Sail aboard the Santa Cruz II with your family and discover every nature lover's dream come to life on the Galápagos Islands.

Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Exploring the Galápagos Islands  Mother and baby seal  The glass-bottomed Santa Cruz II is the best place to view sea creatures in their natural habitat  Enjoy a whale watching excursion in the Galapagos   Galapagos tortoise  Colorful iguana  Sally Lightfoot crabs  A colorful Sally Lightfoot crab  Pair of Blue-footed Boobies  Seals and Sally Lightfoot crabs  A tortoise and a traveler

Galápagos Islands Voyage: A Family Journey

Aboard the 90-guest Santa Cruz II

9 days | Full tour details to be announced soon

Sail aboard the Santa Cruz II with your family and discover every nature lover's dream come to life on the Galápagos Islands.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

This trip was the perfect combination of knowledgeable guides and lecturers, small group size, wonderful ship, and the most spectacular destination imaginable.

- Dalia A.

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

See All Journeys Dispatches ››

Activity Level

Activity Level 3:  Moderate / Active


Expectations: Ocean-going ship requires using smaller boat conveyances to get to shore for excursions, although the ship may also pull into a pier for embarkation and disembarkation. This is an expedition-type cruise that involves  excursions by small boats and wet shore landings by rubber Zodiac boats (i.e. step from the Zodiac directly into ankle high water). Travelers must be able to negotiate a steep gangway and get in and out of the Zodiacs with minimal assistance. Excursions will be at an active pace during mornings or afternoons. Long periods of time standing and walking (up to one and a half hours) during outdoor activities and tours and nature walks, often without places to sit, yet it is always interesting due to vegatation and fauna. Walking two to three miles will be over sometimes uneven terrain, such as slippery walking trails in rain forests and beach areas. Opportunities for swimming, snorkeling, and hiking are offered during the cruise. Be aware that you can experience hot temperatures (over 80 degrees), high humidity, and strong sun due to the proximity to the equator. Wildlife observation requires time spent on small excursion boats, which do not provide shade or protection from the strong tropical sun. There is a round-trip internal flight by regularly scheduled airlines between the mainland and Baltra Island.  

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

Quito Pre-Tour Extension4 Days, 3 Nights

Begin your family Galápagos adventure in captivating Quito—a UNESCO World Heritage‑designated city on the edge of the Equator. Stand in the “middle of the world,” with one foot in each hemisphere—an amazing experience for the whole family—and explore the Intinan Museum where interactive exhibits showcase the natural phenomena that only happens at the Equator, like the Coriolis force, an invisible force of physics that affects wind patterns across the Earth.

In Quito’s old city, visit the 16th‑century Iglesia de San Francisco, the Moorish‑influenced Catedral Metropolitana, and Iglesia de La Compañía de Jesus, renowned for its gilded interiors. Tour the Casa del Alabado, a private museum of pre-Columbian art and archaeological pieces, and visit the Ethnographic Museum, illustrating the diversity of Ecuador’s indigenous peoples. Enjoy an exciting aerial teleférico (cable car) ride, offering spectacular views across Quito. Accommodations are for three nights in the ideally located Hilton Colón Hotel. 

Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley Post-Tour Extension — 7 Days, 6 Nights

Delight in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience Machu Picchu, the majestic “lost city of the Incas,” the lush Sacred Valley and the colonial and Inca traditions of Cuzco. Perched on an awe-inspiring mountain range above the Urubamba Valley in the Peruvian Andes, Machu Picchu was obscured from humankind for 400 years until Yale Professor Hiram Bingham literally stumbled upon it in 1911. A century of extensive research and study still has not revealed the secrets of its purpose, its residents or its abandonment; nevertheless, this UNESCO World Heritage site has been carefully excavated and preserved.

Admire the spectacular archaeological sites of the beautiful Sacred Valley, where ancient engineering marvels, such as the fortress of Ollantaytambo, stand as lasting testimony to the powerful and far‑reaching Inca Empire. Here, village craftsmen employ age-old techniques to weave intricate tapestries and sculpt colorful pottery.

In the historic Inca capital of Cuzco, a UNESCO World Heritage site, see the Inca stone fortress of Sacsayhuamán and grand Baroque-and Renaissance-style churches that provide a fascinating mix of pre-Columbian and colonial influences.
 

