With its balmy island breezes and centuries-old maritime traditions, the Caribbean is an ideal winter interlude. Discover the rarely visited Windward Islands as you learn about the Caribbean’s complex history, visit verdant gardens, and enjoy exquisite beaches and clear blue waters.

Starting at: $3,995 * Price includes special offer Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Twin Piton Peaks in St. Lucia  Petit St. Vincent Island  Bridgetown, Barbados  The island of Martinique

Cruising the Caribbean’s Windward Islands

A Cruise from Grenada to Barbados Aboard the Le Champlain

8 days from $3,995

With its balmy island breezes and centuries-old maritime traditions, the Caribbean is an ideal winter interlude. Discover the rarely visited Windward Islands as you learn about the Caribbean’s complex history, visit verdant gardens, and enjoy exquisite beaches and clear blue waters.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Extensions

Grenada Pre-Cruise Option – 3 Days, 2 Nights

Savor life in the Caribbean with two nights in handsome St. George’s, Grenada. Explore the lush and biodiverse Grand Etang Rainforest, where a crater lake rests on an extinct volcano; visit the 17th-century plantation; and stop in the Grenada Nutmeg Station to learn more about the island’s famed spice. Enjoy deluxe tropical accommodations in the Radisson Grenada Beach Resort—on Grand Anse Beach.

Barbados Post-Cruise Option – 3 Days, 2 Nights

The ideal complement to your cruise, tropical Barbados celebrates a thriving geographical and cultural landscape. In the labyrinthine Hunte’s Gardens, exotic plant life blooms in a deep rainforest gully. UNESCO World Heritage-designated Bridgetown showcases more than 350 years of English architecture, including one of the Western Hemisphere’s oldest synagogues, 17th-century St. John’s Church and the George Washington House. Spend two nights in the deluxe Hilton Barbados.

The Pre-Cruise and Post-Cruise Options are available at additional cost. Details will be provided with your reservation confirmation.

Ship

Le Champlain

Launched in 2018,  Le Champlain is among a new fleet of luxury expedition ships launched by the Ponant cruise line. These ships combine revolutionary design and a new standard of luxury.

Spacious, Ocean-view Suites and Staterooms
Each of the 92 elegant suites and staterooms features a private balcony, while Grand Deluxe Suites have a bay window and spacious private terrace. The deluxe, air-conditioned staterooms and suites (up to 484 square feet) have two twin beds that convert to one queen-size bed. Each cabin has a private bathroom with shower (bathtub in limited number of staterooms) and the luxurious amenities of a fine hotel, including individual climate control, satellite flat screen television, wireless Internet access, safe, minibar, full-length closet, writing desk/dressing table, and plush robes.

Chic and Casual Dining
International and regional cuisine are served in the stylish, spacious indoor-outdoor restaurant in a single, unassigned seating; at the casual pool deck grill; or from 24-hour room service. Continental and buffet breakfast, buffet lunch, afternoon tea, and a four-course dinner are served daily. Wine is served at your table during lunch and dinner and complimentary alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are included throughout the cruise.

Spacious Public Areas, Intimate Atmosphere, and World-Class Service
The warm and inviting public areas accommodate all passengers comfortably. Enjoy sweeping views from the Observation Lounge and Main Lounge, both of which open to the outdoors, and lectures, cultural performances, or film screenings in the state-of-the-art theater. For your convenience, complimentary Wi-Fi is available throughout the ship.

The ship also features the first luxury underwater observatory, the Blue Eye, a multisensory underwater observation lounge that incorporates decor and technology to immerse you in the beauty of the ocean's ecosystem. Here, you can observe fascinating marine life through the large subaquatic windows while digital screens and the specially designed global listening system relay the sights and sound beneath the ocean surface. 

Other amenities aboard ship are a Sun Deck, swimming pool, beauty salon, spa and sauna, fitness room, and two elevators. In addition, there is a three-level marina platform with complimentary kayaking and snorkeling equipment, as well as 10 easily accessible Zodiacs. 

