For over a thousand years, pilgrims have hiked the Camino de Santiago across northern Spain. Whether you’re on a spiritual journey or simply want the thrill of hiking this famous pilgrimage route, join us on this new Active Journey.

Starting at: $5,995 Register Interest or Call 833-254-6678
 Shell symbol for El Camino de Santiago  The cathedral at Santiago de Compostela  Monument to the running of the bulls in Pamplona  The cathedral in Santiago de Compostela  Cabo Fisterra, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean

Hiking and History Along El Camino de Santiago

11 days from $5,995

For over a thousand years, pilgrims have hiked the Camino de Santiago across northern Spain. Whether you’re on a spiritual journey or simply want the thrill of hiking this famous pilgrimage route, join us on this new Active Journey.

or Call 833-254-6678

Accommodations

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

Hotel Roncesvalles

Roncesvalles, Spain

Hotel Roncesvalles offers free Wi-Fi and bright rooms with a flat-screen TV. This restored Medieval hospital is next to Roncesvalles Monastery, an important point on the Camino de Santiago Pilgrimage Route. Hotel Roncesvalles combines original stone walls and wooden ceilings with elegant, modern décor. Each heated room has a work desk and a stylish bathroom with a hairdryer. The Roncesvalles Hotel’s rustic restaurant offers a daily buffet breakfast, and dinner can be served upon request. Hotel Roncesvalles also has a lounge bar and a large terrace.

Number of nights: 1

Hotel Tres Reyes

Pamplona, Spain

Nestled on the edge of the Taconera Gardens, this upscale hotel is 0.8 km from Pamplona Cathedral and 1.6 km from the site of the annual San Fermín festival, known for the running of the bulls. The stylish, modern rooms and suites offer flat-screen TVs, minibars and free Wi-Fi. Upgraded rooms add desks, Nespresso machines and/or city and mountain views, while suites feature separate living rooms and balconies. Room service is available. Dining options include a polished restaurant, a casual cafe, and a lobby bar. There's also a seasonal outdoor pool, a hot tub, and an exercise room, plus a business center and meeting space

Number of nights: 1

Parador de Santo Domingo de la Calzada

La Rioja, Spain

The hotel occupies a former 12th-century hospital near the cathedral, erected by St. Dominic to take in pilgrims traveling on the Way of St. James. It has a regal, elegant style, with majestic function rooms and a lobby filled with Gothic arches and wood coffered ceilings. Fine materials and eye-catching colors—whites and blues—give way to comfortable guest rooms decorated with exquisite taste.

You will find a warm, harmonious environment which is also highly suited to social events and meetings. Santo Domingo de la Calzada stands beside the banks of the Oja River on a vast plain. The town's founding is linked to the branch of the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela known as the French Route. Legend has it that in the 11th century, this location was a large holm oak forest on the banks of a tumultuous river that descended from the nearby mountains, now known as the Sierra de la Demanda. A hermit named Domingo took up residence in the heart of the forest, dedicating all his energy to making it easier for pilgrims traveling to Compostela to cross this difficult terrain.

Today you can enjoy the town by visiting sights such as the cathedral or Plaza de España (Spain Square) and savoring La Rioja's delicious cuisine.

Number of nights: 1

Hotel NH Collection Palacio de Burgos

Burgos, Spain

The NH Collection Palacio de Burgos, formerly known as NH Palacio de la Merced, hotel is in the heart of Burgos, by the River Arlanzón and a few minutes’ walk from the UNESCO-protected cathedral. The building itself is every bit as impressive as the setting – a magnificent Gothic creation built in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Our rooms are spacious and stylish in equal measure. They team elegant interiors with extras that ensure the highest levels of comfort.

Number of nights: 1

Hotel Real Monasterio De San Zoilo

Palencia, Spain

Set in a former monastery in Carrion de los Condes, the hotel is located near to the Santiago pilgrimage route. Rooms in Hotel Real Monasterio de San Zoilo look onto the beautiful gardens.

Featuring stone arches, drapes, and beamed ceilings, the rooms have a rustic feel. Some have four-poster beds and all of them have air-conditioning and heating. Each room has a TV and a private bathroom with free toiletries and a hairdryer. Free Wi-Fi is available.

Number of nights: 1

Hotel Alfonso V

León, Spain

The Sercotel Alfonso V Hotel is an excellent 4-star hotel located in the centre of León . It is situated right in the commercial and financial center, only steps from the Old Town. This hotel in León boasts 62 rooms: singles, doubles, and suites that are elegantly decorated and with free wifi internet available. The bathrooms are all perfectly equipped and the climate control is self-adjustable.

