In Amsterdam, board your deluxe river ship for a five-night cruise through Holland, Germany, and France. Arriving in the Swiss Alps, enjoy panoramic vistas from the windows of historic trains.

Starting at: $3,995 * Price includes special offer Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 The <i>Gornergrat Bahn</i>, highest cog railway in Europe, with the Matterhorn  The idyllic Rhine River, near Kaub  Bikes along the canal, Amsterdam  Typical canal in Amsterdam  City of Cologne, showcasing the High Gothic cathedral   Hilltop medieval castle overlooking the Rhine River near Oberwesel  The medieval town of Rüdesheim, located along the Rhine  The German university town of Heidelberg, along the Neckar River  The delightful Alsatian city of Strasbourg, France  Strasbourg, along the Rhine River  A view of historic Bern, Switzerland   Matterhorn peak in the Swiss Alps  The <i>Glacier Express</i> traveling through a tunnel in the Alps  The charming Swiss town of Lucerne with its famous bridge  View of Lake Lucerne, the town of Lucerne, and Mt. Pilatus in the distance  View of Mt. Pilatus and the <i>Pilatus Railway</i>, the world's steepest cogwheel railway

Great European Journey

From Holland to Switzerland Aboard the 160-guest Amadeus Silver II and Three Historic Swiss Railways

11 days from $3,995

In Amsterdam, board your deluxe river ship for a five-night cruise through Holland, Germany, and France. Arriving in the Swiss Alps, enjoy panoramic vistas from the windows of historic trains.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

This was our first experience with Smithsonian and our first river cruise. It was amazing, wonderful, and exceptional! You won't be disappointed. 

- Mary and Glen N.

A captivating experience with in-depth knowledge of the areas visited.

- Elizabeth D.

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

See All Journeys Dispatches ››

Accommodations

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

Hotel Alex

Zermatt, Switzerland

A family-owned Swiss chalet nestled in the heart of the Swiss Alps, the Hotel Alex offers guests spectacular vistas of snowcapped peaks and views of charming Zermatt. Guestrooms and public areas are luxuriously decorated, while the staff's hospitality is reflected in the hotel's warm ambiance.

Number of nights: 2

Hotel Schweizerhof Lucerne

Lucerne, Switzerland

Built in 1845, this deluxe, Victorian-style hotel has been owned and operated by the same family for five generations. It enjoys a central location along a promenade overlooking Lake Lucerne.

Number of nights: 2

Activity Level

Activity Level 3:  Moderate / Active


Expectations: This unique journey combines a five-night river cruise with a four-day land journey that features historic trains. River cruise pulls into a pier for excursions. While in the Swiss Alps, expect high altitudes of 7,000 to 10,275 feet, sometimes with fast ascents/descents (of 5,300 feet) during train rides. Day excursions on historic trains require balance for navigating a moving train and ability to climb possible steep steps to board; train rides range from 15 minutes to three hours. Throughout the journey, excursions will be at an active pace and you will often spend the entire day off the ship or outside the hotel. Fully scheduled days are balanced by time at leisure in some ports. There will be some days with early morning departures (8:00 or 8:30 am.) Some standing and walking for long periods of time (up to three hours) during city tours, museum visits, and/or outdoor activities. Walking will be over sometimes uneven terrain (e.g. cobblestones, stairs without handrails, the absence of elevators). Note that this trip entails gondola rides and a lake cruise.  

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

Tour Extension

June 16 Departure: Amsterdam Pre-Tour Extension  3 Days, 2 Nights

The historic heart of Amsterdam, laced with tree-shaded canals and stately 16th- and 17th-century merchant houses, is a World Heritage site and the perfect prelude to your Great Journey. Visit the world-class Rijksmuseum and enjoy a full-day excursion to the quaint port towns of Edam, world-famous for its cheese, and Hoorn, one of the great historic seafaring towns of the Golden Age. Accommodations are for two nights in the deluxe Renaissance Amsterdam Hotel.

