Board a modern paddle wheeler and marvel at dazzling autumn colors and the clear blue skies of Oregon and Washington. Your journey traces the epic route of Lewis and Clark, two centuries ago, as they explored America's great Columbia and Snake Rivers.

Starting at: $6,390 * Price includes special offer Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 The Columbia River  The Palouse River and waterfall. Credit: Jason Hatfield  The <i>American Pride</i> paddle wheeler  Lewis and Clark's Fort Clatsop in Oregon  The dramatic Mount Hood  Multnomah Falls in the Columbia River Gorge

In the Wake of Lewis and Clark

Cruising the Columbia and Snake Rivers

9 days from $6,390

Board a modern paddle wheeler and marvel at dazzling autumn colors and the clear blue skies of Oregon and Washington. Your journey traces the epic route of Lewis and Clark, two centuries ago, as they explored America's great Columbia and Snake Rivers.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

TOUR BROCHURE

brochure iconbrochure

WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

I enjoyed our expedition landing craft tour of Palouse Falls. Great small ship. Wonderful food! My 6th Smithsonian trip!

- Gail A.

My perspective on the world was transformed by this expedition.

- Jeffrey A.

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

See All Journeys Dispatches ››

Accommodations

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

Red Lion on the River

Jantzen Beach Portland, United States

Breathtaking river views are just one of the highpoints of the Red Lion Hotel on the River - Jantzen Beach. This upscale Portland hotel provides comfortably appointed guest rooms in a rustic setting just outside of the city center. Rooms feature large flat-screen TVs, complimentary Wi-Fi and other modern amenities. Unwind in the hotel’s fully equipped fitness center and relax with a drink before having dinner in the Jantzen Beach Bar & Grill.

The hotel room block consists of accommodations with one king bed or two queen beds. Solo travelers will be accommodated in double rooms.

Number of nights: 1

Activity Levels

Activity Level 2: Moderate

Expectations: River cruise that pulls into a pier for disembarkation via a gangway. Morning and afternoon excursions off the ship, some by way of smaller watercraft, trolley, or motor coach. There will also be guided walks from the pier. Moderate pace. Excursions can be over uneven terrain (e.g. cobblestones, city hills, stairs without handrails, the absence of elevators); some longer walks and extensive walking at museums and historic sites.

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

River Cruising

Guidance on water levels and itinerary modifications

Your ship is designed with state-of-the-art flexibility in navigating rivers. On rare occasions, river cruising is subject to challenges due to unannounced river lock maintenance and/or weather-related increases or decreases in river depth. Extreme conditions may render a portion of a river itinerary unnavigable.

Should your river cruise be affected: 

  • You will receive a revised schedule outlining any changes prior to your departure either by regular mail or email. 
  • Any additional transportation, hotel accommodations, meals or special events, as a result, changes to the published itinerary will not increase the price of your trip. 
  • All ports of call and trip highlights contained in your original itinerary will be included in your revised schedule.  Under these extreme circumstances, additional motor coach travel, ship changes and/or hotel nights may be required to ensure participants experience the trip safely and as advertised.
Ship

American Pride

American Pride offers an unparalleled paddlewheel experience on the Columbia and Snake Rivers. Discover the natural beauty and heritage of the Pacific Northwest while enjoying the finest in accommodations and personalized on-board service. Staterooms range between 200 and 450 sq. ft. in size, and feature full-size bathrooms, modern appointments and large opening picture window or private balcony. In addition to the amazing scenery, master chefs prepare menus that are tailored to highlights the cuisine of the Pacific Northwest.

The stateroom block is comprised of a range of categories at various price levels. Solo travelers have a choice of accommodations including single categories.

 The <i>American Pride</i> paddle wheeler  One of the amazing lounges inside the American Pride   A backside view of the American Pride from  The elegant lounge with amazing view onboard of the American Pride

American Pride

American Pride offers an unparalleled paddlewheel experience on the Columbia and Snake Rivers. Discover the natural beauty and heritage of the Pacific Northwest while enjoying the finest in accommodations and personalized on-board service. Staterooms range between 200 and 450 sq. ft. in size, and feature full-size bathrooms, modern appointments and large opening picture window or private balcony. In addition to the amazing scenery, master chefs prepare menus that are tailored to highlights the cuisine of the Pacific Northwest.

The stateroom block is comprised of a range of categories at various price levels. Solo travelers have a choice of accommodations including single categories.

 The <i>American Pride</i> paddle wheeler  One of the amazing lounges inside the American Pride   A backside view of the American Pride from  The elegant lounge with amazing view onboard of the American Pride
Testimonials

WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

I enjoyed our expedition landing craft tour of Palouse Falls. Great small ship. Wonderful food! My 6th Smithsonian trip!

- Gail A.

My perspective on the world was transformed by this expedition.

