Science and art enthusiasts will delight in this new journey to Switzerland, which showcases Albert Einstein, the Supercollider at CERN, the magnificent Jungfrau, and the art of Paul Klee.

Starting at: $8,995 * Price includes special offer Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 ATLAS Detector/Calorimeter. Credit: Courtesy CERN  Kramgasse, Bern. Credit: Swiss-image.ch / Jan Geerk  The Globe of Science and Innovation at CERN. Credit:  Maximilien Brice / CERN  Smithsonian Journeys participants in front of the Globe of Science and Innovation at CERN Credit: Temu Nana  ALICE Detector/Calorimeter. Credit: Courtesy CERN  Magnet installed in the Large Hadron Collider. Credit: Maximilien Brice/CERN  Prototype of magnet for the upgraded Large Hadron Collider.  Credit: CERN  Rooftops of Bern  City of Bern  Paul Klee Center, Bern. Credit: swiss-image.ch / BernTourism / Zentrum Paul Klee  Einstein display, Bern. Credit: Swiss-image.ch / Terrence du Fresne  Einstein's passport, Einstein Museum, Bern. Credit: Bernisches Historisches Museum  View of Zurich  Kunstmuseum, Zurich. Credit: Swiss-image.ch/Andre Meier  Sphinx Observatory perched in the Jungfrau  Zurich, Switzerland  Smithsonian Journeys participants tour the Large Hadron Collider at CERN Credit: Temu Nana

Art Meets Science in Switzerland

Featuring a Rare Visit to the Supercollider at CERN

9 days from $8,995

Science and art enthusiasts will delight in this new journey to Switzerland, which showcases Albert Einstein, the Supercollider at CERN, the magnificent Jungfrau, and the art of Paul Klee.

or Call 855-330-1542

Accommodations

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

The Widder Hotel

Zurich, Switzerland

The Widder Hotel is a 5-star boutique hotel located in the heart of Zurich’s historic “Old Town”. The hotel building dates back to the 12th century and has been beautifully renovated. The rooms have contemporary design and cutting edge technology, but each is uniquely decorated and has historical references. Each room has a variable-firmness mattress, movement-sensitive night-lights, directional LED reading lamps, Nespresso machine, minibar, multimedia TV, bathroom mirror with integrated TV, and WiFi.

Number of nights: 2

The Bellevue Palace

Bern, Switzerland

Located in the heart of Bern, next to the Bundeshaus (Federal Palace), the 5-star Bellevue Palace hotel is 150 years old, but renovated to classical elegance. It is the official guesthouse of the Swiss government. Each room has a TV, espresso maker, minibar, premium bedding, bathrooms/slippers, safe, desk and complimentary WiFi. The hotel offers a fitness center and Finnish sauna.

Number of nights: 2

The Beau Rivage

Geneva, Switzerland

Located on the famous Quai du Mont Blanc lakeside promenade and opposite the Jet d’Eau fountain, the 5-star Beau Rivage hotel has a refined and elegant atmosphere. Each room has a desk, TV, minibar, complimentary WiFi and electronic newspapers. The hotel’s Le Chat Botté restaurant possesses one Michelin star and offers French and contemporary cuisine under the leadership of chef Dominique Gauthier.

Number of nights: 3

Activity Level

Level 2: Moderate

Expectations: Days will be active with some flexibility, and with some early departures from the hotels and activities scheduled throughout the day and into the late afternoon or evening. While we will maintain a moderate pace throughout the program, you should be in good overall health and able to walk and stand for extended periods of time at historic sites and in museums.

Travel will be by modern air-conditioned motor coach, with drives generally lasting under an hour at a time, sometimes over winding mountainous roads. There will be two long drives during the program: from Zurich to Bern, which takes approximately one and a half to two hours; and from Bern to Geneva, which takes approximately three hours, with a stop for lunch in Guyeres. Longer drives are broken into shorter segments with rest stops and site visits. Motorcoaches may not have close access to the historic city centers and you will need to walk some distances where streets are sometimes cobblestoned and uneven, and where stairways occasionally may not have handrails. In addition to travel by motorcoach, excursions involve one to two miles of walking on some days, and you can expect to spend up to three hours at a time on your feet, sometimes remaining fairly stationary, as in a museum, and sometimes covering a moderate distance. Please note that some buildings will not have elevators. Participants must be in good health and able to keep up with the group without assistance from tour staff.

