Experience the scenic and cultural highlights of Germany, from the legendary Rhine River and the beautiful Black Forest and Bavarian Alps to artistic Dresden and cosmopolitan Berlin.

Starting at: $5,792 * Includes airfare, taxes & all fees Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 King Ludwig II's Neuschwanstein Castle with stunning alpine scenery  Germany's scenic Rhine River Valley  The German university town of Heidelberg, along the Neckar River  The Black Forest  Neuschwanstein Castle  The Glockenspiel in Marienplatz, Munich  The Marienplatz in Munich  The baroque interior of Nymphenburg Palace, Munich  Watchtower at Dachau  The picturesque town of Bamberg  Square in Dresden  The Royal Palace, Dresden  Semper Opera House, Dresden  The town of Meissen, dominated by the Albrechtsburg Castle  Display of Meissen porcelain  Brandenburg Gate, Berlin  Sign in four languages at Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin  The Reichstag, Parliament Building, Berlin  The Ishtar Gate at the Pergamon Museum, Berlin

Highlights of Germany

15 days from $5,792 | includes airfare, taxes and all fees

Experience the scenic and cultural highlights of Germany, from the legendary Rhine River and the beautiful Black Forest and Bavarian Alps to artistic Dresden and cosmopolitan Berlin.

or Call 855-330-1542

Accommodations

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

The Westin Grand Frankfurt

Frankfurt, Germany

The Westin Grand Frankfurt sits in the heart of the city, steps from several major shopping boulevards.  This spacious, contemporary hotel has four restaurants, a fitness center, laundry and dry cleaning services, full spa, indoor pool, and complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access in public areas.  Guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, coffee machine, TV, Wi-Fi Internet access available for a fee, and phone.

Number of nights: 2

Zum Storchen Waldkirch

Waldkirch, Germany

Hotel Zum Storchen is situated in a quiet neighborhood of Waldkirch, just a short walk away from the historic Kirchplatz Square with its Elztal Museum that showcases the town’s famous mechanical music boxes. This small, family-run hotel is focused on sustainability and uses a variety of local materials, including oak parquet flooring and furniture sourced from the Black Forest. Amenities include a restaurant, sauna, laundry service, and complimentary WiFi internet access. The 28 guest rooms have private bath with hairdryer, in-room safe, and TV. While there is no air conditioning, fans are available in all rooms.

Number of nights: 2

Reindl’s Partenkirchner Hof

Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany

Reindl’s Partenkirchner Hof is a traditional Bavarian hotel located in the heart of Garmisch-Partenkirchen set against a scenic Alpine backdrop.  The 61-room family-owned hotel features an outdoor garden; spa and fitness area; swimming pool; bar and restaurant; and laundry and dry cleaning facilities.  Guest rooms offer balconies with mountain views and include private bath, hair dryer, complimentary wifi, TV, in-room safe, and phone.  Please note: as is customary in this Alpine destination, the hotel does not have air conditioning.

Number of nights: 1

Le Méridien Munich

Munich, Germany

In the heart of the city, Le Méridien Munich sits a short walk from a variety of the city’s main sights, including many museums, beer halls, and gardens. The hotel’s amenities include a restaurant, bar, laundry and dry cleaning services, and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access in public areas. The 381 air-conditioned guestrooms include private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, mini-bar, Wi-Fi Internet access (available for a fee), TV, and phone.

Number of nights: 2

Le Meridien Grand Hotel Nürnberg

Nuremberg, Germany

Ideally located in one of the most historically significant cities of the 20th century, Le Méridien Grand Hotel Nürnberg sits at the entrance to Nuremberg’s Old Town.  Old-world elements including a grand marble lobby add to the hotel’s charm, which also includes a restaurant and bar, laundry service, fitness center, sauna, and complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access.  Guest rooms include private bath with hairdryer, in-room safe, TV, and phone.

