Discover eight countries and many World Heritage sites as you cruise the fabled Danube River through the heartland of Central and Eastern Europe between Germany and Bulgaria, with stays in Prague and Sofia.

Starting at: $5,090 Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 The Wachau Valley of the Danube, a World Heritage site, Austria  Budapest, one of Europe's most beautiful cities, situated along the Danube River  Fishermen's Bastion, Budapest  The Matthias Church, located on the Buda side of Budapest  The Strauss Memorial in Vienna, a city renowned for music  St. Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna  The gardens at Vienna's Schonbrunn Palace, a World Heritage site and the Habsburgs' summer residence  The village of Durnstein, along the Wachau Valley, Austria  Interior of Melk Abbey, the renowned Benedictine monastery overlooking the Danube  The beautiful rococo design of St. Stephan's Cathedral in Passau  Historic Melk Abbey, overlooking the Danube River, Austria  Prague's Old Town Square  Prague and the Vltava River and historic Charles Bridge   The legendary Charles Bridge, Prague  Hradcany Hill with St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague  The 13th-century Old New Synagogue, Prague  The medieval astronomical clock, Old Town Square, Prague

A Danube River Cruise

From Bulgaria to Germany and the Czech Republic Aboard the 160-guest Amadeus Silver

15-16 days from $5,090

Discover eight countries and many World Heritage sites as you cruise the fabled Danube River through the heartland of Central and Eastern Europe between Germany and Bulgaria, with stays in Prague and Sofia.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

TOUR BROCHURE

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WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

Organization and execution of our trip with Smithsonian Journeys was excellent from first contact to farewell.

- Eleanor C.

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

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Accommodations

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

InterContinental Prague

Prague, Czech Republic

Located on Prague's most famous and luxurious shopping boulevard 'Parizka' connecting the historical Old Town Square with the banks of the Vltava River, the InterContinental Prague is a truly exceptional hotel. Guestrooms provide the perfect base to explore the shops, restaurants, and architectural, historic and cultural treasures that give this city its distinctive character. Admire the city from the unique rooftop, gourmet restaurant, Zlata Praha. Amenities include complimentary WiFi. This hotel will be used for the 2019 departure. 

Number of nights: 1

Sofia Hotel Balkan

Sofia, Bulgaria

This elegant hotel offers luxury and the finest amenities within walking distance of Sofia’s historic town center. Dine on international selections at Stardust Restaurant, or enjoy a piano bar atmosphere at Lobby Bar Pliska. The hotel also has a fitness center, sauna, salon, casino, sundries shop and laundry service is available. Warm, welcoming guest rooms have all the modern amenities including WiFi service.

Number of nights: 2

Art Deco Imperial Hotel Prague

Prague, Czech Republic

Built in the early 1900s, the elegant Art Deco Imperial Hotel is listed on Prague’s register of historic buildings. With an art deco facade and an art nouveau interior, the hotel is one of the city’s architectural gems. It sits in the heart of historic Prague near restaurants, shops, and historic attractions. A spa, fitness center and WiFi are among the hotel’s many amenities, and the Café Imperial is considered to be one of the most beautiful restaurants in the city.

Number of nights: 3

Activity Levels

Activity Level 2: Moderate

Expectations: River cruise that pulls into a pier for disembarkation. Morning, afternoon, or full-day excursions at a moderate pace. Standing and walking for long periods of time during city tours, museum visits, and/or outdoor activities. Walking over sometimes difficult terrain (e.g. cobblestones, city hills, stairs without handrails, absence of elevators); some longer walks to get to city centers where coaches are prohibited. Choice of excursions with varying activity expectations offered on some days.

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

Special Air Rates/Services

As part of our special air program, FlexAir, available with this tour, you can choose from a wide variety of flight options. Details regarding how you may access these options will be provided in your trip confirmation packet.

Program Includes:

  • Low fares
  • Travel dates to fit your schedule
  • Optimal air routing
  • Confirmed airline seat assignments, as offered by participating carriers (subject to availability at time of booking)
  • Ability to adjust your reservations (up to 60 days prior to departure) without penalty, including trip extensions and upgrades. Does not apply to Instant Purchase tickets.
  • Guaranteed transfers in most cases between the tour arrival airport and your hotel
  • Passenger Service Assistance in the event of a flight cancellation or delay
  • Flight insurance, up to $250,000 (Subject to policy terms)
Ship

Amadeus Star

The Amadeus Star will make its debut in 2019 and is the latest addition to the Lüftner River Cruise fleet of fine cruise ships. All 82 staterooms are generously proportioned and have a river view. Suites have walk out balconies and category A, B and C cabins have drop down panoramic windows. Each cabin has hotel-style bedding with plush pillows and duvet cover, and modern bathrooms with hairdryer and toiletries. On the Amadeus Star, like the others in the fleet, hospitality is more than just a tradition, it is a passion and attention to every detail, from beautifully-appointed surroundings and gourmet dining selections to the enthusiastic professionalism of the staff. With a staff and crew trained to the highest standards of service, the ambiance onboard is relaxed yet impeccably gracious. The culinary element begins in the bright Panorama Restaurant with a generous breakfast buffet plus freshly cooked egg dishes. For lunch, one can choose between varied menus and buffet specialties in the Panorama-Restaurant or a light lunch alternative in the Panorama Bar. Dinner each evening is a composed 4-course menu involving regional specialties. Lunch and dinner include wine, water, coffee/tea. Complimentary tea, coffee, and water station are available 24/7 on board.