Please be aware that the excursion to the Swiss Alps takes place at high altitude, with a maximum elevation of about 11,716 feet at the Sphinx Observatory and Research Institute. Participants may experience symptoms of altitude sickness on this day, including a headache, fatigue, or dizziness, and it is possible that some participants will experience more severe symptoms. In addition, higher altitudes can exacerbate health issues you already have. If you commonly experience severe altitude sickness, you may wish to skip this excursion. There is a stop about halfway up/down the mountain, at Kleine Scheidegg, for those who find their reaction to the altitude is more serious than they had anticipated.

This promises to be a memorable journey, but as with all travel, a flexible attitude, a spirit of adventure, and a willingness to explore new areas will enhance your enjoyment of this program. You do not have to participate in all the scheduled activities, except when traveling to the next destination.

*Please note that the underground portion of the visit to the Large Hadron Collider at CERN (ALICE detector) is not appropriate for pregnant women, children under 16 years of age, or travelers with mobility issues, claustrophobia, vertigo, or who have undergone chemotherapy. Travelers with pacemakers and other ferromagnetic medical implants will not be allowed to visit the underground facilities. Please note these restrictions do not apply to the main exhibits, Visitors’ Center and gift shop at CERN, which will also be part of the tour.  Participants with the aforementioned conditions may also be allowed access to the aboveground portion of the ALICE detector facilities. 