Number of nights: 1

Hyperion Hotel Dresden Am Schloss

Dresden, Germany

Newly opened in 2012, the Hyperion Hotel Dresden Am Schlosss sits directly across the street from Dresden Castle.  The castle was the residence of electors and kings of Saxony for over 500 years, and now houses a complex of museums and historic libraries.  Amenities of this elegant hotel include two restaurants, a bar, dry cleaning, fitness center, full spa with vaulted stone ceilings, and complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access.  Each guest room is designed to be light and airy, and features private bath with hair dryer, coffee- and tea-making facilities, TV, and phone.

Number of nights: 2

Kempinski Hotel Bristol Berlin

Berlin, Germany

Ideally located on the Kurfürstendamm, one of Berlin’s most famous shopping streets, the Kempinski Hotel Bristol Berlin allows guests to explore Berlin on foot or via nearby public transportation.  The hotel’s amenities include three restaurants and two bars, fitness center, laundry and dry cleaning service, pool, full spa, and complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access.  Each air-conditioned guest room includes private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, TV, and phone.

Number of nights: 3

Activity Level

Activity Level 2: Moderate


Expectations: One of our Classic Land Journeys, this tour features visits to many cities, iconic sites, hidden gems, and different regions. Although comprehensive, it's not rushed, but well paced and finely tuned. Expectations include longer touring days with many full-day motor coach excursions and seven different hotels. Mostly full-day excursions from four to six hours; seven afternoons at leisure. Standing and walking for long periods of time during city tours, museum visits, and outdoor activities. Daily walks of two to three miles; walking over sometimes difficult terrain (e.g. cobblestones, city hills, steep stairs without handrails, absence of elevators); some longer walks to get to city centers where coaches are prohibited. There are three coach rides of approximately two to two and a half hours and two longer drive of approximately three and a half to four hours duration. 

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

Tour Extension

Berlin Post-Program Option — 3 Days, 2 Nights

Extend your stay in the German capital, vibrant center of arts, culture, history, and contemporary life. The extension includes:

  • Accommodations for 2 nights at Kempinski Hotel Bristol Berlin
  • 2 meals: 2 breakfasts
  • Transfer to airport

Kempinski Hotel Bristol Berlin 

Ideally located on the Kurfürstendamm, one of Berlin’s most famous shopping streets, the Kempinski Hotel Bristol Berlin allows guests to explore Berlin on foot or via nearby public transportation. The hotel’s amenities include three restaurants and two bars, fitness center, laundry and dry cleaning services, pool, full spa, and complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access. Each air-conditioned guest room includes private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, TV, and phone.

