Situated along the exquisite Adriatic Sea and at the crossroads of Europe and the Balkans, Croatia and Slovenia showcase charming towns that reflect a blend of cultures, plus pristine parklands and coastlines, and many World Heritage sites. 

Starting at: $5,484 * Includes airfare, taxes & all fees Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Lively street in Dubrovnik  The captivating setting of Hvar  Split harbor  Aerial view of Split, with the remains of Diocletian's Palace  The spectacular scenery of Lake Bled, Slovenia

Pearls of Croatia and Slovenia

15 days from $5,484 | includes airfare, taxes and all fees

Situated along the exquisite Adriatic Sea and at the crossroads of Europe and the Balkans, Croatia and Slovenia showcase charming towns that reflect a blend of cultures, plus pristine parklands and coastlines, and many World Heritage sites. 

or Call 855-330-1542

Accommodations

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

Esplanade Zagreb Hotel

Zagreb, Croatia

Dating to 1925, the iconic art nouveau Esplanade Zagreb is one of Zagreb’s best-known buildings. Hotel facilities include two restaurants, bar, and lounge; casino; health club with fitness center, sauna, and massage; complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access; and laundry and dry cleaning services. Guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, TV, and phone. 

Number of nights: 2

Hotel Cubo (April 23 departure only)

Ljubljana, Slovenia

Housed in a historic building protected by the Institute for the Protection of the Cultural Heritage of Slovenia, the Hotel Cubo was opened in 2011 and is located in the heart of Ljubljana, just opposite the pedestrian center.  The 26-room boutique hotel offers a lounge and restaurant, fitness center, bicycle rental free of charge, and laundry and dry cleaning services.  Air-conditioned guestrooms are decorated in a warm contemporary style and feature private bath with hairdryer, mini-bar, in-room safe, complimentary Wi-Fi internet access, TV, and phone.

Number of nights: 2

Hotel Milenij

Opatija, Croatia

The Hotel Milenij is located alongside the beautiful Park and Church of St. James on one side, and the famous Lungomare seafront promenade and Slatina beach on the other.  The 96-room luxury hotel offers a restaurant, bar, and café with an outdoor terrace, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, spa, and laundry and dry cleaning services.  Air-conditioned guestrooms have private bath with hairdryer, mini-bar, in-room safe, complimentary Wi-Fi internet access, TV, and phone.

Number of nights: 3

Hotel Trogir Palace

Trogir, Croatia

This charming, boutique hotel is located in the heart of beautiful Trogir. Every guest room features a balcony that overlooks the sparkling Adriatic Sea. Taste Croatian seafood and specialties, and choose from a rich assortment of regional wines at Restaurant Antonio.

Number of nights: 1

Adriana Hotel Hvar

Hvar, Croatia

The 59-room Adriana enjoys a prime location:  it sits on the main Promenade, facing the old city center and within sight of the yacht harbor and bay, the Cathedral, Arsenal, and Venetian piazza.  Hotel amenities include a restaurant and bar, rooftop terrace with heated indoor and outdoor seawater pools, fitness center with spa, complimentary Wi-Fi internet access, and laundry service.  Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hairdryer, minibar, TV, and phone.  Please note that the rooms here are less spacious than elsewhere on your tour as the hotel is in the center of the historic waterfront district.

Number of nights: 2

Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Just outside the Pila Gate entrance to Dubrovnik's historic Old Town, the well located Hilton Imperial offers views of the Adriatic and Old Town. Hotel amenities include a restaurant and bar/lounge, elevator and laundry service, gift shop, fitness room and jogging track, and sunlit indoor pool. Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, tea- and coffee-making facilities, Internet access, mini-bar, TV, and phone.

Number of nights: 3

Grand Hotel Union (Ljubljana)

Ljubljana, Slovenia

Opened in 1905 following the Great Earthquake and now a city landmark, the Grand Hotel Union stands in the heart of Ljubljana. The 194-room hotel offers a restaurant, bar, and café; Fitness Center with sauna and massage; indoor pool; salon; jeweler; and gift shop. Comfortable guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, air conditioning, mini-bar, in-room safe, Internet access, TV, and phone.