Reading List
DK Eyewitness Travel Guide Switzerland
By: DK Travel
Ski the Alps, explore the idyllic countryside, and take in the alpine scenery when you travel to Switzerland. See history, art, and more in this unique and vibrant country.From top restaurants, bars, and clubs to standout scenic sites and walks, our insider tips are sure to make your trip outstanding. Whether you're looking for unique and interesting shops and markets, or seeking the best venues for music and nightlife, we have entertainment and hotel recommendations for every budget covered in our Eyewitness Travel Guide.Discover DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Switzerland.   • Detailed itineraries and "don't-miss" destination highlights at a glance.    • Illustrated cutaway 3-D drawings of important sights.    • Floor plans and guided visitor information for major museums.    • Guided walking tours, local drink and dining specialties to try, things to do, and places to eat, drink, and shop by area.    • Area maps marked with sights.    • Detailed city maps include street finder indexes for easy navigation.    • Insights into history and culture to help you understand the stories behind the sights.    • Hotel and restaurant listings highlight DK Choice special recommendations. With hundreds of full-color photographs, hand-drawn illustrations, and custom maps that illuminate every page, DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Switzerland truly shows you the country as no one else can.Recommended: For a pocket guidebook to Switzerland, check out DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Top 10 Switzerland, which is packed with dozens of top 10 lists, ensuring you make the most of your time and experience the best of everything.Series Overview: For more than two decades, DK Eyewitness Travel Guides have helped travelers experience the world through the history, art, architecture, and culture of their destinations. Expert travel writers and researchers provide independent editorial advice, recommendations, and reviews. With guidebooks to hundreds of places around the globe available in print and digital formats, DK Eyewitness Travel Guides show travelers how they can discover more.
Eiger Dreams: Ventures Among Men and Mountains
By: Jon Krakauer
No one writes about mountaineering and its attendant victories and hardships more brilliantly than Jon Krakauer. In this collection of his finest essays and reporting, Krakauer writes of mountains from the memorable perspective of one who has himself struggled with solo madness to scale Alaska's notorious Devils Thumb. In Pakistan, the fearsome K2 kills thirteen of the world's most experienced mountain climbers in one horrific summer. In Valdez, Alaska, two men scale a frozen waterfall over a four-hundred-foot drop. In France, a hip international crowd of rock climbers, bungee jumpers, and paragliders figure out new ways to risk their lives on the towering peaks of Mont Blanc. Why do they do it? How do they do it? In this extraordinary book, Krakauer presents an unusual fraternity of daredevils, athletes, and misfits stretching the limits of the possible.From the paranoid confines of a snowbound tent, to the thunderous, suffocating terror of a white-out on Mount McKinley, Eiger Dreams spins tales of driven lives, sudden deaths, and incredible victories. This is a stirring, vivid book about one of the most compelling and dangerous of all human pursuits.
Swiss History in a Nutshell
By: Grégoire Nappey, Mix & Remix, Robert Middleton
Swiss History in a Nutshell gives you an easy-to-read insight into the most fascinating moments in Switzerland's rich and colourful history - from its cavemen to its conquests, foundation, growth, independence and prosperity. Switzerland's surprising past as a leading military power in Europe - how Swiss democracy matured through several revolutions - the origins of Swiss cultural differences and how they were overcome to create a stable federal republic how Switzerland's direct democracy, consensus politics and legendary good industrial relations were achieved. Cartoons (naughty and nice) illustrate this kaleidoscope of key events that have created Switzerland as it is today.
When Einstein Walked with Gödel: Excursions to the Edge of Thought
By: Jim Holt
From Jim Holt, the New York Times bestselling author of Why Does the World Exist?, comes an entertaining and accessible guide to the most profound scientific and mathematical ideas of recent centuries in When Einstein Walked with Gödel: Excursions to the Edge of Thought.Does time exist? What is infinity? Why do mirrors reverse left and right but not up and down? In this scintillating collection, Holt explores the human mind, the cosmos, and the thinkers who’ve tried to encompass the latter with the former. With his trademark clarity and humor, Holt probes the mysteries of quantum mechanics, the quest for the foundations of mathematics, and the nature of logic and truth. Along the way, he offers intimate biographical sketches of celebrated and neglected thinkers, from the physicist Emmy Noether to the computing pioneer Alan Turing and the discoverer of fractals, Benoit Mandelbrot. Holt offers a painless and playful introduction to many of our most beautiful but least understood ideas, from Einsteinian relativity to string theory, and also invites us to consider why the greatest logician of the twentieth century believed the U.S. Constitution contained a terrible contradiction―and whether the universe truly has a future.
Einstein: His Life and Universe
By: Walter Isaacson
By the author of the acclaimed bestsellers Benjamin Franklin and Steve Jobs, this is the definitive biography of Albert Einstein. How did his mind work? What made him a genius? Isaacson’s biography shows how his scientific imagination sprang from the rebellious nature of his personality. His fascinating story is a testament to the connection between creativity and freedom. Based on newly released personal letters of Einstein, this book explores how an imaginative, impertinent patent clerk—a struggling father in a difficult marriage who couldn’t get a teaching job or a doctorate—became the mind reader of the creator of the cosmos, the locksmith of the mysteries of the atom, and the universe. His success came from questioning conventional wisdom and marveling at mysteries that struck others as mundane. This led him to embrace a morality and politics based on respect for free minds, free spirits, and free individuals. These traits are just as vital for this new century of globalization, in which our success will depend on our creativity, as they were for the beginning of the last century, when Einstein helped usher in the modern age.
Ideas And Opinions
By: Albert Einstein
A new edition of the most definitive collection of Albert Einstein's popular writings, gathered under the supervision of Einstein himself. The selections range from his earliest days as a theoretical physicist to his death in 1955; from such subjects as relativity, nuclear war or peace, and religion and science, to human rights, economics, and government.
A Taste of Switzerland
By: Sue Style, John Miller
Now you can discover some of Switzerland's finest recipes and culinary traditions. A Taste of Switzerland includes more than 50 recipes of specialities from all regions of Switzerland. Chapters focus on festivities, breads, cheeses, sausages, game and mushrooms, the significance of chocolate, fruits, wine, and the art of the Swiss hotelier. There is a bibliography, a list of food and wine museums, an index and 119 luscious colour photographs. Swiss food, folklore, history and traditions are interspersed with many recipes to give you a tempting taste of the richness of the country's diverse gastronomic cultures. Sue Style's writing stimulates more than your taste buds as she describes the delectable flavours that give a unique identity to each region. She takes you to dairies, vineyards, butchers and bakers, as well as to some of Switzerland's finest restaurants and hotels and shares with you her many impressions, anecdotes - and of course recipes. Clear and simple instructions enable you to prepare a whole range of Swiss dishes and specialities.
Switzerland - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture
By: Kendall Hunter