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

Ship

Santa Cruz II

The intimacy and personal service of a small cruise ship experience are the hallmarks of travel aboard the newly refitted, first‑class expedition vessel, Santa Cruz II. It is designed specifically to navigate remote archipelago’s narrow channels, shallow bays and environmentally sensitive waters and provides the most comprehensive access possible to the region’s marine and wildlife treasures. Refurbished in 2015, the air‑conditioned Santa Cruz II features only 48 cabins and offers modern amenities and facilities.


A team of multilingual onboard Ecuadorian expert naturalists will share their in-depth insight and knowledge about the Galápagos’ distinctive ecosystem during daily excursions and natural history lectures. The ship provides Zodiacs for island landings and excursions, complimentary snorkeling equipment and a nighttime stargazing program. The Santa Cruz II’s staff provides professional, attentive service. The ship maintains the highest international safety and environmental standards.


Each outside, air-conditioned cabin is tastefully appointed with a window, private bathroom, safety box and hair dryer. The ship’s public facilities include two lounges, natural history library and reading room with Internet access, bar, boutique, observation deck for dolphin watching, jacuzzi and gym. All meals, featuring international and Ecuadorian specialties, are served in single seatings in the ship’s inviting dining room.

Santa Cruz II

The intimacy and personal service of a small cruise ship experience are the hallmarks of travel aboard the newly refitted, first‑class expedition vessel, Santa Cruz II. It is designed specifically to navigate remote archipelago’s narrow channels, shallow bays and environmentally sensitive waters and provides the most comprehensive access possible to the region’s marine and wildlife treasures. Refurbished in 2015, the air‑conditioned Santa Cruz II features only 48 cabins and offers modern amenities and facilities.


A team of multilingual onboard Ecuadorian expert naturalists will share their in-depth insight and knowledge about the Galápagos’ distinctive ecosystem during daily excursions and natural history lectures. The ship provides Zodiacs for island landings and excursions, complimentary snorkeling equipment and a nighttime stargazing program. The Santa Cruz II’s staff provides professional, attentive service. The ship maintains the highest international safety and environmental standards.


Each outside, air-conditioned cabin is tastefully appointed with a window, private bathroom, safety box and hair dryer. The ship’s public facilities include two lounges, natural history library and reading room with Internet access, bar, boutique, observation deck for dolphin watching, jacuzzi and gym. All meals, featuring international and Ecuadorian specialties, are served in single seatings in the ship’s inviting dining room.

Testimonials

WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

This trip was the perfect combination of knowledgeable guides and lecturers, small group size, wonderful ship, and the most spectacular destination imaginable.