Reading List
Berlin Diaries, 1940-1945
By: Marie Vassiltchikov
The secret diaries of a twenty-three-year-old White Russian princess who worked in the German Foreign Office from 1940 to 1944 and then as a nurse, these pages give us a unique picture of wartime life in that sector of German society from which the 20th of July Plot -- the conspiracy to kill Hitler -- was born.
The Cathedral Builders of the Middle Ages
By: Alain Erlande-Brandenburg, Rosemary Stonehewer
All over Europe, from Westminster to Rouen, the cathedrals of the Middle Ages still stand. This book explores the world of the medieval master mason. How were these structures built when only primitive machinery was available? Who initiated and designed them? Who built and paid for them?
DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Germany
By: DK Travel
Packed with photographs, illustrations, and detailed maps, DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Germany will lead you straight to the very best of this beautiful country, from its beautiful castles and cathedrals; popular beer halls, festivals, and Christmas markets; to walks and hikes through the countryside.This fully updated guide includes 3-D illustrated cutaways and floor plans of must-see sights, plus street-by-street maps of towns and cities. Comprehensive listings showcase the best hotels, resorts, restaurants, and nightlife in each region for all budgets.What's new in DK Eyewitness Travel Guides:   • New itineraries based on length of stay, regional destinations, and themes.    • Brand-new hotel and restaurants listings including DK's Choice recommendations.    • Restaurant locations plotted on redrawn area maps and listed with sights.    • Redesigned and refreshed interiors make the guides even easier to read. With hundreds of full-color photographs, hand-drawn illustrations, and custom maps that illuminate every page, DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Germany truly shows you this country as no one else can.
Germania: In Wayward Pursuit of the Germans and Their History
By: Simon Winder
Germania is propelled by a wish to reclaim the brilliant, chaotic, endlessly varied German civilization that the Nazis buried and ruined, and that, since 1945, so many Germans have worked to rebuild. A very funny book on serious topics---how we are misled by history, how we twist history, and how sometimes it is best to know no history at all. It is a book full of curiosities: odd food, castles, mad princes, fairy tales, and horse-mating videos. It is about the limits of language, the meaning of culture, and the pleasure of townscape, and "a book you will return to time and again" (The Florida Times-Union).
The Rhine: An Eco-biography, 1815-2000 (Weyerhaeuser Environmental Books)
By: Mark Cioc
The Rhine River is Europe’s most important commercial waterway, channeling the flow of trade among Switzerland, France, Germany, and the Netherlands. In this innovative study, Mark Cioc focuses on the river from the moment when the Congress of Vienna established a multinational commission charged with making the river more efficient for purposes of trade and commerce in 1815. He examines the engineering and administrative decisions of the next century and a half that resulted in rapid industrial growth as well as profound environmental degradation, and highlights the partially successful restoration efforts undertaken from the 1970s to the present.The Rhine is a classic example of a “multipurpose” river -- used simultaneously for transportation, for industry and agriculture, for urban drinking and sanitation needs, for hydroelectric production, and for recreation. It thus invites comparison with similarly over-burdened rivers such as the Mississippi, Hudson, Colorado, and Columbia. The Rhine’s environmental problems are, however, even greater than those of other rivers because it is so densely populated (50 million people live along its borders), so highly industrialized (10% of global chemical production), and so short (775 miles in length).Two centuries of nonstop hydraulic tinkering have resulted in a Rhine with a sleek and slender profile. In their quest for a perfect canal-like river, engineers have modified it more than any other large river in the world. As a consequence, between 1815 and 1975, the river lost most of its natural floodplain, riverside vegetation, migratory fish, and biodiversity. Recent efforts to restore that biodiversity, though heartening, can have only limited success because so many of the structural changes to the river are irreversible.The Rhine: An Eco-Biography, 1815-2000 makes clear just how central the river has been to all aspects of European political, economic, and environmental life for the past two hundred years.
The Germans
By: Gordon A. Craig
