Venture far above the Arctic Circle in the warmth and comfort of a private train and search for the spectacular Northern Lights.

Starting at: $13,995 Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 The Northern Lights in Norway. Credit: Kirkenes Snow Hotel  Sleigh rides in Suzdal  Members of the <i>Golden Eagle</i> train personnel  Lounge aboard the <i>Golden Eagle</i>  Holiday lights in Moscow  Moscow in winter. Credit: Douglas Grimes  Onion domes of St. Basil's Cathedral, Moscow  Moscow at night during the holiday season.  Credit: Meaghan Samuels  Moscow's Red Square  Cathedral of the Assumption, Vladimir  Cathedral of the Transfiguration of the Saviour, Suzdal  Interior, Cathedral of the Transfiguration of the Savior, Suzdal  Travelers enjoying the Northern Lights  The Northern Lights. Credit: Kirkenes Snow Hotel  Ice sculpture at the Snow Hotel. Credit: Kirkenes Snow Hotel  Woman in traditional Sami dress with reindeer  Kizhi Island in winter  The Winter Palace, now the Hermitage Museum, covered in snow, St. Petersburg. Credit: <i>Hotel Astoria</i>  Viewing the treasures of the Hermitage Museum  View of the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood from a canal in St. Petersburg  The magnificent interior of the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, St. Petersburg  Catherine Palace, St. Petersburg

Arctic Explorer by Private Train

A Russian Train Journey Aboard the Golden Eagle

13 days from $13,995

Venture far above the Arctic Circle in the warmth and comfort of a private train and search for the spectacular Northern Lights.

or Call 855-330-1542

Accommodations

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

Ararat Park Hyatt Hotel

Moscow, Russian Federation

The Ararat Park Hyatt Hotel is located near the Bolshoi Theater, the Kremlin and Red Square. Its spacious and luxurious rooms are equipped with all the amenities needed for an enjoyable stay. The conservatory lounge and bar offer uninterrupted views of the Bolshoi Theater and the Kremlin. Throughout the hotel, collections of original paintings by Armenian and Russian artists can be found. The spa facilities offer an array of treatments for optimum relaxation and enjoyment.

Number of nights: 1

Thon Hotel

Kirkenes, Norway

Located in the town center on the quay with a view of the fjord, the modern three-and-a-half star Thon Hotel features a bar and restaurant serving local and international cuisine. Rooms include satellite TV, minibar, complimentary WiFi and hair dryer.

Number of nights: 2

Hotel Astoria - St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg, Russian Federation

One of the oldest hotels in St. Petersburg, the five-star Astoria was opened in 1912 in honor of the House of Romanov's 300th anniversary.  Its location across the street from the landmark St. Isaac's Cathedral and just a ten-minute walk from the Hermitage makes it a perfect starting point for roaming the city. The extravagant building was designed in the “Style Moderne,” a Russian adaptation of Art Nouveau, and beautifully renovated and restyled in the 21st century, using curtains and covers of pure Russian linen. The historic Astoria celebrated its 100-year anniversary in 2012.

Number of nights: 2

Activity Level

Activity Level 3: Moderate / Active

Expectations:: Longer trip featuring an exotic and sometimes challenging destination, featuring six nights aboard a luxurious, historic train that travels to the Arctic Circle, and five nights in upscale hotels. Train travel requires balance for navigating a moving train for an extended period; the restaurant and bar cars may be some distance from the sleeping cars. Travelers may encounter challenges getting on and off trains due to low platforms, steep steps, and or gaps between the platform and train. Long days of touring with daily activity of four to six hours on most days with extended walking of generally two to three miles. Walking entails sometimes difficult terrain (uneven surfaces, snowy or icy conditions, uneven steps in older buildings, city hills, steep staircases without handrails, little access to elevators), and walking to city centers where coaches are prohibited. Two evening excursions at the Arctic Circle will involve driving in comfortable coaches late at night in search of the Northern Lights. The program includes active outdoor winter activities, such as sleigh rides and a king crab fishing expedition. This tour entails altitudes of less than 3,000 feet. The daytime temperatures can range from the 10s to 30s Fahrenheit during the tour, with evenings in the single digits, depending on the location. Travelers should expect varying depths of snow. Flexibility, a sense of humor, and a willingness to accept local standards of amenities and services are essential components to the enjoyment of this trip.

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

Train

Golden Eagle Train

A true highlight of The Trans-Siberian Express train journey is the legendary train itself. The Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express private train, which travels between Mongolia and Moscow, is the most comfortable train available for this adventurous journey. Dining cars provide traditional Russian and European cuisine and the bar/ lounge car is a relaxing place to gather with other guests. The train offers a choice of comfort levels with different styles of sleeping cars. Each car features two attendants and each cabin offers well-appointed convertible berths, modern amenities, air- conditioning, and private bathroom/shower. 

