Explore the national parks of the Northern Rockies, including Glacier National Park in northern Montana and Jasper and Banff National Parks in the heart of Canada.

Starting at: $4,991 * Includes airfare, taxes & all fees Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Banff National Park  Landscape of Glacier National Park  St. Mary Lake and Windjammer drive, Glacier National Park  The scenic Going-to-the-Sun Road, Glacier National Park  Landscape of Glacier National Park  Vivid sunset over Glacier National Park.  Credit: Tom Crouse  Black bear near Banff  Bull elk in Jasper National Park  Coyote in Banff National Park  Mountain goat, as seen along Icefields Parkway  Bighorn Sheep, as seen along Icefields Parkway  Moraine Lake, Banff National Park  Ice coach tour of Athabasca Glacier, Banff National Park  Scenic Lake Louise, Banff  Jasper National Park  Town of Jasper nestled amid the mountains

The Northern Rockies

Featuring Glacier, Banff, and Jasper National Parks

11 days from $4,991 | includes airfare, taxes and all fees

Explore the national parks of the Northern Rockies, including Glacier National Park in northern Montana and Jasper and Banff National Parks in the heart of Canada.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

TOUR BROCHURE

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WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

“Great division of time spent between Montana and Canada. Spectacular, jaw-dropping scenery and overall one of our best trips ever!”

- Susane and Paul, N.

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

See All Journeys Dispatches ››

Accommodations

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

Hyatt Regency Calgary

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Well-located near the heart of downtown Calgary, the Hyatt Regency Calgary offers a restaurant and bar, fitness center, hot tub, steam room, spa, and indoor pool. Each of the air-conditioned guest rooms offers private bath with hairdryer, in-room safe, tea- and coffee-making facilities, WiFi internet access, TV, and phone.

Number of nights: 1

St. Mary Lodge

St. Mary, United States

St. Mary Lodge is an upscale full-service lodge located just outside Glacier National Park's east entrance in St. Mary, Montana.

Number of nights: 2

The Firebrand Hotel

Whitefish, Montana, United States

The Firebrand Hotel, situated in the heart of Whitefish, provides an ideal home base for exploring this outdoor lovers’ paradise. Hotel amenities include a tapas restaurant, bar, café, rooftop patio, fitness center, spa, and complimentary WiFi internet access. Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hairdryer, in-room safe, minibar, TV, and phone. 

Number of nights: 2

Deer Lodge

Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

Opened in 1925 mere steps from Lake Louise, Deer Lodge retains much of the original hand-cut log structure and décor. Amenities of this authentic lodge retreat include a restaurant, bar, lounge, dry wood sauna, rooftop hot tub, and complimentary WiFi internet access. Air-conditioned guest rooms feature private bath with hairdryer, in-room safe, and telephone. Note: Deer Lodge focuses on outdoor pursuits and, as such, does not offer in-room televisions. In addition, the lodge does not have elevators.

Number of nights: 1

Whistler’s Inn

Jasper, Alberta, Canada

Whistler’s Inn is located in the specialized municipality of Jasper, Alberta – a town that sits in the very center of Canada’s Jasper National Park.  With stunning natural scenery on all sides, Whistler’s Inn offers a restaurant and pub, steam room, two rooftop hot tubs, three gift shops, laundry service, and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access.  Air-conditioned guest rooms feature private bath with hairdryer, tea- and coffee-making facilities, TV, and phone.

Number of nights: 2

Rimrock Resort

Banff, Alberta, Canada

Seemingly dropped into the middle of the mountains and soaring pines of Banff National Park, Rimrock Resort offers unmatched views of the Canadian Rockies.  The hotel’s amenities include two restaurants, two lounges, a café, fitness center, indoor pool, spa, sauna, laundry service, and complimentary WiFi internet access.  Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hairdryer, tea- and coffee-making facilities, in-room safe, TV, and phone. 

Number of nights: 2

Activity Level

Activity Level 3:  Moderate / Active


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

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

Testimonials

WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

“Great division of time spent between Montana and Canada. Spectacular, jaw-dropping scenery and overall one of our best trips ever!”

