During this one-week stay, explore the history of Kraków, considered one of Europe’s most beautiful cities and a major center for Poland’s cultural and academic life.

Starting at: $3,840 * Price includes special offer Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Kraków's engaging main square  Kraków's Main Square and the Renaissance Cloth Hall  Medieval interior detail of St. Mary's Basilica, Kraków  Wawel Castle, Kraków  Poland's Wieliczka Salt Mines, a World Heritage site  Sculptural detail found in the Wieliczka Salt Mines  Old Town Warsaw, a World Heritage Site  Kraków's St. Mary's Basilica

Kraków

A One-Week Stay in Poland

9 days from $3,840

During this one-week stay, explore the history of Kraków, considered one of Europe’s most beautiful cities and a major center for Poland’s cultural and academic life.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

TOUR BROCHURE

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WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

Excellent tour. As a first-time solo traveler, I found the fellow participants welcoming and friendly. Very easy to be with, both the other single travelers as well as the couples. Great group of people. 

- Mary, C.

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

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Accommodations

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

Hotel Unicus Palace

Krakow, Poland

The centrally located and recently opened in 2017, Hotel Unicus Palace is a deluxe, 5-star property with elegant furnishings that combine modern ambiance with that of a period building. Located in the center of the charming Old Town it makes it the ideal hotel for travelers visiting the city. Bearing in mind the comfort of guests, designers of the hotel have created a welcoming, functional and well-equipped rooms. All guestrooms offer air conditioning, LCD TVs, Wi-Fi and modern bathrooms. In the morning, guests can enjoy a hearty breakfast, served in the hotel’s restaurant.

Number of nights: 7

Activity Levels

Activity Level 2: Moderate


Expectations: Week-long Cultural Stay featuring one city and region—and one hotel. Full-day excursions outside the city with some longer, extensive walking tours of villages, museums, and outdoor historic sites. Excursions can be over uneven terrain (e.g. outdoor sites, cobblestones, city hills, stairs without handrails, absence of elevators); some longer walks to get to city centers where coaches are prohibited. Hotel centrally located for easy access to sites and restaurants during time at leisure, including final day.

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

Special Air Rates/Services

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

Program Includes:

  • Guaranteed transfers between the airport and your overseas accommodations upon arrival and departure (in most cases). We will provide you with all of the details you need to guarantee your transfer.
  • Air schedule change and delay assistance. Book FlexAir to ensure assistance should schedule changes or delays impact your air travel plans.
  • Flight insurance worth up to $250,000, subject to policy terms, is automatically included.
  • Confirmed airline seat assignments at the time of booking (in most cases).
Testimonials

WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

Excellent tour. As a first-time solo traveler, I found the fellow participants welcoming and friendly. Very easy to be with, both the other single travelers as well as the couples. Great group of people. 