Number of nights: 2

Activity Level

Activity Level 2: Moderate


Expectations: One of our Classic Land Journeys, this tour features two countries and visits to many cities, iconic sites, and hidden gems. Although comprehensive, it's not rushed, but well paced and finely tuned. Expectations include longer touring days with many full-day motor coach excursions and six different hotels. Mostly full-day excursions from four to six hours; seven afternoons at leisure. Standing and walking for long periods of time during city tours, museum visits, and outdoor activities. Daily walks of two to three miles; walking over sometimes difficult terrain (e.g. cobblestones, city hills, steep stairs without handrails, absence of elevators); some longer walks to get to city centers where coaches are prohibited. There are four coach rides of approximately two to two and a half hours and one longer drive of approximately five hours duration. 

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

2018 Tour Extension

Dubrovnik – On Your Own – Post-Tour Extension — 4 Days, 3 Nights

Enjoy more of this beloved city on your own, and at your own pace. Your extension includes:

  • 3 nights accommodations at Hilton Imperial Hotel Du­brovnik (Superior First Class)
  • 3 meals: 3 breakfasts
  • Transfer to airport

2019 Tour Extension

Montenegro Post-Tour Extension — 4 Days, 3 Nights

Discover this tiny nation with a stunning coastline, imposing mountains, ancient towns, and a rich culture formed from its perch straddling East and West.

Your extension includes:

  • Round-trip private motorcoach transportation Dubrovnik/Tivat, Montenegro
  • 3 nights’ accommodations: 2 nights in Tivat at Regent Porto Montenegro (Deluxe); 1 night in Cavtat, Croatia, at Hotel Croatia (Superior First Class)
  • 5 meals: 3 breakfasts, 2 dinners 
  • Extensive included sightseeing: Kotor town and bay, Our Lady of the Rocks church, walled city of Budva, the historic capital of Cetinje, Roman mosaics of Risan
  • Services of a Tour Director
  • Gratuities for local guides, dining room servers, hotel porters, and all drivers