- Susane and Paul, N.
Reading List
Switchbacks: True Stories from the Canadian Rockies
By: Sid Marty
In Switchbacks, Sid Marty draws on his own memories and those of friends and former colleagues in relating a series of true mountain tales. Among his subjects are: the old guide who built a staircase up a cliff; the stranded snowshoer who was rescued between rounds of beer in a Banff tavern; the man who catered to hungry grizzlies; an opinionated packrat with a gift for larceny; and a horse named Candy whose heart was as big as a stove.Along the way, Marty tries to answer the kind of questions that all of us must face some day. Do we really have to “grow up” and abandon adventure as well as youthful ideals? Can the mountains draw old friends back together, when politics and life styles have set them apart?Sid Marty writes gracefully of the land he loves and lampoons a few bureaucrats whose policies sometimes threaten its integrity. His portraits of the people – and creatures – that make their lives in the mountains are affectionate and respectful. But, above all, this is a collection of engaging, surprising, funny, and superbly told true stories by a gifted writer.
Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve: A Folding Pocket Guide to Familiar Plants & Animals (A Pocket Naturalist Guide)
By: James Kavanagh, Waterford Press
One of the world's premier wilderness areas, Glacier Bay is known for its large, contiguous, intact ecosystems, still dominated by natural processes. This beautifully illustrated guide, produced with the assistance of Alaska Geographic, highlights over 140 familiar and unique species of mammals, birds, fishes, seashore creatures, trees, shrubs and wildflowers and includes a regional map. Laminated for durability, this lightweight, pocket-sized folding guide is an excellent source of portable information and ideal for field use by visitors and residents alike. Created in collaboration with Alaska Geographic. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this guide goes to support the important work of Alaska Geographic. Made in the USA.
Moon Canadian Rockies: Including Banff & Jasper National Parks (Travel Guide)
By: Andrew Hempstead
Find Your Adventure with Moon Travel Guides! Snowy peaks, icy glaciers, glittering lakes, and alpine meadows: answer the call of the wild with Moon Canadian Rockies. Strategic, flexible itineraries from day hikes to a two-week Canadian Rockies road trip, designed for outdoor adventurers, families, winter sports enthusiasts, and moreActivities and ideas for every traveler: Hike to incredible vistas and try to spot moose, bighorn sheep, and black bears. Ride over a glacier in an Ice Explorer, float through the sky in a mountain gondola, or white-water raft down rivers of snowmelt. Browse the museums and boutiques of downtown Banff, or go horseback riding though the Tonquin Valley. Indulge in fine French cuisine and spend the night in a luxurious mountain lodge, or fish for your own fresh dinner and camp under the starsLocal insight from Canadian Rockies expert Andrew Hempstead on when to go, what to do, where to stay, and how to get aroundFull-color photos and detailed maps and directions, including driving times and mileageIn-depth coverage of Banff National Park, Kootenay National Park, Yoho National Park, Jasper National Park, Waterton Lakes National Park, and nearby gateway cities of Banff, Canmore, Jasper, Calgary, Radium Hot Springs, Invermere, Golden, and Kananaskis CountryBackground information on the landscape, culture, history, and environmentWith Moon Canadian Rockies' practical tips, myriad activities, and an insider's view on the best things to do and see, you can plan your trip your way.Expanding your trip? Try Moon Vancouver & Canadian Rockies Road Trip. Sticking to one park? Check out Moon Banff National Park or Moon Glacier National Park.
Moon Glacier National Park (Travel Guide)
By: Becky Lomax
Moon Travel Guides: Find Your AdventureLush green parkland, jagged summits, and glacier-carved basins: forge your own path with Moon Glacier National Park. Inside you'll find:Flexible, strategic itineraries, ranging from one day in the park to a week-long road trip, designed for outdoor adventurers, families, road-trippers, and more The top experiences and unique ideas for exploring the park: Hike verdant valleys, meander fields of alpine wildflowers, and walk beneath frigid waterfalls and over scenic high passes. Go whitewater rafting, cast a line for wild trout into the Flathead River, or hop on a guided horseback ride. Drive or bike the Going-to-Sun-Road, take in views of peaks and glaciers, and spot wild moose or grizzlies roaming the mountainside. Spend a night in a historic lakeside lodge, or set up camp after a day of adventurous backcountry exploringStrategies for getting to Glacier and coverage of gateway cities and townsExpert tips for travelers looking to go hiking, biking, backpacking, fishing, rafting, and more, plus detailed hike descriptions with individual trail maps and backpacking optionsValuable insight from seasoned explorer and Glacier local Becky Lomax including avoiding crowds, and exploring Glacier's less-visited areasHonest advice on when to go and where to stay inside the park, including hotels, campgrounds, hostels, and RV sitesFull-color, vibrant photos and detailed maps throughoutUp-to-date information on park fees, passes, and reservations, plus essential packing and health and safety information, including how to avoid encounters with grizzlies, mountain lions, and other common wildlifeRecommendations for families, seniors, international visitors, travelers with disabilities, and traveling with petsThorough background on the terrain, culture, and the park's historyWith Moon Glacier National Park's expert advice, myriad activities, and insider perspective, you can plan your trip your way.Hitting the surrounding states? Try Moon Montana & Wyoming or Moon Idaho.For full coverage of America's national parks, check out Moon USA National Parks: The Complete Guide to All 59 National Parks.