The highly trained, English-speaking international crew are personable and attentive, and the ship has an infirmary staffed with a doctor and nurse.

Respect for the Environment
The newest additions to a fleet that has been awarded the prestigious "Clean Ship" designation, a rarity among ocean-cruising vessels, these expedition ships are designed with energy efficient, advanced eco-friendly features that protect fragile marine ecosystems while providing a safe and comfortable voyage. 

Le Champlain

Launched in 2018,  Le Champlain is among a new fleet of luxury expedition ships launched by the Ponant cruise line. These ships combine revolutionary design and a new standard of luxury.

Spacious, Ocean-view Suites and Staterooms
Each of the 92 elegant suites and staterooms features a private balcony, while Grand Deluxe Suites have a bay window and spacious private terrace. The deluxe, air-conditioned staterooms and suites (up to 484 square feet) have two twin beds that convert to one queen-size bed. Each cabin has a private bathroom with shower (bathtub in limited number of staterooms) and the luxurious amenities of a fine hotel, including individual climate control, satellite flat screen television, wireless Internet access, safe, minibar, full-length closet, writing desk/dressing table, and plush robes.

Chic and Casual Dining
International and regional cuisine are served in the stylish, spacious indoor-outdoor restaurant in a single, unassigned seating; at the casual pool deck grill; or from 24-hour room service. Continental and buffet breakfast, buffet lunch, afternoon tea, and a four-course dinner are served daily. Wine is served at your table during lunch and dinner and complimentary alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are included throughout the cruise.

Spacious Public Areas, Intimate Atmosphere, and World-Class Service
The warm and inviting public areas accommodate all passengers comfortably. Enjoy sweeping views from the Observation Lounge and Main Lounge, both of which open to the outdoors, and lectures, cultural performances, or film screenings in the state-of-the-art theater. For your convenience, complimentary Wi-Fi is available throughout the ship.

The ship also features the first luxury underwater observatory, the Blue Eye, a multisensory underwater observation lounge that incorporates decor and technology to immerse you in the beauty of the ocean's ecosystem. Here, you can observe fascinating marine life through the large subaquatic windows while digital screens and the specially designed global listening system relay the sights and sound beneath the ocean surface. 

Other amenities aboard ship are a Sun Deck, swimming pool, beauty salon, spa and sauna, fitness room, and two elevators. In addition, there is a three-level marina platform with complimentary kayaking and snorkeling equipment, as well as 10 easily accessible Zodiacs. 

The highly trained, English-speaking international crew are personable and attentive, and the ship has an infirmary staffed with a doctor and nurse.

Respect for the Environment
The newest additions to a fleet that has been awarded the prestigious "Clean Ship" designation, a rarity among ocean-cruising vessels, these expedition ships are designed with energy efficient, advanced eco-friendly features that protect fragile marine ecosystems while providing a safe and comfortable voyage. 