- Dalia A.
Reading List
Where Are the Galapagos Islands? (Where Is?)
By: Megan Stine, Who HQ
Armchair adventurers can set sail for the remote Galapagos Islands and learn about the strange and unique animals that live there. The Galapagos Islands are a chain of volcanic islands located on either side of the equator in the Pacific Ocean. The isolated location of the islands has allowed a vast number of species to develop that are original to each island, such as the marine iguana, the blue-footed booby, the magnificent frigatebird and of course the giant Galapagos tortoise, which may live to be over one hundred years old. Studied by Charles Darwin during his historic voyage on the HMS Beagle, the island life contributed to his groundbreaking theory of evolution. Today the islands are a popular tourist destination and a UNESCO World Heritage site.This book, part of the New York Times best-selling series, is enhanced by eighty illustrations and a detachable fold-out map complete with four photographs on the back.
Expedition to the Galápagos Islands
By: Grayson Rigby
A young adventurer travels aboard the National Geographic Endeavour and shares his experiences as well as science facts and information about each bird, crustacean, fish, marine mammal, and reptile encountered on the journey. This nonfiction children's picture book and travel journal with full color photographs and illustrations is sure to entertain explorers of all ages.Discover detailed information about the Galápagos giant tortoise, blue-footed booby, Galápagos marine iguana, and Galápagos penguin in addition to other endemic and unique animals.Author, Grayson Rigby, is a partner with the Galápagos Conservancy, a highly rated nonprofit organization. A portion of the proceeds of each book sold is donated to the Conservancy to assist in ongoing research, conservation management, and education in the Galápagos Islands.
Take Your Time: A Tale of Harriet, the Galapagos Tortoise
By: Eva Furrow, Donna Jo Napoli
Harriet the tortoise likes to do things slowly. She explores her home on the Galápagos Islands―slowly. She eats―slowly. And when the sun goes down, she slumbers deeply all night long.When Harriet’s friends tell her to pick up the pace, Harriet decides to journey to a neighboring island to see what there is to see. She parades with penguins and rides with dolphins, encountering adventure at every turn. But is life in the fast lane right for a tortoise who loves to take her time?
Who Was Charles Darwin?
By: Deborah Hopkinson, Who HQ
As a young boy, Charles Darwin hated school and was often scolded forconducting “useless” experiments. Yet his passion for the natural world was so strong that he suffered through terrible seasickness during his five-year voyage aboard The Beagle. Darwin collected new creatures from the coasts of Africa, South America, and the Galapagos Islands, and expanded his groundbreaking ideas that would change people's understanding of the natural world. About 100 illustrations and a clear, exciting text will make Darwin and his theory of evolution an exciting discovery for every young reader.
Island: A Story of the Galápagos
By: Jason Chin
Charles Darwin first visited the Galápagos Islands almost 200 years ago, only to discover a land filled with plants and animals that could not be found anywhere else on earth. How did they come to inhabit the island? How long will they remain? Thoroughly researched and filled with intricate and beautiful paintings, this extraordinary book by Award-winning author and artist Jason Chin is an epic saga of the life of an island―born of fire, rising to greatness, its decline, and finally the emergence of life on new islands. Chin's approach makes this book a must-have common core tool for teachers and librarians introducing scientific principals to young students.Island is one of Kirkus Reviews' Best Children's Books of 2012
Galapagos: A Natural History Guide, Seventh Edition (Odyssey Illustrated Guides)
By: Pierre Constant
Long regarded as a mysterious and desolate archipelago, this wildlife paradise is a true showcase of evolution in action. In recent years, the newly developed Marine Reserve fulfills the ultimate purpose of the National Park Service—protection and conserv
The Voyage of the Beagle
By: Charles Darwin
In 1831, Charles Darwin embarked on an expedition that, in his own words, determined my whole career. The Voyage of the Beagle chronicles his five-year journey around the world and especially the coastal waters of South America as a naturalist on the H.M.S. Beagle. While traveling through these unexplored countries collecting specimens, Darwin began to formulate the theories of evolution and natural selection realized in his master work, The Origin of Species. Travel memoir and scientific primer alike, The Voyage of the Beagle is a lively and accessible introduction to the mind of one of history's most influential thinkers.
Evolution's Workshop
By: Edward J. Larson