Its central location makes this hotel in León the ideal spot for a couple of days sightseeing in the Castilian capital. It is a must-see stop for peregrines traveling towards Santiago and has an extremely interesting historic and cultural legacy to offer.

Number of nights: 1

Parador Nacional de Monforte de Lemos

Monforte, Spain

The historic site of San Vicente do Pino is located in the uppermost part of the town of Monforte de Lemos. It is made up of the keep, San Vicente do Pino Monastery and the palace of the counts of Lemos, which houses the Parador de Monforte. The monastery dates back to the 9th century, although the current structure was built in the 17th century in the neoclassical style. The building has a neoclassical central cloister with exceptionally well carved stonework. It is the ideal space for events, or simply to enjoy a stroll amid the silence and beauty of the stone.

You won't want to miss a visit to the Colegio de Los Escolapios (Piarist School), a majestic building more than 100 meters in length. Construction of the structure was begun in 1593 and completed in 1913, after more than three centuries of work. Its grandeur evokes El Escorial Monastery and its walls bear the coats of arms of the counts of Lemos, the House of Alba and the Piarist Fathers, who were responsible for completing the work. The school's museum, previously the sacristy, houses paintings by El Greco and Andrea del Sarto, among others.

Monforte de Lemos is also an exceptional location for exploring the Ribera Sacra region, with its rivers, vineyards, Romanesque churches, gastronomy, and festivals. In the area around the town, you will discover indescribably beautiful landscapes, including the Sil River Canyon and the magical Sierra de O Caurel mountains.

Number of nights: 1

Parador Nacional de Los Reyes Catolicos

Santiago, Spain

Combining history, art and tradition, the goal of pilgrims and the emblem of St. James, the Hostal dos Reis Católicos, in the Plaza do Obradoiro, forms together with the cathedral one of the world’s most remarkable, and most visited, urban settings.

The Hostal, which first saw life as a Royal Hospital in 1499 to house the many pilgrims arriving in Santiago, today still invites the traveler to enjoy this universal and fascinating city.

Considered the oldest hotel in the world, it is also one of the most luxurious and beautiful. It has four extremely beautiful cloisters, elegant public rooms, spectacular bedrooms and a luxurious dining room offering Galician style fish and meats and the classic apple filloa pies and crème brulee.

Number of nights: 2

Activity Level

Level 3: Moderate / Active

Expectations: This trip is part of the Smithsonian Active Journeys collection. These trips feature a daily schedule of physical activities—such as hiking, rafting, and/or bicycling—in addition to activities designed to offer context to the culture, history, or natural history of your destination. Each trip entails a different level of physical expectations. The following information outlines a general overview for Activity Level 3. More specific information will be posted soon. Please contact an Active Journeys Specialist to discuss the trip at more length, including details on the Activity Level.

Almost anyone who is reasonably fit should be comfortable on a Moderate/Active tour (Level 3), which generally features daily hikes of two to four hours through landscapes and small towns in Europe. Our Active Journey to Alaska and river rafting trip on the Colorado River are also Level 3. These trips are great for those travelers starting out on groups hikes and include our most popular Active Journeys. Hikes are taken at a leisurely to active pace over various types of terrain that may include groomed or gravel trails, and alongside roads or through open meadows. Some hikes are coastal or mountainous, which can entail being exposed to wind and rain. Surfaces can be uneven, with uneven steps, rough limestone bedrock, mud, and exposed roots. A few long travel days with early morning departures may be expected.

Hiking boots and day packs for daily necessities are a must; some travelers may wish to bring hiking poles. Hikes are generally not long enough to require support vehicles so once a hike is begun it is necessary to finish. (However, depending on the tour, it is sometimes feasible to skip a day’s activities and relax at the hotel, if desired.) Leisure time can be limited to the evenings).    


Appropriate for: Travelers who are physically fit, expect a slightly vigorous pace, are comfortable participating in up to four hours of hiking per day, and enjoy challenging themselves physically. 