Amadeus Silver (2018 Departures)

This gracious ship with luxury cabins and suites offers the utmost in service, safety and comfort. Step into the elegant reception area and immerse yourself in an ambiance akin to an elegant European hotel. Relax in the panoramic lounge, indulge yourself with a soothing massage, browse in the boutique or connect with friends and family back home on the Internet. At the end of each day, return to the comfort of your bright, modern cabin featuring views of the passing scenery, satellite TV and a private bathroom with shower. As an added value feature all of your meals are included and local table wines are served with each dinner during the cruise portion of your journey. Savor international cuisine at the restaurant’s delicious breakfast and luncheon buffets, and enjoy regional specialties at dinner each evening. Complimentary wine and beer served with lunch and dinner.

 <i>Amadeus Silver</i> Sailing  <i>Amadeus Silver</i> dining room  <i>Amadeus Silver</i> Café Vienna  <i>Amadeus Silver</i> Panorama Bar  <i>Amadeus Silver</i> Cabin  <i>Amadeus Silver</i> suite, Mozart deck  <i>Amadeus Silver</i> cabin, Mozart, Strauss decks  <i>Amadeus Silver<i> Panorama bar

Amadeus Star

The Amadeus Star will make its debut in 2019 and is the latest addition to the Lüftner River Cruise fleet of fine cruise ships. All 82 staterooms are generously proportioned and have a river view. Suites have walk out balconies and category A, B and C cabins have drop down panoramic windows. Each cabin has hotel-style bedding with plush pillows and duvet cover, and modern bathrooms with hairdryer and toiletries. On the Amadeus Star, like the others in the fleet, hospitality is more than just a tradition, it is a passion and attention to every detail, from beautifully-appointed surroundings and gourmet dining selections to the enthusiastic professionalism of the staff. With a staff and crew trained to the highest standards of service, the ambiance onboard is relaxed yet impeccably gracious. The culinary element begins in the bright Panorama Restaurant with a generous breakfast buffet plus freshly cooked egg dishes. For lunch, one can choose between varied menus and buffet specialties in the Panorama-Restaurant or a light lunch alternative in the Panorama Bar. Dinner each evening is a composed 4-course menu involving regional specialties. Lunch and dinner include wine, water, coffee/tea. Complimentary tea, coffee, and water station are available 24/7 on board.

Amadeus Silver (2018 Departures)

This gracious ship with luxury cabins and suites offers the utmost in service, safety and comfort. Step into the elegant reception area and immerse yourself in an ambiance akin to an elegant European hotel. Relax in the panoramic lounge, indulge yourself with a soothing massage, browse in the boutique or connect with friends and family back home on the Internet. At the end of each day, return to the comfort of your bright, modern cabin featuring views of the passing scenery, satellite TV and a private bathroom with shower. As an added value feature all of your meals are included and local table wines are served with each dinner during the cruise portion of your journey. Savor international cuisine at the restaurant’s delicious breakfast and luncheon buffets, and enjoy regional specialties at dinner each evening. Complimentary wine and beer served with lunch and dinner.

 <i>Amadeus Silver</i> Sailing  <i>Amadeus Silver</i> dining room  <i>Amadeus Silver</i> Café Vienna  <i>Amadeus Silver</i> Panorama Bar  <i>Amadeus Silver</i> Cabin  <i>Amadeus Silver</i> suite, Mozart deck  <i>Amadeus Silver</i> cabin, Mozart, Strauss decks  <i>Amadeus Silver<i> Panorama bar
Testimonials

WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

Organization and execution of our trip with Smithsonian Journeys was excellent from first contact to farewell.

