Settle in and explore the cultural traditions of sophisticated resorts and art havens as well as gem-like villages dotting the Bay of Biscay and nestled amid the Pyrenees.

Starting at: $4,290 * Price includes special offer Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Dusk in beautiful San Sebastian  Flag-lined street in Hondarribia  Square in Hondarribia  San Sebastian beach  San Sebastian ocean side view   The city of Bilbao, with the Guggenheim Museum, set amid the Basque countryside  The Guggenheim Museum of Contemporary Art, Bilbao  The Pyrenees Mountains  Monument to the running of the bulls in Pamplona  View of Bayonne  Street scene in Bayonne  The harbor in Biarritz  The beach in the resort town of Biarritz  The historic fortress of the Parador de Hondarribia  A comfortable lounge in the Parador de Hondarribia  View from the terrace of the Parador de Hondarribia

France and Spain’s Basque Region

A One-Week Stay at the Parador de Hondarribia

9 days from $4,290

Settle in and explore the cultural traditions of sophisticated resorts and art havens as well as gem-like villages dotting the Bay of Biscay and nestled amid the Pyrenees.

or Call 855-330-1542

Accommodations

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

Parador de Hondarribia

Hondarribia, Spain

Located in the medieval center of Hondarribia and at the highest point in the town, this unique parador is also known as the Castle of Charles V which dates from the 10th century. Enjoy panoramic vistas of the coast including the Bidasoa estuary and the Bay of Biscay from the hotel terrace. The 36 guest rooms are all uniquely decorated and arranged and are spacious and comfortable with an array of hotel amenities including complimentary Wi-Fi. Stone walls, floors and archways and public spaces decorated with breath-taking tapestries and fine antiques remind guests of the parador’s storied past.

Number of nights: 7

Activity Level

Activity Level 2: Moderate

Expectations: Week-long Cultural Stay featuring one city and region—and one hotel. Full-day excursions outside the city but well-paced. Walking tours of museums and outdoor sites, including archaeological sites, which can be over uneven terrain (e.g. cobblestones, city hills, stairs without handrails, the absence of elevators); some longer walks to get to city centers where coaches are prohibited. Hotel centrally located for easy access to shops and restaurants, which is ideal for time at leisure.

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

Special Air Rates/Services

FlexAir is designed to provide you with the flexibility and choice you need to personalize your air travel experience. Explore a wide range of flight options in consultation with our experienced travel professionals to select the flights, routing, class of service, and dates of travel that most fit your needs. Our partner tour operator has negotiated contracts with a wide variety of carriers that allow them to hold flight reservations and then issue your ticket close to departure without additional fees. This protects you from the need to purchase published-fare tickets, which must be ticketed within 24 hours of purchase. FlexAir reservations provide the flexibility to adjust reservations without penalty and to accommodate extensions and upgrades right up until ticketing time, usually around 45 days before departure. We look forward to providing you with more choice and the best possible itinerary for your air travel plans.

Program Includes:

