The Power and Potential of the U.S.–European Relationship Featuring Budapest, Berlin, and a Danube River Cruise Aboard the Crystal Mahler.

Starting at: $14,990 Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Parliament Building, Budapest, along the Danube  Lovely Durnstein on the Danube at night  The Wachau Valley of the Danube, a World Heritage site, Austria  The beautiful Strauss memorial in Vienna  The Reichstag, Parliament Building, Berlin  The striking contemporary glass dome of Berlin's Reichstag

Global Symposium

The Power and Potential of the U.S.–European Relationship

12 days from $14,990

The Power and Potential of the U.S.–European Relationship Featuring Budapest, Berlin, and a Danube River Cruise Aboard the Crystal Mahler.

or Call 855-330-1542

Activity Level

Level 2: Moderate

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


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

Ship

Crystal Mahler

Discover comfort and elegance with lush spaces, indulgent amenities, and enriching entertainment aboard the 106-guest Crystal Mahler. With the highest staff-to-guest ratio among all European river ships and a professional crew and staff chosen for the expertise and friendly demeanor, the Crystal Mahler sets the stage for a journey beyond compare. With menus of Michelin-level quality sourced with the freshest ingredients paired with the finest wines, every meal aboard is a celebration of the ever-changing riverscape. Each cabin on Crystal Mahler comes with king beds or two double beds with bedside charging stations, wall-mounted flat-screen TVs with on-demand as well as live TV, Nespresso machines, iPads for use onboard, desk/vanities and full-length mirrors. Binoculars, bathrobes, safes, umbrellas shore excursions are provided for use during your cruise. Because every cabin is located above water level, all rooms have panoramic balcony windows, which open from the top down with the push of a button. Cabin butler service is provided for each guest on board. Take in the spectacular river views from the canopied seating areas top deck, enjoy refreshments and conversation in the cozy Palm Court lounge and sumptuous meals in the Waterside Restaurant. There is a full fitness center, spa, and complimentary WiFi.

Crystal Mahler

Discover comfort and elegance with lush spaces, indulgent amenities, and enriching entertainment aboard the 106-guest Crystal Mahler. With the highest staff-to-guest ratio among all European river ships and a professional crew and staff chosen for the expertise and friendly demeanor, the Crystal Mahler sets the stage for a journey beyond compare. With menus of Michelin-level quality sourced with the freshest ingredients paired with the finest wines, every meal aboard is a celebration of the ever-changing riverscape. Each cabin on Crystal Mahler comes with king beds or two double beds with bedside charging stations, wall-mounted flat-screen TVs with on-demand as well as live TV, Nespresso machines, iPads for use onboard, desk/vanities and full-length mirrors. Binoculars, bathrobes, safes, umbrellas shore excursions are provided for use during your cruise. Because every cabin is located above water level, all rooms have panoramic balcony windows, which open from the top down with the push of a button. Cabin butler service is provided for each guest on board. Take in the spectacular river views from the canopied seating areas top deck, enjoy refreshments and conversation in the cozy Palm Court lounge and sumptuous meals in the Waterside Restaurant. There is a full fitness center, spa, and complimentary WiFi.