- Mary, C.
Reading List
A Traveller's History of Poland
By: John Radzilowski
Poland is a major European country with over 38 million inhabitants and a land area comparable to Spain. It has played a major role in European history but its subjugation by foreign powers in the nineteenth century and during the Cold War eclipsed Poland in the minds of many in Western Europe and the United States. Throughout its long and diverse history it has been a meeting place of many cultures and has given the world the poetry of Czeslaw Milosz, the music of Chopin, and the scientific discoveries of Copernicus and Marie Curie, to name but a few. In A Traveller's History of Poland, John Radzilowski vividly describes the beginnings of the country, first fragmented then reborn to overcome the aggression of the Teutonic Knights and its greedy neighbors. Poland enjoyed a Golden Age in the fifteen and sixteenth centuries but a gradual decline then led to Poland losing its autonomy despite winning many battles with its army's legendary military skill and gallantry. Yet the spirit of the country and its people lived on. Since the horrors of the Second World War and Soviet control, Poland has gradually regained its rightful place in Europe, joining NATO in 1999 and in May 2004, the EU. It is playing a new role on the European and international stage. This makes now an ideal time to introduce students and travellers to Poland and its complex history through the pages of this Traveller's History. The book includes a full chronology, a list of monarchs and rulers, a gazetteer, historical maps and is fully illustrated.
The Kingdom of Auschwitz: 1940-1945
By: Otto Friedrich
A short and thoroughly accurate history of the Auschwitz concentration camp, this compelling book is authoritative in its factual details, devastating in its emotional impact.
Poland: A Novel
By: James A. Michener
In this sweeping novel, James A. Michener chronicles eight tumultuous centuries as three Polish families live out their destinies. The Counts Lubonski, the petty nobles Bukowksi, and the peasants Buk are at some times fiercely united, at others tragically divided. With an inspiring tradition of resistance to brutal invaders, from the barbarians to the Nazis, and a heritage of pride that burns through eras of romantic passion and courageous solidarity, their common story reaches a breathtaking culmination in the historic showdown between the ruthless Communists and rebellious farmers of the modern age. Like the heroic land that is its subject, Poland teems with vivid events, unforgettable characters, and the unfolding drama of an entire nation.   Praise for Poland   “Engrossing . . . a page-turner in the grand Michener tradition.”—The Washington Post   “A Michener epic is far more than a bedtime reader, it’s an experience. Poland is a monumental effort, a magnificent guide to a better understanding of the country’s tribulations.”—Chicago Tribune   “Stunning . . . an unmatched overview of Polish history . . . The families themselves come very much alive, and through them, Poland itself.”—USA Today   “A titanic documentary novel.”—The Wall Street Journal
Explore Krakow: The best routes around the city
By: Insight Guides
A youthful, dynamic city that also passionately preserves its heritage, Krakow offers everything from medieval sights, hearty food and a grid of eminently strollable narrow streets. Explore Krakow is part of a brand-new series and is the perfect pocket companion for your trip: a full-color guide containing 16 easy-to-follow routes, taking in all of the classic sights, such as St Mary’s Basilica and Wawel Castle, alongside the fascinating Jewish quarter, bohemian cafés, and, further afield, the poignant Auschwitz. Insight’s trademark cultural coverage perfectly sets the routes in context, with introductions to Krakow’s cuisine and shopping possibilities, as well the low-down on its nightlife, the liveliest in all of Poland. Hand-picked places to eat and drink are highlighted in each route and in the directory section, which contains a wealth of useful practical information including a language guide, as well as a range of carefully selected hotels to suit all budgets. All routes are plotted on the handy pull-out map, and the stunning photography captures the essence of Krakow.
Krakow (Poland) 1:8,000 Street Map (International Travel Maps)
By: ITM Canada
ITMB's third map for Poland, concentrates on the central portion of the city, with a large inset of the central pedestrian area and with a regional inset map showing roads to Auschwitz (now called Oswiecim) and to Katowice. Legend includes inter-city rail lines w/ station, Krakow tram/street-car lines, parks, plazas, accommodations, churches, synagogues, points of interest, museums, police stations, shopping centres, hospitals, pedestrian streets, bike routes, bus stations. Indexed.
Michelin Poland Folded Map
By: Michelin Travel Publications
Poland - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture
By: Greg Allen