More than any other place on Earth, the Galápagos Islands are the workshop of evolution. Isolated and desolate, they were largely overlooked by early explorers until Charles Darwin arrived there in the 1830's. It was Darwin who recognized that Galápagos' isolation and desolation were advantages: the paucity of species and lack of outside influences made the workings of natural selection crystal clear. Since then, every important advance and controversy in evolutionary thinking has had its reflection on the Galápagos. In every sense-intellectually, institutionally, and culturally-the history of science on these islands is a history of the way evolutionary science was done for the past 150 years.Evolution's Workshop tells the story of Darwin's explorations there; the fabulous Gilded Age expeditions, run from rich men's gigantic yachts, that featured rough-and-ready science during the day and black-tie dinners every night; the struggle for control of research on the Galápagos; the current efforts by "creation scientists" to use the Galápagos to undercut evolutionary teaching; and many other compelling stories.
Galapagos Wildlife (Bradt Wildlife Guides)
By: David Horwell, Pete Oxford
Traveling to the Galápagos to discover the unique flora and fauna that so captivated Darwin and the many that followed him is a rite of passage for serious wildlife enthusiasts. Written by two expert naturalists who are passionate about the Galápagos, this guide is packed with entertaining descriptions, while full-color photography aids in identifying key species both on land and below water. [HelenC1] Now with more detailed descriptions of island landing sites, more photos, and updated information on conservation efforts, Bradt's Galápagos Wildlife is the perfect companion for this once-in-a-lifetime trip. For those looking to explore it also includes unique island trail plans.
Galapagos: World's End
By: William Beebe
"Galápagos is a glorious book. It is high romance, exact science, fascinating history, wild adventure."—NationThe Galápagos Islands are famed for their remarkable wildlife, including land and marine iguanas, land tortoises, four-eyed fish, and flightless cormorants and albatross. In 1835, Charles Darwin observed variations among the islands' species that inspired him to formulate the theory of natural selection. Eighty-eight years later, in 1923, a scientific expedition sponsored by the New York Zoological Society followed in Darwin's wake. Led by renowned biologist and explorer William Beebe, the scientists visited the the islands to study and obtain specimens of indigenous plants and animals. This is Beebe's personal account of that fascinating expedition.Combining rare literary skill with careful research, Beebe produced an exceptionally readable volume, replete with youthful enthusiasm, a romantic's awe before the mysteries of nature, and a scientist's passion for accurate description. He recounts the expedition's enormously productive results, including specimens of 60 species previously unknown to science, and an unparalleled accumulation of data that stimulated many scientific papers and new avenues of naturalistic inquiry. Beebe's account is enhanced with more than 100 splendid illustrations, selected from hundreds of paintings, drawings, and photographs by expedition members. A classic of popular science, it is scientifically rigorous as well as exciting and accessible.
The Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Time
By: Jonathan Weiner
Winner of the Pulitzer PrizeWinner of the Los Angeles Times Book PrizeOn a desert island in the heart of the Galapagos archipelago, where Darwin received his first inklings of the theory of evolution, two scientists, Peter and Rosemary Grant, have spent twenty years proving that Darwin did not know the strength of his own theory. For among the finches of Daphne Major, natural selection is neither rare nor slow: it is taking place by the hour, and we can watch.In this dramatic story of groundbreaking scientific research, Jonathan Weiner follows these scientists as they watch Darwin's finches and come up with a new understanding of life itself. The Beak of the Finch is an elegantly written and compelling masterpiece of theory and explication in the tradition of Stephen Jay Gould.With a new preface.
Galápagos: The Islands That Changed the World
By: Paul D. Stewart
Rocky, fragile, beautiful, strange―the Galápagos archipelago is unlike any other place on earth. Its geology, its unique flora and fauna, and its striking role in human history intersect in surprising and dynamic ways. This book is the most wide-ranging and beautifully illustrated book available on the famous islands. Not since Darwin’s Naturalist’s Voyage has a book combined so much scientific and historic information with firsthand accounts that bring the Galápagos to life.Galápagos: The Islands That Changed the World describes how tragedy and murderous pirates curtailed settlement of the islands and how the islands’ pristine nature, spectacular geology, and defining isolation inspired Darwin’s ideas about evolution. The book explores the diverse land and marine habitats that shelter Galápagos species and considers the islands’ importance today as a frontier for science and a refuge for true wilderness.The book’s extensive gazetteer provides details about endemic plants and animals as well as travel advice about visitors’ sites, diving, photography, when to go, and what to take. Vividly illustrated throughout, this guide is an indispensable reference for natural history enthusiasts, armchair travelers, and island visitors alike.
Galapagos: A Natural History, Revised and Expanded
By: Michael H. Jackson