There is far more to Switzerland than beautiful scenery, chocolate, watches, faceless bankers, and spotless cities. The real Switzerland is full of surprises and anything but bland. This small, rugged, landlocked country at the heart of Europe has been a confederation since the first three cantons came together in a defensive alliance in 1291. Four national languages are spoken within its borders. Its present twenty-six cantons are largely autonomous and retain their individual characters. In this grassroots democracy real power lies with the people, who exercise it directly through frequent referendums. “Swissness” is, above all, a spirit of independence and of communal involvement. Although it is a model of peace and multicultural cooperation, with one of the highest standards of living in Europe, Switzerland’s prosperity has been hard-won. Historically neutral, it maintains a semi-detached relationship within the European Union. In 2014, a national referendum supported quotas on EU migrants. Despite the several hundred thousand EU nationals living and working within its borders, and almost half a million Swiss working in the EU, this small, resource-poor country appears determined to retain its independence. Culture Smart! Switzerland provides an historical perspective, explores Swiss values and attitudes, and looks at the cultural continuity of festivals and traditions. It helps you navigate the workplace, the neighborhood, and the social scene. It offers crucial insights into Swiss business culture, and more generally on differences in communication style. Swiss people are not always easy to get to know. Proud, industrious, fair-minded, and creative, they respect the individual, which means that while they appreciate clear thinking and direct talking, they avoid confrontation. They will never intrude, yet will willingly help out if asked. Make the effort, and people will respond. Warmth, decency, intelligence, and wit are among the many hidden riches of this fascinating society.
The God Particle: If the Universe Is the Answer, What Is the Question?
By: Leon Lederman, Dick Teresi
A fascinating tour of particle physics from Nobel Prize winner Leon Lederman. At the root of particle physics is an invincible sense of curiosity. Leon Lederman embraces this spirit of inquiry as he moves from the Greeks' earliest scientific observations to Einstein and beyond to chart this unique arm of scientific study. His survey concludes with the Higgs boson, nicknamed the God Particle, which scientists hypothesize will help unlock the last secrets of the subatomic universe, quarks and all—it's the dogged pursuit of this almost mystical entity that inspires Lederman's witty and accessible history.
The Particle at the End of the Universe: How the Hunt for the Higgs Boson Leads Us to the Edge of a New World
By: Sean Carroll
Winner of the prestigious 2013 Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books“A modern voyage of discovery.” —Frank Wilczek, Nobel Laureate, author of The Lightness of Being The Higgs boson is one of our era’s most fascinating scientific frontiers and the key to understanding why mass exists. The most recent book on the subject, The God Particle, was a bestseller. Now, Caltech physicist Sean Carroll documents the doorway that is opening—after billions of dollars and the efforts of thousands of researchers at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland—into the mind-boggling world of dark matter. The Particle at the End of the Universe has it all: money and politics, jealousy and self-sacrifice, history and cutting-edge physics—all grippingly told by a rising star of science writing.
Voyage to the Heart of Matter: The ATLAS Experiment at CERN (Pop-Up Books (Papadakis))
By: Emma Sanders, Anton Radevsky
In this unique collaboration between CERN and renowned paper engineer Anton Radevsky, 7000 tonnes of metal, glass, plastic, cables and computer chips leap from the page in miniature pop-up, to tell the story of CERN's quest to understand the birth of the universe. Protons, travelling at nearly the speed of light, collide within the heart of the ATLAS detector, sending out showers of debris to recreate 40 million times a second the conditions that existed millionths of a second after the Big Bang, the event that set our universe in motion. Now all ages can join the ATLAS experiment on this fascinating journey to the beginnings of the universe in this astonishing pop-up book.
Beyond Chocolate: Understanding Swiss Culture
By: Margaret Oertig-Davidson
Go beyond Swiss chocolate, beyond the initial fun and adventure of a new country and a new career to immerse yourself in the cultural attitudes of Switzerland's fascinating, multi-faceted society. These thought-provoking insights are based on extensive interviews with Swiss and international people who know well the ups and downs of life in Switzerland. These observations enable newcomers to better understand the perspectives of their Swiss neighbours, friends and international business colleagues. Margaret Oertig-Davidson conducts seminars at international Swiss companies and universities as an expert on relations between Swiss and English-speaking cultures. This engaging study exposes different attitudes and potential misunderstandings about friendship, neighbourliness, being professional, giving and getting compliments and criticism, parenting, schooling, being polite, entertaining, negotiating, decision making, business etiquette, team work, leadership, making plans, and much much more.
Coming Out Swiss: In Search of Heidi, Chocolate, and My Other Life
By: Anne Herrmann
Anne Herrmann, a dual citizen born in New York to Swiss parents, offers in Coming Out Swiss a witty, profound, and ultimately universal exploration of identity and community. “Swissness”―even on its native soil a loose confederacy, divided by multiple languages, nationalities, religion, and alpen geography―becomes in the diaspora both nowhere (except in the minds of immigrants and their children) and everywhere, reflected in pervasive clichés.             In a work that is part memoir, part history and travelogue, Herrmann explores all our Swiss clichés (chocolate, secret bank accounts, Heidi, Nazi gold, neutrality, mountains, Swiss Family Robinson) and also scrutinizes topics that may surprise (the “invention” of the Alps, the English Colony in Davos, Switzerland’s role during World War II, women students at the University of Zurich in the 1870s). She ponders, as well, marks of Swissness that have lost their identity in the diaspora (Sutter Home, Helvetica, Dadaism) and the enduring Swiss American community of New Glarus, Wisconsin. Coming Out Swiss will appeal not just to the Swiss diaspora but also to those drawn to multi-genre writing that blurs boundaries between the personal and the historical.
Paul Klee: Life and Work
By: Boris Friedewald
This beautiful and affordable volume offers high-quality reproductions and the latest biographical information on Paul Klee, who helped pave the way for Modernism. Readers of this book will find much to discover and relish in Paul Klee's art. Several lavish reproductions of his iconic works, as well as those that are more rarely exhibited, are featured alongside in-depth biographical information that looks beyond his many artistic achievements to explore the life and times of the man himself. Never-before-published photographs of Klee and his circle, as well as entertaining and enlightening anecdotes, offer a multifaceted perspective on a groundbreaking artist and the events that helped shape his colorful, imaginative work.
Hotel Du Lac
By: Anita Brookner
In the novel that won her the Booker Prize and established her international reputation, Anita Brookner finds a new vocabulary for framing the eternal question "Why love?" It tells the story of Edith Hope, who writes romance novels under a psudonym. When her life begins to resemble the plots of her own novels, however, Edith flees to Switzerland, where the quiet luxury of the Hotel du Lac promises to resore her to her senses.But instead of peace and rest, Edith finds herself sequestered at the hotel with an assortment of love's casualties and exiles. She also attracts the attention of a worldly man determined to release her unused capacity for mischief and pleasure. Beautifully observed, witheringly funny, Hotel du Lac is Brookner at her most stylish and potently subversive.
The Night Manager
By: John le Carré
Either we make you rich or we make you dead. On a bleak January night at the outbreak of the Gulf War, Mr. Richard Onslow Roper, a very special visitor, arrives with his entourage at a Zurich hotel. The night manager, Jonathan Pine, recognizes him immediately—and prays that the identification is not mutual. Welcome to the new era of espionage, where the habits and rules forged in the darkest days of the Cold War are applied to an even more harrowing end. This is Roper's world—a world of illegal arms dealers and drug smugglers, men whose ruthlessness is matched only by their hunger for unlimited wealth. Enter Leonard Burr, former British intelligence officer turned international policeman. Burr recruits Pine to his cause, and launches him on an undercover odyssey that takes him from Zurich to the desolate coast of Cornwall, and eventually to a village in Quebec where he obtains the identity that will be his tickets of entry to Roper's island hideaway in the Bahamas. In what is perhaps John le Carré's greatest work to day, The Night Manager brings to life a whole new era of intrigue, brilliantly conceived by the undisputed master of the genre.
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, Travel Guard provides an on-tour Insurance Plan. 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.