They have given mankind unique triumphs in science, literature, philosophy, music, and art. They have also produced Hitler and the Holocaust. They are romantic and conservative, idealistic and practical, proud and insecure, ruthless and good-natured. They are, in short, the Germans. In this definitive history, Professor Gordon A. Craig, one of the world’s premier authorities on Germany, comes to grips with the complex paradoxes at the heart of the German identity. His masterly study explores the roots of many contemporary institutions in German history and closely examines such topics as religion, money, Germans and Jews, women, professors and students, romantics, literature and society, soldiers, Berlin, and the German language. Craig also discusses the events surrounding the fall of the Berlin Wall and the German reunification, while offering invaluable insights into Germany’s pivotal role in world affairs for over a century.
Prost!: The Story of German Beer
By: Horst D. Dornbusch
In Prost! author Horst Dornbusch has extracted from his vast knowledge of German history and beer all of its best parts, and mixed into a fine brew. 141 b/w illustrations and photos, 1 table
The German Way : Aspects of Behavior, Attitudes, and Customs in the German-Speaking World
By: Hyde Flippo
For All Students Ideal for a variety of courses, this completely up-to-date, alphabetically organized handbook helps students understand how people from German-speaking nations think, do business, and act in their daily lives.
The Penguin Historical Atlas of the Medieval World
By: Andrew Jotischky, Caroline Hull
The Penguin Historical Atlas of the Medieval World traces the development of peoples, cultures, and faiths between the coming of the barbarian invasions in the fourth century and the first voyages to the New World in the sixteenth. This colorful atlas illustrates the sweeping changes from the fall of the Roman Empire to the birth of Islam, the rise of Christianity, and the role of Judaism across Europe. Packed with vivid maps and photographs, this atlas is a perfect guide to Europe and its neighbors in the Middle Ages.
Berlin: Portrait of a City Through the Centuries
By: Rory MacLean
A Washington Post Best Book of the YearBerlin is a city of fragments and ghosts, a laboratory of ideas, the fount of both the brightest and darkest designs of history's most bloody century. The once arrogant capital of Europe was devastated by Allied bombs, divided by the Wall, then reunited and reborn as one of the creative centers of the world. Today it resonates with the echo of lives lived. No other city has repeatedly been so powerful and fallen so low; few other cities have been so shaped and defined by individual imaginations.Berlin tells the volatile history of Europe's capital over five centuries through a series of intimate portraits of two dozen key residents: the medieval balladeer whose suffering explains the Nazis' rise to power; the genius Jewish chemist who invented poison gas for First World War battlefields and then the death camps; the iconic mythmakers like Christopher Isherwood, Leni Riefenstahl, and David Bowie, whose heated visions are now as real as the city's bricks and mortar. Alongside are portrayed some of the countless ordinary Berliners whose lives can only be imagined: the ambitious prostitute who refashioned herself as a baroness, the fearful Communist Party functionary who helped to build the Wall, and the American spy from the Midwest whose patriotism may have turned the course of the Cold War.Berlin is a history book like no other, with an originality that reflects the nature of the city itself. In its architecture, through its literature, in its movies and songs, Berliners have conjured their hard capital into a place of fantastic human fantasy. No other city has so often surrendered itself to its own seductive myths. Berlin captures, portrays, and propagates the remarkable story of those myths and their makers.
All Along the Rhine: Recipes, Wine and Lore from Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria, Liechtenstein and Holland
By: Kay Shaw Nelson
Over 130 Rhine recipes include dishes such as Cheeze Fondue, Balzers Split Pea-Sausage Stew, Alpine Sauerkraut Soup', Bratwurst in Beer and Pears in Red Wine. Each chapter covers the culinary history and winemaking tradition of a different Rhine region.
The Burgermeister's Daughter: Scandal in a Sixteenth-Century German Town
By: Steven Ozment