Reading List
The Danube: A Journey Upriver from the Black Sea to the Black Forest
By: Nick Thorpe
The author takes us on an unexpected journey up the Danube, where we encounter a remarkable and unfamiliar world The magnificent Danube both cuts across and connects central Europe, flowing through and alongside ten countries: Romania, Ukraine, Moldova, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, and Germany. Travelling its full length from east to west, against the river’s flow, Nick Thorpe embarks on an inspiring year-long journey that leads to a new perspective on Europe today. Thorpe’s account is personal, conversational, funny, immediate, and uniquely observant—everything a reader expects in the best travel writing. Immersing himself in the Danube’s waters during daily morning swims, Thorpe likewise becomes immersed in the histories of the lands linked by the river. He observes the river’s ecological conditions, some discouraging and others hopeful, and encounters archaeological remains that whisper of human communities sustained by the river over eight millennia. Most fascinating of all are the ordinary and extraordinary people along the way—the ferrymen and fishermen, workers in the fields, shopkeepers, beekeepers, waitresses, smugglers and border policemen, legal and illegal immigrants, and many more. For readers who anticipate their own journeys on the Danube, as well as those who only dream of seeing the great river, this book will be a unique and treasured guide.
For the Record
By: David Cameron
David Cameron was elected Conservative leader in 2005, promising to modernize the party following its three successive electoral defeats. He became Prime Minister in 2010, forming Britain’s first coalition government in 70 years, at a moment of economic crisis, and went on to win the first outright Conservative majority for 23 years at the 2015 general election.In For the Record, he will explain how the governments he led transformed the UK economy while implementing a modern, compassionate agenda that included reforming education and welfare, legalizing gay marriage, honoring the UK’s commitment to overseas aid and spearheading environmental policies. He will shed light on the seminal world events of his premiership—the Arab Spring; the rise of ISIS; the invasion of Ukraine; the conflicts in Libya, Iraq and Syria—as well as events at home, from the Olympic Games in 2012 to the Scottish referendum. He will provide, for the first time, his perspective on the EU referendum and his views on the future of Britain’s place in the world following Brexit.Revealing the battles and achievements of his life and career in intimate and frank detail, For the Record will be an important assessment of the significant political events of the last decade, the nature of power and the role of leadership at a time of profound global change.
Leadership: In Turbulent Times
By: Doris Kearns Goodwin
The New York Times bestselling book about the early development, growth, and exercise of leadership from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Doris Kearns Goodwin “should help us raise our expectations of our national leaders, our country, and ourselves” (The Washington Post).“After five decades of magisterial output, Doris Kearns Goodwin leads the league of presidential historians” (USA TODAY). In her “inspiring” (The Christian Science Monitor) Leadership, Doris Kearns Goodwin draws upon the four presidents she has studied most closely—Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon B. Johnson (in civil rights)—to show how they recognized leadership qualities within themselves and were recognized as leaders by others. By looking back to their first entries into public life, we encounter them at a time when their paths were filled with confusion, fear, and hope. Leadership tells the story of how they all collided with dramatic reversals that disrupted their lives and threatened to shatter forever their ambitions. Nonetheless, they all emerged fitted to confront the contours and dilemmas of their times. At their best, all four were guided by a sense of moral purpose. At moments of great challenge, they were able to summon their talents to enlarge the opportunities and lives of others. Does the leader make the times or do the times make the leader? “If ever our nation needed a short course on presidential leadership, it is now” (The Seattle Times). This seminal work provides an accessible and essential road map for aspiring and established leaders in every field. In today’s polarized world, these stories of authentic leadership in times of apprehension and fracture take on a singular urgency. “Goodwin’s volume deserves much praise—it is insightful, readable, compelling: Her book arrives just in time” (The Boston Globe).
Europe Recast: A History of European Union
By: Desmond Dinan
Thoroughly revised to reflect a decade of recent history―and incorporating newly available archival material and the latest scholarship―Europe Recast tells the story of European integration from its modern origins in the 1940s to the challenges of today. The book is an essential guide to unraveling the complexity of the EU system in the context of modern European history.
Defense of the West: NATO, the European Union and the transatlantic bargain
By: Stanley R. Sloan
This book delivers a clear and balanced interpretive history of transatlantic security relations from the late-1940s to the present day. The author writes in the authoritative and highly readable style that has made his work required reading for policy makers as well as academic experts on and students of International Relations on both sides of the Atlantic. The lively text is also highly accessible for the citizen who wants to develop an understanding of how the United States and Europe came to their current, complex security relationship. The analysis suggests that the democratic principles and shared interests on which NATO and the European Union are based serve as the foundation for 'the West', a term that originated in the Cold War conflict between western democracies and the Soviet Union, but which continues to have meaning today in light of new challenges to Western security.
Budapest 1900: A Historical Portrait of a City and Its Culture
By: John Lukacs
"Lukacs's book is a lyrical, sometimes dazzling, never merely nostalgic evocation of a glorious period in the city's history. . . . {His} true sympathy lies . . . not with the famous expatriates, but with the writers and intellectuals who lived and died at home: the poets Endre Ady and Mihaly Babits; the novelists Ferenc Herczeg, Sandor Hunyady, Frigyes Karinthy, Dezso Kosztolanyi, Gyula Krudy, Kalman Mikszath, and Zsigmond Moricz; the political essayist DezsoSzabo; the playwright Erno Szep; the literary historian Antal Szerb; and others. . . . {John Lukacs} sets out to explain Hungarian literature to English-speaking readers. Though I have no idea whether or not he will succeed, few interpreters of Hungarian literature have made a more touching and eloquent attempt." -- The New York Review of Books