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 Provided With Your Tour

  • The expertise of a Smithsonian Journeys Expert, Tour Director, and local guides throughout the tour.
  • All accommodations (based on double occupancy).
  • All meals during the program (B-breakfast; L-lunch; R-reception; D-dinner). Wine and beer served with lunches and dinners.
  • Enrichment program of lectures and special events.
  • All sightseeing and visits as noted in the itinerary.
  • Pre-tour information, including a reading list.
  • All on-tour transportation, unless otherwise noted.
  • Taxes, service, and all gratuities. 
  • 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).
  • Airport transfers for those arriving/ departing on scheduled program dates. 
  • Personal listening devices.
  • House wine, beer, and soft drinks with all meals.

What Is Not Provided With Your Tour

  • International airfare.
  • Passport fees, visas, and visa photos as required.
  • Personal items such as wines, liquors, à-la-carte orders, meals other than specified.
  • Expenses incurred by our tour operators in making individual travel arrangements in conjunction with the tour.
  • Transfers to and from airports for those not arriving/departing on scheduled program dates.
  • Other items not specifically mentioned as included. 
  • Optional Traveler Insurance

Registration

Space is reserved in the order of receipt of phone or web reservations. To submit a request for a reservation, please order using our secure online process, or call 855-330-1542 to speak with a Cultural Travel Specialist, 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 of your status when your request has been received and processed. Please note: No new registrations can be accepted within 30 days of most tours. Some tours are more restrictive; please see individual tour pages for these exceptions. To complete your request, the following is necessary:

Required Information

  • For all international departures, passport information including the following, in accordance with the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) Secure Flight program as well as by our international travel partners: your full name as it appears on your passport, date of birth, and gender (for further information, please visit www.tsa.gov).
  • In the event, an airline ticket is issued with incorrect information you have provided, or if you use a different passport than originally cited, you will be responsible for charges associated with the ticket’s reissue.