Reading List
Empire's Crossroads: A History of the Caribbean from Columbus to the Present Day
By: Carrie Gibson
Ever since Christopher Columbus stepped off the Santa Maria and announced that he had arrived in the Orient, the Caribbean has been a stage for projected fantasies and competition between world powers. In Empire’s Crossroads, historian Carrie Gibson offers a vivid, panoramic view of this complex region and its rich, important history.That fateful landing in 1492 soon launched a savage competition for West Indian territory that would last centuries. Gibson compellingly traces the ups and downs of European imperial expansion—including the first cash crops, failed settlements, and pirating on the open seas—but she also brilliantly describes daily life on the islands. Creole societies complicated traditional ideas about class and race, and by the end of the eighteenth century, plantation slaves in Saint-Domingue had launched the Haitian Revolution, the world’s only successful slave revolt. As European control of the Caribbean loosened over the next 150 years, America was on the rise, ushering in a new era of foreign influence and the birth of the tourism industry that still thrives today. Incredibly multi-faceted and approachably written, Empire’s Crossroads encompasses the narratives of more than twenty islands and reinterprets five centuries of history have been underappreciated for far too long.
A Continent Of Islands: Searching For The Caribbean Destiny
By: Mark Kurlansky
"A penetrating analysis of the social, political, sexual, and cultural worlds that exist behind the four-color Caribbean travel posters. . . . Page after page of highly original insights."--Kirkus ReviewsIn this richly detailed portrait of the individual countries and peoples of the Caribbean, Mark Kurlansky brings to life a society and culture often kept hidden from foreigners-the arts, history, politics, and economics of the region, as well as the vivid day-to-day lives of its citizens. From the Newyoriccans of Levittown, Puerto Rico; to the state-salaried popular musicians of Cuba; to the practitioners of good political hurricanemanship (who know how to stretch statistics to bring in relief funds), A Continent of Islands paints portraits that will prove equally fascinating to tourists who know the Caribbean only as a string of beach resorts, and to readers curious about U.S. efforts to influence its neighbors.
My Favorite Plant: Writers and Gardeners on the Plants They Love
By: Farrar, Straus & Giroux
A delightful compendium of writing on plants.The passion for gardening and the passion for words come together in this inspired anthology, a collection of essays on topics as diverse as beans and roses, by writers who garden and by gardeners who write. Among the contributors are Christopher Lloyd, on poppies; Marina Warner, who remembers the Guinée rose; and Henri Cole, who offers poems on the bearded iris and on peonies. There is also an explanation of the sexiness of castor beans from Michael Pollan and an essay from Maxine Kumin on how, as Henry David Thoreau put it, one "[makes] the earth say beans instead of grass." Most of the essays are new in print, but Colette, Katharine S. White, D. H. Lawrence, and several other old favorites make appearances. Jamaica Kincaid, the much-admired writer and a passionate gardener herself, rounds up this diverse crew. A wonderful gift for green thumbs, My Favorite Plant is a happy collection of fresh takes on old friends.Other contributors include: Hilton Als Mary KeenKen Druse Duane MichalsMichael Fox David RaffeldIan Frazier Graham Stuart ThomasDaniel Hinkley Wayne Winterrowd
DK Eyewitness Travel Guide Caribbean
By: DK Travel
DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Caribbean will lead you straight to the best attractions this island paradise has to offer.Covering more than 130 Caribbean islands, this updated guide explores everything from Harrison's Cave in Barbados to Nelson's Dockyard in Antigua, as well as the most pristine beaches and the best islands for history, architecture, and hiking.Whether you travel via cruise or independently, DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Caribbean is the ideal companion, providing insider tips such as the best places to dive, snorkel, sail, and play golf. Customized tour routes will lead you to the must-see sights like the Blue Mountains, Jamaican rum distilleries, and rain forests of Martinique.Discover DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Caribbean.   • Detailed itineraries and "don't-miss" destination highlights at a glance.    • Illustrated cutaway 3-D drawings of important sights.    • Floor plans and guided visitor information for major museums.    • Guided walking tours, local drink and dining specialties to try, things to do, and places to eat, drink, and shop by area.    • Area maps marked with sights.    • Detailed city maps include street finder indexes for easy navigation.    • Insights into history and culture to help you understand the stories behind the sights.    • Hotel and restaurant listings highlight DK Choice special recommendations. With hundreds of full-color photographs, hand-drawn illustrations, and custom maps that illuminate every page, DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Caribbean truly shows you this island region as no one else can.Series Overview: For more than two decades, DK Eyewitness Travel Guides have helped travelers experience the world through the history, art, architecture, and culture of their destinations. Expert travel writers and researchers provide independent editorial advice, recommendations, and reviews. With guidebooks to hundreds of places around the globe available in print and digital formats, DK Eyewitness Travel Guides show travelers how they can discover more.DK Eyewitness Travel Guides: the most maps, photographs, and illustrations of any guide.