June 17 Departure: Amsterdam Post-Tour Extension  3 Days, 2 Nights

The historic heart of Amsterdam, laced with tree-shaded canals and stately 16th- and 17th-century merchant houses, is a World Heritage site and the perfect prelude to your Great Journey. Visit the world-class Rijksmuseum and enjoy a full-day excursion to the quaint port towns of Edam, world-famous for its cheese, and Hoorn, one of the great historic seafaring towns of the Golden Age. Accommodations are for two nights in the deluxe Renaissance Amsterdam Hotel.

Tour extensions available at additional cost. Details will be provided with your reservation confirmation.

Ship

Amadeus Silver II

The new, state-of-the-art Amadeus Silver II enjoys its debut season in 2015 as the flagship of the innovative Lüftner fleet of elegant river ships. This gracious ship with 84 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 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.

 The <i>Amadeus Silver</i> cruising along the Wachau Valley near Durnstein   <i>Amadeus Silver II</i> bar  <i>Amadeus Silver II</i> near Cologne  <i>Amadeus Silver II</I> cabin  <i>Amadeus Silver II</i> Club

Amadeus Silver II

The new, state-of-the-art Amadeus Silver II enjoys its debut season in 2015 as the flagship of the innovative Lüftner fleet of elegant river ships. This gracious ship with 84 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 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.

 The <i>Amadeus Silver</i> cruising along the Wachau Valley near Durnstein   <i>Amadeus Silver II</i> bar  <i>Amadeus Silver II</i> near Cologne  <i>Amadeus Silver II</I> cabin  <i>Amadeus Silver II</i> Club
Testimonials

WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

This was our first experience with Smithsonian and our first river cruise. It was amazing, wonderful, and exceptional! You won't be disappointed. 

- Mary and Glen N.

A captivating experience with in-depth knowledge of the areas visited.