- Eleanor C.
Reading List
The Danube: A Journey Upriver from the Black Sea to the Black Forest
By: Nick Thorpe
The author takes us on an unexpected journey up the Danube, where we encounter a remarkable and unfamiliar world The magnificent Danube both cuts across and connects central Europe, flowing through and alongside ten countries: Romania, Ukraine, Moldova, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, and Germany. Travelling its full length from east to west, against the river’s flow, Nick Thorpe embarks on an inspiring year-long journey that leads to a new perspective on Europe today. Thorpe’s account is personal, conversational, funny, immediate, and uniquely observant—everything a reader expects in the best travel writing. Immersing himself in the Danube’s waters during daily morning swims, Thorpe likewise becomes immersed in the histories of the lands linked by the river. He observes the river’s ecological conditions, some discouraging and others hopeful, and encounters archaeological remains that whisper of human communities sustained by the river over eight millennia. Most fascinating of all are the ordinary and extraordinary people along the way—the ferrymen and fishermen, workers in the fields, shopkeepers, beekeepers, waitresses, smugglers and border policemen, legal and illegal immigrants, and many more. For readers who anticipate their own journeys on the Danube, as well as those who only dream of seeing the great river, this book will be a unique and treasured guide.
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.
Between the Woods and the Water: On Foot to Constantinople: From The Middle Danube to the Iron Gates (New York Review Books Classics)
By: Patrick Leigh Fermor
Continuing the epic foot journey across Europe begun in A Time of Gifts The journey that Patrick Leigh Fermor set out on in 1933—to cross Europe on foot with an emergency allowance of one pound a day—proved so rich in experiences that when much later he sat down to describe them, they overflowed into more than one volume. Undertaken as the storms of war gathered, and providing a background for the events that were beginning to unfold in Central Europe, Leigh Fermor’s still-unfinished account of his journey has established itself as a modern classic. Between the Woods and the Water, the second volume of a projected three, has garnered as many prizes as its celebrated predecessor, A Time of Gifts. The opening of the book finds Leigh Fermor crossing the Danube—at the very moment where his first volume left off. A detour to the luminous splendors of Prague is followed by a trip downriver to Budapest, passage on horseback across the Great Hungarian Plain, and a crossing of the Romanian border into Transylvania. Remote castles, mountain villages, monasteries and towering ranges that are the haunt of bears, wolves, eagles, gypsies, and a variety of sects are all savored in the approach to the Iron Gates, the division between the Carpathian mountains and the Balkans, where, for now, the story ends.
Lonely Planet Europe (Travel Guide)
By: Lonely Planet, Alexis Averbuck, James Bainbridge, Mark Baker, Oliver Berry, Greg Bloom, Gregor Clark, Marc Di Duca, Peter Dragicevich, Duncan Garwood
Lonely Planet: The world's leading travel guide publisher Lonely Planet Europe is your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Enjoy the breath-taking views of Paris' Eiffel Tower, eat pizza in one of Rome's lively piazzas, or watch a magical sunset on the Greek Island of Santorini; all with your trusted travel companion. Get to the heart of Europe and begin your journey now! Inside Lonely Planet Europe Travel Guide: Colour maps and images throughout Highlights and itineraries help you tailor your trip to your personal needs and interests Insider tips to save time and money and get around like a local, avoiding crowds and trouble spots Essential info at your fingertips - hours of operation, phone numbers, websites, transit tips, prices Honest reviews for all budgets - eating, sleeping, sight-seeing, going out, shopping, hidden gems that most guidebooks miss Cultural insights give you a richer, more rewarding travel experience - including history, art, literature, cinema, music, architecture, landscapes, wildlife, cuisine, wine, customs Covers Austria, Britain, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Russia and more. The Perfect Choice: Lonely Planet Europe, our most comprehensive guide to Europe, is perfect for both exploring top sights and taking roads less travelled. Looking for a comprehensive guide with tips on stretching your money for an extended continental tour, check out Lonely Europe on a shoestring. About Lonely Planet: Lonely Planet is a leading travel media company and the world's number one travel guidebook brand, providing both inspiring and trustworthy information for every kind of traveller since 1973. Over the past four decades, we've printed over 145 million guidebooks and phrasebooks for 120 languages, and grown a dedicated, passionate global community of travellers. You'll also find our content online, and in mobile apps, video, 14 languages, 12 international magazines, armchair and lifestyle books, ebooks, and more, enabling you to explore every day. Lonely Planet enables the curious to experience the world fully and to truly get to the heart of the places they find themselves, near or far from home. TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice Awards 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 winner in Favorite Travel Guide category 'Lonely Planet guides are, quite simply, like no other.' - New York Times 'Lonely Planet. It's on everyone's bookshelves; it's in every traveller's hands. It's on mobile phones. It's on the Internet. It's everywhere, and it's telling entire generations of people how to travel the world.' - Fairfax Media (Australia)
Balkans/Southeast Europe
By: Freytag-Berndt und Artaria
Explore the Balkans and South-East Europe with this Freytag&Berndt road map - the best way to prepare your trip, to plan your itinerary, and to travel independently. This map covers the followin countries: Greece, Albania, FYROM, Bulgaria, Kosovo, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia Herzegocina, Croatia, Slovenia, Hungary, Romania, Moldova, the Czech & Slovak Republics, Western Turkey, Western Ukraine, Austria, and Southern Italy. Place name index and city maps: Athens, Belgrade, Bratislava, Bucarest, Budapest, Chisinau, Istanbul, Kiev, Ljubljana, Podgorica, Prague, Pristina, Sarajevo, Skopje, Sofija, Tirana, Vienna, and Zagreb. The legend is in 10 languages (English included).
Top 10 Prague (Eyewitness Top 10 Travel Guide)
By: DK Travel