  • Silver Class: Silver Class cabins are more compact than Gold Class cabins with similar facilities. Silver Class cabins feature the same amenities as Gold Class cabins but in a smaller space. 
  • Gold Class: Gold Class cabins are well-proportioned and feature modern en suite amenities including power showers, under floor heating, a DVD/CD player, LCD screen, remote-controlled air-conditioning/heating, recessed lighting and wardrobe and a personal safe. Each cabin is configured with upper and lower berths, and can accommodate double, twin or single occupancy.
  • Imperial Suite: Imperial Suites are the most beautiful and spacious cabins available onboard the Golden Eagle. Measuring a surprising 120 sq ft (11.1 sq meters), they are furnished with a luxurious king size bed, dedicated seating area, dressing table and private en-suite facilities with large power shower and under floor heating. Individual air-conditioning, wardrobe, DVD/CD player with LCD screen and two large picture windows make the cabin a pleasant retreat.
  • Dining Cars feature local and European cuisine complemented by a selection of local and European wines. Dining cars are multi-purpose, used for on-board lectures and viewing documentaries. One or more dining cars may be included in the train formation of any given departure depending on the number of passengers. 
  • The Bar/Lounge Car is a favorite destination in the train formation and is typically included on most departures. The lounge offers a relaxing and comfortable area where you can enjoy a drink, take language lessons, and gather around the piano with other passengers. 

 Lounge aboard the <i>Golden Eagle</i>  Cabin aboard the <i>Golden Eagle</i>  Members of the <i>Golden Eagle</i> train personnel  Dine aboard the <i>Golden Eagle</i>

Golden Eagle Train

A true highlight of The Trans-Siberian Express train journey is the legendary train itself. The Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express private train, which travels between Mongolia and Moscow, is the most comfortable train available for this adventurous journey. Dining cars provide traditional Russian and European cuisine and the bar/ lounge car is a relaxing place to gather with other guests. The train offers a choice of comfort levels with different styles of sleeping cars. Each car features two attendants and each cabin offers well-appointed convertible berths, modern amenities, air- conditioning, and private bathroom/shower. 

  • Silver Class: Silver Class cabins are more compact than Gold Class cabins with similar facilities. Silver Class cabins feature the same amenities as Gold Class cabins but in a smaller space. 
  • Gold Class: Gold Class cabins are well-proportioned and feature modern en suite amenities including power showers, under floor heating, a DVD/CD player, LCD screen, remote-controlled air-conditioning/heating, recessed lighting and wardrobe and a personal safe. Each cabin is configured with upper and lower berths, and can accommodate double, twin or single occupancy.
  • Imperial Suite: Imperial Suites are the most beautiful and spacious cabins available onboard the Golden Eagle. Measuring a surprising 120 sq ft (11.1 sq meters), they are furnished with a luxurious king size bed, dedicated seating area, dressing table and private en-suite facilities with large power shower and under floor heating. Individual air-conditioning, wardrobe, DVD/CD player with LCD screen and two large picture windows make the cabin a pleasant retreat.
  • Dining Cars feature local and European cuisine complemented by a selection of local and European wines. Dining cars are multi-purpose, used for on-board lectures and viewing documentaries. One or more dining cars may be included in the train formation of any given departure depending on the number of passengers. 
  • The Bar/Lounge Car is a favorite destination in the train formation and is typically included on most departures. The lounge offers a relaxing and comfortable area where you can enjoy a drink, take language lessons, and gather around the piano with other passengers. 