- Elizabeth D.
Reading List
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.
The German Way : Aspects of Behavior, Attitudes, and Customs in the German-Speaking World
By: Hyde Flippo
For All Students Ideal for a variety of courses, this completely up-to-date, alphabetically organized handbook helps students understand how people from German-speaking nations think, do business, and act in their daily lives.
La Place de la Concorde Suisse
By: John McPhee
La Place de la Concorde Suisse is John McPhee's rich, journalistic study of the Swiss Army's role in Swiss society. The Swiss Army is so quietly efficient at the art of war that the Isrealis carefully patterned their own military on the Swiss model.
A Tramp Abroad (Modern Library Classics)
By: Mark Twain
In A Tramp Abroad, Mark Twain’s unofficial sequel to The Innocents Abroad, the author records his hilarious and diverse observations and insights while on a fifteen-month walking trip through Central Europe and the Alps. “Here you have Twain’s inimitable mix,” writes Dave Eggers in his Introduction, “of the folksy and the effortlessly erudite, his unshakable good sense and his legendary wit, his knack for the easy relation of a perfect anecdote, and some achingly beautiful nature writing.”This Modern Library Paperback Classic reproduces the text of the first American edition and features new explanatory notes and a critical Afterword by Kerry Driscoll, professor of English at Saint Joseph College in Connecticut.
DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Germany
By: DK Travel
DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Germany takes you by the hand, leading you straight to the best attractions this country has to offer, from its beautiful castles and cathedrals to its popular beer halls, festivals, and Christmas markets to walks and hikes through the countryside. Experience Oktoberfest in Munich, ski down the Alps, and cruise or hike along the Rhine to see romantic castles and vineyards.Discover DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Germany.   • 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 of Berlin and Munich 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: Germany truly shows you this country as no one else can.Recommended: For a pocket guidebook to Berlin, check out DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Top 10 Berlin, which is packed with dozens of top 10 lists, ensuring you make the most of your time in the city.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.
DK Eyewitness Travel Guide Switzerland
By: DK Travel
Ski the Alps, explore the idyllic countryside, and take in the alpine scenery when you travel to Switzerland. See history, art, and more in this unique and vibrant country.From top restaurants, bars, and clubs to standout scenic sites and walks, our insider tips are sure to make your trip outstanding. Whether you're looking for unique and interesting shops and markets, or seeking the best venues for music and nightlife, we have entertainment and hotel recommendations for every budget covered in our Eyewitness Travel Guide.Discover DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Switzerland.   • Detailed itineraries and "don't-miss" destination highlights at a glance.    • Illustrated cutaway 3-D drawings of important sights.    • Floor plans and guided visitor information for major museums.    • Guided walking tours, local drink and dining specialties to try, things to do, and places to eat, drink, and shop by area.    • Area maps marked with sights.    • Detailed city maps include street finder indexes for easy navigation.    • Insights into history and culture to help you understand the stories behind the sights.    • Hotel and restaurant listings highlight DK Choice special recommendations. With hundreds of full-color photographs, hand-drawn illustrations, and custom maps that illuminate every page, DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Switzerland truly shows you the country as no one else can.Recommended: For a pocket guidebook to Switzerland, check out DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Top 10 Switzerland, which is packed with dozens of top 10 lists, ensuring you make the most of your time and experience the best of everything.Series Overview: For more than two decades, DK Eyewitness Travel Guides have helped travelers experience the world through the history, art, architecture, and culture of their destinations. Expert travel writers and researchers provide independent editorial advice, recommendations, and reviews. With guidebooks to hundreds of places around the globe available in print and digital formats, DK Eyewitness Travel Guides show travelers how they can discover more.
Fodor's Amsterdam 25 Best (Full-color Travel Guide)
By: Fodor's Travel Guides
Updated for 2018. Compact and affordable, Fodor's Amsterdam 25 Best is a great travel companion for travelers who want a light, easy-to-pack guidebook to one of Europe's most exciting cities.DISCERNING RECOMMENDATIONS: Fodor's Amsterdam 25 Best offers savvy advice and recommendations from local writers to help travelers make the most of their visit, providing great places to shop, eat, sleep, and drink for every budget.PULLOUT MAP: A handy, weather-resistant pullout city map provides essential information. GORGEOUS PHOTOS AND MAPS: Full-color pictures and full-size street maps cover the best Amsterdam has to offer, all in an easy-to-use package. INDISPENSABLE TRIP-PLANNING TOOLS: Save time and space by having Amsterdam's top 25 sights and experiences in one convenient guidebook. Neighborhood walks show off the best of the city with self-guided tour ideas. Plan excursions outside the city with the Farther Afield section.PRACTICAL TIPS AND PHRASES: Travel like a local with our Need to Know section, filled with useful travel tips and essential Dutch phrases.COVERS: Anne Frankhuis, Museum Het Rembrandthuis, Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, Singel canal.ABOUT FODOR'S AUTHORS: Each Fodor's Travel Guide is researched and written by local experts.
Swiss Watching: Inside Europe's Landlocked Island
By: Diccon Bewes