  • Guaranteed transfers between the airport and your overseas accommodations upon arrival and departure (in most cases). We will provide you with all of the details you need to guarantee your transfer.
  • Air schedule change and delay assistance. Book FlexAir to ensure assistance should schedule changes or delays impact your air travel plans.
  • Flight insurance worth up to $250,000, subject to policy terms, is automatically included.
  • Confirmed airline seat assignments at the time of booking (in most cases).
Reading List
The Basque Country: A Cultural History by Paddy Woodworth (2007-07-01)
By: Signal Books Ltd; edition (2007-07-01)
Will be shipped from US. Used books may not include companion materials, may have some shelf wear, may contain highlighting/notes, may not include CDs or access codes. 100% money back guarantee.
The Basque Dilemma
By: M. Bryce Ternet
Europe’s longest war came to an end on October 21, 2011. On this date, the Basque separatist group Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA) declared a ceasefire, ending a five-decade long campaign for an independent Basque Country in northwest Spain and southwest France. But is ETA really gone? Various factions refused to surrender their arms and openly disagreed with ETA leadership. What if some individuals decide not enough progress has occurred for the Basque people since the ceasefire? The Basque Dilemma considers this explosive possibility in a present-day investigation throughout Europe. The story has historical ties to the 1980s when the traditional ETA refuge in the northern Basque Country was infused with the activities of the French Basque separatist group, Iparretarrak (IK), and the paramilitary group, Los Grupos Antiterroristas de Liberación (GAL), including the group’s infamous assassin, the Lady in Black.
The Basque History of the World: The Story of a Nation
By: Mark Kurlansky
From Mark Kurlansky, the bestselling author of Cod, Salt, Birdseye, and Paper—the illuminating story of an ancient and enigmatic peopleStraddling a small corner of Spain and France in a land that is marked on no maps except their own, the Basques are a puzzling contradiction—they are Europe's oldest nation without ever having been a country. No one has ever been able to determine their origins, and even the Basques' language, Euskera—the most ancient in Europe—is related to none other on earth. For centuries, their influence has been felt in nearly every realm, from religion to sports to commerce. Even today, the Basques are enjoying what may be the most important cultural renaissance in their long existence, as displayed by new cookbooks like chefs Alexandra Raij and Eder Montero's The Basque Book and restaurateur Jose Pizarro’s Basque.Mark Kurlansky's passion for the Basque people and his exuberant eye for detail shine throughout this fascinating book. Like Cod, The Basque History of the World, blends human stories with economic, political, literary, and culinary history into a rich and heroic tale.Among the Basques' greatest accomplishments:   • Exploration—the first man to circumnavigate the globe, Juan Sebastian de Elcano, was a Basque and the Basques were the second Europeans, after the Vikings, in North America    • Gastronomy and agriculture—they were the first Europeans to eat corn and chili peppers and cultivate tobacco, and were among the first to use chocolate    • Religion—Ignatius Loyola, a Basque, founded the Jesuit religious order    • Business and politics—they introduced capitalism and modern commercial banking to southern Europe    • Recreation—they invented beach resorts, jai alai, and racing regattas, and were the first Europeans to play sports with balls “A delectable portrait of an uncanny, indomitable nation.” –Newsday“Exciting, Illuminating, and thought provoking.” –The Boston GlobeEntertaining and instructive… [Kurlansky’s] approach is unorthodox, mixing history with anecdotes, poems with recipes.” –The New York Times Book Review
The Basque Country and Navarre: France, Spain (Bradt Travel Guide)
By: Murray Stewart
This new, thoroughly updated edition of Bradt's award-winning guide to the Basque Country and Navarre remains the most comprehensive and in-depth guide available to this multi-lingual, multi-cultural borderland encompassing parts of southern France and northern Spain. This fully revised second edition includes all the elements required for an enjoyable holiday and also the unique aspects of Basque culture and traditions which make this such a fascinating part of the world. Bradt's The Basque Country and Navarre seeks to give a real insight into what is a strong regional identity, uncovering the peculiarities which imbue the area with its aura of intrigue and taking you way beyond the delightful, well-known cities and into the heart of the beautiful Basque countryside. When it comes to food, discover not just what to eat, but also how to eat it, for many Basque eating rituals apply!In this, the most complete guidebook to the Spanish and French Basque Country and Navarre, Murray Stewart covers the principal cities – rejuvenated Bilbao with its famous Guggenheim Museum, beautiful San Sebastián, verdant Vitoria-Gasteiz and lively Pamplona – and also delves deeper into the region's interior, capturing the quirkiness that makes it