The changes in Polish life, culture, economics, and development have been remarkable. And the pace of change shows little sign of abating. Through twenty-five years of post-Communist transformation and ten years as a member of the European Union, some Polish cities, like Warsaw, Kraków, Poznan, and Wroclaw, have experienced an economic renaissance thanks largely to direct foreign investment, EU funds, and an influx of tourists. Much of the countryside, and cities like Lódz and Lublin, however, are shadows of their former selves. The mass emigration of Polish workers following European integration has had as significant an effect on Poland as it has on the destination countries, such as the UK. Despite a crisis of confidence in the country’s direction, a swing toward political populism, and the tragic death of the Polish president in the Smolensk disaster of 2010, Poland is the only EU member not to have suffered economic contraction in the years following the 2007–08 global financial crisis. That Poland continues to develop in growth and influence is a testament to the legendary Polish resolve in the face of adversity. This new, updated edition of Culture Smart! Poland provides visitors with an insight into everyday life in today’s Poland. From the country’s rich and tragic history to the growth of a modern economy, from the rustic rural countryside to the Warsaw hipster scene, the reader will gain an appreciation of Polish culture much deeper than that to be found in conventional travel guides.
DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Poland
By: DK Travel
DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Poland is your in-depth guide to the very best of Poland. Whether exploring the liveliness of its big cities or taking in the natural beauty of its idyllic lakes, beaches and mountains, you will experience the culture of Eastern hospitality and community values of this land that is deeply rooted in tradition and history.Discover DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Poland:   • Detailed itineraries and "don't-miss" destination highlights at a glance.    • Illustrated cutaway 3-D drawings of important sights.    • Floor plans and guided visitor information for major museums.    • Guided walking tours, local drink and dining specialties to try, things to do, and places to eat, drink, and shop by area.    • Area maps marked with sights .    • Insights into history and culture to help you understand the stories behind the sights.    • Hotel and restaurant listings highlight DK Choice special recommendations. With hundreds of full-color photographs, hand-drawn illustrations, and custom maps that illuminate every page, DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Poland truly shows you this country as no one else can.Recommend: For an in-depth guidebook to Eastern and Central Europe, check out DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Eastern and Central Europe, which offers the most complete coverage of the region, trip-planning itineraries, and more.
Kaleidoscope of Poland: A Cultural Encyclopedia (Russian and East European Studies)
By: Oscar E. Swan
Foreword by Adam ZamoyskiKaleidoscope of Poland is a highly readable volume containing short articles on major personalities, places, events, and accomplishments from the thousand-year record of Polish history and culture. Featuring approximately 900 compact text entries and 600 illustrations, it will be a handy reference at home, a perfect supplement to traditional guide books when traveling, an aid to language study, or simply browsed with enjoyment from cover to cover by anyone with an interest in Poland. The entries describe essential features of Poland from the mundane to the sublime. Whether it is bagels or the Bug River, Chopin or Madame Curie, the authors offer colorful and often witty snapshots of significant individuals, customs, folklore, historic events, phrases, places, geography, and much, much more. Beginning with the emergence of the Polish state in 966 under Mieszko I, to the resurrection of present-day Poland within the European Union, it’s also a sweeping account of the tumult and triumphs the nation has witnessed through much of its history. This highly entertaining yet informative book is essentially a “cultural dictionary”—offering a knowledge base that can be referred to time and time again. Kaleidoscope of Poland will be welcomed by readers of Polish descent, students of Polish, or anyone planning to visit Poland—anyone seeking a greater insight into this fascinating land.
Lonely Planet Polish Phrasebook & Dictionary
By: Lonely Planet, Piotr Czajkowski
Lonely Planet: The world's leading travel guide publisher Anyone can speak another language! It's all about confidence. The mother tongue of illustrious personalities such as Copernicus, Chopin, Joseph Conrad, Marie Curie and Pope John Paul II has a fascinating and turbulent past and symbolises the resilience of the Polish people in the face of domination and adversity. Never get stuck for words with our 3500-word two-way dictionary Order the right meal with our menu decoder Avoid embarrassing situations with essential tips on culture & manners Coverage includes: Basics, Practical, Social, Safe Travel and Food. Lonely Planet gets you to the heart of a place. Our job is to make amazing travel experiences happen. We visit the places we write about each and every edition. We never take freebies for positive coverage, so you can always rely on us to tell it like it is. Authors: Written and researched by Lonely Planet and Piotr Czajkowski. About Lonely Planet: Started in 1973, Lonely Planet has become the world's leading travel guide publisher with guidebooks to every destination on the planet, as well as an award-winning website, a suite of mobile and digital travel products, and a dedicated traveller community. Lonely Planet's mission is to enable curious travellers to experience the world and to truly get to the heart of the places they find themselves in. TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice Awards 2012 and 2013 winner in Favorite Travel Guide category 'Lonely Planet guides are, quite simply, like no other.' - New York Times 'Lonely Planet. It's on everyone's bookshelves; it's in every traveller's hands. It's on mobile phones. It's on the Internet. It's everywhere, and it's telling entire generations of people how to travel the world.' - Fairfax Media (Australia)