Canadian Rockies : Explorer's Map & Guide - 29 points of interest in Banff, Jasper, and Yoho
By: Gem Trek Publishing
This is a "must-have" for anyone planning a trip to Banff, Jasper, Yoho or Kootenay national parks in the Canadian Rockies. To make seeing the sights easier, 29 of the best points of interest in the parks are indexed (numbered) and described. To help you find your way around, mountain lodges, campgrounds, hot springs, golf courses, ski areas, picnic areas, Visitor Centres and highway viewpoints are labeled. A mileage chart helps you plan your day by giving distances between major towns. On the back are street maps of Banff, Jasper and Lake Louise, as well as a chart showing the amenities at the National Park campgrounds in Banff, Jasper, Yoho and Kootenay National Parks. Inset maps of Western Canada, Edmonton, and Calgary show major roadways, so you can easily find your way to the Canadian Rockies. Everything you need to know to get around the Canadian Rockies - all on one map.
A Traveller's History of Canada
By: Robert Bothwell
To outsiders, Canada is synonymous with a vision of wilderness, glaciers, mountains and forests. Distance and space define Canada, but so do large modern cities, an extraordinarily diverse population (30 million plus) and advanced social systems that won it recognition from the United Nations as the most desirable country on earth in which to live. Canada's story begins with the arrival of the first immigrants over 15,000 years ago who travelled across a land bridge from Siberia to Alaska. Starting around 1000AD with the Vikings, European settlers arrived, bringing with them their cultures, languages and societies. By 1700 Canada was divided between the French and British. The next century was spent in wars to determine who should rule in North America. The French lost, but left behind a vigorous colony that evolved into modern Quebec, and 6-million French-speakers scattered across modern Canada. Unlike the rest of the Americas, Canada long maintained a close connection with Europe, actively participating in two world wars and in the Cold War that followed. The impact of these events and its relationship with its neighbor, the USA, are discussed. The book is brought fully up to date with a profile of modern Canada, its successes, present difficulties and a prognosis for the future.
BY Dempsey, Hugh Aylmer ( Author ) [{ The Amazing Death of Calf Shirt: And Other Blackfoot Stories By Dempsey, Hugh Aylmer ( Author ) Mar - 15- 1996 ( Paperback ) } ]
By: Hugh Aylmer Dempsey
BY Dempsey, Hugh Aylmer ( Author ) [{ The Amazing Death of Calf Shirt: And Other Blackfoot Stories By Dempsey, Hugh Aylmer ( Author ) Mar - 15- 1996 ( Paperback ) } ]
Why I Hate Canadians
By: Will Ferguson
First published in 1997, this hilarious book launched satirist Will Ferguson's career. Challenging the notion that Canadians are “nice,” the book asks, “Do we as Canadians deserve a country so great?” Tackling subjects from Canada's favorite inbred royals to the mighty beaver as national icon, from sex in a canoe to all-Canadian "superhero" Captain Canuck, Ferguson rampages across the cultural landscape. The book also provides a fast-paced, opinionated overview of telling moments in Canadian history, including its run-amok Mounties and “fun-loving days” of the country's (unacknowledged) slave trade.
Going-to-the-Sun Road: Glacier National Park's Highway to the Sky
By: C. W. Guthrie
Traveling Glacier National Park’s Going-to-the-Sun Road is an experience like no other. Laborers toiled for nearly 20 years to complete the 50-mile road that winds an impossible route through the heart of Glacier. One of the most scenic highways in the world, this marvel of engineering set the standard for all national parks. C. W. Guthrie tells the intriguing tale of the history and the construction of the epic Going-to-the-Sun Road. Includes more than 60 black-and-white historic and color photographs, maps.AWARDS: First Place, Association of Partners for Public Lands, 2006
Montana (Second Edition): High, Wide, and Handsome
By: Joseph Kinsey Howard
In these pages you will come to fall in love with a ruggedly diverse and strikingly beautiful state, a land that takes hold and won’t let go. Montana: High, Wide, and Handsome is widely recognized as a classic history and delightful ode to the idiosyncratic personalities, restless landscape, unforgettable peoples, and lively history of the Treasure State. William Kittredge provides a new introduction for this edition.
A Wilderness Station: Selected Stories, 1968-1994 (Vintage International)
By: Alice Munro