 Lounge aboard the <i>Golden Eagle</i>  Cabin aboard the <i>Golden Eagle</i>  Members of the <i>Golden Eagle</i> train personnel  Dine aboard the <i>Golden Eagle</i>
Reading List
Russia of the Tsars (History Files)
By: Peter Waldron
History Files: This new paperback series presents the people, events, and ideas that shaped our past and made our present. Drawing upon the latest research, the books are abundantly illustrated with telling images from out-of-the-way sources, and offer the tangible fragments of vanished times in the form of loose-leaf facsimile documents that are included in the books. Between the seventeenth century and the 1917 revolution, the Russian Tsars became absolute rulers of the largest and most diverse empire in the world. The splendor of their court and their capital city, St. Petersburg, was extraordinary, but this imperial edifice was supported by the toil of millions of serfs tied to the land and brutally repressed. The vast majority of the people were uneducated, yet Russia produced writers, artists, and composers of world importance. The Tsars created a mighty army, but it failed them in the Crimea and in World War I. This empire of contradictions was to have a profound influence on both Europe and Asia. Peter Waldron tells the stories of all the Russians, exploring how the vastness of the empire and its extremes of climate affected the lives of rulers and peasants alike. He recounts how Peter the Great and later Tsars built the empire, and describes some of the individuals who worked for and against social change in Russia. Box features on specific people, places, and events and many quotations from Russian sources bring this saga vividly to life. The ten facsimile documents include a 1710 map of St. Petersburg, a newspaper report on the Crimean War, and the announcement of Nicholas II’s abdication in 1917. 133 illustrations, 89 in color, and 10 facsimile documents
Russian Short Stories from Pushkin to Buida (Penguin Classics)
By: Various
From the reign of the Tsars in the early nineteenth century to the collapse of the Soviet Union and beyond, the short story has long occupied a central place in Russian culture. Included here are pieces from many of the acknowledged masters of Russian literature—including Pushkin, Turgenev, Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, and Solzhenitsyn—alongside tales by long-suppressed figures such as the subversive Kryzhanowsky and the surrealist Shalamov. Whether written in reaction to the cruelty of the bourgeoisie, the bureaucracy of communism, or the torture of the prison camps, they offer a wonderfully wide-ranging and exciting representation of one of the most vital and enduring forms of Russian literature.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.
Fodor's Moscow & St. Petersburg (Full-color Travel Guide)
By: Fodor's Travel Guides
Two cities with real Tsar Power, Moscow and St. Petersburg are the odd couple of Russia: one, the heart of the nation and home to the history-rich Kremlin, the other, a city born of the passion of its founder, Peter the Great, and today a gigantic Faberge egg stuffed with great art, sunset-colored palaces, and lollipop-striped cathedrals. As more travelers than ever are making their own voyages by cruising the Volga river, which connects Moscow and St. Petersburg, Fodor's Moscow and St. Petersburg also details many of the splendors of the connecting Golden Ring area.
Lonely Planet Russian Phrasebook & Dictionary
By: Lonely Planet, James Jenkin, Grant Taylor
Lonely Planet: The world's leading travel guide publisher Admirers of Russian literature claim that the 'Slavic soul' of writers such as Chekhov or Tolstoy can't be fully appreciated in translation. For the less ambitious, the language will bring you closer to deciphering the 'riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma' that is Russia. Get More From Your Trip with Easy-to-Find Phrases for Every Travel Situation! Lonely Planet Phrasebooks have been connecting travellers and locals for over a quarter of a century - our phrasebooks and mobile apps cover more than any other publisher! Order the right meal with our menu decoder Never get stuck for words with our 3500-word two-way dictionary We make language easy with shortcuts, key phrases & common Q&As Feel at ease, with essential tips on culture & manners Coverage includes: Basics, Practical, Social, Safe Travel, Food! Lonely Planet gets you to the heart of a place. Our job is to make amazing travel experiences happen. We visit the places we write about each and every edition. We never take freebies for positive coverage, so you can always rely on us to tell it like it is. Authors: Written and researched by Lonely Planet, James Jenkin, and Grant Taylor. About Lonely Planet: Started in 1973, Lonely Planet has become the world's leading travel guide publisher with guidebooks to every destination on the planet, as well as an award-winning website, a suite of mobile and digital travel products, and a dedicated traveller community. Lonely Planet's mission is to enable curious travellers to experience the world and to truly get to the heart of the places they find themselves in. TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice Awards 2012 and 2013 winner in Favorite Travel Guide category 'Lonely Planet guides are, quite simply, like no other.' - New York Times 'Lonely Planet. It's on everyone's bookshelves; it's in every traveller's hands. It's on mobile phones. It's on the Internet. It's everywhere, and it's telling entire generations of people how to travel the world.' - Fairfax Media (Australia)
Russia - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture
By: Anna King
Culture Smart! provides essential information on attitudes, beliefs and behavior in different countries, ensuring that you arrive at your destination aware of basic manners, common courtesies, and sensitive issues. These concise guides tell you what to expect, how to behave, and how to establish a rapport with your hosts. This inside knowledge will enable you to steer clear of embarrassing gaffes and mistakes, feel confident in unfamiliar situations, and develop trust, friendships, and successful business relationships. Culture Smart! offers illuminating insights into the culture and society of a particular country. It will help you to turn your visit-whether on business or for pleasure-into a memorable and enriching experience. Contents include: * customs, values, and traditions * historical, religious, and political background * life at home * leisure, social, and cultural life * eating and drinking * do's, don'ts, and taboos * business practices * communication, spoken and unspoken
Russian History: A Very Short Introduction
By: Geoffrey Hosking
Russia's sheer size has made it difficult to mobilize resources and to govern effectively, especially given its harsh climate, vast and vulnerable borders, and the diversity of its people. In this Very Short Introduction, Geoffrey Hosking discusses all aspects of Russian history, from the struggle by the state to control society to the transformation of the nation into a multi-ethnic empire, Russia's relations with the West, and the post-Soviet era. Hosking, a leading international authority, examines Russian history in an impartial way, arguing that "Good Russia" and "Bad Russia" are one and the same. He also evaluates important individuals in Russian history, from Peter the Great and Catherine II to Lenin and Stalin.
Sunlight at Midnight: St. Petersburg and the Rise of Modern Russia
By: Bruce Lincoln
For Russians, St.Petersburg has embodied power, heroism and fortitude. It has encompassed all the things that the Russians are and that they hope to become. Opulence and artistic brilliance blend with images of suffering on a monumental scale to make up the historic persona the late W. Bruce Lincoln's lavish biography of this mysterious, complex city. Climate and comfort were not what Tsar Peter the Great had in mind when he decided to build a new capital in the muddy marshes of the Neva River delta. Located 500 miles below the Arctic Circle, this area, with its foul weather, bad water and sodden soil, was so unattractive that only a handful of Finnish fisherman had ever settled there. Yet to the Tsar the place he named Sankt Pieter Burkh had the makings of a paradise. His vision was soon borne out: though St. Petersburg was closer to London, Paris and Vienna than to Russian's far-off eastern lands, it quickly became the political, cultural and economic center of an empire that stretched across more than a dozen time zones and over three continents.In this book, revolutionaries and laborers brush shoulders with tsars and builders, soldiers and statesmen share pride of place with poets. For only the entire historical experience of this magnificent and mysterious city can reveal the wealth of human and natural forces that shaped the modern history of the city and the nation it represents.
The Arctic: Reflecting the Landscape, Wildlife, and People of the Far North
By: Sven-Olof Lindblad, Elizabeth Warner
Some of the most stunning photography of the Arctic ever published--before it vanishes. Inspired by the success and critical acclaim of Ice: Portraits of Vanishing Glaciers, Sven-Olof Lindblad focuses on documenting the Arctic at the most critical period for the region in history--as it faces global warming and expanding international exploration. Unlike other photography books on this region that focus on a singular aspect, The Arctic documents imagery of the wildlife, people, and landscapes.Stunning scenery, magnificent wildlife, and native cultures bring the Arctic to life in this unparalleled collection of photography. In never-before-seen photos from the world’s finest nature photographers, The Arctic introduces the reader to this region in three sections—the land and sea, the rich biodiversity, and the native peoples—and explores the challenges facing each in its rapidly changing environment. While celebrated in this volume, these stunning images are a dramatic and timely demonstration of the constant transformation of the Arctic at a most critical time. With accompanying essays based on real-time experiences by a National Geographic explorer, The Arctic celebrates the region’s beauty—inspiring dreams of travel—while simultaneously sounding a call to action to save this distant world that affects each of us in countless ways. These photo-filled pages capture not only the massive sheets of ice glowing under the midnight sun, but also the Arctic’s rich variety of other wildlife. Also featured are the many indigenous Inuit communities who maintain their traditional way of life amid this stunning and harsh natural setting.
The Arctic Guide: Wildlife of the Far North (Princeton Field Guides)
By: Sharon Chester