Swiss Watching is a light-hearted yet revealing journey around Europe's most individual country. From seeking Heidi and finding the best chocolate to reliving a bloody past and exploring an uncertain future, Swiss Watching proves that there's more to Switzerland than banks, skis, francs and cheese. One country, four languages, 26 cantons, and 7.5 million people (only 80% of whom are Swiss): there's nowhere else in Europe like it. Switzerland may be surrounded by land, but it is an island at the center of Europe. Welcome to the landlocked island.
The Rhine: An Eco-biography, 1815-2000 (Weyerhaeuser Environmental Books)
By: Mark Cioc
The Rhine River is Europe’s most important commercial waterway, channeling the flow of trade among Switzerland, France, Germany, and the Netherlands. In this innovative study, Mark Cioc focuses on the river from the moment when the Congress of Vienna established a multinational commission charged with making the river more efficient for purposes of trade and commerce in 1815. He examines the engineering and administrative decisions of the next century and a half that resulted in rapid industrial growth as well as profound environmental degradation, and highlights the partially successful restoration efforts undertaken from the 1970s to the present.The Rhine is a classic example of a “multipurpose” river -- used simultaneously for transportation, for industry and agriculture, for urban drinking and sanitation needs, for hydroelectric production, and for recreation. It thus invites comparison with similarly over-burdened rivers such as the Mississippi, Hudson, Colorado, and Columbia. The Rhine’s environmental problems are, however, even greater than those of other rivers because it is so densely populated (50 million people live along its borders), so highly industrialized (10% of global chemical production), and so short (775 miles in length).Two centuries of nonstop hydraulic tinkering have resulted in a Rhine with a sleek and slender profile. In their quest for a perfect canal-like river, engineers have modified it more than any other large river in the world. As a consequence, between 1815 and 1975, the river lost most of its natural floodplain, riverside vegetation, migratory fish, and biodiversity. Recent efforts to restore that biodiversity, though heartening, can have only limited success because so many of the structural changes to the river are irreversible.The Rhine: An Eco-Biography, 1815-2000 makes clear just how central the river has been to all aspects of European political, economic, and environmental life for the past two hundred years.
All Along the Rhine: Recipes, Wine and Lore from Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria, Liechtenstein and Holland
By: Kay Shaw Nelson
Over 130 Rhine recipes include dishes such as Cheeze Fondue, Balzers Split Pea-Sausage Stew, Alpine Sauerkraut Soup', Bratwurst in Beer and Pears in Red Wine. Each chapter covers the culinary history and winemaking tradition of a different Rhine region.
The Alps: A Human History from Hannibal to Heidi and Beyond
By: Stephen O'Shea
“An entertaining, turbocharged race among the high mountain passes of six alpine countries.”―Liesl Schillinger, New York Times Book Review For centuries the Alps have been witness to the march of armies, the flow of pilgrims and Crusaders, the feats of mountaineers, and the dreams of engineers. In The Alps, Stephen O’Shea (“a graceful and passionate writer”―Washington Post) takes readers up and down these majestic mountains. Journeying through their 500-mile arc across France, Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Germany, Austria, and Slovenia, he explores the reality behind historic events and reveals how the Alps have profoundly influenced culture and society. 4 maps
The Burgermeister's Daughter: Scandal in a Sixteenth-Century German Town
By: Steven Ozment
In an era when women were supposed to be disciplined and obedient, Anna proved to be neither. Defying 16th-century social mores, she was the frequent subject of gossip because of her immodest dress and flirtatious behavior. When her wealthy father discovered that she was having secret, simultaneous affairs with a young nobleman and a cavalryman, he turned her out of the house in rage, but when she sued him for financial support, he had her captured, returned home and chained to a table as punishment. Anna eventually escaped and continued her suit against her father, her siblings and her home town in a bitter legal battle that was to last 30 years and end only upon her death. Drawn from her surviving love letters and court records, The Burgermeister's Daughter is a fascinating examination of the politics of sexuality, gender and family in the 16th century, and a powerful testament to the courage and tenacity of a woman who defied the inequalities of this distant age.
Amsterdam: A History of the World's Most Liberal City
By: Russell Shorto
An endlessly entertaining portrait of the city of Amsterdam and the ideas that make it unique, by the author of the acclaimed Island at the Center of the World Tourists know Amsterdam as a picturesque city of low-slung brick houses lining tidy canals; student travelers know it for its legal brothels and hash bars; art lovers know it for Rembrandt's glorious portraits. But the deeper history of Amsterdam, what makes it one of the most fascinating places on earth, is bound up in its unique geography-the constant battle of its citizens to keep the sea at bay and the democratic philosophy that this enduring struggle fostered. Amsterdam is the font of liberalism, in both its senses. Tolerance for free thinking and free love make it a place where, in the words of one of its mayors, "craziness is a value." But the city also fostered the deeper meaning of liberalism, one that profoundly influenced America: political and economic freedom. Amsterdam was home not only to religious dissidents and radical thinkers but to the world's first great global corporation. In this effortlessly erudite account, Russell Shorto traces the idiosyncratic evolution of Amsterdam, showing how such disparate elements as herring anatomy, naked Anabaptists parading through the streets, and an intimate gathering in a sixteenth-century wine-tasting room had a profound effect on Dutch-and world-history. Weaving in his own experiences of his adopted home, Shorto provides an ever-surprising, intellectually engaging story of Amsterdam.
Germany: Portrait of a Fascinating Country