In an era when women were supposed to be disciplined and obedient, Anna proved to be neither. Defying 16th-century social mores, she was the frequent subject of gossip because of her immodest dress and flirtatious behavior. When her wealthy father discovered that she was having secret, simultaneous affairs with a young nobleman and a cavalryman, he turned her out of the house in rage, but when she sued him for financial support, he had her captured, returned home and chained to a table as punishment. Anna eventually escaped and continued her suit against her father, her siblings and her home town in a bitter legal battle that was to last 30 years and end only upon her death. Drawn from her surviving love letters and court records, The Burgermeister's Daughter is a fascinating examination of the politics of sexuality, gender and family in the 16th century, and a powerful testament to the courage and tenacity of a woman who defied the inequalities of this distant age.
Nuremberg : Infamy on Trial
By: Joseph E. Persico
"A vivid reconstruction of the actions of the wartime allies and the Nazi elite at Nuremberg. Persico eaily carries us into a deeper understanding of the trials."—New York Newsday.
Oberammergau: The Troubling Story of the World's Most Famous Passion Play
By: James Shapiro
The Bavarian village of Oberammergau has staged the trial, crucifixion, and resurrection of Christ nearly every decade since 1634. Each production of the Passion Play attracts hundreds of thousands, many drawn by the spiritual benefits it promises. Yet Hitler called it a convincing portrayal of the menace of Jewry, and in 1970 a group of international luminaries boycotted the play for its anti-Semitism. As the production for the year 2000 drew near, James Shapiro was there to document the newest wave of obstacles that faced the determined Bavarian villagers. Erudite and judicious, Oberammergau is a fascinating and important look at the unpredictable and sometimes tragic relationship between art and society, belief and tolerance, religion and politics.
Dresden: Tuesday, February 13, 1945
By: Frederick Taylor
For decades it has been assumed that the Allied bombing of Dresden -- a cultured city famous for its china, chocolate, and fine watches -- was militarily unjustifiable, an act of retribution for Germany's ceaseless bombing of London and other parts of England.Now, Frederick Taylor's groundbreaking research offers a completely new examination of the facts and reveals that Dresden was a highly militarized city actively involved in the production of military armaments and communications. Incorporating first-hand accounts, contemporaneous press material and memoirs, and never-before-seen government records, Taylor proves unequivocally the very real military threat Dresden posed -- and how a legacy of propaganda shrouded the truth for sixty years.
Hitler and the Holocaust (Modern Library Chronicles)
By: Robert S. Wistrich
Hitler and the Holocaust is the product of a lifetime’s work by one of the world’s foremost authorities on the history of anti-Semitism and modern Jewry. Robert S. Wistrich examines Europe’s long history of violence against its Jewish populations, looks at the forces that shaped Hitler’s belief in a “satanic Jewish power” that must be eradicated, and discusses the process by which Hitler gained power and finalized his plans for mass genocide. He concludes by addressing the abiding legacy of the Holocaust and the lessons that can be drawn from it. Combining a comprehensive picture of one of the most cataclysmic periods in recent history with contemporary scholarly developments and fresh historical inquiry, Hitler and the Holocaust is an indelible contribution to the literature of history.
A Time of Gifts: On Foot to Constantinople: From the Hook of Holland to the Middle Danube (New York Review Books Classics)
By: Patrick Leigh Fermor, Jan Morris
At the age of eighteen, Patrick Leigh Fermor set off from the heart of London on an epic journey—to walk to Constantinople. A Time of Gifts is the rich account of his adventures as far as Hungary, after which Between the Woods and the Water continues the story to the Iron Gates that divide the Carpathian and Balkan mountains. Acclaimed for its sweep and intelligence, Leigh Fermor’s book explores a remarkable moment in time. Hitler has just come to power but war is still ahead, as he walks through a Europe soon to be forever changed—through the Lowlands to Mitteleuropa, to Teutonic and Slav heartlands, through the baroque remains of the Holy Roman Empire; up the Rhine, and down to the Danube. At once a memoir of coming-of-age, an account of a journey, and a dazzling exposition of the English language, A Time of Gifts is also a portrait of a continent already showing ominous signs of the holocaust to come.
The Blue Flower: A Novel
By: Penelope Fitzgerald