so special. With 36 maps, 16 walks, advice on where to cycle, horseride and surf, he guides travellers through an area whose profile is firmly ‘on the up.' Find the best pintxos (Basque tapas) and txakoli wine, the finest chuletón (beef chop) and the freshest fish. From elegant Biarritz, via the French Basque Pyrénées, to the Navarran ‘badlands' of Bardenas Reales, travel to fascinating, less-visited places. Here are the best festivals, including Pamplona's famous, bull-running San Fermin. Learn how the handing-over of three cows has kept the peace for centuries, or where you can see the annual ‘Benediction of the Red Pepper'. Join the walkers on the Caminos de Santiago, the pilgrim routes which still sustain the local economy, 1,000 years after they began. Find information on the unique Basque and Navarran wines, top birdwatching sites, history, music, sports and culture – and when to visit. Bradt's The Basque Country and Navarre is the ideal companion.
Lonely Planet Spanish Phrasebook & Dictionary
By: Lonely Planet, Marta Lopez, Cristina Hernandez Montero
Lonely Planet Spanish Phrasebook & Dictionary is your handy passport to culturally enriching travels with the most relevant and useful Spanish phrases and vocabulary for all your travel needs. Enjoy the thrilling conversation with a local over sangria, ask about a tucked-away a tablao flamenco or eat your way through a tapas menu; all with your trusted travel companion. With language tools in your back pocket, you can truly get to the heart of wherever you go, so begin your journey now!Get More From Your Trip with Easy-to-Find Phrases for Every Travel Situation! Feel at ease with essential tips on culture, manners, idioms and multiple meanings Order with confidence, explain food allergies, and try new foods with the menu decoder Save time and hassles with vital phrases at your fingertips Never get stuck for words with the 3500-word two-way, quick-reference dictionary Be prepared for both common and emergency travel situations with practical phrases and terminology Meet friends with conversation starter phrases Get your message across with easy-to-use pronunciation guides Inside Lonely Planet Spanish Phrasebook & Dictionary: Full-colour throughout User-friendly layout organised by travel scenario categories Survival phrases inside front cover for at-a-glance on-the-fly cuesCovers Basics - time, dates, numbers, amounts, pronunciation, reading tips, grammar rules Practical - travel with kids, disabled travellers, sightseeing, business, banking, post office, internet, phones, repairs, bargaining, accommodation, directions, border crossing, transport Social - meeting people, interests, feelings, opinions, going out, romance, culture, activities, weather Safe Travel - emergencies, police, doctor, chemist, dentist, symptoms, conditions Food - ordering, at the market, at the bar, dishes, ingredients The Perfect Choice:Lonely Planet Spanish Phrasebook & Dictionary, a pocket-sized comprehensive language guide, provides on-the-go language assistance; great for language students and travellers looking to interact with locals and immerse themselves in local culture. About Lonely Planet: Since 1973, Lonely Planet has become the world's leading travel media company with guidebooks to every destination, an award-winning website, mobile and digital travel products, and a dedicated traveller community. Lonely Planet covers must-see spots but also enables curious travellers to get off beaten paths to understand more of the culture of the places in which they find themselves.
Lonely Planet French Phrasebook & Dictionary
By: Lonely Planet, Michael Janes, Jean-Bernard Carillet, Jean-Pierre Masclef
Lonely Planet French Phrasebook & Dictionary is your handy passport to culturally enriching travels with the most relevant and useful French phrases and vocabulary for all your travel needs. Ask about tucked-away vineyards, bargain with local farmers at the market or order wine like a professional; all with your trusted travel companion. With language tools in your back pocket, you can truly get to the heart of wherever you go, so begin your journey now!Get More From Your Trip with Easy-to-Find Phrases for Every Travel Situation! Feel at ease with essential tips on culture, manners, idioms and multiple meanings Order with confidence, explain food allergies, and try new foods with the menu decoder Save time and hassles with vital phrases at your fingertips Never get stuck for words with the 3500-word two-way, quick-reference dictionary Be prepared for both common and emergency travel situations with practical phrases and terminology Meet friends with conversation starter phrases Get your message across with easy-to-use pronunciation guides Inside Lonely Planet French Phrasebook & Dictionary: Full-colour throughout User-friendly layout organised by travel scenario categories Survival phrases inside front cover for at-a-glance on-the-fly cuesCovers Basics - time, dates, numbers, amounts, pronunciation, reading tips, grammar rules Practical - travel with kids, disabled travellers, sightseeing, business, banking, post office, internet, phones, repairs, bargaining, accommodation, directions, border crossing, transport Social - meeting people, interests, feelings, opinions, going out, romance, culture, activities, weather