Caribbean By Cruise Ship: The Complete Guide To Cruising The Caribbean (Ocean Cruise Guides)
By: Anne Vipond
The 8th edition of Caribbean By Cruise Ship is revised and updated with new special section on cruise line private islands with added detail on the Bahamas. All maps are color to give readers more detail on sites at each island and in port showing exactly where ships dock. Over 400 photos and maps. Includes large color pull-out map at back of the book. Covers all islands as well as ports in Central America.Includes ports on the routes of the Western, Eastern and Southern Caribbean itineraries. Special chapter on Florida with home port maps to help readers start planning their cruise.
The First Salute
By: Barbara W. Tuchman
Barbara W. Tuchman, the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of the classic The Guns of August, turns her sights homeward with this brilliant, insightful narrative of the Revolutionary War.   In The First Salute, one of America’s consummate historians crafts a rigorously original view of the American Revolution. Barbara W. Tuchman places the Revolution in the context of the centuries-long conflicts between England and both France and Holland, demonstrating how the aid to the American colonies of both these nations made the triumph of independence possible. She sheds new light on the key role played by the contending navies, paints a magnificent portrait of George Washington, and recounts in riveting detail the decisive campaign of the war at Yorktown. By turns lyrical and gripping, The First Salute is an exhilarating account of the birth of a nation.   Praise for The First Salute   “Nothing in a novel could be more thrilling than the moment in this glorious history when French soldiers arrive [to] see a tall, familiar figure: George Washington. . . . It is only part of Tuchman’s genius that she can reconstitute such scenes with so much precision and passion.”—People   “Tuchman writes narrative history in the great tradition. . . . A persuasive book, which brings us entertaining pictures, scenes and characters.”—Chicago Tribune   “[A] tightly woven narrative, ingeniously structured.”—The Christian Science Monitor
[(The Sugar Barons)] [Author: Matthew Parker] published on (February, 2012)
By: Windmill Books
Under the Black Flag: The Romance and the Reality of Life Among the Pirates
By: David Cordingly
“This is the most authoritative and highly literate account of these pernicious people that I have ever read.”—Patrick O'Brian“[A] wonderfully entertaining history of pirates and piracy . . . a rip-roaring read . . . fascinating and unexpected.”—Men's JournalThis rollicking account of the golden age of piracy is packed with vivid history and high seas adventure. David Cordingly, an acclaimed expert on pirates, reveals the spellbinding truth behind the legends of Blackbeard, Captain Kidd, Sir Francis Drake, the fierce female brigands Mary Read and Anne Bonny, and others who rode and robbed upon the world's most dangerous waters. Here, in thrilling detail, are the weapons they used, the ships they sailed, and the ways they fought—and were defeated. Under the Black Flag also charts the paths of fictional pirates such as Captain Hook and Long John Silver. The definitive resource on the subject, this book is as captivating as it is supremely entertaining. Praise for Under the Black Flag“[A] lively history . . . If you've ever been seduced by the myth of the cutlass-wielding pirate, consider David Cordingly's Under the Black Flag.”—USA Today, “Best Bets”“Engagingly told . . . a tale of the power of imaginative literature to re-create the past.”—Los Angeles Times“Entirely engaging and informative . . . a witty and spirited book.”—The Washington Post Book World“Plenty of thrills and adventure to satisfy any reader.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer
Alexander Hamilton
By: Ron Chernow