Twenty thousand copies of the first edition of Galápagos were sold. An attractive and comprehensive guidebook, this work has been completely revised and updated by the author. The reader will find an easy-to-use text which details the natural history of the plants and animals found in the Galápagos Islands. Management and conservation of the Galápagos National Park is discussed, and visitor information and notes about the various tourist sites are given. An index and checklist of plants and animals with page references and a glossary of technical terms are provided. New photographs have been added.
Galapagos: A Novel (Delta Fiction)
By: Kurt Vonnegut
“A madcap genealogical adventure . . . Vonnegut is a postmodern Mark Twain.”—The New York Times Book ReviewGalápagos takes the reader back one million years, to A.D. 1986. A simple vacation cruise suddenly becomes an evolutionary journey. Thanks to an apocalypse, a small group of survivors stranded on the Galápagos Islands are about to become the progenitors of a brave, new, and totally different human race. In this inimitable novel, America’ s master satirist looks at our world and shows us all that is sadly, madly awry–and all that is worth saving.Praise for Galápagos“The best Vonnegut novel yet!”—John Irving “Beautiful . . . provocative, arresting reading.”—USA Today“A satire in the classic tradition . . . a dark vision, a heartfelt warning.”—The Detroit Free Press   “Interesting, engaging, sad and yet very funny . . . Vonnegut is still in top form. If he has no prescription for alleviating the pain of the human condition, at least he is a first-rate diagnostician.”—Susan Isaacs, Newsday   “Dark . . . original and funny.”—People   “A triumph of style, originality and warped yet consistent logic . . . a condensation, an evolution of Vonnegut’s entire career, including all the issues and questions he has pursued relentlessly for four decades.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer   “Wild details, wry humor, outrageous characters . . . Galápagos is a comic lament, a sadly ironic vison.”—St. Louis Post-Dispatch   “A work of high comedy, sadness and imagination.”—The Denver Post   “Wacky wit and irreverent imagination .  . . and the full range of technical innovations have made [Vonnegut] America’s preeminent experimental novelist.”—The Minneapolis Star and Tribune
Enchanted Islands
By: Allison Amend
Born to immigrant parents in Minnesota just before the turn of the century, Frances Frankowski grew up coveting the life of her best friend, Rosalie Mendel. And yet, decades later, when the women reconnect in San Francisco, their lives have diverged. Rosalie is a housewife and mother, while Frances works for the Office of Naval Intelligence and has just been given a top-secret assignment: marry handsome spy Ainslie Conway and move to the Galápagos Islands to investigate the Germans living there in the build-up to World War II. Amid active volcanoes, forbidding wildlife and flora, and unfriendly neighbors, Ainslie and Frances carve out a life for themselves. But the secrets they harbor—from their friends, from their enemies, and even from each other—may be their undoing.
My Travel Journal (Lonely Planet Kids)
By: Lonely Planet Kids, Nicola Baxter
Never forget an adventure with this bright and bold journal from Lonely Planet Kids. Packed with writing topic suggestions, lists to complete, ideas for getting the creative juices flowing and lots more fill-in fun, this is the perfect way for young travellers to record their memories from a trip. There's space to write, draw, collage, colour and complete - turning the finished journal into a wonderful scrapbook to treasure forever. With fun illustrations, a super-bright neon cover and a handy, backpack sized format, it's a must-have item for any trip. Part of our Family Activity range. Also available: My Family Travel Map, Boredom Buster About Lonely Planet Kids: From the world's leading travel publisher comes Lonely Planet Kids, a children's imprint that brings the world to life for young explorers everywhere. With a range of beautiful books for children aged 5-12, we're kickstarting the travel bug and showing kids just how amazing our planet can be. From bright and bold sticker activity books, to beautiful gift titles bursting at the seams with amazing facts, we aim to inspire and delight curious kids, showing them the rich diversity of people, places and cultures that surrounds us. We pledge to share our enthusiasm and love of the world, our sense of humour and continual fascination for what it is that makes the world we live in the diverse and magnificent place it is. It's going to be a big adventure - come explore!
The Travel Book: Mind-Blowing Stuff on Every Country in the World (Lonely Planet Kids)
By: Lonely Planet Kids
Take a world tour through 200 countries with this brand new edition of the bestselling kids' version of Lonely Planet's popular The Travel Book, loaded with thousands of amazing facts on wildlife, how people live, sports, hideous and mouthwatering food, festivals and a wide range of other quirky insights on every page. Every single country gets its own dedicated page, and a mix of photography and beautiful illustrations brings each land to life. Perfect for keeping explorers aged 8 years and up entertained on the road. Authors: Lonely Planet Kids About Lonely Planet Kids: From the world's leading travel publisher comes Lonely Planet Kids, a children's imprint that brings the world to life for young explorers everywhere. We're kick-starting the travel bug and showing kids just how amazing our planet is. Our mission is to inspire and delight curious kids, showing them the rich diversity of people, places and cultures that surrounds us. We pledge to share our enthusiasm and continual fascination for what it is that makes the world we live in the magnificent place it is. A big adventure awaits! Come explore. Award-winning children's titles from Lonely Planet include The Amazing World Atlas (Independent Publisher Award, Gold for Juvenile Multicultural Non-fiction, 2015), How to Be a Space Explorer (Independent Publisher Award, Silver for Juvenile Non-fiction, 2015), Not For Parents The Travel Book, Not For Parents Paris, Not For Parents London, Not For Parents New York City, and Not For Parents Rome (all Parent Tested Parent Approved winners, 2012). Lonely Planet guides have won the TripAdvisor Traveler's Choice Award in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015.