Newly revised, updated, and redesigned for 2016.True to its name, DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Top 10 Prague covers all the city's major sights and attractions in easy-to-use "top 10" lists that help you plan the vacation that's right for you.This newly updated pocket travel guide for Prague will lead you straight to the best attractions the city has to offer, whether you want to explore the largest castle complex in the world, take a stroll along the picturesque Vltava River, discover the architectural pearls among the winding alleys of the Old Town, or enjoy some of the best lager on the planet.Expert travel writers have fully revised this edition of DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Top 10 Prague.   • Brand-new itineraries help you plan your trip to Prague.    • Expanded and far more comprehensive, new laminated pull-out map now includes color-coded design, public transportation maps, and street indexes to make it even easier to use.    • Maps of walking routes show you the best ways to maximize your time.    • New Top 10 lists feature off-the-beaten-track ideas, along with standbys like the top attractions, shopping, dining options, and more.    • Additional maps marked with sights from the guidebook are shown on inside cover flaps, with selected street index and metro map.    • New typography and fresh layout throughout. You'll still find DK's famous full-color photography and museum floor plans, along with just the right amount of coverage of the city's history and culture. A free pull-out city map is marked with sights from the guidebook and includes a street index and a metro map.The perfect pocket-size travel companion: DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Top 10 Prague.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.
Smithsonian Journeys Summer 2016 Travel Quarterly The Danube
By: Smithsonian
A Concise History of Bulgaria (Cambridge Concise Histories)
By: R. J. Crampton
Richard Crampton presents a general introduction to Bulgaria at the cross-roads of Christendom and Islam. This concise history traces the country's growth from pre-history, through its days as the center of a powerful medieval empire and five centuries of Ottoman rule, to the political upheavals of the twentieth century which led to three wars. It highlights 1995 to 2004, a vital period during which Bulgaria endured financial meltdown, set itself seriously on the road to reform, elected its former King as prime minister, and finally secured membership in NATO and admission to the European Union. First Edition Hb (1997) 0-521-56183-3 First Edition Pb (1997) 0-521-56719-X
A Nervous Splendor: Vienna 1888-1889
By: Frederic Morton
On January 30, 1889, at the champagne-splashed hight of the Viennese Carnival, the handsome and charming Crown Prince Rudolf fired a revolver at his teenaged mistress and then himself. The two shots that rang out at Mayerling in the Vienna Woods echo still.Frederic Morton, author of the bestselling Rothschilds, deftly tells the haunting story of the Prince and his city, where, in the span of only ten months, "the Western dream started to go wrong." In Rudolf's Vienna moved other young men with striking intellectual and artistic talents—and all as frustrated as the Prince. Among them were: young Sigmund Freud, Gustav Mahler, Theodor Herzl, Gustav Klimt, and the playwright Arthur Schnitzler, whose La Ronde was the great erotic drama of the fin de siecle. Morton studies these and other gifted young men, interweaving their fates with that of the doomed Prince and the entire city through to the eve of Easter, just after Rudolf's body is lowered into its permanent sarcophagus and a son named Adolf Hitler is born to Frau Klara Hitler.
Belgrade A Cultural History (Cityscapes)
By: David A Norris
Perched above the confluence of two great rivers, the Sava and Danube, Belgrade has been home to many civilizations: Celts, Romans, Byzantines, Bulgars, Magyars, Ottomans and Serbs. A Turkish fortress, the focus for a Serbian principality, an intellectual and artistic center, the city grew until it became capital of Yugoslavia. Now it is one of the largest cities in south-eastern Europe and capital of the Republic of Serbia. Despite many challenges, Belgrade has resisted assimilation and created a unique cultural identity out of its many contrasting sides, sometimes with surprising consequences.
Budapest 1900: A Historical Portrait of a City and Its Culture
By: John Lukacs
"Lukacs's book is a lyrical, sometimes dazzling, never merely nostalgic evocation of a glorious period in the city's history. . . . {His} true sympathy lies . . . not with the famous expatriates, but with the writers and intellectuals who lived and died at home: the poets Endre Ady and Mihaly Babits; the novelists Ferenc Herczeg, Sandor Hunyady, Frigyes Karinthy, Dezso Kosztolanyi, Gyula Krudy, Kalman Mikszath, and Zsigmond Moricz; the political essayist DezsoSzabo; the playwright Erno Szep; the literary historian Antal Szerb; and others. . . . {John Lukacs} sets out to explain Hungarian literature to English-speaking readers. Though I have no idea whether or not he will succeed, few interpreters of Hungarian literature have made a more touching and eloquent attempt." -- The New York Review of Books
Bury Me Standing: The Gypsies and Their Journey
By: Isabel Fonseca
A masterful work of personal reportage, this volume is also a vibrant portrait of a mysterious people and an essential document of a disappearing culture.    Fabled, feared, romanticized, and reviled, the Gypsies—or Roma—are among the least understood people on earth. Their culture remains largely obscure, but in Isabel Fonseca they have found an eloquent witness.   In Bury Me Standing, alongside unforgettable portraits of individuals—the poet, the politician, the child prostitute—Fonseca offers sharp insights into the humor, language, wisdom, and taboos of the Roma. She traces their exodus out of India 1,000 years ago and their astonishing history of persecution: enslaved by the princes of medieval Romania; massacred by the Nazis; forcibly assimilated by the communist regimes; evicted from their settlements in Eastern Europe, and most recently, in Western Europe as well. Whether as handy scapegoats or figments of the romantic imagination, the Gypsies have always been with us—but never before have they been brought so vividly to life.   Includes fifty black and white photos.
Danube: A Sentimental Journey from the Source to the Black Sea (FSG Classics)
By: Claudio Magris
In this acclaimed international bestseller, Claudio Magris tracks the Danube River, setting his finger on the pulse of Central Europe, the crucible of a culture that draws on influences of East and West, Christianity and Islam. In each town he raises the ghosts that inhabit the houses and monuments, from Ovid and Marcus Aurelius to Kafka and Canetti, in "a fascinating blend of anecdote and history" (San Francisco Examiner).
Danubia: A Personal History of Habsburg Europe
By: Simon Winder
LONGLISTED FOR THE SAMUEL JOHNSON PRIZE, A CHARMINGLY PERSONAL HISTORY OF HABSBURG EUROPE BY THE AUTHOR OF GERMANIAFrom the end of the Middle Ages to the First World War, Europe was dominated by one family: the Habsburgs. Their unprecedented rule is the focus of Simon Winder's vivid third book, Danubia.Winder's approach is friendly, witty, personal; this is a narrative that, while erudite and well researched, prefers to be discursive and anecdotal. In his survey of the centuries of often incompetent Habsburg rule which have continued to shape the fate of Central Europe, Winder does not shy away from the horrors, railing against the effects of nationalism, recounting the violence that was often part of life. But this is a history dominated above all by Winder's energy and curiosity. Eminently readable and thrillingly informative, Danubia is a treat that readers will be eager to dip into.
In Search of Dracula: The History of Dracula and Vampires
By: Radu Florescu, Raymond T. McNally
The true story behind the legend of Dracula - a biography of Prince Vlad of Transylvania, better known as Vlad the Impaler. This revised edition now includes entries from Bram Stoker's recently discovered diaries, the amazing tale of Nicolae Ceausescu's attempt to make Vlad a national hero, and an examination of recent adaptations in fiction, stage and screen.