By: Kunth Verlag
Superb color photographs in landscape formatInformative textPerfect gift bookGermany is beautiful; everyone who has ever traveled between the Baltic Sea and the Alps knows it. Pick up this book and embark on a journey through this unique and unbelievably diverse country in the heart of Europe. Magnificent photographs capture the splendor of sunny coasts and soaring mountains, majestic palaces, remote monasteries, and striking castles. This book is a testament to Germany's wealth of beauties, both natural and architectural. It will surprise you again and again with astonishing discoveries, hidden treasures, amazing panoramas and moving insights. Whether you are an aspiring traveler or a Deutschophile, it is the perfect declaration of love for a wonderful country.
Germania: In Wayward Pursuit of the Germans and Their History
By: Simon Winder
Germania is propelled by a wish to reclaim the brilliant, chaotic, endlessly varied German civilization that the Nazis buried and ruined, and that, since 1945, so many Germans have worked to rebuild. A very funny book on serious topics---how we are misled by history, how we twist history, and how sometimes it is best to know no history at all. It is a book full of curiosities: odd food, castles, mad princes, fairy tales, and horse-mating videos. It is about the limits of language, the meaning of culture, and the pleasure of townscape, and "a book you will return to time and again" (The Florida Times-Union).
The Improbable Voyage
By: Tristan Jones
The Improbable Voyage is the astonishing account of TRistan Jones' 2,307 mile voyage across Europe in Outward Leg. Continuing his round-the-world journey, Tristan traveled from the North Sea to the Black Sea via the rivers Rhine and Danube. Tristan welcomed each difficulty as a challenge to be met and overcome. Battling ice and cold, life-threatening rapids and narrow defiles, German bureaucrats and Romanian frontier police, Tristan made his way through eight countries and emerged triumphant, if battered, bruised and penniless, at the Black Sea. Tristan gives us a vivid glimpse of the quality of life along Europe's oldest water routes and behind the Iron Curtain.
Silk Parachute
By: John McPhee
A WONDROUS NEW BOOK OF MCPHEE'S PROSE PIECES―IN MANY ASPECTS HIS MOST PERSONAL IN FOUR DECADES The brief, brilliant essay "Silk Parachute," which first appeared in The New Yorker a decade ago, has become John McPhee's most anthologized piece of writing. In the nine other pieces here―highly varied in length and theme―McPhee ranges with his characteristic humor and intensity through lacrosse, long-exposure view-camera photography, the weird foods he has sometimes been served in the course of his reportorial travels, a U.S. Open golf championship, and a season in Europe "on the chalk" from the downs and sea cliffs of England to the Maas valley in the Netherlands and the champagne country of northern France. Some of the pieces are wholly personal. In luminous recollections of his early years, for example, he goes on outings with his mother, deliberately overturns canoes in a learning process at a summer camp, and germinates a future book while riding on a jump seat to away games as a basketball player. But each piece―on whatever theme―contains somewhere a personal aspect in which McPhee suggests why he was attracted to write about the subject, and each opens like a silk parachute, lofted skyward and suddenly blossoming with color and form.
The Blue Flower: A Novel
By: Penelope Fitzgerald
“An astonishing book . . . Fitzgerald’s greatest triumph.” —New York Times Book ReviewThe Blue Flower is set in the age of Goethe, in the small towns and great universities of late eighteenth-century Germany. It tells the true story of Friedrich von Hardenberg, a passionate, impetuous student of philosophy who will later gain fame as the Romantic poet Novalis. Fritz seeks his father’s permission to wed his “heart's heart,” his “spirit's guide”—a plain, simple child named Sophie von Kühn. It is an attachment that shocks his family and friends. Their brilliant young Fritz, betrothed to a twelve-year-old dullard? How can this be?The irrationality of love, the transfiguration of the commonplace, the clarity of purpose that comes with knowing one’s own fate—these are the themes of this beguiling novel, themes treated with a mix of wit, grace, and mischievous humor unique to the art of Penelope Fitzgerald.“An extraordinary imagining . . . an original masterpiece.” —Hermione Lee, Financial Times
Hero Tales and Legends of the Rhine
By: Lewis Spence
Steeped in mystery and romance, guarded by great medieval castles perched high above its broad waters, the Rhine is one of the most storied and evocative rivers in Europe. For this volume, noted mythologist Lewis Spence has combed through the abundant literature written about the Rhine and its legends and chosen a rich selection of the best, most characteristic tales.Arranged to correspond with a journey along the Rhine from sea to source, the tales recount the lives and deeds of a host of mythic figures — Odin the All-father and Brunhild; Lorelei, a siren whose singing lured sailors to death on the rocks; Lohengrin, a knight of the Holy Grail; Siegfried; the Jester of Heidelberg; Sigurd; Venus and Tannhäuser; and many more. Twenty-four atmospheric illustrations capture the enchanted mood of these stories as well as providing views of such famous landmarks as Heidelberg Castle, Oppenheim Abbey, the Castle of Cleves, cathedrals in Cologne, Worms, and Strasbourg, and other sites.In addition, Mr. Spence has supplied an informative introduction dealing with the historical development, folklore, poetry, and art of the Rhine. Readers interested in mythology and folklore in general, and Teutonic mythology in particular, will find here a splendid sampling of time-honored tales.
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 engages travelers in the wide-ranging mission of the Smithsonian. Like the Institution, our tours enrich our guests’ lives and satisfy their curiosity about the world around them. Your participation benefits the work of Smithsonian’s 19 museums, National Zoo, and nine research centers, helping to preserve our national treasures and shape the future through science, research, and exhibitions.