A New York Times Bestseller, and the inspiration for the hit Broadway musical Hamilton!Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Chernow presents a landmark biography of Alexander Hamilton, the Founding Father who galvanized, inspired, scandalized, and shaped the newborn nation.In the first full-length biography of Alexander Hamilton in decades, Ron Chernow tells the riveting story of a man who overcame all odds to shape, inspire, and scandalize the newborn America. According to historian Joseph Ellis, Alexander Hamilton is “a robust full-length portrait, in my view the best ever written, of the most brilliant, charismatic and dangerous founder of them all.”Few figures in American history have been more hotly debated or more grossly misunderstood than Alexander Hamilton. Chernow’s biography gives Hamilton his due and sets the record straight, deftly illustrating that the political and economic greatness of today’s America is the result of Hamilton’s countless sacrifices to champion ideas that were often wildly disputed during his time. “To repudiate his legacy,” Chernow writes, “is, in many ways, to repudiate the modern world.” Chernow here recounts Hamilton’s turbulent life: an illegitimate, largely self-taught orphan from the Caribbean, he came out of nowhere to take America by storm, rising to become George Washington’s aide-de-camp in the Continental Army, coauthoring The Federalist Papers, founding the Bank of New York, leading the Federalist Party, and becoming the first Treasury Secretary of the United States.Historians have long told the story of America’s birth as the triumph of Jefferson’s democratic ideals over the aristocratic intentions of Hamilton. Chernow presents an entirely different man, whose legendary ambitions were motivated not merely by self-interest but by passionate patriotism and a stubborn will to build the foundations of American prosperity and power. His is a Hamilton far more human than we’ve encountered before—from his shame about his birth to his fiery aspirations, from his intimate relationships with childhood friends to his titanic feuds with Jefferson, Madison, Adams, Monroe, and Burr, and from his highly public affair with Maria Reynolds to his loving marriage to his loyal wife Eliza. And never before has there been a more vivid account of Hamilton’s famous and mysterious death in a duel with Aaron Burr in July of 1804.Chernow’s biography is not just a portrait of Hamilton, but the story of America’s birth seen through its most central figure. At a critical time to look back to our roots, Alexander Hamilton will remind readers of the purpose of our institutions and our heritage as Americans.“Nobody has captured Hamilton better than Chernow” —The New York Times Book Review Ron Chernow's new biography, Grant, will be published by Penguin Press in October 2017. 
A Caribbean Mystery: A Miss Marple Mystery (Miss Marple Mysteries)
By: Agatha Christie
As Miss Marple sat basking in the Caribbean sunshine, she felt mildly discontented with life. True, the warmth eased her rheumatism, but here in paradise nothing ever happened. Eventually, her interest was aroused by an old soldier’s yarn about a murderer he had known. Infuriatingly, just as he was about to show her a snapshot of this acquaintance, the Major was suddenly interrupted. A diversion that was to prove fatal.
Easy in the Islands
By: Bob Shacochis
A calypso singer named Lord Short Shoe consorts with a vampish black singer to bilk an American out of his pride and his only companion-a monkey. An entire island bureaucracy casually confounds the attempts of Tillman, a hotel owner, in his attempt to get his dead mother out of the freezer and into a real grave; stymied, he resorts to a highly unusual form of burial. Two poor islanders stumble into a high-class dance party one night and find themselves caught up in a violent encounter that just might escalate into revolution. And a young woman sails off into the romantic tropics with the man of her dreams, only to learn the hard way - as Eve did - that paradise is just another place to leave behind.Winner of the National Book Award for first fiction, Easy in the Islands is a “stunning” (Washington Post) collection of stories by one of America’s foremost contemporary fiction writers. Infused with the rhythms and the beat of the Caribbean, these vivid tales of paradise sought and paradise lost are as lush, steamy, and invigorating as the islands themselves.From fishing fleets in remote atolls too small to appear on any map and reggae bars on islands narrow enough to walk across in an hour, to the sprawling barrios and yacht filled marinas of Miami, Bob Shacochis charts a course across a Caribbean that no one who has ever been there on vacation will recognize.
Return to my Native Land
By: Aime Cesaire
A work of immense cultural significance and beauty, this long poem became an anthem for the African diaspora and the birth of the Negritude movement. With unusual juxtapositions of object and metaphor, a bouquet of language-play, and deeply resonant rhythms, Césaire considered this work a "break into the forbidden," at once a cry of rebellion and a celebration of black identity.More praise:"The greatest living poet in the French language."--American Book Review"Martinique poet Aime Cesaire is one of the few pure surrealists alive today. By this I mean that his work has never compromised its wild universe of double meanings, stretched syntax, and unexpected imagery. This long poem was written at the end of World War II and became an anthem for many blacks around the world. Eshleman and Smith have revised their original 1983 translations and given it additional power by presenting Cesaire's unique voice as testament to a world reduced in size by catastrophic events." --Bloomsbury Review "Through his universal call for the respect of human dignity, consciousness and responsibility, he will remain a symbol of hope for all oppressed peoples." --Nicolas Sarkozy"Evocative and thoughtful, touching on human aspiration far beyond the scale of its specific concerns with Cesaire's native land - Martinique." --The Times