“An astonishing book . . . Fitzgerald’s greatest triumph.” —New York Times Book ReviewThe Blue Flower is set in the age of Goethe, in the small towns and great universities of late eighteenth-century Germany. It tells the true story of Friedrich von Hardenberg, a passionate, impetuous student of philosophy who will later gain fame as the Romantic poet Novalis. Fritz seeks his father’s permission to wed his “heart's heart,” his “spirit's guide”—a plain, simple child named Sophie von Kühn. It is an attachment that shocks his family and friends. Their brilliant young Fritz, betrothed to a twelve-year-old dullard? How can this be?The irrationality of love, the transfiguration of the commonplace, the clarity of purpose that comes with knowing one’s own fate—these are the themes of this beguiling novel, themes treated with a mix of wit, grace, and mischievous humor unique to the art of Penelope Fitzgerald.“An extraordinary imagining . . . an original masterpiece.” —Hermione Lee, Financial Times
Leaving Berlin: A Novel
By: Joseph Kanon
New York Times Notable Book * NPR Best Books 2015 * Wall Street Journal Best Books of 2015 The acclaimed author of The Good German “deftly captures the ambience” (The New York Times Book Review) of postwar East Berlin in his “thought-provoking, pulse-pounding” (Wall Street Journal) New York Times bestseller—a sweeping spy thriller about a city caught between political idealism and the harsh realities of Soviet occupation.Berlin, 1948. Almost four years after the war’s end, the city is still in ruins, a physical wasteland and a political symbol about to rupture. In the West, a defiant, blockaded city is barely surviving on airlifted supplies; in the East, the heady early days of political reconstruction are being undermined by the murky compromises of the Cold War. Espionage, like the black market, is a fact of life. Even culture has become a battleground, with German intellectuals being lured back from exile to add credibility to the competing sectors. Alex Meier, a young Jewish writer, fled the Nazis for America before the war. But the politics of his youth have now put him in the crosshairs of the McCarthy witch-hunts. Faced with deportation and the loss of his family, he makes a desperate bargain with the fledgling CIA: he will earn his way back to America by acting as their agent in his native Berlin. But almost from the start things go fatally wrong. A kidnapping misfires, an East German agent is killed, and Alex finds himself a wanted man. Worse, he discovers his real assignment—to spy on the woman he left behind, the only woman he has ever loved. Changing sides in Berlin is as easy as crossing a sector border. But where do we draw the lines of our moral boundaries? At betrayal? Survival? Murder? Joseph Kanon’s compelling thriller is a love story that brilliantly brings a shadowy period of history vividly to life.
In a German pension . By: Katherine Mansfield: is a collection of thirteen stories mostly portraying the interactions amongst pension residents on a ... Soul," "The Advanced Lady" and nine others.
By: Katherine Mansfield
"In a German Pension" is a collection of thirteen stories mostly portraying the interactions amongst pension residents on a German town.Rich, psychologically probing stories: "Germans at Meat," "The Baron," "The Modern Soul," "The Advanced Lady" and nine others. Kathleen Mansfield Murry (14 October 1888 – 9 January 1923) was a prominent New Zealand modernist short story writer who was born and brought up in colonial New Zealand and wrote under the pen name of Katherine Mansfield. At 19, Mansfield left New Zealand and settled in the United Kingdom, where she became a friend of modernist writers such as D.H. Lawrence and Virginia Woolf. In 1917 she was diagnosed with extrapulmonary tuberculosis, which led to her death at the age of 34.
Hero Tales and Legends of the Rhine
By: Lewis Spence
Steeped in mystery and romance, guarded by great medieval castles perched high above its broad waters, the Rhine is one of the most storied and evocative rivers in Europe. For this volume, noted mythologist Lewis Spence has combed through the abundant literature written about the Rhine and its legends and chosen a rich selection of the best, most characteristic tales.Arranged to correspond with a journey along the Rhine from sea to source, the tales recount the lives and deeds of a host of mythic figures — Odin the All-father and Brunhild; Lorelei, a siren whose singing lured sailors to death on the rocks; Lohengrin, a knight of the Holy Grail; Siegfried; the Jester of Heidelberg; Sigurd; Venus and Tannhäuser; and many more. Twenty-four atmospheric illustrations capture the enchanted mood of these stories as well as providing views of such famous landmarks as Heidelberg Castle, Oppenheim Abbey, the Castle of Cleves, cathedrals in Cologne, Worms, and Strasbourg, and other sites.In addition, Mr. Spence has supplied an informative introduction dealing with the historical development, folklore, poetry, and art of the Rhine. Readers interested in mythology and folklore in general, and Teutonic mythology in particular, will find here a splendid sampling of time-honored tales.
Travel Insurance