Reading List
A Traveller's History of Croatia
By: Benjamin Curtis
Anyone who has glimpsed the long, mountainous, island-studded Dalmatian coast would surely agree that its beauty is little short of divine. Croatia, quite simply, is blessed with some of the most spectacular scenery on the planet, and its history is equally captivating. A Traveller's History of Croatia offers tourists and travellers an inside look at how the country's cultural fusion of Mediterranean, Central European and Balkan influences has given it a tumultuous past. The book's narrative begins with Croatia's astounding Greek and Roman legacy, and then explains how the early blooming of the Croatian state in the 9th century was thwarted by the ambitions of its powerful neighbour, Hungary. In the Middle Ages much of the coast came under the control of Venice, which over centuries left its indelible stamp on many charming, historic towns. Croatia became a battlefield as the Ottoman Turks invaded during the 1500s, until they were finally repulsed by the Habsburgs, who ruled the country right up until the First World War. The twentieth century brought new solutions in the founding of Yugoslavia, problems with Croatian nationalism and the horrors of invasion in World War II. Under Tito a stability came to the region until the battles of the 1990s, which were finally resolved with the international recognition of an independent state in 1992. Croatia today is independent, peaceful, and as beautiful as ever: it has taken its place as one of the world's most coveted travel destinations.
Balkan Ghosts: A Journey Through History
By: Robert D. Kaplan
From the assassination that triggered World War I to the ethnic warfare in Serbia, Bosnia, and Croatia, the Balkans have been the crucible of the twentieth century, the place where terrorism and genocide first became tools of policy. Chosen as one of the Best Books of the Year by The New York Times, and greeted with critical acclaim as "the most insightful and timely work on the Balkans to date" (The Boston Globe), Kaplan's prescient, enthralling, and often chilling political travelogue is already a modern classic.This new edition of the Balkan Ghosts includes six opinion pieces written by Robert Kaplan about the Balkans between 1996 and 2000 beginning just after the implementation of the Dayton Peace Accords and ending after the conclusion of the Kosovo war, with the removal of Slobodan Milosevic from power.
Moon Croatia and Slovenia (Moon Handbooks)
By: Shann Fountain Alipour
Travel writer and Croatia resident Shann Fountain Culo shares her love of the locale from the wooden village houses, folk festivals, and wineries of Croatia to the rafting, skiing, and cave-exploring opportunities that abound in Slovenia. Shann includes unique itineraries such as the 14-Day Best of Croatia and Slovenia, A Culinary Tour of Istria and Dalmatia, and Sailing the Croatian Islands. Moon Croatia and Slovenia is packed with information on the best dining, transportation, and accommodations. Complete with expert advice on when to explore the city sans tourists, participate in the grape harvest season or ski in the Julian Alps, Moon Croatia and Slovenia gives travelers the tools they need to create a more personal and memorable experience.
Michelin Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Yugoslavia, Former Yug. of Macedonia Map No. 736 (Michelin Maps)
By: Michelin Staff
Slovenia - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture
By: Jason Blake
Slovenia seems closer to Austria or Italy than to its Balkan neighbors. The richest of the Slavic nation-states, it has an entirely Western tradition, having belonged in the past to the Roman Empire, the Frankish kingdom, the Holy Roman Empire, the Republic of Venice, the Habsburg monarchy, and the First French Empire. After the Second World War it became part of the Republic of Yugoslavia, before declaring independence in 1991. This extraordinary cultural legacy is what sets Slovenia apart, matched by an amazingly varied topography packed into a small area. Traveling toward the coast, you see changes in the landscape and in the architecture. This reflects both the natural and the historical variety: the Venetians built their buildings one way, the Austrians another. Slovenia’s natural beauty is astonishing. Legend relates that when God was allotting nature’s bounty, he forgot Slovenia. His last-minute solution was to take bits of the best from other places: gorgeous Alpine ranges, the less craggy Pohorje mountains, the Pannonian plain stretching toward Hungary, hill after hill rolling southward into the horizon, the unique karst landscape, rivers aplenty, and a few miles of Adriatic coastline. Never having had a glorious unified kingdom in the past, Slovenians identify themselves not by blood or history but by their language, which differs from the other languages of the ex-Yugoslavia. The older generation is fluent in Serbo-Croatian, which helps for politics and trade, but has little of its historical baggage, and the country has geo-political importance as a politically stable stepping stone to the Balkans. As far as nationhood goes, Slovenia’s golden age is now. There is a sense of change in the country—mostly for the better, and not the dull stampede toward materialism that one sees in some other former Eastern bloc countries. As a tourist destination Slovenia has it all, from medieval ruined monasteries to whitewater rafting. The people of this lovely land are genuinely glad that others are “discovering” their country. There are no real language problems; the younger people all speak English. Moreover, membership of the EU means that this is a country in transition. Culture Smart! Slovenia will introduce you to the inner world of this moderate, orderly, and conservative people who have emerged into the post-Communist world hungry for change.
Lonely Planet Croatian Phrasebook & Dictionary
By: Lonely Planet, Gordana & Ivan Ivetac
Never be stuck for words with our extensive dictionary. Our phrasebooks give you a comprehensive mix of practical and social words and phrases. Chat with the locals and discover their culture, a guaranteed way to enrich your travel experience. Get more from your trip with easy-to-find phrases for every travel situation. Order the right meal with our menu vocabulary. Use our carefully selected words and phrases to get around with ease.