Wild Caribbean: The Hidden Wonders of the World's Most Famous Islands
By: Michael Bright
In our minds the Caribbean is the embodiment of Paradise. We need only close our eyes to see clearly the sparkling turquoise waters, white beaches, and lush tropical forests. Yet hidden just beyond this familiar scene is another world―the wild Caribbean, where attentive travelers may encounter butterflies with see-through wings or colorful bird colonies, prehistoric iguanas or silver waterfalls, smoking volcanoes or secret orchids in the forest. This book is a gorgeously illustrated exploration and celebration of the wildlife and wild places of the Caribbean. It encompasses all the principal islands as well as the mainland areas bordering the Sea, and its Gazetteer is crammed with useful tips to help travelers choose locations to visit and the best time of year to do so. The book introduces diverse natural habitats―reefs; white, pink, and black sand beaches; underground caverns; mangroves; salt ponds; desert islands, bubbling sulfur springs; and more―and offers rare insights into the amazingly varied animals and plants of the wild Caribbean. Combining practical travel information with fascinating scientific facts, Wild Caribbean reveals a natural world more magical than we could have imagined. Active travelers and armchair tourists alike will find the volume irresistible. ·        A companion volume to the four-part television series appearing on the Travel Channel. 
Caribbean Birds: A Folding Pocket Guide to Familiar Species (Wildlife and Nature Identification)
By: James Kavanagh, Waterford Press
The exotic flamingo is one of over 750 species of birds inhabiting the diverse ecosystems found throughout Caribbean. This beautifully illustrated guide highlights over 140 familiar and unique species 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. Made in the USA.www.waterfordpress.com
fishcardscom Reefcomber's Guide ID Card ~ Fishes, Corals & Invertebrates ~ Florida, Bahamas & Caribbean
By: fishcardscom
Reefcomber's Guide identifies 75 colorful, frequently seen fishes, invertebrates and turtles of the Tropical Atlantic, arranged by family. Covers Florida, Bermuda, the Bahamas, and the Caribbean. 6" X 9.5" NOTE: This card is a partial combination of our Marine Invertebrate and Fishwatchers Field Guide: Fishes of Tropical Atlantic & Caribbean. If you want One card to server your ID purposes.. this is the card. If however you are ordering the other 2 cards it will be a partial species duplication.
Reef Fish Identification - Florida Caribbean Bahamas - 4th Edition (Reef Set)
By: Paul Humann, Ned DeLoach
The 4th edition is packed with amazing marine life photographs of 683 species and enough information to keep fish watchers busy for years. The book includes the latest information on what is known about the taxonomy and distribution of Caribbean reef fishes. The easy-to-use, quick reference format makes it a snap to identify the hundreds of fishes sighted on the reefs, sand flats, grass beds, surf zones and walls of Florida, the Caribbean and Bahamas.
Snorkeling Guide to Marine Life Florida, Caribbean, Bahamas
By: Paul Humann, Ned Deloach
A field guide that illustrates the variety of fish, corals, invertebrates and plants you are most likely to encounter in less than 15 feet of water in the Caribbean. It also features photographs that are suitable for identification purposes.
24x36 World Wall Map by Smithsonian Journeys - Tan Oceans Special Edition (24x36 Paper Folded)
By: Smithsonian Journeys
Swiftmaps is proud to partner with Smithsonian Journeys to bring a new and exciting World Map series to the American marketplace. Featuring eye-catching bold and vivid colors complemented with rich vintage tan ocean tones that will make this the perfect reference piece --- sure to stand-out and highlight any home or business wall. The precise detail and digital accuracy shows color-matching visual shaded 3D relief and other physical features without sacrificing the maps readability. Now printed on high-quality 80 lb. paper and professionally FOLDED in a compact 8x10 inch size. FEATURES: 1) Africa centered allowing viewers to see continents complete and intact 2) Clearly labeled country and city names for easy location 3) Latitude and longitude indications 4) Shaded relief of ocean and land topography 4) Desirable Miller Projection. The Smithsonian Journeys wall map series serve not only as a handy reference piece, but as an eye-catching accent for any room or office. NOTE: each map is professionally folded to 8x10 inches and when unfolded the map is 24 inches high and 36 inches wide.
Travel Insurance