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

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

Terms and conditions

Mission

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

What Is Included in the Tour Cost

  • Expertise of a Smithsonian Journeys expert, tour director and local guides throughout the tour
  • All gratuities for the expert, tour director, on-tour guides and drivers
  • On-tour medical evacuation insurance (up to $100,000), emergency medical expense coverage (up to $25,000), dental expense coverage (up to $500), travel medical assistance and worldwide travel assistance (U.S. residents only)
  • Pre-tour information, including a reading list
  • Transfers and luggage handling abroad (for air inclusive guests)
  • All on-tour transportation including flights within the itinerary, unless otherwise noted
  • All accommodations for the duration of the tour
  • Meals, as noted in the itinerary (B-breakfast; L-lunch; D-dinner)
  • All sightseeing and visits as noted in each itinerary
  • Airfare to/from your departure city, airline taxes, surcharges, and fees, which are subject to change until final payment is made (for air inclusive guests only)

What Is Not Included in the Tour Cost

  • Passport and all visa fees and photos; immunization(s); and any other travel documentation fees as required
  • Optional travel insurance, including cancellation/delay/lost baggage insurance (learn more at TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys)
  • Personal items, unless otherwise stated, such as wine, liquors, 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
  • Transfers and baggage handling abroad when purchasing “land only” package
  • Communication Charges (e.g.: phone, internet, etc.)
  • Other items noted as optional or not specifically mentioned as included
  • Airfare from your hometown to your departure city (for air inclusive guests only).

Registration

To submit a reservation request, please use our secure online system at SmithsonianJourneys.org or contact a Cultural Travel Specialist, at 1-855-330-1542 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 by a Reservation Specialist of your status once 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 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 per person 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 (180 for Alaska) 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 contact a Cultural Travel Specialist, at 1-855-330-1542 Mon-Fri 9 am - 7 pm; Sat 9 am – 4 pm (Eastern Time), or SJReservations@si.edu and SmithsonianJourneys.org.

A Note about Costs

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

Wait List

If the tour of your choice is fully subscribed, you may choose to be placed on a wait list by contacting a Reservation Specialist at 1-855-330-1542 Monday - Friday 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. (Eastern Time), at SJReservations@si.edu or at www.SmithsonianJourneys.org/Contact. Individuals on the wait list will be contacted if space becomes available and can inquire about tour status by contacting a Reservation Specialist. If you choose to withdraw from a wait list, please notify us.  

Cancellation and Refund Policy

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

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

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

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

Smithsonian Journeys recommends that all participants purchase travel insurance.

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 Warning is issued for the destination.

Air Service

For tours that include round-trip international airfare, rates are based on economy class from designated departure cities as shown.  Airfares from other cities are available upon request.  Airline upgrades at additional cost may be available on request for the international portion of your flight.  If an air schedule requires an overnight stay in a gateway city, the cost of the overnight will be at your expense.  For tours that include round-trip international airfare, the tour operator  will be happy to help with arrangements. Please note that seat assignments for your international flights is usually done at airport check-in. The tour operator is unable to guarantee any seat assignments.

When planning our tours that include international round-trip airfare, the tour operator contracts with those airlines that they feel provide the level of service, routings, and value necessary for your entire trip. While another airline may offer a more direct connection, it may be at a price unavailable at the lower group rates that enable us to offer you the best possible travel value. Please note that frequent flyer mileage credits are issued at the discretion of the airline(s) and may not be available for the flights on your tour. If you prefer to make your own airline reservations, “land only” pricing is available on most of our tours.

Air Service/Tickets Purchased Independently of the Tour

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

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

Travel Insurance- Cancellation/Delay/Lost Baggage

Smithsonian Journeys recommends that all participants purchase travel insurance.  Learn more at TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys.

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.

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 after the tour. Our tour operators will work with you on these arrangements, dependent upon space availability.  . For participants using air, only post tour extensions are offered. Tour operator may be able to assist land only participants with pre-tour arrangements.

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

Dispute Resolution

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

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

Photography and Video

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

Smoking Policy

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

READ CAREFULLY: RESPONSIBILITY STATEMENT AND LIABILITY DISCLAIMER

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

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

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

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

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