Safe Travel - emergencies, police, doctor, chemist, dentist, symptoms, conditions Food - ordering, at the market, at the bar, dishes, ingredients The Perfect Choice: Lonely Planet French Phrasebook & Dictionary , a pocket-sized comprehensive language guide, provides on-the-go language assistance; great for language students and travellers looking to interact with locals and immerse themselves in local culture.About Lonely Planet: Started in 1973, Lonely Planet is the world's leading travel guide publisher with guidebooks to every destination on the planet, and has been connecting travellers and locals for over 25 years with phrasebooks for 120 languages, more than any other publisher! With an award-winning website, a suite of mobile and digital travel products, and a dedicated traveller community, Lonely Planet enables curious travellers to experience the world and to truly get to the heart of the places they find themselves.
Basque Country: A Culinary Journey Through a Food Lover's Paradise
By: Marti Buckley
Winner, 2019 IACP Award, Best Book of the Year, InternationalNamed one of the Best Cookbooks of the Year / Best Cookbooks to Gift by the New York Times, Food & Wine, Saveur, Rachael Ray Every Day, National Geographic, The Guardian and more “Truly insider access, an authentic look at the traditions of one of the most incredible culinary regions of the world.” —José Andrés Tucked away in the northwest corner of Spain, Basque Country not only boasts more Michelin-starred restaurants per capita than any other region in the world, but its unique confluence of mountain and sea, values and tradition, informs every bite of its soulful cuisine, from pintxos to accompany a glass of wine to the elbows-on-the-table meals served in its legendary eating clubs. Yet Basque Country is more than a little inaccessible—shielded by a unique language and a distinct culture, it’s an enigma to most outsiders. Until now. Marti Buckley, an American chef, journalist, and passionate Basque transplant, unlocks the mysteries of this culinary world by bringing together its intensely ingredient-driven recipes with stories of Basque customs and the Basque kitchen, and vivid photographs of both food and place. And surprise: this is food we both want to eat and can easily make. It’s not about exotic ingredients or flashy techniques. It’s about mind-set—how to start with that just-right fish or cut of meat or peak-of-ripeness tomato and coax forth its inherent depth of flavor. It’s the marriage of simplicity and refinement, and the joy of cooking for family and friends.
The Land Of My Fathers: A Son'S Return To The Basque Country
By: Robert Laxalt
The son of a Basque emigrant, Robert Laxalt moved himself and his family to a Basque village in the French Pyrenees in 1960. Based on this visit and a later sojourn in 1965, this is a record of a people, their homeland and culture, seen through Laxalt's text and his wife's photographs.
Obabakoak: Stories from a Village
By: Bernardo Atxaga
"A brilliantly inventive writer ... he understands the nature of storytelling and is at once terribly moving and wildy funny."―A.S. ByattObabakoak is a shimmering, mercurial collection about life in Obaba, a remote, exotic Basque village. A schoolboy's miningengineer father tricks him into growing up, an unfortunate environmentalist rescues deceptively harmless lizards, and a rescue mission on a Swiss mountain-climbing expedition in Nepal turns into murder. Obaba is peopled with innocents and intellectuals, shepherds and schoolchildren, while everyone from a lovelorn schoolmistress to a cultured but self-hating dwarf wanders across the page. Hints of darker undercurrents mingle with moments of wry humor in this dazzling collage of stories, town gossip, diary excerpts, and literary theory, all held together by Bernardo Atxaga's distinctive and tenderly ironic voice. An unforgettable work from an international literary giant, whom The Observer (London) listed among the top twenty-one writers of the twenty-first century.
Guggenheim Museum Bilbao: Director's Choice
By: Juan Ignacio Vidarte
•A selection of highlights from the esteemed contemporary art collection at the Guggenheim Museum•Offers a unique and personal perspective on the collectionThe Guggenheim Museum Bilbao opened in October 1997 as part of a large-scale urban renovation project, and since then its popularity has flourished. The museum's striking twentieth century building, designed by Frank Gehry, and its one million annual visitors have cemented Bilbao's presence on the international cultural scene. It is from here that the contemporary art collection developed. As a coherent set of more than 130 works, it exhibits some of the most significant creations of the period from the mid-twentieth century up to the modern day. This guide takes the reader on a private tour of the remarkable collection through a selection of highlights, judiciously chosen by General Director Juan Ignacio Vidarte, and offers an engaging preface or echo to the thrill of experiencing the works first hand.
Building Art: The Life and Work of Frank Gehry
By: Paul Goldberger