The Arctic Guide presents the traveler and naturalist with a portable, authoritative guide to the flora and fauna of earth's northernmost region. Featuring superb color illustrations, this one-of-a-kind book covers the complete spectrum of wildlife―more than 800 species of plants, fishes, butterflies, birds, and mammals―that inhabit the Arctic’s polar deserts, tundra, taiga, sea ice, and oceans. It can be used anywhere in the entire Holarctic region, including Norway’s Svalbard archipelago, Siberia, the Russian Far East, islands of the Bering Sea, Alaska, the Canadian Arctic, and Greenland. Detailed species accounts describe key identification features, size, habitat, range, scientific name, and the unique characteristics that enable these organisms to survive in the extreme conditions of the Far North. A color distribution map accompanies each species account, and alternative names in German, French, Norwegian, Russian, Inuit, and Inupiaq are also provided.Features superb color plates that allow for quick identification of more than 800 species of plants, fishes, butterflies, birds, and mammalsIncludes detailed species accounts and color distribution mapsCovers the flora and fauna of the entire Arctic region
Land of the Firebird: The Beauty of Old Russia
By: Suzanne Massie, Suzanne Massie
New. Perfect Mint condition. Ships Daily.
Red Fortress: History and Illusion in the Kremlin
By: Catherine Merridale
The Kremlin is the heart of the Russian state, its very name a byword for enduring power. From Ivan the Terrible to Vladimir Putin, generations of Russian leaders have sought to use the Kremlin to legitimize their vision of statehood. To this day, its red stars and golden crosses blazing side by side, the Kremlin fulfills a centuries-old role: linking the country's present to its distant past and proclaiming the eternal continuity of the Russian state.Drawing on a dazzling array of sources from unseen archives and rare collections, renowned historian Catherine Merridale traces the full history of this enigmatic compound of palaces and cathedrals, whose blood-red walls have witnessed more than eight hundred years of political drama and extraordinary violence. And with the Kremlin as a unique lens, Red Fortress brings into focus the evolution of Russia's culture and the meaning of its politics.
Lenin's Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire
By: David Remnick
Winner of the Pulitzer PrizeOne of the Best Books of the Year: The New York Times From the editor of The New Yorker: a riveting account of the collapse of the Soviet Union, which has become the standard book on the subject. Lenin’s Tomb combines the global vision of the best historical scholarship with the immediacy of eyewitness journalism. Remnick takes us through the tumultuous 75-year period of Communist rule leading up to the collapse and gives us the voices of those who lived through it, from democratic activists to Party members, from anti-Semites to Holocaust survivors, from Gorbachev to Yeltsin to Sakharov. An extraordinary history of an empire undone, Lenin’s Tomb stands as essential reading for our times.  
The Russian Revolution: A Very Short Introduction
By: S. A. Smith
This concise, accessible introduction provides an analytical narrative of the main events and developments in Soviet Russia between 1917 and 1936. It examines the impact of the revolution on society as a whole--on different classes, ethnic groups, the army, men and women, youth. Its central concern is to understand how one structure of domination was replaced by another. The book registers the primacy of politics, but situates political developments firmly in the context of massive economic, social, and cultural change. Since the fall of Communism there has been much reflection on the significance of the Russian Revolution. The book rejects the currently influential, liberal interpretation of the revolution in favor of one that sees it as rooted in the contradictions of a backward society which sought modernization and enlightenment and ended in political tyranny.
The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin
By: Masha Gessen
National Book Award winner Masha Gessen's biography of a ruthless man's ascent to near-absolute power.The Man Without a Face is the chilling account of how a low- level, small-minded KGB operative ascended to the Russian presidency and, in an astonishingly short time, destroyed years of progress and made his country once more a threat to her own people and to the world.Handpicked as a successor by the "family" surrounding an ailing and increasingly unpopular Boris Yeltsin, Vladimir Putin seemed like a perfect choice for the oligarchy to shape according to its own designs. Suddenly the boy who had stood in the shadows, dreaming of ruling the world, was a public figure, and his popularity soared. Russia and an infatuated West were determined to see the progressive leader of their dreams, even as he seized control of media, sent political rivals and critics into exile or to the grave, and smashed the country's fragile electoral system, concentrating power in the hands of his cronies.As a journalist living in Moscow, Masha Gessen experienced this history firsthand, and for The Man Without a Face she has drawn on information and sources no other writer has tapped. Her account of how a "faceless" man maneuvered his way into absolute—and absolutely corrupt—power is the definitive biography of Vladimir Putin.
The Empress of Art: Catherine the Great and the Transformation of Russia
By: Susan Jaques