A Nervous Splendor: Vienna 1888-1889
By: Frederic Morton
On January 30, 1889, at the champagne-splashed hight of the Viennese Carnival, the handsome and charming Crown Prince Rudolf fired a revolver at his teenaged mistress and then himself. The two shots that rang out at Mayerling in the Vienna Woods echo still.Frederic Morton, author of the bestselling Rothschilds, deftly tells the haunting story of the Prince and his city, where, in the span of only ten months, "the Western dream started to go wrong." In Rudolf's Vienna moved other young men with striking intellectual and artistic talents—and all as frustrated as the Prince. Among them were: young Sigmund Freud, Gustav Mahler, Theodor Herzl, Gustav Klimt, and the playwright Arthur Schnitzler, whose La Ronde was the great erotic drama of the fin de siecle. Morton studies these and other gifted young men, interweaving their fates with that of the doomed Prince and the entire city through to the eve of Easter, just after Rudolf's body is lowered into its permanent sarcophagus and a son named Adolf Hitler is born to Frau Klara Hitler.
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.
Danube: A Sentimental Journey from the Source to the Black Sea (FSG Classics)
By: Claudio Magris
In this acclaimed international bestseller, Claudio Magris tracks the Danube River, setting his finger on the pulse of Central Europe, the crucible of a culture that draws on influences of East and West, Christianity and Islam. In each town he raises the ghosts that inhabit the houses and monuments, from Ovid and Marcus Aurelius to Kafka and Canetti, in "a fascinating blend of anecdote and history" (San Francisco Examiner).
The Danube: A Cultural History (Landscapes of the Imagination)
By: Andrew Beattie
The Danube is the longest river in western and central Europe. Rising amidst the beautiful wooded hills of Germany's Black Forest, it touches or winds its way through ten countries and four capital cities before emptying into the Black Sea through a vast delta whose silt filled channels spread across eastern Romania. From earliest times, the river has provided a route from Europe to Asia that was followed by armies and traders, while empires, from the Macedonian to the Habsburg, rose and fell along its length. Then, in the middle of the twentieth century, the Danube took on the role of a watery thread that unified a continent divided by the Iron Curtain. In the late 1980s the Iron Curtain lifted but the Danube valley soon became an arena for conflict during the violent break up of the former Yugoslavia. Now, passing as it does through some of the world's youngest nations, including Slovakia, Croatia, Serbia, Moldova, and Ukraine, the river is a tangible symbol of a new, peaceful, and united Europe as well as a vital artery for commercial and leisure shipping. Andrew Beattie explores the turbulent past and vibrant present of the landscape through which the Danube flows, where the enduring legacies of historical regimes from the Romans to the Nazis have all left their mark.
The Habsburgs: Dynasty, Culture and Politics
By: Paula Sutter Fichtner
The death of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo in 1914 not only sparked the beginning of World War I―it also initiated the beginning of the end of the six-hundred-year-old Habsburg dynasty, which fell apart when the war ended, changing Europe forever. But how did the Habsburgs come to play such a decisive role in the fate of the continent? Paula Sutter Fichtner seeks to answer this question in this comprehensive account of the longest-lived European empire.   Tracing the origins of the house of Habsburg to the tenth century, Fichtner identifies the principal characters in the story and explores how they were able to hold together such a culturally diverse and multiethnic state for so many centuries. She takes account of the intertwining of culture, politics, and society, revealing the strategies that enabled the dynasty’s extraordinarily long life: its dazzling mix of cultural propaganda, public performances, and cunning political maneuvering. She points out the irony that one of the crowd-pleasing performances that had enabled the Habsburg success―visiting beds of the injured―led to Ferdinand’s death and the empire’s downfall. Breathing fresh life into the history of the Habsburg reign, this accessible and authoritative history charts one of the pivotal foundation stories of modern Europe.
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
This beloved account about an intrepid young Englishman on the first leg of his walk from London to Constantinople is simply one of the best works of travel literature ever written. 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.
Frederick the Great: King of Prussia
By: Tim Blanning
Frederick the Great
Mozart: A Life
By: Paul Johnson
“Most satisfying . . . A highly accessible initial foray into an astonishing, and inexhaustible, subject.” —The Cleveland Plain DealerMozart’s music has enthralled listeners for centuries. In this brilliant biography, acclaimed historian Paul Johnson draws upon his expert knowledge of the era and Mozart’s own private letters to conjure Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s life and times in rich detail. Johnson charts Mozart’s life from age three through to his later years—when he penned The Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni. Along the way, Johnson challenges some of the popular myths that cloud Mozart’s image: his allegedly tempestuous personal relationships and supposedly bitter rivalry with Salieri, as well as the notion that he was desperately impoverished when he died. The result—a bold, invigorating portrait of one of the most popular and influential composers of all time—is a welcome addition to Johnson’s extraordinary body of work and makes a perfect gift for classical music lovers and fans of biographies.
The Third Man and The Fallen Idol (Classic, 20th-Century, Penguin)
By: Graham Greene