Reading List
Steps Out of Time: One Woman's Journey on the Camino
By: Katharine B. Soper
Steps Out of Time won a silver medal in the 2014 Independent Publishers Book Competition and an Honorable Mention in the 2014 Writer's Digest self-published award program. Amazon reviews show that this book resonates deeply among readers, hikers and armchair travelers alike. "While the narratives of other pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela are available in an array of languages, Soper stands out as a unique and rewarding guide.... for the quality and detail of her descriptive and narrative writing, as well as the interest level of her reflections.... Soper seems to have put as much care into her book as she did, indeed, into her pilgrimage. She imbued both works with dignity and relevance in a straightforward, honest manner that will not be lost on the reader. I tip my hat to a formidable traveler/writer." Judge, 22nd Annual Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards. Part memoir, part travelogue, Steps Out of Time details the fascinating history and traditions of this ancient way, its breathtaking beauty, great food, and extraordinary camaraderie. As well, it conveys the realities of a secular pilgrim's journey - the pain, the hilarious situations, the unexpected, and the moving. It is also a deeply reflective memoir on aging and the pace of modern life as seen through the eyes of a fifty-seven-year-old wife, mother, and professional who worries that recently diagnosed medical conditions might prevent her from accomplishing her goal. Her gender, stage in life, age (and hopefully, her maturity!) set the stage for her journey and the discoveries she makes along the way. This book is a book that will resonate with anyone who has felt overwhelmed by the pace and demands of life and who remembers - but cannot seem to recreate - a life that was calmer, richer and more fulfilling. All who desire to take that first step of personal rediscovery will want to read Steps Out of Time.
Moon Camino de Santiago: Sacred Sites, Historic Villages, Local Food & Wine (Travel Guide)
By: Beebe Bahrami
Over 1,200 years old, 500 miles long, and rich with tradition and sacred history: Embark on the trip of a lifetime with Moon Camino de Santiago. Inside you'll find:Strategic trekking guides for walking the Camino, including where to start to get the Compostela certificate, and excursions to gateway cities like Santiago, Léon, Burgos, Pamplona, and Saint-Jean-Pied-de-PortUnique ideas for enriching your experience: Admire folkloric art, Romanesque churches, and stroll through the stone archways and winding alleys of medieval cities. Soak up the mountain views as you cross over the Pyrenees and descend into misty green valleys. See the archaeological site where Europe's oldest humans were uncovered, and breathe in the salty ocean air as you finish your journey at the shores of the AtlanticSavor the local flavors: Enjoy authentic jamón Serrano, tapas, and Galician wine, and find out where to grab fresh cheese and bread for a picnic lunchThe best detours, festivals, and villages along the way: Linger in Estella, witness the running of the bulls in Pamplona, visit dolmens in La Rioja's vineyards, visit the monastery in Nájera, or sip wine in CacabelosEssential planning information on when to go, how to get there, where to eat, and where to stay, from pilgrim dorms to private hotels, plus tips on hazards, precautions, and gearValuable insight on the history and context of the pilgrimage from Camino expert Beebe Bahrami, who has walked many Caminos since 1995Full-color photos and detailed maps throughout, plus a handy fold-out map of the entire routeThorough background information on the sacred sites and history of the Camino, as well as the landscape, culture, and local etiquetteHandy tools including Spanish and French phrasebooks, visa information, volunteer opportunities, and tips for seniors, women traveling alone, religious and secular travelers, and LGBTQ+ travelersEmbark on your transformative journey with Moon Camino de Santiago's expert insight, unique suggestions, and practical advice.
Camino de Santiago Maps: St. Jean Pied de Port - Santiago de Compostela (Camino De Santiago Map Guides)
By: John Brierley
A complete set of maps and town plans in English, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Italian, Dutch and Polish make up this indispensible guidebook for spiritual seekers and travelers wishing to walk the way of Saint James. Covering the sacred route from St. Jean Pied de Port to Santiago, this portable book of maps makes the perfect companion for adventurers attempting to heed the spiritual calling. Revised and updated to offer the most recent information, this exploration is light enough to carry while walking long distances each day. The maps show the location of all pilgrim hostels en route, the distances between villages, and points of interest, as well as counter guides, alternative routes, and accommodations.
The Way, My Way
By: Bill Bennett
“I’d never done anything crazy like this before – a pilgrimage walk. I was not a hiker, and I wasn’t a Catholic. In fact, I wasn’t even sure I was a Christian. On the last government census when I had to state my religion, I'd said I was a Buddhist, mainly because they’ve had such a hard time in Tibet and I felt they needed my statistical support. I was also not an adventure traveller. For me, adventure travel was flying coach. All this backpacking and wearing of heavy boots and flying off to France to walk ancient pilgrimage routes was a new experience, and not one that made me feel entirely comfortable.” And so Bill Bennett, an Australian based film director, set off on an 800 kilometre walk across Spain to Santiago de Compostela, not sure why he was doing it, and not feeling entirely comfortable. His discomfort increased markedly a few days later when his knee gave out – so the rest of the walk was a “pain management pilgrimage.” But he kept his sense of humour, and his memoir is at times hilarious but also deeply moving, and insightful. In the vein of Bill Bryson and Eric Newby, The Way, My Way takes you on a unique spiritual journey, and gives you a hearty laugh along the way.
Camino Ready. Backpacks, Boots & (no) Blisters: Preparing for the Camino and Other Long Treks
By: Mark O'Sullivan
This book is for everyone thinking about or planning to do a long walk, like the Camino Frances from southern France to Santiago de Compostela a distance of 800 km or nearly 500 miles. The focus is on preparation and so you will have the best chance to successfully reach your destination pain and injury free. Many fail to complete the walk.Mark has walked 5 Camino routes in France, Spain and Portugal as have the other contributors. The book will help you prepare for the Camino Frances and similar long-distance ancient pilgrims’ pathways—or the Inca Trail, which he has also hiked. "Camino Ready. Backpacks, Boots & (no) Blisters"focuses on nine key topics based on Mark’s experience: 1.Boots vs. blisters. Choosing the right boots for long distance walking.2. Walking as a System: Some basic physiology and what to do to avoid problems.3. Clothes for sun, rain, or cold and other handy items.4. A get-fit program. To be physically and mentally prepared.5.Are you a greaser or a strapper? Protecting your feet each day; avoiding blisters; choosing socks.6.Weight creep--a killjoy. Your backpack and contents.7.Water: why, where, and when. It is not just about sipping.8.Trekking or walking poles. Why, what, and how.9.Sundry useful tips. SIM cards, keeping valuables safe, rain gear, free Wi-Fi, et al. There are also two appendices by fellow pilgrims, one on what to expect and how to manage lodging in albergues, the other all about bed bugs with a focus on avoiding them and, if it happens, how to treat the bites and avoid carrying them home.