Ruthless and passionate, Catherine the Great is singularly responsible for amassing one of the most awe-inspiring collections of art in the world and turning St. Petersburg in to a world wonder.  The Empress of Art brings to life the creation of this captivating woman's greatest legacy An art-oriented biography of the mighty Catherine the Great, who rose from seemingly innocuous beginnings to become one of the most powerful people in the world. A German princess who married a decadent and lazy Russian prince, Catherine mobilized support amongst the Russian nobles, playing off of her husband's increasing corruption and abuse of power. She then staged a coup that ended with him being strangled with his own scarf in the halls of the palace and herself crowned the Empress of Russia.Intelligent and determined, Catherine modeled herself off of her grandfather in-law, Peter the Great, and sought to further modernize and westernize Russia. She believed that the best way to do this was through a ravenous acquisition of art, which Catherine often used as a form of diplomacy with other powers throughout Europe. She was a self-proclaimed "glutton for art" and she would be responsible for the creation of the Hermitage, one of the largest museums in the world, second only to the Louvre. Catherine also spearheaded the further expansion of St. Petersburg, and the magnificent architectural wonder the city became is largely her doing. There are few women in history more fascinating than Catherine the Great, and for the first time, Susan Jaques brings her to life through the prism of art. 24 pages of color illustrations
The Winter Queen: A Novel (An Erast Fandorin Mystery)
By: Boris Akunin
Moscow, May 1876. What would cause a talented student from a wealthy family to shoot himself in front of a promenading public? Decadence and boredom, it is presumed. But young sleuth Erast Fandorin is not satisfied with the conclusion that this death is an open-and-shut case, nor with the preliminary detective work the precinct has done–and for good reason: The bizarre and tragic suicide is soon connected to a clear case of murder, witnessed firsthand by Fandorin himself. Relying on his keen intuition, the eager detective plunges into an investigation that leads him across Europe, landing him at the center of a vast conspiracy with the deadliest of implications.
The Routledge Atlas of Russian History (Routledge Historical Atlases)
By: Martin Gilbert
The complex and often turbulent history of Russia over the course of 2,000 years is brought to life in a series of 176 maps by one of the most prolific and successful historian authors today. This fourth edition of The Routledge Atlas of Russian History covers not only the wars and expansion of Russia but also a wealth of less conspicuous details of its history, from famine and anarchism to the growth of naval strength and the strengths of the river systems. From 800 BC to the fall of the Soviet Union, this indispensable guide to Russian history covers: war and conflict: from the triumph of the Goths between 200 and 400 BC to the defeat of Germany at the end of the Second World War and the end of the Cold War politics: from the rise of Moscow in the Middle Ages to revolution, the fall of the monarchy and the collapse of communism industry, economics and transport: from the Trans-Siberian Railway between 1891 and 1917 to the Virgin Lands Campaign and the growth of heavy industry society, trade and culture: from the growth of monasticism to peasant discontent, Labour Camps and the geographical distribution of ethnic Russians. Now bringing new material to view, and including seven new maps, this popular atlas will more than readily gain a place on the bookshelves of anyone interested in the history of Russia.
Natasha's Dance: A Cultural History of Russia
By: Orlando Figes
Beginning in the eighteenth century with the building of St. Petersburg and culminating with the Soviet regime, Figes examines how writers, artists, and musicians grappled with the idea of Russia itself--its character, spiritual essence, and destiny. Skillfully interweaving the great works--by Dostoevsky, Stravinsky, and Chagall--with folk embroidery, peasant songs, religious icons, and all the customs of daily life, Figes reveals the spirit of "Russianness" as rich and uplifting, complex and contradictory--and more lasting than any Russian ruler or state.
Speak, Memory: An Autobiography Revisited
By: Vladimir Nabokov
Speak, Memory, first published in 1951 as Conclusive Evidence and then assiduously revised in 1966, is an elegant and rich evocation of Nabokov's life and times, even as it offers incisive insights into his major works, including Lolita, Pnin, Despair, The Gift, The Real Life of Sebastian Knight, and The Defense.
Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar
By: Simon Sebag Montefiore
This widely acclaimed biography of Stalin and his entourage during the terrifying decades of his supreme power transforms our understanding of Stalin as Soviet dictator, Marxist leader, and Russian tsar.Based on groundbreaking research, Simon Sebag Montefiore reveals the fear and betrayal, privilege and debauchery, family life and murderous cruelty of this secret world. Written with bracing narrative verve, this feat of scholarly research has become a classic of modern history writing. Showing how Stalin's triumphs and crimes were the product of his fanatical Marxism and his gifted but flawed character, this is an intimate portrait of a man as complicated and human as he was brutal and chilling.
Russka: The Novel of Russia
By: Edward Rutherfurd
"Impressive."THE WASHINGTON POST BOOK WORLDSpanning 1800 years of Russia's history, people, poltics, and culture, Edward Rurtherford, author of the phenomenally successful SARUM: THE NOVEL OF ENGLAND, tells a grand saga that is as multifaceted as Russia itself. Here is a story of a great civilization made human, played out through the lives of four families who are divided by ethnicity but united in shaping the destiny of their land."Rutherford's RUSSKA succeeds....[He] can take his place among an elite cadre of chroniclers such as Harold Lamb, Maurice Hindus and Henri Troyat."SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLEFrom the Paperback edition.
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.
Terms and conditions