A New York Times Editors’ Choice BookSpanning almost thirty years and settings that range from big cities to small towns and farmsteads of rural Canada, this magnificent collection brings together twenty-eight stories by a writer of unparalleled wit, generosity, and emotional power. In A Wilderness Station: Selected Stories, 1968–1994, Alice Munro makes lives that seem small unfold until they are revealed to be as spacious as prairies and locates the moments of love and betrayal, desire and forgiveness, that change those lives forever.   A traveling salesman during the Depression takes his children with him on an impromptu visit to a former girlfriend. A poor girl steels herself to marry a rich fiancé she can’t quite manage to love. An abandoned woman tries to choose between the opposing pleasures of seduction and solitude. To read these stories is to succumb to the spell of a true narrative sorcerer, a writer who enchants her readers utterly even as she restores them to their truest selves.
Blackfeet Tales of Glacier National Park
By: James Willard Schultz
J. W. Schultz (1859–1947) was an author, explorer, and historian known for his historical writings of the Blackfoot Indians in the late 1800s, when he lived among them as a fur trader. In 1907, Schultz published My Life as an Indian, the first of many future writings about the Blackfeet that he would produce over the next thirty years. Schultz lived in Browning, Montana. "Blackfeet Tales of Glacier National Park" is by the Plains veteran, J. W. Shultz, and is “real stuff,” vivid and exciting, with the value that comes from firsthand knowledge. Schultz is most noted for his 37 books, most about Blackfoot life, and for his contributions to the naming of prominent features in Glacier National Park. In the mid-1880s, Schultz began to spend more time in the Two Medicine and Saint Mary Lakes region of what is now Glacier National Park guiding and outfitting local hunters. Thus began decades of Schultz naming features in the Glacier regions for clients and friends, and to honor traditional Indian names. In his 1916 book "Blackfeet Tales" Schultz writes: "AFTER an absence of many years, I have returned to visit for a time my Blackfeet relatives and friends, and we are camping along the mountain trails where, in the long ago, we hunted buffalo, and elk, and moose, and all the other game peculiar to this region." Also during this reunion with his Blackfeet relatives, Schultz takes the time to record the many Blackfeet legends and stories told around the campfire. Schultz also relates his conversations with the Blackfeet over land rights issues, as in the following exchange: "At the upper east side and head of this beautiful lake rises a pyramidal mountain of great height and grandeur. A frowse of pine timber on its lower front slope, and its ever-narrowing side slopes above, give it a certain resemblance to a buffalo bull. Upon looking at a recent map of the country I found that it had been named "Mount Rockwell." So, turning to Yellow Wolf, I said: "The whites have given that mountain yonder the name of a white man. It is so marked upon this paper." The old man, half blind and quite feeble, roused up when he heard that, and cried out: "Is it so? Not satisfied with taking our mountains, the whites even take away the ancient names we have given them! They shall not do it! You tell them so! That mountain yonder is Rising Bull Mountain, and by that name it must ever be called! Rising Bull was one of our great chiefs: what more fitting than that the mountain should always bear his name?" Contents: I. Two Medicine II. Pu-nak-ik-si (cutbank) III. Ki-nuk -si Is-si-sak'-ta (little River) IV. Puht-o-muk-si-kim-iks (The Lakes Inside) St. Mary's Lakes V. Iks-i'-kwo-yi-a-tuk-tai (Swift Current River) VI. Ni-na Us-tak-wi (chief Mountain)
The Great Rocky Mountain Nature Factbook: A Guide to the Region's Remarkable Animals, Plants & Natural Features
By: Susan Ewing
Discover the amazing natural world of the Rocky Mountains in this engaging, in-depth guide that covers animals, plants and natural features including geography and geology. The Rocky Mountains are an immense 10,000 mile-long assemblage of mountain ranges stretching all the way from Alaska through South America. This informative book encompasses the northern and central Rockies from southern British Columbia down through Idaho, Montana, and into Utah and Colorado. This introductory book with maps, line illustrations and index gives the student, tourist and new residents of this area an excellent introduction to the most famous mountain region in the western parts of the United States and Canada.
Scats and Tracks of the Rocky Mountains: A Field Guide to the Signs of 70 Wildlife Species (Scats and Tracks Series)
By: James Halfpenny
See those animal signs on the trail? Was that footprint left by a fox or a wolf? Was that pile of droppings deposited by a moose, a mouse, or a marten? Scats and Tracks of the Rocky Mountains will help you determine which mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians have passed your way and could still be nearby. Clearly written descriptions and illustrations of scats, tracks, and gait patterns will help you recognize seventy Rocky Mountain species. An identification key, a glossary of tracking terms, and detailed instructions on how to document your finds are also included here. Easy-to-use scat and track measurements appear on each page, making this book especially field friendly and letting you know if a white tailed ptarmigan, a red fox, or even a black bear has been your way.