Lonely Planet Spanish Phrasebook & Dictionary
By: Lonely Planet, Marta Lopez, Cristina Hernandez Montero
Lonely Planet Spanish Phrasebook & Dictionary is your handy passport to culturally enriching travels with the most relevant and useful Spanish phrases and vocabulary for all your travel needs. Enjoy the thrilling conversation with a local over sangria, ask about a tucked-away a tablao flamenco or eat your way through a tapas menu; all with your trusted travel companion. With language tools in your back pocket, you can truly get to the heart of wherever you go, so begin your journey now!Get More From Your Trip with Easy-to-Find Phrases for Every Travel Situation! Feel at ease with essential tips on culture, manners, idioms and multiple meanings Order with confidence, explain food allergies, and try new foods with the menu decoder Save time and hassles with vital phrases at your fingertips Never get stuck for words with the 3500-word two-way, quick-reference dictionary Be prepared for both common and emergency travel situations with practical phrases and terminology Meet friends with conversation starter phrases Get your message across with easy-to-use pronunciation guides Inside Lonely Planet Spanish Phrasebook & Dictionary: Full-colour throughout User-friendly layout organised by travel scenario categories Survival phrases inside front cover for at-a-glance on-the-fly cuesCovers Basics - time, dates, numbers, amounts, pronunciation, reading tips, grammar rules Practical - travel with kids, disabled travellers, sightseeing, business, banking, post office, internet, phones, repairs, bargaining, accommodation, directions, border crossing, transport Social - meeting people, interests, feelings, opinions, going out, romance, culture, activities, weather Safe Travel - emergencies, police, doctor, chemist, dentist, symptoms, conditions Food - ordering, at the market, at the bar, dishes, ingredients The Perfect Choice:Lonely Planet Spanish Phrasebook & Dictionary, a pocket-sized comprehensive language guide, provides on-the-go language assistance; great for language students and travellers looking to interact with locals and immerse themselves in local culture. About Lonely Planet: Since 1973, Lonely Planet has become the world's leading travel media company with guidebooks to every destination, an award-winning website, mobile and digital travel products, and a dedicated traveller community. Lonely Planet covers must-see spots but also enables curious travellers to get off beaten paths to understand more of the culture of the places in which they find themselves.
Grape, Olive, Pig: Deep Travels Through Spain's Food Culture
By: Matt Goulding
Winner of the 2017 IACP Award: Literary or Historical Food WritingGourmand World Cookbook Award Winner: Culinary TravelAmazon Best Book of November (2016): Cookbooks, Food and WineFinancial Times Best Books of 2017: Food and Travel"Goulding is pioneering a new type of writing about food. His last book, Rice, Noodle, Fish, took an immersive approach to Japan that combined travel, social observation and food lore. His new book on Spain offers little cooking advice but an inquisitive foodie intellectual's experience." (Financial Times)Crafted in the same “refreshing” (AP), “inspirational” (Publishers Weekly) and “impeccably observed” (Eater.com) style that drove Rice, Noodle, Fish, Roads & Kingdoms again presents a book that will change the way readers eat and travel abroad. The second in their series of unexpected and delightful gastro-tourism books, Grape, Olive, Pig is a deeply personal exploration of a country where eating and living are inextricably linked. As Anthony Bourdain said: “Any reasonable, sentient person who looks to Spain, comes to Spain, eats in Spain, drinks in Spain, they’re gonna fall in love. Otherwise, there’s something deeply wrong with you.”Matt Goulding introduces you to the sprawling culinary and geographical landscape of his adoptive home, and offers an intimate portrait of this multifaceted country, its remarkable people, and its complex history. Fall in love with Barcelona’s tiny tapas bars and modernist culinary temples. Explore the movable feast of small plates and late nights in Madrid. Join the three-thousand-year-old hunt for Bluefin tuna off the coast of Cadiz, then continue your seafood journey north to meet three sisters who risk their lives foraging the gooseneck barnacle, one of Spain’s most treasured ingredients. Delight in some of the world’s most innovative and avant-garde edible creations in San Sebastian, and then wash them down with cider from neighboring Asturias. Sample the world’s finest acorn-fed ham in Salamanca, share in the traditions of cave-dwelling shepherds in the mountains beyond Granada, and debate what constitutes truly authentic paella in Valencia. Grape, Olive, Pig reveals hidden gems and enduring delicacies from across this extraordinary country, contextualizing each meal with the stories behind the food in a cultural narrative complemented by stunning color photography. Whether you’ve visited Spain or have only dreamed of bellying up to its tapas bars, Grape, Olive, Pig will wake your imagination, rouse your hunger, and capture your heart.
24x36 World Wall Map by Smithsonian Journeys - Tan Oceans Special Edition (24x36 Paper Folded)
By: Smithsonian Journeys
Swiftmaps is proud to partner with Smithsonian Journeys to bring a new and exciting World Map series to the American marketplace. Featuring eye-catching bold and vivid colors complemented with rich vintage tan ocean tones that will make this the perfect reference piece --- sure to stand-out and highlight any home or business wall. The precise detail and digital accuracy shows color-matching visual shaded 3D relief and other physical features without sacrificing the maps readability. Now printed on high-quality 80 lb. paper and professionally FOLDED in a compact 8x10 inch size. FEATURES: 1) Africa centered allowing viewers to see continents complete and intact 2) Clearly labeled country and city names for easy location 3) Latitude and longitude indications 4) Shaded relief of ocean and land topography 4) Desirable Miller Projection. The Smithsonian Journeys wall map series serve not only as a handy reference piece, but as an eye-catching accent for any room or office. NOTE: each map is professionally folded to 8x10 inches and when unfolded the map is 24 inches high and 36 inches wide.
Travel Insurance

