location filming, but the script is a secret known only to the producer and screenwriter.En route, members of the movie crew and ship's company begin to die under mysterious circumstances. The crew's doctor, Marlowe, finds himself enmeshed in a violent, multi-layered plot in which very few of the persons aboard are whom they claim to be.Marlowe's efforts to unravel the plot become even more complicated once the movie crew is deposited ashore on Bear Island, beyond the reach of the law or outside help. The murders continue ashore, and Marlowe, who is not what he seems to be either, discovers they may be related to some forgotten events of the Second World War.
The North
By: Martti Einar Nissinen
Ice-covered Svalbard became a part of German territory at the beginning of WWII. What the Germans really did there has remained a mystery. In fact, the Allies had tracked the abnormal density of German warships in the Far North, but they connected that traffic with their own convoy activity. The British had their chance to open up the secrecy in 1943. Then a Catalina flying boat flew over the Spitsbergen. To the great surprise of the pilots they met a big fleet of German warships heading to the inner waters of Svalbard. The pilots reported the heavy battleships Tirpitz and Scharnhorst with at least ten destroyer-class ships there. For what purpose was that fleet there? The Admiralty, however, was tightly focused on the convoys. Inner Svalbard appeared a useless objective. So, officially, the pilots’ report wasn’t registered and the further investigation was rocked by anti-aircraft fire. In this techno-thriller, author Martti Nissinen takes us on an extraordinary voyage and guides the reader into the guarded wartime mystery of the North. Well-researched war history and professional knowledge of the physical details and personal experience of the Svalbard regions support the narration.
The Svalbard Archipelago: American Military and Political Geographies of Spitsbergen and Other Norwegian Polar Territories, 1941-1950
By: P J Capelotti
Norway's Spitsbergen Archipelago, known as Svalbard to the Norwegians, is of increasing interest to Arctic scholars and geographers, as well as to military historians and analysts of strategy. It was the farthest northern battleground between German and Allied forces in World War II; it became a political arena for Soviet and U.S. competition during the Cold War; it is now a field of conflict for fishing rights and cultural resource protection; and it serves as a laboratory for the study of global warming. This unique island group occupies a fascinating place in European, Russian, and American affairs. Here, for the first time, is the complete report compiled by U.S. Intelligence at the beginning of World War II evaluating the islands both geographically and militarily, as well as a report on the archipelago produced by the CIA in 1950. This comprehensive report--never superseded in the years since--has been edited and introduced by P.J. Capelotti. It provides in great detail the American perspective on these islands and their strategic, economic, and geologic value. Maps and illustrations are included, some from the original report, some new. A glossary covers Arctic terms.
No Man's Land: A History of Spitsbergen a History of Spitsbergen from Its Discovery, in of to the Beginning of the Scientific, Exploration of the Country (Classic Reprint)
By: Sir Martin Conway
In the case of a volume containing some history of a country which never had any inhabitants, constructed out of scattered references in state papers and the miscellaneous records of industrial voyages, a preface of that kind may also be helpful to a reader, who either lacks the time or the inclination to make close acquaintance with the whole book. Let me then first appeal to reviewers and all readers alike henceforward to spell the name of the country correctly. Spitsbergen is the only correct spelling ;S pitzbergen is a relatively modern blunder. The name is Dutch, not German. The seconds asserts and commemorates the nationality of the discoverer. In publishing this volume I am at length fulfilling a pledge given nine years ago in the book describing my first Spitsbergen journey of 1896. The preliminary studies made for that and for my second journey in the far North provided me with a considerable amount of unpublished materials for Arctic History which it seemed proper to bring together in a form convenient for reference.(Typographical errors above are due to OCR software and don't occur in the book.)About the Publisher Forgotten Books is a publisher of historical writings, such as: Philosophy, Classics, Science, Religion, History, Folklore and Mythology.Forgotten Books' Classic Reprint Series utilizes the latest technology to regenerate facsimiles of historically important writings. Careful attention has been made to accurately preserve the original format of each page whilst digitally enhancing the aged text. Read books online for free at www.forgottenbooks.org
Amid Snowy Wastes: Wild Life on the Spitsbergen Archipelago (Classic Reprint)
By: Seton Gordon
Excerpt from Amid Snowy Wastes: Wild Life on the Spitsbergen ArchipelagoThis book is the outcome of a visit to the Spitsbergen Archipelago in the summer of 1921 as photographer with the Oxford University Expedition.The chapters do not attempt to describe the achievements of the Expedition, they are merely a narrative of my own personal observations and experiences; but I shall be more than satisfied if I have succeeded in bringing before the mind's eye of the reader the distinctive charm of that far northern land.Few people seem indeed to realize how far north the archipelago lies, although at its most northerly point it is less than 600 miles from the North Pole itself. From Tromsö in the extreme north of Norway, it took us six days' steaming to reach Spitsbergen, the only halt during that time being a few hours' stay at Bear Island.Some of the chapters in an abbreviated form originally appeared in the Scotsman and my thanks are due to the Editor of that paper for his courtesy in agreeing to their reproduction here.About the PublisherForgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.comThis book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.
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