The Danube: A Cultural History (Landscapes of the Imagination)
By: Andrew Beattie
The Danube is the longest river in western and central Europe. Rising amidst the beautiful wooded hills of Germany's Black Forest, it touches or winds its way through ten countries and four capital cities before emptying into the Black Sea through a vast delta whose silt-filled channels spread across eastern Romania. From earliest times, the river has provided a route from Europe to Asia that was followed by armies and traders, while empires, from the Macedonian to the Habsburg, rose and fell along its length. Then, in the middle of the twentieth century, the Danube took on the role of a watery thread that unified a continent divided by the Iron Curtain. In the late 1980s the Iron Curtain lifted but the Danube valley soon became an arena for conflict during the violent break-up of the former Yugoslavia. Now, passing as it does through some of the world's youngest nations, including Slovakia, Croatia, Serbia, Moldova, and Ukraine, the river is a tangible symbol of a new, peaceful, and united Europe as well as a vital artery for commercial and leisure shipping. Andrew Beattie explores the turbulent past and vibrant present of the landscape through which the Danube flows, where the enduring legacies of historical regimes from the Romans to the Nazis have all left their mark.
The Habsburgs: Dynasty, Culture and Politics
By: Paula Sutter Fichtner
The death of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo in 1914 not only sparked the beginning of World War I―it also initiated the beginning of the end of the six-hundred-year-old Habsburg dynasty, which fell apart when the war ended, changing Europe forever. But how did the Habsburgs come to play such a decisive role in the fate of the continent? Paula Sutter Fichtner seeks to answer this question in this comprehensive account of the longest-lived European empire.   Tracing the origins of the house of Habsburg to the tenth century, Fichtner identifies the principal characters in the story and explores how they were able to hold together such a culturally diverse and multiethnic state for so many centuries. She takes account of the intertwining of culture, politics, and society, revealing the strategies that enabled the dynasty’s extraordinarily long life: its dazzling mix of cultural propaganda, public performances, and cunning political maneuvering. She points out the irony that one of the crowd-pleasing performances that had enabled the Habsburg success―visiting beds of the injured―led to Ferdinand’s death and the empire’s downfall. Breathing fresh life into the history of the Habsburg reign, this accessible and authoritative history charts one of the pivotal foundation stories of modern Europe.
The Habsburgs: Embodying Empire
By: Andrew Wheatcroft
The Habsburgs have been described at one extreme as demons – responsible for a ‘long history of atrocities’; and, at the other, as dodos – living fossils unable to adapt to the modern world. In reality, the flamboyant royal family appear, in many ways, to have behaved much like most other monarchies. Their story, however, is none the less enthralling for that. It is populated by such unforgettable figures as mad Queen Juana, progressing through Spain with her husband’s decaying body; the ‘heroically fertile’ Maria Theresa, and the quixotic Maximilian, ‘Emperor’ of Mexico.
The Romani Gypsies
By: Yaron Matras
“Gypsies” have lived among Europeans since the Middle Ages. Yet Roms still seem exotic to Westerners, who often rely on fictional depictions for what they know, or think they know, about this much-misunderstood people. The Romani Gypsies challenges stereotypes that have long been the unwelcome travel companions of this community in Europe and the New World. Yaron Matras offers a perspective-changing account of who the Roms are, how they live today, and how they have survived over centuries.Descendants of Indian migrants, Roms began moving into western Europe in the 1300s, refugees of a collapsing Byzantine Empire. By the 1500s they had spread throughout Europe, working as itinerant smiths and toolmakers, healers and entertainers, and would soon reach the Americas. Often described as Egyptian―hence the name Gypsies―they were ostracized as beggars, vilified as criminals, respected as artisans, and idealized as free spirits. They have been both enslaved and protected, forced to settle down and forcibly expelled, in a pattern of manipulation and persecution that persists in our own time.Matras draws on decades of first-hand research into Romani life to explain the organization of Romani society, its shared language, history, and traditions, as well as differences among widely dispersed Romani groups. He also details the present-day dilemmas surrounding the struggle of Roms for political recognition in European countries which are, by turns, either ambivalent or openly hostile.
Art in Vienna 1898–1918: Klimt, Kokoschka, Schiele and their contemporaries
By: Peter Vergo
The artistic stagnation of Vienna at the end of the 19th century was rudely shaken by the artists of the Vienna Secession. Their work shocked a conservative public, but their successive exhibitions, their magazine Ver Sacrum, and their application to the applied arts and architecture soon brought them an enthusiastic following and wealthy patronage. Art in Vienna, 1898–1918: Klimt, Kokoschka, Schiele and their Contemporaries, now published in its 4th edition, brilliantly traces the course of this development. Klimt, Kokoschka and Schiele were the leading figures in the fine arts; Wagner, Olbrich, Loos and Hoffmann in architecture and the applied arts. In other fields, Mahler, Freud and Schnitzler were influencing the avant&hyphen;garde.The book includes eye&hyphen;witness accounts of exhibitions, the opening of the Secession building and other events, and the result is a fascinating documentary study of the members of an artistic movement which is much admired today. Some 150 color images and 75 black and white archival illustrations make this a sumptuous and historically engrossing study of a period when Vienna was the centre of the European art world.
The Cathedral Builders of the Middle Ages
By: Alain Erlande-Brandenburg, Rosemary Stonehewer
All over Europe, from Westminster to Rouen, the cathedrals of the Middle Ages still stand. This book explores the world of the medieval master mason. How were these structures built when only primitive machinery was available? Who initiated and designed them? Who built and paid for them?
The Gothic Enterprise: A Guide to Understanding the Medieval Cathedral
By: Robert A. Scott