For the convenience of our travelers, Travel Guard provides an on-tour Insurance Plan. On-tour emergency evacuation insurance (up to $100,000), medical expense coverage (up to $25,000), dental expense coverage (up to $500), travel medical assistance and worldwide travel assistance (U.S. Residents only). It also includes up to $25,000 medical and up to $500 dental expense coverage, and 24-hour worldwide travel and medical assistance. Please click here to view complete coverage details.

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

Terms and conditions

Our Mission

Smithsonian Journeys engage travelers in the mission of the Smithsonian – “the increase and diffusion of knowledge.” Like the Institution, our tours enrich our guests’ lives and satisfy their curiosity about the world. 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

  • Expertise of select speakers, Adventure Guide, and local guides throughout the tour as described in each itinerary
  • All gratuities for all tour staff
  • Pre-tour information, including a reading list
  • 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

  • International and in-country airfare and departure taxes
  • Passport and all visa fees and photos; immunization(s) and medication(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
  • Communication charges (e.g. phone, internet, etc.)
  • Other items noted as optional or not specifically mentioned as included

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 must be made by credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express) to the tour operator.  Deposits are applied to final payment of the tour price. Final payment is due 95 days prior to departure, unless otherwise noted.  Balance is due upon invoicing.  If full payment is not received by the final payment due date, your place cannot be guaranteed on the tour.