Our Mission

Smithsonian Journeys engages travelers in the wide-ranging mission of the Smithsonian. Like the Institution, our tours enrich our guests’ lives and satisfy their curiosity about the world around them. 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

  • All accommodations (based on double occupancy) 
  • The expertise of a Smithsonian Journeys Expert, Travel Director(s), and local guides throughout the tour.
  • Meals, including special Welcome and Farewell Receptions, as noted in the itinerary (B-breakfast; L-lunch; R-reception; D-dinner).
  • Complimentary wine, beer, and soft drinks served with lunch and dinner.
  • All sightseeing and visits as noted in the itinerary.
  • Pre-tour information, including a reading list.
  • Gratuities to local guides and drivers.
  • All on-tour transportation unless otherwise noted. 
  • On-tour, round-trip flight from Paris to Longyearbyen
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the ship (availability subject to local conditions at the time of use). 
  • Transfers and luggage handling abroad for all participants whose arrival(s)/departure(s) coincide with the scheduled group transfer(s).
  • On-tour emergency evacuation insurance (up to $100,000), medical expense coverage (up to $25,000), dental expense coverage (up to $500), travel medical assistance and worldwide travel assistance (U.S. Residents only).

What Is Not Included in the Tour Cost

  • Passport fees, visas, and visa photos as required.
  • Personal items such as wines, liquors, à la carte orders, meals other than specified.
  • Gratuities to ship and hotel staff.
  • Expenses incurred by our tour operators in making travel arrangements in conjunction with the tour.
  • International airfare between home city and Paris and departure taxes.
  • Taxes.
  • Other items not specifically mentioned as included. 
  • Optional Travelers’ Protection Plan: Unexpected events before or during a trip may leave you with canceled plans, lost luggage, or unforeseen medical expenses. This optional plan offers an affordable package of benefits and services that can provide coverage and assistance for the unexpected. Visit TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys to learn more.

Registration

To submit a reservation request, please use our secure online system at SmithsonianJourneys.org or call 855-330-1542 to speak with a Reservations Specialist, Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. (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.

To complete your request, the following information is required:
In accordance with the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) Secure Flight program, for all international tours, passport information is required, including the following: Full name as it appears on your passport, Date of birth, and Gender (for further information, please visit www.tsa.gov).

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

Payments

A deposit of $1,000 per person for a cruise reservation, and $200 per person for the pre-program option and/or $200 per person for the post-program option, 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. 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 fees 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 95 days of departure for that tour.

For additional information, please contact a Reservations Specialist at 1-855-330-1542 Monday - Friday 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.  (Eastern Time), at SJReservations@si.edu or 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 on e.g. internal flights, cruises, etc., a fuel surcharge may be added to your tour fee, but after final payment, no surcharges except for increased governmental taxes will be imposed. Details and costs will be advised prior to departure.

Waitlist

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 regarding crime, terrorism, or health issues, 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, 95/120 days before departure)
  • Cancellations after 7 days of booking: Full Deposit Retained
  • Cancellations made within final payment date, 95/120 days before departure: No Refund
  • Cancellation by Smithsonian Journeys: Full Refund or Credit

Smithsonian Journeys recommends that all participants purchase travel insurance.  If you have scheduled your own air and your flights are delayed, 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 Warning is issued for the destination.

Air Service

For tours that include round-trip international 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, or otherwise because of a flight delay, the cost of the overnight will be at your expense. For tours that include round-trip international airfare, we will be happy to help with arrangements.

Air Service/Tickets Purchased Independently of the Tour

International and domestic air schedules are subject to change at any time.  If you make your own airline reservations, we recommend that you do not purchase nonrefundable tickets or tickets with high fees for changes. We urge you to check airline cancellation fees before purchasing airline tickets since international departure times and flights can change. Neither the Smithsonian Institution nor the tour operator accepts liability for cancellation fees related to domestic or international airline tickets.

Travel Insurance Cancellation/Delay/Lost Baggage

Smithsonian Journeys recommends that all participants purchase travel insurance.  Smithsonian Journeys provides the following travel coverages with Travel Guard as part of your trip.

Limit (Maximum per person)

·   Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation of Remains up to $100,000

·   Emergency Medical Expenses up to $25,000

·   Emergency Dental Expenses up to $500

The Evacuation/Repatriation provides coverage for emergency air and ground transportation due to a serious illness or injury.  You also have worldwide access to a 24-hour travel assistance hotline if you need help with lost documents, cash transfers, and other travel-related problems.