Here, from Pulitzer Prize–winning critic Paul Goldberger, is the first full-fledged critical biography of Frank Gehry, undoubtedly the most famous architect of our time. Goldberger follows Gehry from his humble origins—the son of working-class Jewish immigrants in Toronto—to the heights of his extraordinary career. He explores Gehry’s relationship to Los Angeles, a city that welcomed outsider artists and profoundly shaped him in his formative years. He surveys the full range of his work, from the Bilbao Guggenheim to the Walt Disney Concert Hall in L.A. to the architect’s own home in Santa Monica, which galvanized his neighbors and astonished the world. He analyzes his carefully crafted persona, in which an amiable surface masks a driving ambition. And he discusses his use of technology, not just to change the way a building looks, but to revolutionize the very practice of the field. Comprehensive and incisive, Building Art is a sweeping view of a singular artist—and an essential story of architecture’s modern era.  
A Basque Diary: Living in Hondarribia
By: Alex Hallatt
Have you ever thought of living abroad to learn a language?When cartoonist Alex Hallatt wanted to learn Spanish, she moved to the Basque Country. She thought she might stay a few months and ended up there for over two years, living in a small town near San Sebastian.This is the illustrated account of her years in Hondarribia. It is full of enchanting coloured illustrations and observations of what is is like to live in this Basque town. The book is a useful resource for anyone planning on spending time in the Basque Country, detailing what to expect in each month and how to make the most of the geographical, culinary and cultural attractions on offer.This is the large format (8.25 x 8.25 inches) version of this book.If you liked "Driving Over Lemons", but would like more illustrations and fewer lemons, this is the book for you.ChaptersIntroductionGeography and Getting AroundShopping, Health and Fitness Basque - Euskara January - UrtarrilaFebruary - Otsaila March - MartxoaApril - ApirilaMay - Maiatza June - EkainaJuly - UztailaAugust - AbuztuaSeptember - IrailaOctober - UrriaNovember - AzaroaDecember- AbenduaOur Favourite Hondarribia Bars, Cafes & RestaurantsOther Basque Places We LovedFurther Reading
The Sun Also Rises
By: Ernest Hemingway
The quintessential novel of the Lost Generation, The Sun Also Rises is one of Ernest Hemingway's masterpieces and a classic example of his spare but powerful writing style. A poignant look at the disillusionment and angst of the post-World War I generation, the novel introduces two of Hemingway's most unforgettable characters: Jake Barnes and Lady Brett Ashley. The story follows the flamboyant Brett and the hapless Jake as they journey from the wild nightlife of 1920s Paris to the brutal bullfighting rings of Spain with a motley group of expatriates. It is an age of moral bankruptcy, spiritual dissolution, unrealized love, and vanishing illusions. First published in 1926, The Sun Also Rises helped to establish Hemingway as one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century.
Origin: A Novel (Robert Langdon)
By: Dan Brown
The #1 New York Times Bestseller (October 2017) from the author of The Da Vinci Code.  Bilbao, Spain   Robert Langdon, Harvard professor of symbology and religious iconology, arrives at the ultramodern Guggenheim Museum Bilbao to attend a major announcement—the unveiling of a discovery that “will change the face of science forever.” The evening’s host is Edmond Kirsch, a forty-year-old billionaire and futurist whose dazzling high-tech inventions and audacious predictions have made him a renowned global figure. Kirsch, who was one of Langdon’s first students at Harvard two decades earlier, is about to reveal an astonishing breakthrough . . . one that will answer two of the fundamental questions of human existence.     As the event begins, Langdon and several hundred guests find themselves captivated by an utterly original presentation, which Langdon realizes will be far more controversial than he ever imagined. But the meticulously orchestrated evening suddenly erupts into chaos, and Kirsch’s precious discovery teeters on the brink of being lost forever. Reeling and facing an imminent threat, Langdon is forced into a desperate bid to escape Bilbao. With him is Ambra Vidal, the elegant museum director who worked with Kirsch to stage the provocative event. Together they flee to Barcelona on a perilous quest to locate a cryptic password that will unlock Kirsch’s secret.     Navigating the dark corridors of hidden history and extreme religion, Langdon and Vidal must evade a tormented enemy whose all-knowing power seems to emanate from Spain’s Royal Palace itself . . . and who will stop at nothing to silence Edmond Kirsch. On a trail marked by modern art and enigmatic symbols, Langdon and Vidal uncover clues that ultimately bring them face-to-face with Kirsch’s shocking discovery . . . and the breathtaking truth that has long eluded us.  Origin is stunningly inventive—Dan Brown's most brilliant and entertaining novel to date.
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, Travel Guard provides an on-tour Insurance Plan. 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). It also includes up to $25,000 medical and up to $500 dental expense coverage, and 24-hour worldwide travel and medical assistance. Please click here to view complete coverage details.