Bury Me Standing: The Gypsies and Their Journey
By: Isabel Fonseca
A masterful work of personal reportage, this volume is also a vibrant portrait of a mysterious people and an essential document of a disappearing culture.    Fabled, feared, romanticized, and reviled, the Gypsies—or Roma—are among the least understood people on earth. Their culture remains largely obscure, but in Isabel Fonseca they have found an eloquent witness.   In Bury Me Standing, alongside unforgettable portraits of individuals—the poet, the politician, the child prostitute—Fonseca offers sharp insights into the humor, language, wisdom, and taboos of the Roma. She traces their exodus out of India 1,000 years ago and their astonishing history of persecution: enslaved by the princes of medieval Romania; massacred by the Nazis; forcibly assimilated by the communist regimes; evicted from their settlements in Eastern Europe, and most recently, in Western Europe as well. Whether as handy scapegoats or figments of the romantic imagination, the Gypsies have always been with us—but never before have they been brought so vividly to life.   Includes fifty black and white photos.
Heart of Europe: The Past in Poland's Present
By: Norman Davies
The image of Poland has once again been impressed on European consciousness. Norman Davies provides a key to understanding the modern Polish crisis in this lucid and authoritative description of the nation's history. Beginning with the period since 1945, he travels back in time to highlight the long-term themes and traditions which have influenced present attitudes. His evocative account reveals Poland as the heart of Europe in more than the geographical sense. It is a country where Europe's ideological conflicts are played out in their most acute form: as recent events have emphasized, Poland's fate is of vital concern to European civilization as a whole.This revised and updated edition tackles and analyses the issues arising from the fall of the Eastern Bloc, and looks at Poland's future within a political climate of democracy and free market.
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.
Poland: The First Thousand Years
By: Patrice M. Dabrowski
Since its beginnings, Poland has been a moving target, geographically as well as demographically, and the very definition of who is a Pole has been in flux. In the late medieval and early modern periods, the country grew to be the largest in continental Europe, only to be later wiped off the map for more than a century. The Polish phoenix that rose out of the ashes of World War I was obliterated by the joint Nazi-Soviet occupation that began with World War II. The postwar entity known as Poland was shaped and controlled by the Soviet Union. Yet even under these constraints, Poles persisted in their desire to wrest from their oppressors a modicum of national dignity and, ultimately, managed to achieve much more than that.Poland: The First Thousand Years is a sweeping account designed to amplify major figures, moments, milestones, and turning points in Polish history. These include important battles and illustrious individuals, alliances forged by marriages and choices of religious denomination, and meditations on the likes of the Polish battle slogan “for our freedom and yours” that resounded during the Polish fight for independence in the long 19th century and echoed in the Solidarity period of the late 20th century. The experience of oppression helped Poles to endure and surmount various challenges in the 20th century, and Poland’s demonstration of strength was a model for other peoples seeking to extract themselves from foreign yoke. Patrice Dabrowski’s work situates Poland and the Poles within a broader European framework that locates this multiethnic and multidenominational region squarely between East and West. This illuminating chronicle will appeal to general readers, and will be of special interest to those of Polish descent who will appreciate Poland’s longstanding republican experiment.
Resistance: The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
By: Israel Gutman
One of the few survivors of the 1943 Warsaw ghetto uprising, Holocaust scholar Gutman draws on diaries, personal letters, and underground press reports in this compelling, authoritative account of a landmark event in Jewish history. Here, too, is a portrait of the vibrant culture that shaped the young fighters, whose inspired defiance would have far-reaching implications for the Jewish people and the State of Israel.
The Essential Guide to Being Polish: 50 Facts & Facets of Nationhood
By: Anna Spysz, Marta Turek