The great Gothic cathedrals of Europe are among the most astonishing achievements of Western culture. Evoking feelings of awe and humility, they make us want to understand what inspired the people who had the audacity to build them. This engrossing book surveys an era that has fired the historical imagination for centuries. In it Robert A. Scott explores why medieval people built Gothic cathedrals, how they built them, what conception of the divine lay behind their creation, and how religious and secular leaders used cathedrals for social and political purposes. As a traveler’s companion or a rich source of knowledge for the armchair enthusiast, The Gothic Enterprise helps us understand how ordinary people managed such tremendous feats of physical and creative energy at a time when technology was rudimentary, famine and disease were rampant, the climate was often harsh, and communal life was unstable and incessantly violent.While most books about Gothic cathedrals focus on a particular building or on the cathedrals of a specific region, The Gothic Enterprise considers the idea of the cathedral as a humanly created space. Scott discusses why an impoverished people would commit so many social and personal resources to building something so physically stupendous and what this says about their ideas of the sacred, especially the vital role they ascribed to the divine as a protector against the dangers of everyday life.Scott’s narrative offers a wealth of fascinating details concerning daily life during medieval times. The author describes the difficulties master-builders faced in scheduling construction that wouldn’t be completed during their own lifetimes, how they managed without adequate numeric systems or paper on which to make detailed drawings, and how climate, natural disasters, wars, variations in the hours of daylight throughout the year, and the celebration of holy days affected the pace and timing of work. Scott also explains such things as the role of relics, the quarrying and transporting of stone, and the incessant conflict cathedral-building projects caused within their communities. Finally, by drawing comparisons between Gothic cathedrals and other monumental building projects, such as Stonehenge, Scott expands our understanding of the human impulses that shape our landscape.
A Time of Gifts: On Foot to Constantinople: From the Hook of Holland to the Middle Danube (New York Review Books Classics)
By: Patrick Leigh Fermor, Jan Morris
At the age of eighteen, Patrick Leigh Fermor set off from the heart of London on an epic journey—to walk to Constantinople. A Time of Gifts is the rich account of his adventures as far as Hungary, after which Between the Woods and the Water continues the story to the Iron Gates that divide the Carpathian and Balkan mountains. Acclaimed for its sweep and intelligence, Leigh Fermor’s book explores a remarkable moment in time. Hitler has just come to power but war is still ahead, as he walks through a Europe soon to be forever changed—through the Lowlands to Mitteleuropa, to Teutonic and Slav heartlands, through the baroque remains of the Holy Roman Empire; up the Rhine, and down to the Danube. At once a memoir of coming-of-age, an account of a journey, and a dazzling exposition of the English language, A Time of Gifts is also a portrait of a continent already showing ominous signs of the holocaust to come.
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.
Frederick the Great: King of Prussia
By: Tim Blanning
The definitive biography of the legendary autocrat whose enlightened rule transformed the map of Europe and changed the course of history Few figures loom as large in European history as Frederick the Great. When he inherited the Prussian crown in 1740, he ruled over a kingdom of scattered territories, a minor Germanic backwater. By the end of his reign, the much larger and consolidated Prussia ranked among the continent’s great powers. In this magisterial biography, award-winning historian Tim Blanning gives us an intimate, in-depth portrait of a king who dominated the political, military, and cultural life of Europe half a century before Napoleon.A brilliant, ambitious, sometimes ruthless monarch, Frederick was a man of immense contradictions. This consummate conqueror was also an ardent patron of the arts who attracted painters, architects, musicians, playwrights, and intellectuals to his court. Like his fellow autocrat Catherine the Great of Russia, Frederick was captivated by the ideals of the Enlightenment—for many years he kept up lively correspondence with Voltaire and other leading thinkers of the age. Yet, like Catherine, Frederick drew the line when it came to implementing Enlightenment principles that might curtail his royal authority. Frederick’s terrifying father instilled in him a stern military discipline that would make the future king one of the most fearsome battlefield commanders of his day, while deriding as effeminate his son’s passion for modern ideas and fine art. Frederick, driven to surpass his father’s legacy, challenged the dominant German-speaking powers, including Saxony, Bavaria, and the Habsburg Monarchy. It was an audacious foreign policy gambit, one at which Frederick, against the expectations of his rivals, succeeded. In examining Frederick’s private life, Blanning also carefully considers the long-debated question of Frederick’s sexuality, finding evidence that Frederick lavished gifts on his male friends and maintained homosexual relationships throughout his life, while limiting contact with his estranged, unloved queen to visits that were few and far between. The story of one man’s life and the complete political and cultural transformation of a nation, Tim Blanning’s sweeping biography takes readers inside the mind of the monarch, giving us a fresh understanding of Frederick the Great’s remarkable reign.Praise for Frederick the Great “Writing Frederick’s biography . . . requires a diverse set of skills: expertise in eighteenth-century diplomatic and military history, including the intricacies of the Holy Roman Empire; a familiarity with the music, architecture and intellectual traditions of Northern Europe; and, not least, a profound sense of human psychology, the better to grasp the makeup of this complex and tormented man. Fortunately, Tim Blanning . . . has all of these skills in abundance.”—The Wall Street Journal “At once scholarly and highly readable . . . [Blanning] has given us a superb portrait of an enlightened despot, equally at home on the battlefield and in the opera house, both utterly ruthless and culturally refined.”—Commentary “Blanning, in clear thinking and prose, investigates all aspects of Frederick’s personality and reign. . . . The last word on this significant king, for years to come.”—Booklist (starred review)“Masterly . . . Blanning brilliantly brings to life one of the most complex characters of modern European history.”—The Telegraph (five stars) “A supremely nuanced account . . . This biography finds [Blanning] at the height of his powers.”—Literary Review
Mozart: A Life
By: Paul Johnson
“Most satisfying . . . A highly accessible initial foray into an astonishing, and inexhaustible, subject.” —The Cleveland Plain DealerMozart’s music has enthralled listeners for centuries. In this brilliant biography, acclaimed historian Paul Johnson draws upon his expert knowledge of the era and Mozart’s own private letters to conjure Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s life and times in rich detail. Johnson charts Mozart’s life from age three through to his later years—when he penned The Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni. Along the way, Johnson challenges some of the popular myths that cloud Mozart’s image: his allegedly tempestuous personal relationships and supposedly bitter rivalry with Salieri, as well as the notion that he was desperately impoverished when he died. The result—a bold, invigorating portrait of one of the most popular and influential composers of all time—is a welcome addition to Johnson’s extraordinary body of work and makes a perfect gift for classical music lovers and fans of biographies.