Brain Teasers (Lonely Planet Kids)
By: Lonely Planet Kids, Sally Morgan
Who's the smarty pants in your family? Packed with number and logic puzzles, riddles, dingbats, codes and much more, this fun and challenging travel-themed activity book is perfect for car journeys, vacations and rainy days-and provides a great test for both kids and adults. Brain teasers include: Scrambled Cities - anagrams of famous places Code breaker - morse code messages to decipher Flagtastic - match the country to its flag World traveler, desert and jungle word searches Say what you see - solve the visual word puzzles Flag finder - crack a series of semaphore messages Riddles of the Sphinx - crafty cryptic questions Arctic explorer crossword and airport sudoku Other Lonely Planet Kids family activity books also available: -Boredom Buster -Round the World Quiz Book -My Vacation Scrapbook -My Vacation Drawing Journal -My Travel Journal -Backyard Explorer -My Family Travel Map -My Family Travel Map: North America -My Family Travel Map: Europe -My Family Travel Map: Australia -My Family Height Chart About Lonely Planet Kids: Come explore! Let's start an adventure. Lonely Planet Kids excites and educates children about the amazing world around them. Combining astonishing facts, quirky humor and eye-catching imagery, we ignite their curiosity and encourage them to discover more about our planet. Every book draws on our huge team of global experts to help share our continual fascination with what makes the world such a diverse and magnificent place - inspiring children at home and in school.
24x36 World Wall Map by Smithsonian Journeys - Tan Oceans Special Edition (24x36 Paper Folded)
By: Smithsonian Journeys
Swiftmaps is proud to partner with Smithsonian Journeys to bring a new and exciting World Map series to the American marketplace. Featuring eye-catching bold and vivid colors complemented with rich vintage tan ocean tones that will make this the perfect reference piece --- sure to stand-out and highlight any home or business wall. The precise detail and digital accuracy shows color-matching visual shaded 3D relief and other physical features without sacrificing the maps readability. Now printed on high-quality 80 lb. paper and professionally FOLDED in a compact 8x10 inch size. FEATURES: 1) Africa centered allowing viewers to see continents complete and intact 2) Clearly labeled country and city names for easy location 3) Latitude and longitude indications 4) Shaded relief of ocean and land topography 4) Desirable Miller Projection. The Smithsonian Journeys wall map series serve not only as a handy reference piece, but as an eye-catching accent for any room or office. NOTE: each map is professionally folded to 8x10 inches and when unfolded the map is 24 inches high and 36 inches wide.
Travel Insurance

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

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

Terms and conditions

Our Mission

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

What Is Included in the Tour Cost

  • All accommodations (based on double occupancy) 
  • Expertise of a Smithsonian Journeys Expert, Travel Director(s), and local guides throughout the tour.
  • Meals, including special Welcome and Farewell Receptions, as noted in the itinerary (B-breakfast; L-lunch; R-reception; D-dinner).
  • Complimentary wine served with dinner.
  • All sightseeing and visits as noted in the itinerary.
  • Pre-tour information, including a reading list.
  • Gratuities to local guides and drivers.
  • All on-tour transportation unless otherwise noted.
  • Transfers and luggage handling abroad for all participants whose arrival(s)/departure(s) coincide with the scheduled group transfer(s).
  • 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.
  • Expenses incurred by our tour operators in making travel arrangements in conjunction with the tour.
  • Airfare and air and departure taxes.
  • Taxes.
  • 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 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).

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 ($200 per person pre/post optional 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 120 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 120 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 855-330-1542 to speak with a Cultural Travel Specialist, Mon-Fri 9 am – 7 pm; Sat 9 am – 4 pm (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 pre/post cruise optional extension retained (entire deposit).
  • Final payment due: 120 days before departure.
  • Cancellation made less than 120 days prior to 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.