Please visit www.TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys or call Travel Guard at 1-800-208-6142 to learn about additional (optional) coverage.

Terms and conditions

Our Mission

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

What Is Included in the Tour Cost

  • Expertise of a travel director, Smithsonian Journeys Expert, and local guides throughout the tour
  • All gratuities for the travel director, Smithsonian Journeys expert, tour guides, and drivers
  • Pre-tour information, including a reading list
  • Airport transfers, luggage handling and gratuities (when applicable) for both Flex Air participants and participants who are able to meet the scheduled group departure times. Reservations are required.
  • All on-tour transportation, unless otherwise noted
  • All accommodations for the duration of the tour
  • All meals and beverages as noted in the itinerary (B-breakfast; L-lunch; D-dinner; R-reception)
  • All sightseeing and visits as noted in each itinerary

What Is Not Provided With Your Tour

  • Passport and all visa fees and photos; immunization(s); and any other travel documentation fees as required 
  • Optional travel insurance
  • Personal items, unless otherwise stated, such as wine, liquors, a-la-carte orders
  • Expenses incurred by our tour operator in making any individual travel arrangements in conjunction with the tour
  • Airline baggage and other airline fees and associated taxes, unless noted in Tour description
  • Communication Charges (e.g.: phone, the internet, etc.)
  • Other items noted as optional or not specifically mentioned as included
  • Airfare to/from your departure city is not included. Optional airfare may be available at an additional cost.

Registration 

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

To complete your reservation, the following information is required.

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

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

Payments

A deposit of $500 for a land tour reservation unless otherwise noted, is required to reserve a space on a tour.  All payments may be made by credit card or check to the tour operator.  Deposits are applied to final payment of the tour price.

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

Late Registration

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

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

For additional information, please call 855-330-1542 to speak with a Cultural Travel Specialist, Mon-Fri 9 am – 7 pm; Sat 9 am – 4 pm (Eastern Time), at SJReservations@si.edu or SmithsonianJourneys.org.