Being Polish is no joke. For ten million people of Polish ancestry in the United States, as well as many who have settled in the UK since the fall of communism, it is a heartfelt matter -- and amid all the travel guides and guides to Polish language, folklore, and customs, there is no single, comprehensive, reader-friendly and yet ever-informative reference on what it means to be Polish. Enter The Essential Guide to Being Polish -- the go-to concise resource for anyone looking to reconnect with their culture or, indeed, hoping that their friends, children, or colleagues learn something about their heritage. Divided into three sections to make for an easy-to-follow format -- Poland in Context, Poles in Poland, and Poles Abroad -- this guide covers just about everything and does so in a style that is at once entertaining and informative: the country's history and geography, wars, Jews in Poland, the communist past, the post-communist past and present, language, kings and queens, religion/Catholicism (with special focus on Pope John Paul II), holidays, food, and drink. What is a real Polish wedding all about? That, too, is addressed succinctly and with flair in this guide. Other chapters cover literature, music, art, famous scientists, Polish men and Polish women, Poles in America, Poles in the UK, Poles and the EU, and last but not least, Polish pride.
The Haunted Land: Facing Europe's Ghosts After Communism
By: Tina Rosenberg
The Pulitzer Prize-winning look at the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe
The Palgrave Concise Historical Atlas of Eastern Europe: Revised and Updated by Dennis P. Hupchick (2001-09-22)
By: Dennis P. Hupchick; Harold E. Cox;
The Romani Gypsies
By: Yaron Matras
“Gypsies” have lived among Europeans since the Middle Ages. Yet Roms still seem exotic to Westerners, who often rely on fictional depictions for what they know, or think they know, about this much-misunderstood people. The Romani Gypsies challenges stereotypes that have long been the unwelcome travel companions of this community in Europe and the New World. Yaron Matras offers a perspective-changing account of who the Roms are, how they live today, and how they have survived over centuries.Descendants of Indian migrants, Roms began moving into western Europe in the 1300s, refugees of a collapsing Byzantine Empire. By the 1500s they had spread throughout Europe, working as itinerant smiths and toolmakers, healers and entertainers, and would soon reach the Americas. Often described as Egyptian―hence the name Gypsies―they were ostracized as beggars, vilified as criminals, respected as artisans, and idealized as free spirits. They have been both enslaved and protected, forced to settle down and forcibly expelled, in a pattern of manipulation and persecution that persists in our own time.Matras draws on decades of first-hand research into Romani life to explain the organization of Romani society, its shared language, history, and traditions, as well as differences among widely dispersed Romani groups. He also details the present-day dilemmas surrounding the struggle of Roms for political recognition in European countries which are, by turns, either ambivalent or openly hostile.
Another Beauty
By: Adam Zagajewski, Clare Cavanagh
A poet describes coming of age in Communist Poland while the Party is losing power and the opposition grows in strength.
The Zookeeper's Wife: A War Story
By: Diane Ackerman
The New York Times bestseller soon to be a major motion picture starring Jessica Chastain. A true story in which the keepers of the Warsaw Zoo saved hundreds of people from Nazi hands. After their zoo was bombed, Polish zookeepers Jan and Antonina Zabinski managed to save over three hundred people from the Nazis by hiding refugees in the empty animal cages. With animal names for these "guests," and human names for the animals, it's no wonder that the zoo's code name became "The House Under a Crazy Star." Best-selling naturalist and acclaimed storyteller Diane Ackerman combines extensive research and an exuberant writing style to re-create this fascinating, true-life story―sharing Antonina's life as "the zookeeper's wife," while examining the disturbing obsessions at the core of Nazism. Winner of the 2008 Orion Award. 8 pages of illustrations
This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen (Penguin Modern Classics)
By: Tadeusz Borowski
Tadeusz Borowski’s concentration camp stories were based on his own experiences surviving Auschwitz and Dachau. In spare, brutal prose he describes a world where where the will to survive overrides compassion and prisoners eat, work and sleep a few yards from where others are murdered; where the difference between human beings is reduced to a second bowl of soup, an extra blanket or the luxury of a pair of shoes with thick soles; and where the line between normality and abnormality vanishes. Published in Poland after the Second World War, these stories constitute a masterwork of world literature.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 Complete Maus
By: Art Spiegelman
The Pulitzer Prize-winning Maus tells the story of Vladek Spiegelman, a Jewish survivor of Hitler’s Europe, and his son, a cartoonist coming to terms with his father’s story. Maus approaches the unspeakable through the diminutive. Its form, the cartoon (the Nazis are cats, the Jews mice), shocks us out of any lingering sense of familiarity and succeeds in “drawing us closer to the bleak heart of the Holocaust” (The New York Times).Maus is a haunting tale within a tale. Vladek’s harrowing story of survival is woven into the author’s account of his tortured relationship with his aging father. Against the backdrop of guilt brought by survival, they stage a normal life of small arguments and unhappy visits. This astonishing retelling of our century’s grisliest news is a story of survival, not only of Vladek but of the children who survive even the survivors. Maus studies the bloody pawprints of history and tracks its meaning for all of us.