The Third Man is Greene's brilliant recreation of post-war Vienna, a city of desolate poverty occupied by four powers. Rollo Martins, a second-rate novelist, arrives penniless in Vienna to visit his old friend and hero Harry Lime. Harry is dead, but the circumstances surrounding his death are highly suspicious, and his reputation, at the very least, dubious.Graham Greene said of The Third Man that he "wanted to entertain [people], to frighten them a little, to make them laugh" and the result is both a compelling narrative and a haunting thriller. The Fallen Idol is the chilling story of a small boy caught up in the games that adults play. Left in the care of the butler, Baines, and his wife, Philip realizes too late the danger of lies and deceit. But the truth is even deadlier.For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
The Reichstag
By: Norman Foster, Chris Abel
In the 1990s Norman Foster transformed Berlin’s Reichstag from a historical symbol of Germany’s defeat and division to an architectural beacon for twenty-first century democracy, as can be seen in this generously illustrated book. This book introduces readers to one of Europe’s iconic buildings and documents its rehabilitation by Foster + Partners through full-color photographs, plans, and sketches, along with informative essays. The new Reichstag’s cutting-edge and environmentally sustainable features; the preservation of its historic details; and the cupola’s new identity as an urban landmark are all discussed in the book, confirming Foster’s innovative vision.
Potsdam: The End of World War II and the Remaking of Europe
By: Michael Neiberg
The definitive account of the 1945 Potsdam Conference: the historic summit where Truman, Stalin, and Churchill met to determine the fate of post-World War II EuropeAfter Germany's defeat in World War II, Europe lay in tatters. Millions of refugees were dispersed across the continent. Food and fuel were scarce. Britain was bankrupt, while Germany had been reduced to rubble. In July of 1945, Harry Truman, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin gathered in a quiet suburb of Berlin to negotiate a lasting peace: a peace that would finally put an end to the conflagration that had started in 1914, a peace under which Europe could be rebuilt.The award-winning historian Michael Neiberg brings the turbulent Potsdam conference to life, vividly capturing the delegates' personalities: Truman, trying to escape from the shadow of Franklin Roosevelt, who had died only months before; Churchill, bombastic and seemingly out of touch; Stalin, cunning and meticulous. For the first week, negotiations progressed relatively smoothly. But when the delegates took a recess for the British elections, Churchill was replaced-both as prime minster and as Britain's representative at the conference-in an unforeseen upset by Clement Attlee, a man Churchill disparagingly described as "a sheep in sheep's clothing." When the conference reconvened, the power dynamic had shifted dramatically, and the delegates struggled to find a new balance. Stalin took advantage of his strong position to demand control of Eastern Europe as recompense for the suffering experienced by the Soviet people and armies. The final resolutions of the Potsdam Conference, notably the division of Germany and the Soviet annexation of Poland, reflected the uneasy geopolitical equilibrium between East and West that would come to dominate the twentieth century.As Neiberg expertly shows, the delegates arrived at Potsdam determined to learn from the mistakes their predecessors made in the Treaty of Versailles. But, riven by tensions and dramatic debates over how to end the most recent war, they only dimly understood that their discussions of peace were giving birth to a new global conflict.
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.
Forty Autumns: A Family's Story of Courage and Survival on Both Sides of the Berlin Wall
By: Nina Willner
In this illuminating and deeply moving memoir, a former American military intelligence officer goes beyond traditional Cold War espionage tales to tell the true story of her family—of five women separated by the Iron Curtain for more than forty years, and their miraculous reunion after the fall of the Berlin Wall.Forty Autumns makes visceral the pain and longing of one family forced to live apart in a world divided by two. At twenty, Hanna escaped from East to West Germany. But the price of freedom—leaving behind her parents, eight siblings, and family home—was heartbreaking. Uprooted, Hanna eventually moved to America, where she settled down with her husband and had children of her own. Growing up near Washington, D.C., Hanna’s daughter, Nina Willner became the first female Army Intelligence Officer to lead sensitive intelligence operations in East Berlin at the height of the Cold War. Though only a few miles separated American Nina and her German relatives—grandmother Oma, Aunt Heidi, and cousin, Cordula, a member of the East German Olympic training team—a bitter political war kept them apart. In Forty Autumns, Nina recounts her family’s story—five ordinary lives buffeted by circumstances beyond their control. She takes us deep into the tumultuous and terrifying world of East Germany under Communist rule, revealing both the cruel reality her relatives endured and her own experiences as an intelligence officer, running secret operations behind the Berlin Wall that put her life at risk. A personal look at a tenuous era that divided a city and a nation, and continues to haunt us, Forty Autumns is an intimate and beautifully written story of courage, resilience, and love—of five women whose spirits could not be broken, and who fought to preserve what matters most: family. Forty Autumns is illustrated with dozens of black-and-white and color photographs.
24x36 World Wall Map by Smithsonian Journeys - Tan Oceans Special Edition (24x36 Paper Folded)
By: Smithsonian Journeys
Swiftmaps is proud to partner with Smithsonian Journeys to bring a new and exciting World Map series to the American marketplace. Featuring eye-catching bold and vivid colors complemented with rich vintage tan ocean tones that will make this the perfect reference piece --- sure to stand-out and highlight any home or business wall. The precise detail and digital accuracy shows color-matching visual shaded 3D relief and other physical features without sacrificing the maps readability. Now printed on high-quality 80 lb. paper and professionally FOLDED in a compact 8x10 inch size. FEATURES: 1) Africa centered allowing viewers to see continents complete and intact 2) Clearly labeled country and city names for easy location 3) Latitude and longitude indications 4) Shaded relief of ocean and land topography 4) Desirable Miller Projection. The Smithsonian Journeys wall map series serve not only as a handy reference piece, but as an eye-catching accent for any room or office. NOTE: each map is professionally folded to 8x10 inches and when unfolded the map is 24 inches high and 36 inches wide.
Travel Insurance