Banff National Park, Field Guide to: A Folding Pocket Guide to Familiar Species (A Pocket Naturalist Guide)
By: James Kavanagh, Waterford Press
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Banff National Park spans three eco-regions and is home to 56 mammal species and over 275 bird species. Visitors to Banff National Park Wildlife will appreciate this pocket-sized, folding guide. Beautifully detailed illustrations highlight over 130 familiar species of birds, mammals, trees and wildflower. This guide also features an area map of the park for quick reference. Laminated for durability, it is the ideal guide to enhance your Banff National Park experience. Researched in collaboration with the Friends of the Banff National Park, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of this guide support the work of this important organization.
Rocky Mountain Natural History: Grand Teton to Jasper
By: Daniel Mathews
Author Daniel Mathews provides in-depth scientific information on the natural world found between Grand Teton, Wyoming, and Jasper, Alberta. From conifers to lichens, grizzly bears to salamanders, and cutthroat trout to pine beetles this guidebooks provides a thorough reference for hikers, backpackers, and armchair naturalists. Beautifully illustrated with color photographs and line drawings, Mathews covers a thousand species of plants, animals, fish, birds, and insects found in the northern Rocky Mountains.
Northern Rocky Mountain Wildflowers: Including Glacier, Waterton Lakes, Banff, Jasper, Kootenay, Mount Revelstoke, And Yoho National Parks (Wildflower Series)
By: H. Wayne Phillips
Fully revised and upated, Northern Rocky Mountain Wildflowers features more than 300 species of wildflowers found throughout northwestern Montana, northern Idaho, northeastern Washington, southeastern British Columbia, and southwestern Alberta. This valuable reference is organized by color and family for easy plant identification. You won't want to visit Glacier, Banff, or Jasper National Parks without taking this book.
After the Ice Age: The Return of Life to Glaciated North America
By: E. C. Pielou
The fascinating story of how a harsh terrain that resembled modern Antarctica has been transformed gradually into the forests, grasslands, and wetlands we know today."One of the best scientific books published in the last ten years."—Ottowa Journal"A valuable new synthesis of facts and ideas about climate, geography, and life during the past 20,000 years. More important, the book conveys an intimate appreciation of the rich variety of nature through time."—S. David Webb,Science
Rocky Mountains (Smithsonian Natural History Series)
By: Scott A. Elias
The Rocky Mountains are one of the Earth's most spectacular geological features, containing vast stretches that remain wild and untamed. Hikers on mountain trails often see the wilderness just as Lewis and Clark saw it almost 200 years ago. The diversity of life found along the Rockies' 2,000-mile range is so varied that the mountains are divided into three regions: the Northern, Central, and Southern Rocky Mountains. Scott A. Elias discusses the unique features of each region in his comprehensive natural history of "the backbone of the continent." Elias examines the physical environment of each of the three regions, looking at geology, important land forms, climatology, soils, water resources, and paleontology. Equally detailed chapters examine botany, invertebrate zoology, native fishes of the plains and mountains, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and mammals. Elias also includes a history of the native peoples and a synthesis of activities since the Spanish colonial period in the Southern Rockies. Conservation topics are woven throughout the book and the final pages examine the problems of overuse and overcrowding in national and state parks. Elias offers recommendations to alleviate these problems and stresses that the Rockies are a national treasure and should be treated as such.
24x36 World Wall Map by Smithsonian Journeys - Tan Oceans Special Edition (24x36 Paper Folded)
By: Smithsonian Journeys
Swiftmaps is proud to partner with Smithsonian Journeys to bring a new and exciting World Map series to the American marketplace. Featuring eye-catching bold and vivid colors complemented with rich vintage tan ocean tones that will make this the perfect reference piece --- sure to stand-out and highlight any home or business wall. The precise detail and digital accuracy shows color-matching visual shaded 3D relief and other physical features without sacrificing the maps readability. Now printed on high-quality 80 lb. paper and professionally FOLDED in a compact 8x10 inch size. FEATURES: 1) Africa centered allowing viewers to see continents complete and intact 2) Clearly labeled country and city names for easy location 3) Latitude and longitude indications 4) Shaded relief of ocean and land topography 4) Desirable Miller Projection. The Smithsonian Journeys wall map series serve not only as a handy reference piece, but as an eye-catching accent for any room or office. NOTE: each map is professionally folded to 8x10 inches and when unfolded the map is 24 inches high and 36 inches wide.
Travel Insurance