Payments

  • Deposit of $500 per person, unless otherwise noted, is required to reserve a space on tour. This deposit may be made by credit card or check to Smithsonian Journeys and is applied to the final payment of the tour price. 

Late Registration

  • Any registration received within 120 days of departure is considered a “late registration” and must be subject to special confirmation. Smithsonian Journeys will process the credit card deposit of $500 per person, then payment in full must be made immediately by credit card, or by check sent by overnight mail to the tour operator before confirmation is possible.
  • Once confirmed, cancellation penalties apply as set forth below. If confirmation is not possible, all payments made will be refunded in full.
  • Late registration confirmation procedures apply to any participant who is transferred from the wait list to the program within the designated late registration period for that program.
  • For more information, please call 855-330-1542 to speak with a Cultural Travel Specialist, Mon-Fri 9 am - 7 pm; Sat 9 am – 4 pm (Eastern Time).  www.SmithsonianJourneys.org/Contact

A Note About Costs

Tour costs are based upon current airfares, tariffs, currency values, and on the basis of a minimum number of participants. While we will do everything possible to maintain the listed prices, they are subject to change. Should actual enrollments fall significantly below minimum numbers, a surcharge may be added. 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: Per person cancellation fees are based on date of notice to Smithsonian Journeys.

  • Cancellation within 7 days of booking (if not within final payment date): full refund.
  • Cancellation 7 days after booking: $500 retained.
  • Final payment due: 95 days before departure.
  • Cancellation made less than 95 days prior to departure: no refund.
  • Cancellation by the Smithsonian: full refund.
  • No refund for unused portions of the tour, including but not limited to, missed meals, hotel nights, and sightseeing.

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

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, 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.

Individual Arrivals and Group Transfers

A designated group flight is not included on most tours. Your first tour bulletin will thoroughly explain the details of the options available for your individual flights. Airport transfers (when applicable) are complimentary for both Flex Air participants and participants who are able to meet the scheduled group departure times. Reservations are required.

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 penalties for changes. We urge you to check airline cancellation penalties before purchasing airline tickets since international departure times and flights can change. Neither the Smithsonian Institution nor the tour operator accepts liability for cancellation penalties related to domestic or international airline tickets purchased independently in conjunction with a tour.

Travel Insurance- Cancellation/Delay/Lost Baggage

Smithsonian Journeys recommends that all participants purchase travel insurance.

Travel Documents and Information

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

For all international departures, a passport valid for at least six months after the completion of your tour, and with at least six blank visa pages, is required for U.S. citizens on all tours. Applicants in need of additional pages in their valid passports must obtain a new passport. For more information on how or where to apply, please visit Travel.State.Gov/ApplyEarly or call the National Passport Information Center toll-free at 1-877-487-2778/1-888-874-7793 (TTY/TTD).

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

Physical and Medical Considerations

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

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

Itinerary or Tour Modifications

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

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

Singles and Roommates

Hotel rooms are always reserved for single participants, however, the number of single rooms available on a tour may be limited. Therefore we recommend that you register early. Please note that a single supplement will most likely apply for a single room. If you are traveling alone and wish to share a room/cabin, we will do our best to find someone of the same gender and smoking preference to share with you. If you are matched with a non-smoking roommate, it is mutually agreed that you cannot smoke in your hotel room/cabin. When a roommate cannot be found, a single supplement will be charged. Please note that the single rooms in many foreign hotels may be smaller than those to which you are accustomed.

Children

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

Special Travel Arrangements

Participants may wish to extend their stay in the group hotel 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

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

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

Photography and Video

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

Smoking Policy

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

READ CAREFULLY: RESPONSIBILITY STATEMENT AND LIABILITY DISCLAIMER

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

The Smithsonian Institution and its designated tour operator also reserve the right, without penalty, to withdraw the tour announced, to decline to accept any person as a participant in a tour, or to require any participant to withdraw from the tour at any time (including, but not limited for inappropriate, or offensive behavior) when such action is determined by tour staff to be in the best interests of the health, safety or general welfare of the tour group or the individual participant.

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

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

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

Updated August 13, 2019