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

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

Terms and conditions

Our Mission

Smithsonian Journeys 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 around them. Your participation benefits the work of Smithsonian’s 19 museums, National Zoo, and nine research centers, helping to preserve our national treasures and shape the future through science, research, and exhibitions.

What Is Included in the Tour Cost

  • The 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 all participants whose arrival(s)/departure(s) coincide with the scheduled group transfer(s)
  • All on-tour transportation, unless otherwise noted
  • All accommodations for the duration of the tour
  • Meals, as noted in the itinerary (B-breakfast; L-lunch; D-dinner; R-reception)
  • All sightseeing and visits as noted in the itinerary
  • Complimentary alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages served throughout the cruise.
  • Complimentary use of a state-of-the-art audio headset for each participant during guided excursions

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, à-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 the tour description
  • Communication Charges (e.g.: phone, Internet, etc.)
  • Other items noted as optional or not specifically mentioned as included
  • Airfare to/from your departure city is not included. Optional airfare may be available at an additional cost.
  • All gratuities for train or ship’s crew, naturalists, and hotel staff
  • Port dues and embarkation fees 
  • Transfers and baggage handling abroad for those not traveling on the designated program departure and arrival dates
  • Optional excursions available at additional cost 

Registration

To submit a reservation request, please use our secure online system at SmithsonianJourneys.org or call 855-330-1542 to speak with a Reservations Specialist, Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. (Eastern Time). Submitting an online request does not guarantee space on a tour. You will be notified by a Reservation Specialist of your status once your request has been received and processed.

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

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

Payments

A deposit of $1000 per person for a cruise tour reservation, and $200 per person for the pre-program option and/or $200 per person for the post-program option, unless otherwise noted, is required to reserve a space on a tour. All payments may be made by credit card or check to the tour operator. Deposits are applied to the final payment of the tour price.

Final payment is due 95 days prior to departure unless otherwise noted. Balance is due upon invoicing.  If full payment is not received by the final payment due date, your place cannot be guaranteed on the tour.

Late Registration

Any registration received within 95 days of departure is considered “on-request” and is subject to specific confirmation. Some tours are more restrictive. Payment in full must be made immediately by credit card, or by check sent by overnight mail to the tour operator, before confirmation is possible.

Once confirmed, cancellation fees apply as set forth below. If confirmation is not possible, all payments made will be refunded in full. Late registration confirmation procedures apply to any participant who is transferred from the wait list to the tour within 95 days of departure for that tour.

For additional information, please contact a Reservations Specialist at 1-855-330-1542 Monday - Friday 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.  (Eastern Time), at SJReservations@si.edu or SmithsonianJourneys.org.

A Note about Costs

All prices are based on two persons sharing a room/cabin. All prices are quoted in U.S. dollars. Tour costs are based upon current airfares, tariffs, currency values, and on the basis of a presumptive minimum number of participants. While we will do everything possible to maintain the listed prices, they are subject to change. Due to fluctuations in oil prices on e.g. internal flights, cruises, etc., a fuel surcharge may be added to your tour fee, but after final payment, no surcharges except for increased governmental taxes will be imposed. Details and costs will be advised prior to departure.