IMPORTANT: Smithsonian Journeys offers an optional, travel insurance plan which will cover you for trip cancellation, interruption, and/or delay; baggage loss, theft, damage or delay; accident and/or sickness, medical expenses, and accidental death. To learn more, visit www.TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys or call 800-208-6142. Please consider this or other coverage.  Many insurance and HMO/PPO plans offer reduced benefits when traveling internationally and Medicare does not provide coverage outside of the U.S. 

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 you are a U.S. citizen and 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 certain international departures, a passport valid for at least six months after the completion of your tour, and/or with at least six blank visa pages, is required for U.S. citizens. The U.S. Department of State no longer will add visa pages into U.S. passports. 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 strongly recommend the “Learn about your destination” section on the U.S. Department of State travel website www.travel.state.gov. For medical information, we strongly 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, 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 Program 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, itinerary changes, speakers, experts, places visited, 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. Smithsonian Journeys and the tour operator reserve the right to substitute motorcoach transportation use, hotels, inns or lodges for cruise accommodations if necessary due to weather, water conditions or levels, other events of force majeure, mechanical, or other conditions beyond their control.

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 bath.

Singles and Roommates

Hotel rooms are always reserved for single participants when they are available; 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 either before or after the tour. Our tour operator will work with you on these arrangements, dependent upon space availability.  Your pre-tour bulletins will further explain all options.

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

This paragraph relates solely to the tour operator (Thomas P. Gohagan & Company). You agree that any dispute between you and the tour operator (but not between you and the Smithsonian Institution) concerning, relating or referring to these Terms and Conditions, the brochure or any other literature concerning your tour, or the touritself, shall be resolved exclusively by binding arbitration pursuant to the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. §§1-16, either according to the then existing Commercial Rules of the American Arbitration Association (AAA) or pursuant to the Comprehensive Arbitration Rules & Procedures of the Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services, Inc. (JAMS). Such proceedings will be governed by substantive (but not procedural) Illinois law and will take place in Chicago, IL. The arbitrator and not any federal, state, or local court or agency shall have exclusive authority to resolve any dispute between you and the tour operator (but not between you and the Smithsonian Institution) relating to the interpretation, applicability, enforceability, conscionability, or formation of this contract, including but not limited to any claim that all or any part of this contract is void or voidable. By agreeing to these terms and conditions, you (and we) are waiving our right to a trial by jury.

Any action or legal proceeding against the Smithsonian Institution in connection with your trip shall be brought only in a United States federal court of competent jurisdiction.

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 in certain hotels or aboard ship. There is no smoking aboard the ship, and some hotels may not allow smoking anywhere on the property. 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 travelers a wide array of educational travel opportunities. The tour operator books services of independent suppliers for transportation, accommodations, and other services. Neither the Smithsonian Institution nor the tour operator is 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 to 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.

Thomas P. Gohagan & Company and its employees, shareholders, subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, directors or trustees, successors and assigns (“Gohagan”) and Smithsonian Institution and its  Regents, officers, employees, representatives, agents, successors, and assigns (“Smithsonian”) do not own or operate any entity which is to or does provide goods or services for your tour including, for example, lodging facilities, airline, vessel, or other transportation companies, guides or guide services, local ground operators, providers or organizers of optional excursions, food service or entertainment providers, etc.  All such persons and entities are independent contractors.  As a result, neither Gohagan nor Smithsonian is liable for any negligent or willful act or failure to act of any such person or entity or of any other third party.

  

In addition and without limitation, neither Gohagan nor Smithsonian is responsible for any injury, loss, death, inconvenience, delay, or damage to persons or property in connection with the provision of any goods or services whether resulting from, but not limited to, acts of force majeure, acts of government, acts of war or civil unrest, insurrection or revolt, bites from or attacks by animals, insects or pests, strikes or other labor activities, criminal or terrorist activities of any kind or the threat thereof, sickness, illness, epidemics or the threat thereof, the lack of availability of or access to medical attention or the quality thereof, overbooking or downgrading of accommodations, mechanical or other failure of airplanes, vessels, or other means of transportation, or for any failure of any transportation mechanism to arrive or depart timely or safely. 

AS A CONDITION OF ACCEPTANCE OF ANY APPLICATION, EACH APPLICANT MUST AGREE TO THE STATEMENT SET FORTH BELOW:

The reader 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 including the Dispute Resolution paragraph as set forth in the tour materials, and recognizes and accepts any risk associated with the tour as well as the conditions, including the refund policy, set forth in the tour materials. The reader further acknowledges that there are many risks and uncertainties inherent in any travel tour, including but not limited to acts of force majeure, the hazards of various modes of transportation, forces of nature, acts or omissions of foreign governments, terrorism, war or insurrection, theft, other criminal conduct, illness, inadequate medical facilities and difficulty in evacuation to same, and damage to persons 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 the Smithsonian, the United States, and/or Gohagan. 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.