Mission

Smithsonian Journeys engage travelers in the mission of the Smithsonian – “the increase and diffusion of knowledge.” Like the Institution, our tours enrich our guests’ lives and satisfy their curiosity about the world. Your participation benefits the work of Smithsonian’s 19 museums, National Zoo, and nine research centers, helping to preserve our national treasures and shape the future through science, research, and exhibitions.

What Is Included in the Tour Cost

  • Expertise of a Smithsonian Journeys expert, tour director and local guides throughout the tour
  • All gratuities for the expert, tour director, on-tour guides and drivers
  • On-tour 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)
  • Pre-tour information, including a reading list
  • Beverages with included lunches and dinners: water, tea, coffee, wine or beer
  • Transfers and luggage handling abroad for all travelers whose arrival(s)/departure(s) coincide with the scheduled group transfer(s)
  • 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; R-reception)
  • All sightseeing and visits as noted in each itinerary

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
  • 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
  • Communication Charges (e.g.: phone, internet, etc.)
  • Other items noted as optional or not specifically mentioned as included
  • International airfare between the U.S. and the tour start and end cities; air taxes or fuel surcharges; pre- or post-tour services; visa or passport fees; medical and trip cancellation/ interruption insurance; evacuation costs; food or beverages not included in group meals; baggage handling at airports; items of personal nature such as laundry, alcohol, additional beverages with included meals, telephone expenses, excess baggage fees, baggage handling at airports and railway stations, photo/video expenses inside museums (where allowed); other items not expressly listed as included.  

Registration

To submit a reservation request, please use our secure online system at SmithsonianJourneys.org or call 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.  
 

To complete your reservation, 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).

Payments

A deposit of $1,000 per person 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 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 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 traveler 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), 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 travelers. While we will do everything possible to maintain the listed prices, they are subject to change.   Due to fluctuations in oil prices, a fuel surcharge may be added to your tour fee (e.g. internal flights, cruises, etc.).  Details and costs will be advised prior to departure.

Wait List

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

Cancellation and Refund Policy

Following enrollment, a traveler’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 date of written notice to Smithsonian Journeys. Tour operator will refund on the following basis:

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

Air Service

For tour packages 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. Since international and domestic air schedules are subject to change at any time, we recommend that if you choose to make your own airline reservations, you do not purchase nonrefundable tickets or those with high penalties for changes. Neither Smithsonian Journeys nor the tour operator has any liability for any loss resulting from tour cancellations or changes in international gateways, travel dates, or airline schedule changes. If an air schedule requires an overnight stay in a gateway city, the cost of the overnight will be at your expense. For tour packages that include round-trip international airfare, we will be happy to help with arrangements. Please note that seat assignment on your international flight is usually done at airport check-in. The tour operator is unable to guarantee any seat assignments.

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

Individual Arrivals and Group Transfers
A designated group flight is not included on most tours. However, transportation from the arrival airport to the ship/hotel is included in your tour cost if you arrive in time to meet the scheduled group transfer. Your first tour bulletin will thoroughly explain the details of the options available for your individual flights.

Air Tickets Purchased Independently of the Tour
We urge you to check airline cancellation penalties before purchasing airline tickets since international departure times and flights can change. Tours also can be canceled due to low enrollments. Neither Smithsonian Institution nor the tour operator accepts liability for cancellation penalties related to domestic or international airline tickets purchased independently in conjunction with a tour.

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. 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). It also includes up to $25,000 medical and up to $500 dental expense coverage, and 24-hour worldwide travel and medical assistance. Please click here to view complete coverage details.

Please visit www.TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys or call Travel Guard at 1-800-208-6142 to learn about additional (optional) coverage.

Travel Documents

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 in this catalog. If your tour requires a visa or other entry documents, we will send you the appropriate information after you make a reservation. You are responsible for obtaining these documents. If you are not a U.S. citizen, please contact your embassy or consulate to ensure you obtain the proper documentation.

Physical and Medical Considerations

Please note that these tours require that participants be in good physical condition. You must be capable, without assistance, of walking a minimum of two miles over uneven terrain and of climbing stairs that may not have handrails. Participants should have sufficient stamina to keep pace with an active group of travelers on long days of touring. If you have any questions about your ability to participate in a tour, please call us at 855-330-1542. Some tours have additional notes regarding physical and medical considerations, which may be discussed with the Cultural Travel Specialist at 855-330-1542.

Itinerary or Program Modifications

Smithsonian strives to improve tour itineraries and their features. If improvements can be made, or unforeseen circumstances beyond our control make changes necessary, we reserve the right to vary itineraries and to substitute hotels. Every effort will be made to carry out the program as planned but alterations may still occur after the final itinerary is sent. Please note that weather conditions may force changes to the advertised sailing schedule on cruise programs. The ship’s captain has the authority to change the ship’s schedule.