For the convenience of our travelers, Smithsonian Journeys provides an on-tour Provided Insurance Plan from 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.

You may visit www.TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys or call Travel Guard at 1.800.208.6142 about additional travel insurance options.

Terms and conditions

Our Mission

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

What Is Provided With Your 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 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)
  • Pre-tour information, including a reading list Transfers and luggage handling abroad for all travelers whose arrival(s)/departure(s) coincide with the scheduled group transfer(s) All on-tour transportation unless otherwise noted
  • All accommodations for the duration of the tour Meals, as noted in the itinerary (B-breakfast; L-lunch; D-dinner; R-reception)
  • All sightseeing and visits as noted in each itinerary

What Is Not Provided With Your Tour

  • Cost 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, internet, etc.)
  • Other items noted as optional or not specifically mentioned as included

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.

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).

Payments

An initial deposit of $2,500 per person to Smithsonian Journeys is required to reserve a space on this tour.

A second deposit of $2,500 per person is due 210 days prior to departure (February 8, 2020) made by credit card or check to the tour operator. These deposits are applied to the final payment of the tour price.

Final payment is due 120 days prior to departure (May 8, 2020), unless otherwise noted. Balance is due upon invoicing by the tour operator. If full payment is not received by the final payment due date, your place cannot be guaranteed on the tour.

Late Registration

Any registration received within 120 days of departure is considered “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 waitlist 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 – 4pm (Eastern Time,) at SJReservations@si.edu or SmithsonianJourneys.org. 

Cancellation and Refund Policy

Following enrollment, a traveler’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 14 days of booking: Full Refund (unless it is within final payment date of May 8, 2020/120 days before departure) 
  • Cancellations after 14 days of booking: $500 per person retained
  • Cancellations on or after February 8, 2020: Entire deposit of $5,000 per person retained
  • Cancellations made within final payment date of May 8, 2020 / 120 days prior to departure: No Refund
  • Cancellation by Smithsonian Journeys: Full Refund or Credit

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.

Changes to Your Reservation 

We will not charge a fee for any changes made to your reservation outside 120 days (final payment) of departure. From 119 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 120 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- Cancellation/Delay/Lost Baggage

Smithsonian Journeys recommends that all participants purchase travel insurance.

Travel Documents and Information

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

For all international departures, a passport valid for at least six months after the completion of your tour, and with at least six blank visa pages, is required for U.S. citizens on all tours. 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 bathroom.

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 operator will work with you on these arrangements, dependent upon space availability. Your pre-tour bulletins will further explain all options.

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

Dispute Resolution

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, 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.

Updated August 13, 2019