The Painted Bird
By: Jerzy Kosinski
Originally published in 1965, The Painted Bird established Jerzy Kosinski as a major literary figure. Kosinski's story follows a dark-haired, olive-skinned boy, abandoned by his parents during World War II, as he wanders alone from one village to another, sometimes hounded and tortured, only rarely sheltered and cared for. Through the juxtaposition of adolescence and the most brutal of adult experiences, Kosinski sums up a Bosch-like world of harrowing excess where senseless violence and untempered hatred are the norm. Through sparse prose and vivid imagery, Kosinski's novel is a story of mythic proportion, even more relevant to today's society than it was upon its original publication.
The Spies of Warsaw: A Novel
By: Alan Furst
An autumn evening in 1937. A German engineer arrives at the Warsaw railway station. Tonight, he will be with his Polish mistress; tomorrow, at a workers’ bar in the city’s factory district, he will meet with the military attaché from the French embassy. Information will be exchanged for money. So begins The Spies of Warsaw, the brilliant new novel by Alan Furst, lauded by The New York Times as “America’s preeminent spy novelist.”War is coming to Europe. French and German intelligence operatives are locked in a life-and-death struggle on the espionage battlefield. At the French embassy, the new military attaché, Colonel Jean-Francois Mercier, a decorated hero of the 1914 war, is drawn into a world of abduction, betrayal, and intrigue in the diplomatic salons and back alleys of Warsaw. At the same time, the handsome aristocrat finds himself in a passionate love affair with a Parisian woman of Polish heritage, a lawyer for the League of Nations.Colonel Mercier must work in the shadows, amid an extraordinary cast of venal and dangerous characters–Colonel Anton Vyborg of Polish military intelligence; the mysterious and sophisticated Dr. Lapp, senior German Abwehr officer in Warsaw; Malka and Viktor Rozen, at work for the Russian secret service; and Mercier’s brutal and vindictive opponent, Major August Voss of SS counterintelligence. And there are many more, some known to Mercier as spies, some never to be revealed.The Houston Chronicle has described Furst as “the greatest living writer of espionage fiction.” The Spies of Warsaw is his finest novel to date–the history precise, the writing evocative and powerful, more a novel about spies than a spy novel, exciting, atmospheric, erotic, and impossible to put down.“As close to heaven as popular fiction can get.”–Los Angeles Times, about The Foreign Correspondent“What gleams on the surface in Furst’s books is his vivid, precise evocation of mood, time, place, a letter-perfect re-creation of the quotidian details of World War II Europe that wraps around us like the rich fug of a wartime railway station.”–Time“A rich, deeply moving novel of suspense that is equal parts espionage thriller, European history and love story.”–Herbert Mitgang, The New York Times, about Dark Star“Some books you read. Others you live. They seep into your dreams and haunt your waking hours until eventually they seem the stuff of memory and experience. Such are the novels of Alan Furst, who uses the shadowy world of espionage to illuminate history and politics with immediacy.”–Nancy Pate, Orlando Sentinel
The Street of Crocodiles and Other Stories (Penguin Classics)
By: Bruno Schulz
The collected fiction of "one of the most original imaginations in modern Europe" (Cynthia Ozick) Bruno Schulz's untimely death at the hands of a Nazi stands as one of the great losses to modern literature. During his lifetime, his work found little critical regard, but word of his remarkable talents gradually won him an international readership. This volume brings together his complete fiction, including three short stories and his final surviving work, Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass. Illustrated with Schulz's original drawings, this edition beautifully showcases the distinctive surrealist vision of one of the twentieth century's most gifted and influential writers. 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.
To Begin Where I Am: Selected Essays
By: Czeslaw Milosz, Bogdana Carpenter, Madeline G. Levine
A comprehensive selection of essays--some never before translated into English--by the Nobel Laureate.To Begin Where I Am brings together a rich sampling of poet Czeslaw Milosz's prose writings. Spanning more than a half century, from an impassioned essay on human nature, wartime atrocities, and their challenge to ethical beliefs, written in 1942 in the form of a letter to his friend Jerzy Andrzejewski, to brief biographical sketches and poetic prose pieces from the late 1990s, this volume presents Milosz the prose writer in all his multiple, beguiling guises. The incisive, sardonic analyst of the seductive power of communism is also the author of tender, elegiac portraits of friends famous and obscure; the witty commentator on Polish complexes writes lyrically of the California landscape. Two great themes predominate in these essays, several of which have never appeared before in English: Milosz's personal struggle to sustain his religious faith, and his unswerving allegiance to a poetry that is "on the side of man."
Travel Insurance