Accommodations

Smithsonian chooses hotels based on a combination of their location, service, atmosphere, and price. On adventure tours and programs in out-of-the-way places, best-available hotels are used. In most cases, hotels have elevators and meeting rooms for Smithsonian lectures. Program prices are based on two persons sharing a room with a bath.

Singles and Roommates
Hotel rooms are always reserved for single travelers; however the number of single rooms available on a tour may be limited. Therefore we recommend that you register early. Please note that a single supplement will apply for a single room. If you are traveling alone and wish to share a room, we will do our best to find someone of the same gender and smoking preference to share with you. If you are matched with a non-smoking roommate, it is mutually agreed that you cannot smoke in your hotel room. When a roommate cannot be found, the single supplement will be charged. 

Children

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

Special Travel Arrangements

Participants may wish to extend their stay in the group hotel. Please note that the tour operator can assist you in making post-tour arrangements only. We regret that we are unable to help with pre-tour arrangements.

Photography
Participants on tour may be photographed for the educational and promotional purposes of the Smithsonian Institution. Photographs may be printed in publications and posted on websites to promote Smithsonian Journeys. Travelers who prefer that their image not be used must advise the tour manager at the beginning of the tour.

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.

Preparing for Your Journey

Prior to departure, you will receive Tour Bulletins containing both general and tour specific information to help you prepare for your travel experience. These bulletins will include:

  • Passport and visa instructions
  • Flight information
  • Weather, clothing, and packing suggestions
  • A suggested reading list
  • General information about the countries you will visit, e.g. the food, customs, medical precautions, and currency.
  • Information about your Smithsonian Journeys Expert and tour staff
  • Baggage tag(s) and name badge(s)
  • Final itinerary
  • Participant list  

RESPONSIBILITY STATEMENT AND LIABILITY DISCLAIMER

Read Carefully: Responsibility Statement and Liability Disclaimer
Smithsonian Journeys are managed by professional tour operators hired as independent contractors. The use of tour operators allows the Smithsonian to offer its members a wide array of educational travel opportunities. The tour operator acts only as an agent for the respective suppliers by making arrangements for transportation, accommodations, and other services. Neither the Smithsonian Institution nor the tour operator shall be held liable for personal injury, death, property damage or accident, delay or irregularity arising out of any act or omission of these suppliers. The Smithsonian Institution and the tour operator reserve the right, without penalty, to make changes in the published itinerary whenever, in their judgment, conditions warrant, or if they deem it necessary for the comfort, convenience, or safety of tour participants.

The Smithsonian Institution and the tour operator also reserve the right, without penalty, to withdraw the tour announced, to decline to accept any person as a participant in a tour, or to require any participant to withdraw from the tour at any time, when such action is determined by tour staff to be in the best interests of the health, safety or general welfare of the tour group or the individual participant, subject only to the requirement that the recoverable portion of the total amount paid that corresponds to the cost of unused services and accommodations be refunded, if any. If your tour does not include airfare, your Tour Bulletins will provide information about when participants are recommended to purchase airline tickets. The Smithsonian Institution and the tour operator accept no liability for the purchase of non-refundable airline tickets to/from the tour departure city if a tour is canceled or otherwise modified subsequent to the participant’s purchase of those tickets. Baggage and personal effects are at all times the sole responsibility of the participant.

Dates, schedules, program details, and costs, although provided in good faith based on information available at the time of publication of the brochure or catalog, are subject to change and revision.

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

The undersigned has read carefully the Responsibility Statement and Liability Disclaimer set forth above, the schedule of activities for this tour, as well as the terms and conditions of application and participation as set forth in the tour brochure(s), and recognizes and accepts any risk associated with the tour and the conditions, including the refund policy, set forth in the tour brochure(s). The undersigned further acknowledges that there are many risks and uncertainties inherent in any travel tour, including but not limited to the hazards of various modes of transportation, forces of nature, acts or omissions of foreign governments, terrorism, war or insurrection, theft, illness, and damage to person or property due to the negligent acts or omissions of tour staff or others. In consideration of, and as part payment for, the right to participate in the tour, the undersigned, on behalf of himself, his dependents, heirs, executors, administrators and assigns, agrees to release the Smithsonian Institution, its Regents, officers, employees, representatives or agents, the United States, and the tour operator and its officers, employees and agents, from liability for personal injury, death, property damage or loss suffered by any person in connection with this tour, even if caused by the negligence (but not the reckless, willful, or fraudulent conduct) of tour staff or other related persons or entities. In addition, by registering for this tour, the applicant certifies that he or she is mentally and physically capable of full participation in this tour.

By registering for a Smithsonian Journey, the participant agrees to the Responsibility Statement and Liability Disclaimer and the Terms and Conditions herein.