Street Without a Name: Childhood and Other Misadventures in Bulgaria
By: Kapka Kassabova
Kassabova was born in Sofia, Bulgaria and grew up under the drab, muddy, grey mantle of one of communism’s most mindlessly authoritarian regimes. Escaping with her family as soon as possible after the collapse of the Berlin Wall, she lived in Britain, New Zealand, and Argentina, and several other places. But when Bulgaria was formally inducted to the European Union she decided it was time to return to the home she had spent most of her life trying to escape. What she found was a country languishing under the strain of transition. This two-part memoir of Kapka’s childhood and return explains life on the other side of the Iron Curtain.
The Broken Road: From the Iron Gates to Mount Athos (NYRB Classics)
By: Patrick Leigh Fermor
In the winter of 1933, eighteen-year-old Patrick (“Paddy”) Leigh Fermor set out on a walk across Europe, starting in Holland and ending in Constantinople. Decades later, Leigh Fermor told the story of that life-changing journey in A Time of Gifts and Between the Woods and the Water, works now celebrated as among the most vivid, absorbing, and beautifully written travel books of all time.The Broken Road is the account of the final leg of his journey, catching up with Paddy in the fall of 1934, following him through Bulgaria and Romania and ending in Greece. Days and nights on the road, spectacular landscapes and uncanny cities, friendships lost and found, leading the high life in Bucharest or camping out with fishermen and shepherds—such incidents and escapades are described with all the linguistic bravura and astonishing learning that Leigh Fermor is famous for, but also with a melancholy awareness of the passage of time. Throughout it we can hear the still-ringing voice of an irrepressible young man embarking on a life of adventure.
Prague: A Traveler's Literary Companion (Traveler's Literary Companions) by Paul Wilson (1995) Paperback
By: Whereabouts Press
Will be shipped from US. Used books may not include companion materials, may have some shelf wear, may contain highlighting/notes, may not include CDs or access codes. 100% money back guarantee.
Fortunes of War: The Balkan Trilogy (New York Review Books Classics)
By: Olivia Manning
The Balkan Trilogy is the story of a marriage and of a war, a vast, teeming, and complex masterpiece in which Olivia Manning brings the uncertainty and adventure of civilian existence under political and military siege to vibrant life. Manning’s focus is not the battlefield but the café and kitchen, the bedroom and street, the fabric of the everyday world that has been irrevocably changed by war, yet remains unchanged.At the heart of the trilogy are newlyweds Guy and Harriet Pringle, who arrive in Bucharest—the so-called Paris of the East—in the fall of 1939, just weeks after the German invasion of Poland. Guy, an Englishman teaching at the university, is as wantonly gregarious as his wife is introverted, and Harriet is shocked to discover that she must share her adored husband with a wide circle of friends and acquaintances. Other surprises follow: Romania joins the Axis, and before long German soldiers overrun the capital. The Pringles flee south to Greece, part of a group of refugees made up of White Russians, journalists, con artists, and dignitaries. In Athens, however, the couple will face a new challenge of their own, as great in its way as the still-expanding theater of war.
The Radetzky March (Works of Joseph Roth)
By: Joseph Roth
"Incomparably Roth's greatest novel . . . the great poem of elegy to Habsburg Austria." ―J. M. Coetzee, The New York Review of BooksThe Radetzky March, Joseph Roth's classic saga of the privileged von Trotta family, encompasses the entire social fabric of the Austro-Hungarian Empire just before World War I. The author's greatest achievement, The Radetzky March is an unparalleled portrait of a civilization in decline, and as such a universal story for our times.
The Third Man and The Fallen Idol (Classic, 20th-Century, Penguin)
By: Graham Greene
The Third Man is Greene's brilliant recreation of post-war Vienna, a city of desolate poverty occupied by four powers. Rollo Martins, a second-rate novelist, arrives penniless in Vienna to visit his old friend and hero Harry Lime. Harry is dead, but the circumstances surrounding his death are highly suspicious, and his reputation, at the very least, dubious.Graham Greene said of The Third Man that he "wanted to entertain [people], to frighten them a little, to make them laugh" and the result is both a compelling narrative and a haunting thriller. The Fallen Idol is the chilling story of a small boy caught up in the games that adults play. Left in the care of the butler, Baines, and his wife, Philip realizes too late the danger of lies and deceit. But the truth is even deadlier.For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Wolf Hunt
By: Ivailo Petrov
Published in 1986, three years before the fall of the Berlin Wall, Wolf Hunt was the first novel to portray the human cost of Communist policies on Bulgarian villagers, forced by the government to abandon their land and traditional way of life. Darkly comic and tragic, the novel centers on an ill-fated winter hunting expedition of six neighbors whose history together is long and interwoven. The ensuing story takes the reader on a voyage of shifting perspectives that places the calamitous history of twentieth-century Bulgaria into a human context of helplessness and desperation.
Birds of Europe: Second Edition (Princeton Field Guides)
By: Lars Svensson, Dan Zetterström, Killian Mullarney
Since it was first published a decade ago, Birds of Europe has become the definitive field guide to the diverse birdlife found in Europe. Now this superb guide has been brought fully up to date with revised text and maps along with added illustrations. Uniquely designed for easy use in the field, this expanded edition covers all 772 species found in the region as well as 32 introduced species or variants and 118 very rare visitors. Detailed species accounts describe key identification features, voice, habitat, range, and size. More than 3,500 full-color illustrations depict every species and all major plumage variations, and color distribution maps provide breeding, wintering, and migration ranges for every species.Complete with an introduction to each group of birds that addresses major problems of observation and identification, this new edition is the ultimate field guide to Europe's fascinating birdlife.Expanded and fully updated Covers all 772 species found in Europe, 32 introduced species or variants, and 118 very rare visitors Features more than 3,500 color illustrations that depict every species Includes detailed species accounts Provides color distribution maps for every species Color plates face text and maps for at-a-glance identification
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. 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
  • Pre-tour information, including a reading list
  • All on-tour transportation, unless otherwise noted
  • All accommodations for the duration of the tour
  • Meals, as noted in the itinerary (B-breakfast; L-lunch; D-dinner; R-reception)
  • All sightseeing and visits as noted in each itinerary
  • For tours that include  round-trip international airfare: Airfare to/from your departure city, airline taxes, fuel surcharges, and departure fees are included