Dubrovnik: A History
By: Robin Harris
From its settlement in the 7th century to its conquest by Napoleon at the beginning of the 19th, Dubrovnik repeatedly held a significant position beyond what could have been expected of this tiny city-state. But Dubrovnik also faced the extreme dangers posed by Venetian plotters, Ottoman aggressors, natural disasters and, finally, Napoleon. In modern times, the city survived the besieging Yugoslav army in 1991-92, which heavily damaged but did not destroy Dubrovnik's cultural heritage. This book is a comprehensive history of Dubrovnik's progress over twelve centuries of European development, encompassing arts, architecture, social and economic changes and the traumas of war and politics.
Zagreb: A Cultural History (Cityscapes)
By: Celia Hawkesworth
For most of its history, Zagreb was a small town to which big things happened. It has been ruled by Hungary and the Habsburg Monarchy, threatened by the Ottomans, and absorbed into Yugoslavia. Today it is the capital city of the newly independent Croatia. In Zagreb: A Cultural History, Celia Hawkesworth guides us through a modern city that reflects all the important trends in Central European culture, architecture, and fashion. We visit the city's center, a beautiful "green horseshoe," graced with trees and public gardens, and lined with imposing buildings. Hawkesworth explores this central core and the atmospheric old town on a rise above it, finding a mix of old and modern buildings, a rich cultural tradition, and a vibrant outdoor café life. She describes the many statues in the streets and squares, commemorating those who have contributed to the city's unique inner life. She also examines the legacy of outside invasion, fire, earthquakes, and political strife, pointing to the street names that reflect Zagreb's turbulent past. Zagreb illuminates the artistic side of the city, discussing the sculpture of Ivan Mestrovic, the unique collections of paintings in the Strossmayer and Modern Galleries, and the novels and plays of Miroslav Krleza. A perfect book for armchair travelers, Zagreb takes us on a captivating tour of one of Eastern Europe's leading cities.
Eastern Europe!: Everything You Need to Know About the History (and More) of a Region that Shaped Our World and Still Does
By: Tomek E. Jankowski
Eastern Europe! is a brief and concise (but informative) introduction to Eastern Europe and its myriad customs and history. When the legendary Romulus killed his brother Remus and founded the city of Rome in 753 BCE, Plovdiv -- today the second-largest city in Bulgaria -- was already thousands of years old. Indeed, London, Paris, Berlin, Vienna, Madrid, Brussels, Amsterdam are all are mere infants compared to Plovdiv. This is just one of the paradoxes that haunts and defines the New Europe, that part of Europe that was freed from Soviet bondage in 1989 which is at once both much older than the modern Atlantic-facing power centers of Western Europe while also being in some ways much younger than them. Even those knowledgeable about Western Europe often see Eastern Europe as terra incognita, with a sign on the border declaring "Here be monsters." This book is a gateway to understanding both what unites and separates Eastern Europeans from their Western brethren, and how this vital region has been shaped by, but has also left its mark on, Western Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. Ideal for students, businesspeople, and those who simply want to know more about where Grandma or Grandpa came from, Eastern Europe! is a user-friendly guide to a region that is all too often mischaracterized as remote, insular, and superstitious.Illustrations throughout include: 40 photos, 40 maps and 40 figures (tables, charts, etc.)
Dalmatia: Recipes from Croatia's Mediterranean Coast
By: Ino Kuvacic
Dalmatia is a celebration of the food of Croatia's Mediterranean Coast, a region with a long, rich history, but one that is only slowly coming to prominence as tourists continue to discover its rugged beauty, blue waters and rustic, simple cuisine.Alongside more than 80 achievable recipes (presented as Salads & Vegetables; Seafood; Meat; Desserts and Drinks), the book sells the dream - and a sense of discovery. It tells the story of this place, in words and pictures, communicating both to people who aspire to experience it for themselves, and to those with fond memories of having done so.Accompanied with stunning local photography of both this beautiful region and the culinary experiences it offers, Dalmatia will transport you to the shores of Croatia from your home kitchen.
Yugoslavia: Death of a Nation
By: Laura Silber, Allan Little
"The most authoritative account in English or any other language about how the war began."—The Washington Post Book World. "An essential resource for anyone of the conflict."—The New York Times Book Review.
The Balkans: A Short History (Modern Library Chronicles)
By: Mark Mazower
Throughout history, the Balkans have been a crossroads, a zone of endless military, cultural, and economic mixing and clashing between Europe and Asia, Christianity and Islam, Catholicism and Orthodoxy. In this highly acclaimed short history, Mark Mazower sheds light on what has been called the tinderbox of Europe, whose troubles have ignited wider wars for hundreds of years. Focusing on events from the emergence of the nation-state onward, The Balkans reveals with piercing clarity the historical roots of current conflicts and gives a landmark reassessment of the region’s history, from the world wars and the Cold War to the collapse of communism, the disintegration of Yugoslavia, and the continuing search for stability in southeastern Europe.
Black Lamb and Grey Falcon (Penguin Classics)
By: Rebecca West
Written on the brink of World War II, Rebecca West's classic examination of the history, people, and politics of Yugoslavia illuminates a region that is still a focus of international concern. A magnificent blend of travel journal, cultural commentary, and historical insight, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon probes the troubled history of the Balkans and the uneasy relationships among its ethnic groups. The landscape and the people of Yugoslavia are brilliantly observed as West untangles the tensions that rule the country's history as well as its daily life.