What Is Included in the Tour Cost

  • Expertise of a Smithsonian Journeys Expert.
  • An experienced Travel Director throughout the program.
  • Pre-tour information, including a reading list.
  • All accommodations (based on double occupancy). 
  • Meals and beverages as noted in the itinerary (B-breakfast; L-lunch; R-reception; D-dinner). 
  • Complimentary wine and beer with lunch and dinner.
  • Complimentary WiFi throughout the ship (availability subject to local conditions at the time of use.)
  • All excursions, sightseeing, and visits as noted in the itinerary.
  • All on-tour transportation, unless otherwise noted.
  • Gratuities to local guides and drivers on included excursions and transfers.
  • On-tour emergency evacuation insurance (up to $100,000), medical expense coverage (up to $25,000), dental expense coverage (up to $500), travel medical assistance and worldwide travel assistance. (U.S. Residents Only.)

What Is Not Included in the Tour Cost

  • Passport fees, visas, and visa photos as required.
  • Personal items such as wines, liquors, à la carte orders, meals other than specified.
  • Gratuities to ship and hotel staff (we recommend $12-$15 USD per participant per day for the shipboard personnel and $1-3 USD per participant for hotel staff.)
  • Expenses incurred by our tour operators in making travel arrangements in conjunction with the tour.
  • Airfare and departure taxes unless otherwise noted.
  • Port charges and fees unless otherwise noted.
  • Other items not specifically mentioned as included. 
  • Optional Travelers’ Protection Plan: Unexpected events before or during a trip may leave you with cancelled plans, lost luggage, or unforeseen medical expenses. This optional plan offers an affordable package of benefits and services that can provide coverage and assistance for the unexpected. Visit TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys to learn more.

Registration
Space is reserved in the order of receipt of phone or web reservations.

To submit a request for a reservation, please order using our secure online process, or call 855-330-1542 to speak with a Reservations Specialist, Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (Eastern Time).

Submitting an online request does not guarantee space on a tour. You will be notified of your status when your request has been received and processed. Please note: No new registrations can be accepted within 30 days of most tours. Some tours are more restrictive; please see individual tour pages for these exceptions.

To complete your request, the following is necessary:

Required Information

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

Payments
Deposit of $1,000 per person and $200 per person, optional tour extensions, per tour, payable by check or major credit card, to the tour operator is required to reserve a space on a tour. Deposits are applied to payment of the program price.