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

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

Terms and conditions

Our Mission

Smithsonian Journeys 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
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  • 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
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  • Meals, as noted in the itinerary (B-breakfast; L-lunch; D-dinner; R-reception)
  • All sightseeing and visits as noted in each itinerary
  • For tours that include  round-trip international airfare:  Airfare to/from your departure city, airline taxes, fuel surcharges, and departure fees are included

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
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  • Other items noted as optional or not specifically mentioned as included
  • Airfare to/from your departure city is not included. Optional airfare may be available at an additional cost.

Registration 

To submit a reservation request, please use our secure online system at SmithsonianJourneys.org or call 855-330-1542 to speak with a Reservations Specialist, Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Eastern Time). Submitting an online request does not guarantee space on a tour.  You will be notified by a Reservation Specialist of your status once your request has been received and processed. 

To complete your reservation, the following information is required.

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

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

Payments

A deposit of $500 per person for a land tour reservation or $1,000 for a cruise reservation, unless otherwise noted, is required to reserve a space on a tour.  All payments may be made by credit card or check to the tour operator.  Deposits are applied to final payment of the tour price.

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

Late Registration

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

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

For additional information, please contact a Reservations Specialist at 1-855-330-1542 Monday - Friday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. (Eastern Time), at SJReservations@si.edu or SmithsonianJourneys.org.

A Note About Costs

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

Wait List

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

Cancellation and Refund Policy

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

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

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

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

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

Physical and Medical Considerations

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

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

Itinerary or Tour Modifications

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

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

Hotel Accommodations

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

Singles and Roommates

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

Children

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

Special Travel Arrangements

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

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

Dispute Resolution

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

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

Photography and Video

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

Smoking Policy

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

READ CAREFULLY: RESPONSIBILITY STATEMENT AND LIABILITY DISCLAIMER

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

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

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

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

The undersigned has read carefully the Responsibility Statement and Liability Disclaimer set forth above, the schedule of activities for this tour, as well as the terms and conditions of application and participation as set forth in the tour materials, and recognizes and accepts any risk associated with the tour and the conditions, including the refund policy, set forth in the tour materials. The undersigned further acknowledges that there are many risks and uncertainties inherent in any travel tour, including but not limited to the hazards of various modes of transportation, forces of nature, 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.