How We Survived Communism & Even Laughed by Slavenka Drakulic (1993-04-09)
By: Slavenka Drakulic;
Lightly Used condition, pages intact, binding intact, no marking on pages,
The Balkan Express: Fragments from the Other Side of the War
By: Slavenka Drakulic
Book by Drakulic, Slavenka
Forbidden Bread: A Memoir
By: Erica Johnson Debeljak
Forbidden Bread is an unusual love story that covers great territory, both geographically and emotionally. The author leaves behind a successful career as an American financial analyst to pursue Ales Debeljak, a womanizing Slovenian poet who catches her attention at a cocktail party. The story begins in New York City, but quickly migrates, along with the author, to Slovenia. As she struggles to forge an identity in her new home, Slovenia itself undergoes the transformation from a communist to a capitalist society. A complicated language, politically incorrect ethnic jokes, and old-fashioned sexism are just a few of the challenges Debeljak faces on her journey. Happily, she marries her poet and comes to love her new husband's family as well as the fast-disappearing rural traditions of this beautiful country. Set against the dramatic backdrop of the Slovenian Ten Day War and the much longer Yugoslav wars of succession, Forbidden Bread shows a worldly and courageous woman coming to grips with her new life and family situation in a rapidly changing European landscape.
The Bridge on the Drina (Phoenix Fiction)
By: Ivo Andríc
The Bridge on the Drina is a vivid depiction of the suffering history has imposed upon the people of Bosnia from the late 16th century to the beginning of World War I. As we seek to make sense of the current nightmare in this region, this remarkable, timely book serves as a reliable guide to its people and history."No better introduction to the study of Balkan and Ottoman history exists, nor do I know of any work of fiction that more persuasively introduces the reader to a civilization other than our own. It is an intellectual and emotional adventure to encounter the Ottoman world through Andric's pages in its grandiose beginning and at its tottering finale. It is, in short, a marvelous work, a masterpiece, and very much sui generis. . . . Andric's sensitive portrait of social change in distant Bosnia has revelatory force."—William H. McNeill, from the introduction"The dreadful events occurring in Sarajevo over the past several months turn my mind to a remarkable historical novel from the land we used to call Yugoslavia, Ivo Andric's The Bridge on the Drina."—John M. Mohan, Des Moines Sunday RegisterBorn in Bosnia, Ivo Andric (1892-1975) was a distinguished diplomat and novelist. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1961. His books include The Damned Yard: And Other Stories, and The Days of the Consuls.
A Partisan's Daughter
By: Louis de Bernieres
From the acclaimed author of Corelli’s Mandolin and Birds Without Wings (“de Bernières has reached heights that few modern novelists ever attempt” —The Washington Post Book World) comes an intimate new novel, a love story at once raw and sweetly funny, wry and heartbreakingly sad.He’s Chris: bored, lonely, trapped in a loveless, sexless marriage. In his forties, he’s a stranger inside the youth culture of London in the late 1970s, a stranger to himself on the night he invites a hooker into his car.She’s Roza: Yugoslavian, recently moved to London, the daughter of one of Tito’s partisans. She’s in her twenties but has already lived a life filled with danger, misadventure, romance, and tragedy. And although she’s not a hooker, when she’s propositioned by Chris, she gets into his car anyway.Over the next months Roza tells Chris the stories of her past. She’s a fast-talking, wily Scheherazade, saving her own life by telling it to Chris. And he takes in her tales as if they were oxygen in an otherwise airless world. But is Roza telling the truth? Does Chris hear the stories through the filter of his own need? Does it even matter?This deeply moving novel of their unlikely love—narrated both in the moment and in recollection, each of their voices deftly realized—is also a brilliantly subtle commentary on storytelling: its seductions and powers, and its ultimately unavoidable dangers.
The Hired Man
By: Aminatta Forna
“Forna is a born storyteller. . . . Not since Remains of the Day has an author so skillfully revealed the way history’s layers are often invisible to all but its participants. . . . Gorgeous.”—John Freeman, The Boston Globe“Haunting . . . Detail builds upon detail until the dread and violence that have been barely restrained burst into the open.”—Anthony Domestico, San Francisco ChronicleAn NPR, Boston Globe, and San Francisco Chronicle best book of the year, The Hired Man—now available in paperback—is an incisive, powerful novel of a small Croatian town and its dark wartime secrets, unwittingly brought into the light by a family of outsiders. Duro Kolak, a stoic lifelong resident of the Croatian village of Gost, is off on a morning’s hunt when he discovers that a British family has taken up residence in a house Duro knows well. He offers his assistance getting their water working again, and soon he is at the house every day, helping get it ready as their summer cottage, and serving as their trusted confidant. But the other residents of Gost are not as pleased to have the interlopers, and as the friendship deepens, the volatile truths about the town’s past and the house’s former occupants whisper ever louder. A masterpiece of storytelling haunted by lost love and a restrained menace, The Hired Man confirms Aminatta Forna as one of our most important writers.“Forna modulates the growing suspense with exquisite skill. . . . Beautiful, reminiscent in its mesmerizing clarity of William Trevor’s fiction or Per Petterson’s.”—Anna Mundow, The Christian Science Monitor“Absorbing . . . Forna’s unwavering gaze compels a close look at the complexities of our shared histories.”—Ellah Allfrey, NPR (online)
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.