A Note About Costs

All prices are based on two persons sharing a room/cabin. All prices are quoted in U.S. dollars. Tour costs are based upon current airfares, tariffs, currency values, and on the basis of a presumptive minimum number of participants. While we will do everything possible to maintain the listed prices, they are subject to change.   Due to fluctuations in oil prices, a fuel surcharge may be added to your tour fee (e.g. internal flights, cruises, etc.).  Details and costs will be advised prior to departure.

Wait List

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

Cancellation and Refund Policy

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

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

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

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

Changes to Your Reservation

We will not charge a fee for any changes made to your reservation outside 95 days (final payment) of departure. From 94 to 30 days before departure, if you make any changes to your reservation, a $100 per person administrative fee will apply, in addition to any fees or penalties imposed by airlines, hotels, or other third parties.  Changes are subject to availability and cannot be guaranteed. If your reservation changes from double occupancy to single occupancy for any reason or at any time, you will be charged the single supplement.

Please note that no changes to your departure date and no name changes are allowed within 95 days of departure. No changes to your reservation can be made within 30 days of departure.

Air Service

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

Individual Arrivals and Group Transfers

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

Air Service/Tickets Purchased Independently of the Tour

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

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

Travel Insurance

For the convenience of our travelers, Travel Guard provides an on-tour Insurance Plan. 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). It also includes up to $25,000 medical and up to $500 dental expense coverage, and 24-hour worldwide travel and medical assistance. Please click here to view complete coverage details. 

Please visit www.TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys or call Travel Guard at 1-800-208-6142 to learn about additional (optional) coverage.

Travel Documents and Information

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

For all international departures, a passport valid for at least six months after the completion of your tour, and with at least six blank visa pages, is required for U.S. citizens on all tours. The U.S. Department of State will no longer add visa pages into U.S. passports beginning January 1, 2016. The decision to discontinue this service was made to enhance the security of the passport and to abide by international passport standards. Beginning January 1, 2016, applicants in need of additional pages in their valid passports must obtain a new passport. For more information on how or where to apply, please visit Travel.State.Gov/ApplyEarly or call the National Passport Information Center toll-free at 1-877-487-2778/1-888-874-7793 (TTY/TTD).

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

Physical and Medical Considerations

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

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

Itinerary or Tour Modifications

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

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

Hotel Accommodations

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

Singles and Roommates

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

Children

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

Special Travel Arrangements

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

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

Dispute Resolution

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

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

Photography and Video

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

Smoking Policy

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

READ CAREFULLY: RESPONSIBILITY STATEMENT AND LIABILITY DISCLAIMER

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

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

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

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

The undersigned has read carefully the Responsibility Statement and Liability Disclaimer set forth above, the schedule of activities for this tour, as well as the terms and conditions of application and participation as set forth in the tour materials, and recognizes and accepts any risk associated with the tour and the conditions, including the refund policy, set forth in the tour materials. The undersigned further acknowledges that there are many risks and uncertainties inherent in any travel tour, including but not limited to the hazards of various modes of transportation, forces of nature including, but not limited to, weather, flooding, and high/low water levels, acts or omissions of foreign governments, terrorism, war or insurrection, theft, illness, bites from or attacks by animals, insects, or pests, and damage to person or property due to the negligent acts or omissions of tour staff or others. In consideration of, and as part payment for, the right to participate in the tour, the undersigned, on behalf of himself, his dependents, heirs, executors, administrators and assigns, agrees to release the Smithsonian Institution, its Regents, officers, employees, representatives or agents, the United States, and the tour operator and its officers, employees and agents, from liability for personal injury, death, property damage or loss suffered by any person in connection with this tour, even if caused by the negligence (but not the reckless, willful, or fraudulent conduct) of tour staff or other related persons or entities. In addition, by registering for this tour, the applicant certifies that he or she is mentally and physically capable of full participation in this tour. By registering for a Smithsonian Journey, the participant agrees to the Responsibility Statement and Liability Disclaimer and the Terms and Conditions herein.

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