Waitlist

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

Cancellation and Refund Policy

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

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

  • Cancellations within 7 days of booking: Full Refund (unless it is within final payment date, 95/120 days before departure)
  • Cancellations after 7 days of booking: Full Deposit Retained
  • Cancellations made within final payment date, 95/120 days before departure: No Refund
  • Cancellation by Smithsonian Journeys: Full Refund or Credit

Smithsonian Journeys recommends that all participants purchase travel insurance.  If you have scheduled your own air and your flights are delayed, if for any reason you are prevented from joining the tour on the scheduled departure date and time, or if you choose to leave the tour early, we cannot provide a full or partial refund or credit toward a future tour.  Smithsonian Journeys reserves the right to cancel any tour due to low enrollment and when a U.S. Department of State Travel Warning is issued for the destination.

Air Service

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

Air Service/Tickets Purchased Independently of the Tour

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

Travel Insurance Cancellation/Delay/Lost Baggage

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

Limit (Maximum per person)

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

·   Emergency Medical Expenses up to $25,000

·   Emergency Dental Expenses up to $500

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

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

Travel Documents and Information

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

For certain international departures, a passport valid for at least six months after the completion of your tour, and/or with at least six blank visa pages, is required for U.S. citizens. The U.S. Department of State no longer will add visa pages into U.S. passports. Applicants in need of additional pages in their valid passports must obtain a new passport. For more information on how or where to apply, please visit Travel.State.Gov/ApplyEarly or call the National Passport Information Center toll-free at 1-877-487-2778/1-888-874-7793 (TTY/TTD).

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

Physical and Medical Considerations

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

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

Itinerary or Program Modifications

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

Every effort will be made to carry out the tour as planned but alterations may still occur after the final itinerary has been sent to you. Please note that weather and other conditions may force changes to the advertised sailing schedule on cruise tours. The ship’s captain has the authority to change the ship’s schedule. Smithsonian Journeys and the tour operator reserve the right to substitute motorcoach transportation use, hotels, inns or lodges for cruise accommodations if necessary due to weather, water conditions or levels, other events of force majeure, mechanical, or other conditions beyond their control.

Hotel Accommodations

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

Singles and Roommates

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

Children

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

Special Travel Arrangements

Participants may wish to extend their stay in the group hotel either before or after the tour. Our tour operator will work with you on these arrangements, dependent upon space availability.  Your pre-tour bulletins will further explain all options.

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

Dispute Resolution

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

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

Photography and Video

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

Smoking Policy

For the comfort of all participants, we ask that there be no smoking during all group activities, including excursions and meals in certain hotels or aboard ship. There is no smoking aboard the ship, and some hotels may not allow smoking anywhere on the property. Your pre-tour bulletins will provide further information.

READ CAREFULLY: RESPONSIBILITY STATEMENT AND  LIABILITY DISCLAIMER

Smithsonian Journeys tours are organized and administered by professional tour operators hired as independent contractors. The use of designated tour operators allows the Smithsonian to offer 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 including, but not limited to, weather, flooding, and high/low water levels, acts or omissions of foreign governments, terrorism, war or insurrection, theft, illness, bites from or attacks by animals, insects, or pests, and damage to person or property due to the negligent acts or omissions of tour staff or others. In consideration of, and as part payment for, the right to participate in the tour, the undersigned, on behalf of himself, his dependents, heirs, executors, administrators and assigns, agrees to release the Smithsonian Institution, its Regents, officers, employees, representatives or agents, the United States, and the tour operator and its officers, employees and agents, from liability for personal injury, death, property damage or loss suffered by any person in connection with this tour, even if caused by the negligence (but not the reckless, willful, or fraudulent conduct) of tour staff or other related persons or entities. In addition, by registering for this tour, the applicant certifies that he or she is mentally and physically capable of full participation in this tour. By registering for a Smithsonian Journey, the participant agrees to the Responsibility Statement and Liability Disclaimer and the Terms and Conditions herein.

By Registering For A Smithsonian Journey, The Participant Agrees To The Responsibility Statement And Liability Disclaimer And The Terms And Conditions Herein. Updated April, 2019. ©2019, Smithsonian Institution