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

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

Terms and conditions

Mission

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

What Is Included in the Tour Cost

  • Expertise of a Smithsonian Journeys expert, tour director and local guides throughout the tour
  • All gratuities for the expert, tour director, on-tour guides and drivers
  • On-tour medical evacuation insurance (up to $100,000), emergency medical expense coverage (up to $25,000), dental expense coverage (up to $500), travel medical assistance and worldwide travel assistance (U.S. residents only)
  • Pre-tour information, including a reading list
  • Transfers and luggage handling abroad (for air inclusive guests)
  • All on-tour transportation including flights within the itinerary, unless otherwise noted
  • All accommodations for the duration of the tour
  • Meals, as noted in the itinerary (B-breakfast; L-lunch; D-dinner)
  • All sightseeing and visits as noted in each itinerary
  • Airfare to/from your departure city, airline taxes, surcharges, and fees, which are subject to change until final payment is made (for air inclusive guests only)

What Is Not Included in the Tour Cost

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

Registration

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

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

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

Payments

A deposit of $500 per person for a land tour reservation, unless otherwise noted, is required to reserve a space on a tour.  All payments may be made by credit card or check to the tour operator.  Deposits are applied to 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 (180 for Alaska) 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 participant who is transferred from the wait list to the tour within the designated late registration period for that tour.

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

A Note about Costs

All prices are based on two persons sharing a room/cabin. All prices are quoted in U.S. dollars. Tour costs are based upon current airfares, tariffs, currency values, and on the basis of a presumptive minimum number of participants. While we will do everything possible to maintain the listed prices, they are subject to change.   Due to fluctuations in oil prices, a fuel surcharge may be added to your tour fee (e.g. internal flights, cruises, etc.).  Details and costs will be advised prior to departure.

Wait List

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

Cancellation and Refund Policy

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

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

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

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

Smithsonian Journeys recommends that all participants purchase travel insurance.

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

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

Air Service

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

Air Service/Tickets Purchased Independently of the Tour

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

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

Travel Insurance- Cancellation/Delay/Lost Baggage

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

Travel Documents and Information

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

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

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

Physical and Medical Considerations

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

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

Itinerary or Tour Modifications

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

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

Hotel Accommodations

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

Singles and Roommates

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

Children

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

Special Travel Arrangements

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

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

Dispute Resolution

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

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

Photography and Video

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

Smoking Policy

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

READ CAREFULLY: RESPONSIBILITY STATEMENT AND LIABILITY DISCLAIMER

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

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

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

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

The undersigned has read carefully the Responsibility Statement and Liability Disclaimer set forth above, the schedule of activities for this tour, as well as the terms and conditions of application and participation as set forth in the tour materials, and recognizes and accepts any risk associated with the tour and the conditions, including the refund policy, set forth in the tour materials. The undersigned further acknowledges that there are many risks and uncertainties inherent in any travel tour, including but not limited to the hazards of various modes of transportation, forces of nature, 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.