Balance due upon invoicing at least 95 days prior to the program. 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 a "late registration" and must be subject to special confirmation. Payment in full must be made immediately by credit card or by check and sent by overnight mail to the tour operator before confirmation is possible.

Once confirmed, cancellation penalties apply as set forth below. If confirmation is not possible, all payments made will be refunded in full.

Late registration confirmation procedures apply to any participant who is transferred from the wait list to the program within the designated late registration period for that program.

For additional information, please call a Reservations Specialist at 855-330-1542, Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) or visit www.SmithsonianJourneys.org/Contact.

A Note About Costs
Tour costs are based upon current airfares, tariffs, currency values, and on the basis of a minimum number of participants. While we will do everything possible to maintain the listed prices, they are subject to change. Should actual enrollments fall significantly below minimum numbers, a surcharge may be added. Due to fluctuations in oil prices, a fuel surcharge may be added to your tour fee (e.g. internal flights, cruises, etc.). Details and costs will be advised prior to departure. 

Wait List

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

Cancellation and Refund Policy
Per person cancellation fees are based on date of notice to Smithsonian Journeys.

  • Cancellation within 7 days of booking (if not within final payment date): full refund.
  • Cancellation after 7 days of booking: $1,000 retained; $200 optional tour extension retained (entire deposit).
  • Final payment due: 95 days before departure.
  • Cancellation made less than 95 days before departure: no refund.
  • Cancellation by the Smithsonian: full refund.
  • No refund for unused portions of the tour, including but not limited to, missed meals, hotel nights, and sightseeing.

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

Air Service

For tours that include round-trip international airfare, rates are based on economy class from designated departure cities as shown. Airfares from other cities are available upon request.  Airline upgrades at additional cost may be available on request for the international portion of your flight. If an air schedule requires an overnight stay in a gateway city, 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 travelers a wide array of educational travel opportunities. The tour operator books services of independent suppliers for transportation, accommodations, and other services. Neither the Smithsonian Institution nor the tour operator is 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 to 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.

Thomas P. Gohagan & Company and its employees, shareholders, subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, directors or trustees, successors and assigns (“Gohagan”) and Smithsonian Institution and its  Regents, officers, employees, representatives, agents, successors, and assigns (“Smithsonian”) do not own or operate any entity which is to or does provide goods or services for your tour including, for example, lodging facilities, airline, vessel, or other transportation companies, guides or guide services, local ground operators, providers or organizers of optional excursions, food service or entertainment providers, etc.  All such persons and entities are independent contractors.  As a result, neither Gohagan nor Smithsonian is liable for any negligent or willful act or failure to act of any such person or entity or of any other third party.

  

In addition and without limitation, neither Gohagan nor Smithsonian is responsible for any injury, loss, death, inconvenience, delay, or damage to persons or property in connection with the provision of any goods or services whether resulting from, but not limited to, acts of force majeure, acts of government, acts of war or civil unrest, insurrection or revolt, bites from or attacks by animals, insects or pests, strikes or other labor activities, criminal or terrorist activities of any kind or the threat thereof, sickness, illness, epidemics or the threat thereof, the lack of availability of or access to medical attention or the quality thereof, overbooking or downgrading of accommodations, mechanical or other failure of airplanes, vessels, or other means of transportation, or for any failure of any transportation mechanism to arrive or depart timely or safely. 

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

The reader 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 including the Dispute Resolution paragraph as set forth in the tour materials, and recognizes and accepts any risk associated with the tour as well as the conditions, including the refund policy, set forth in the tour materials. The reader further acknowledges that there are many risks and uncertainties inherent in any travel tour, including but not limited to acts of force majeure, the hazards of various modes of transportation, forces of nature, acts or omissions of foreign governments, terrorism, war or insurrection, theft, other criminal conduct, illness, inadequate medical facilities and difficulty in evacuation to same, and damage to persons 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 the Smithsonian, the United States, and/or Gohagan. 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.