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
  • Gratuities to the ship’s crew (we suggest between $9-11 USD per person per day)
  • Optional travel insurance, including cancellation/delay/lost baggage insurance
  • Personal items, unless otherwise stated, such as wine, liquors, a-la-carte orders
  • Expenses incurred by our tour operator in making any individual travel arrangements in conjunction with the tour
  • Airline baggage and other airline fees and associated taxes, unless noted in Tour description
  • Communication Charges (e.g.: phone, the 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.
  • Port dues, embarkation fees, and taxes

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 6 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 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 $1,000 for a cruise 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 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 call 855-330-1542 to speak with a Cultural Travel Specialist, Mon-Fri 9 am – 7 pm; Sat 9 am – 4 pm (Eastern Time), at SJReservations@si.edu or SmithsonianJourneys.org.

A Note About Costs

All prices are based on two persons sharing a room/cabin. All prices are quoted in U.S. dollars. Tour costs are based upon current airfares, tariffs, currency values, and on the basis of a presumptive minimum number of 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 wait list by contacting a Reservation Specialist at 1-855-330-1542 Monday - Friday 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. (Eastern Time), at SJReservations@si.edu or at www.SmithsonianJourneys.org/Contact. 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

Air Service

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

Individual Arrivals and Group Transfers

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

Air Service/Tickets Purchased Independently of the Tour

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

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

Travel Insurance- Cancellation/Delay/Lost Baggage

Smithsonian Journeys recommends that all participants purchase travel insurance

Travel Documents and Information

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

For all international departures, a passport valid for at least six months after the completion of your tour, and with at least six blank visa pages, is required for U.S. citizens on all tours. 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. Smithsonian Journeys and the tour operator reserve the right to substitute motorcoach transportation using hotels, inns or lodges for cruise accommodations if necessary due to weather, water conditions or levels, other events of force majeure, mechanical, or other conditions beyond their control.

Hotel Accommodations

Smithsonian Journeys chooses hotels based on a combination of location, service, atmosphere, and price. On adventure tours and tours in out-of-the-way places, best-available hotels are used.  Tour prices are based on two persons sharing a room with a 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 either before or after the tour. Our tour operators will work with you on these arrangements, dependent upon space availability.  Your pre-tour bulletins will further explain all options.

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

Dispute Resolution

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

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

Photography and Video

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

Smoking Policy

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

READ CAREFULLY: RESPONSIBILITY STATEMENT AND LIABILITY DISCLAIMER

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

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

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

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

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