Late Registration

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

A Note About Costs

All prices are based on two persons sharing accommodations. 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 at the time of final invoicing.

Wait List

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

Cancellation and Refund Policy

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

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

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

This policy also applies to pre and post tour extensions. If we cancel a Tour, we will not be responsible for any additional expenses incurred by participant in his/her preparation for the Tour (e.g. nonrefundable airline tickets, visa fees, if applicable, clothing, equipment and medical expenses, etc.).

If you have scheduled your own airfare and it is 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/Tickets Purchased Independently of the Tour

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

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

Travel Insurance

For the convenience of our travelers, Travel Guard provides an on-tour Insurance Plan. On-tour emergency evacuation insurance (up to $100,000), medical expense coverage (up to $25,000), dental expense coverage (up to $500), travel medical assistance and worldwide travel assistance (U.S. Residents only). It also includes up to $25,000 medical and up to $500 dental expense coverage, and 24-hour worldwide travel and medical assistance. Please click here to view complete coverage details. 

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

Travel Documents

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, the tour operator 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. 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

Smithsonian Journeys strives to offer programs that optimize our travelers' time and enjoyment, and we want participants to be aware of the physical requirements involved. By registering for a Smithsonian Journeys tour, the participant certifies that he/she is physically fit and does not have a condition that would limit mobility or trip participation. Participant further certifies that he/she does not have any mental, physical, or other condition or disability that would create a hazard for him/herself or other participants. For Tours that take place at higher elevations (above 5,000 feet), participant certifies that he/she does not suffer from a respiratory, cardiac or circulatory disorder. Participant must notify tour operator of any medical issues well before departure. We reserve the right in our sole discretion to accept, decline to accept, or remove any participant on a Tour at any time during the Tour. In the event of removal from a Tour, refunds are not given. Hospital facilities or appropriate medical facilities or doctors are often unavailable and evacuation can be prolonged, difficult, and expensive. We assume no liability regarding provision of medical care. Participants will receive appropriate health information and provide the tour operator with his/her medical history and any dietary restrictions as requested on the Personal Information Form. On certain designated Tours, a Physician Certificate must be signed by the participant’s physician and returned to us within 30 days after the participant receives it.

Each tour carries an activity rating from Level 1- Level 5. For the most satisfying experience (and in fairness to your fellow travelers), please carefully review the itinerary and physical requirements for your specific trip. If you have questions about the physical demands of your itinerary, call us at 833-254-6678.

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

Itinerary or Program Modifications

Smithsonian Journeys strives to improve tour itineraries and their features. If improvements can be made, or unforeseen circumstances beyond our control make changes necessary, at our sole discretion, we reserve the right to vary itineraries and to substitute elements of the tour.  These elements include, but are not limited to:  hotels, staff, speakers, and services for any stated in the itinerary. We will not be responsible for providing any reimbursement for delays in the Tour due to bad weather, trail conditions, river levels, road conditions, transportation delays, or government intervention.

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

Hotel Accommodations

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

Singles and Roommates

Accommodations (hotels, lodges, tents, etc.) are always reserved for single participants, however, the number 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 to share with you. If 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.

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.

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.

Responsibility Statement

Smithsonian Journeys tours are organized and administered by professional tour operators hired as independent contractors. The use of designated tour operators allows the Smithsonian to offer travelers a wide array of educational travel opportunities. The tour operator 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, and safety of our travelers.

The Smithsonian Institution and its designated tour operator also reserve the right, without penalty, to withdraw the tour, 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.

Responsibilities of Participants

Participant is responsible for understanding the conditions as described in the Tour Itinerary and selecting a Tour in consultation with us that is appropriate to his/her interests and abilities. In addition, the participant should prepare for the Tour by reading the Tour Itinerary and supplemental Tour information in the pre-Tour materials and bringing the appropriate clothing and equipment as advised in those materials. The participant should also consult his or her physician to determine his/her suitability for the Tour and to discuss any over the counter or prescription medicines he/she should consider taking in the case of Tours which travel to higher altitudes. Screening for fitness (for Tours rated “Level 4 or Level 5”) is made during the confirmation of booking. In addition, we strongly urge all participants to review any State Department warnings, alerts, advisories, and destination specific information at www.travel.state.gov as well as specific health information for their destination at www.cdc.gov.