- Jeffrey A.
Reading List
A River Lost: The Life and Death of the Columbia (Revised and Updated)
By: Blaine Harden
"Superbly reported and written with clarity, insight, and great skill." ―Washington Post Book World After two decades, Washington Post journalist Blaine Harden returned to his small-town birthplace in the Pacific Northwest to follow the rise and fall of the West’s most thoroughly conquered river. To explore the Columbia River and befriend those who collaborated in its destruction, he traveled on a monstrous freight barge sailing west from Idaho to the Grand Coulee Dam, the site of the river’s harnessing for the sake of jobs, electricity, and irrigation. A River Lost is a searing personal narrative of rediscovery joined with a narrative of exploitation: of Native Americans, of endangered salmon, of nuclear waste, and of a once-wild river. Updated throughout, this edition features a new foreword and afterword. 7 maps
The Restless Northwest: A Geological Story
By: Hill Williams
In an easy conversational style, The Restless Northwest provides a brief overview of the remarkable geological processes that have shaped the Pacific Northwest. The narrative also is sprinkled with firsthand accounts of the people involved in recent exciting scientific discoveries. Williams enlivens this story of long-ago geologic events with a variety of fascinating asides, on everything from enormous undersea tubeworms to the Willamette meteorite.
On the River with Lewis and Clark (Environmental History Series)
By: Verne Huser
On their remarkable journey across the North American continent, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark's "Corps of Discovery" traveled almost 10,000 miles, about 9,000 of them on rivers—the Ohio, Mississippi, Missouri, Jefferson, Beaverhead, Clearwater, Snake, Columbia, Yellowstone—or their associated forks, creeks, and tributaries.With an expert's eye, Verne Huser tells us what it was like to mount and carry out an expedition that was "basically a river trip." From the construction of the boats in 1803 to the negotiation of the last miles home three years later, the explorers were tied inextricably to the river systems that carried them west into uncharted territory and back again. From the Ohio River to the Columbia, they rowed, paddled, pulled, poled, sailed, and portaged their way into history—mapping, collecting, and recording a country's first glimpse of its western wealth.Himself a river man, Huser has canoed, rafted, or cruised much of the expedition's route. He brings to the famous story his knowledge of the "ways of wind and water," giving readers a rare, first-hand look at the benefits and hazards of river travel as they might have been experienced by the thirty-three explorers—some boatmen, some not—on the river with Lewis and Clark.
The Essential Lewis and Clark (Lewis & Clark Expedition)
By: Landon Y. Jones
The journals of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark remain the single most important document in the history of American exploration. Through these tales of adventure, edited and annotated by American Book Award nominee Landon Jones, we meet Indian peoples and see the Great Plains, the Rocky Mountains, and western rivers the way Lewis and Clark first observed them -- majestic, pristine, uncharted, and awe-inspiring.
The Journals of Lewis and Clark (Lewis & Clark Expedition)
By: Meriwether Lewis, William Clark
The Journals of Lewis and Clark are "the first report on the West, on the United States over the hill and beyond the sunset, on the province of the American future” (Bernard DeVoto). In 1803, the great expanse of the Louisiana Purchase was an empty canvas. Keenly aware that the course of the nation's destiny lay westward—and that a “Voyage of Discovery” would be necessary to determine the nature of the frontier—President Thomas Jefferson commissioned Meriwether Lewis to lead an expedition from the Missouri River to the northern Pacific coast and back. From 1804 to 1806, accompanied by co-captain William Clark, the Shoshone guide Sacajawea, and thirty-two men, Lewis mapped rivers, traced the principal waterways to the sea, and established the American claim to the territories of Idaho, Washington, and Oregon. Together the captains kept this journal: a richly detailed record of the flora and fauna they sighted, the native tribes they encountered, and the awe-inspiring landscape they traversed, from their base camp near present-day St. Louis to the mouth of the Columbia River, that has become an incomparable contribution to the literature of exploration and the writing of natural history.
Wildlife of the Pacific Northwest: Tracking and Identifying Mammals, Birds, Reptiles, Amphibians, and Invertebrates (A Timber Press Field Guide)
By: David Moskowitz
It's possible to safely see fascinating wildlife—if you know what to look for and where, and if you understand what you see—whether you are far from civilization or right in your own backyard. Wildlife of the Pacific Northwest includes illustrated descriptions for more than 180 mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates most common in Washington, Oregon, British Columbia, northern California, Idaho, and western Montana. With more than 460 photographs, hundreds of scale drawings, and more than 90 distribution maps. This book belongs in every pack and is a must-have for nature lovers of all ages and skill levels.
Lonely Planet Washington, Oregon & the Pacific Northwest (Travel Guide)
By: Lonely Planet, Brendan Sainsbury, Celeste Brash, John Lee, Becky Ohlsen
Lonely Planet: The world's leading travel guide publisher Lonely Planet Washington, Oregon & the Pacific Northwest is your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Explore Washington wine country, hop a ferry to the San Juan Islands or dive into the hipster playground of Portland; all with your trusted travel companion. Get to the heart of Washington, Oregon & the Pacific Northwest and begin your journey now! Inside Lonely Planet Washington, Oregon & the Pacific Northwest Travel Guide: Color maps and images throughout Highlights and itineraries help you tailor your trip to your personal needs and interests Insider tips to save time and money and get around like a local, avoiding crowds and trouble spots Essential info at your fingertips - hours of operation, phone numbers, websites, transit tips, prices Honest reviews for all budgets - eating, sleeping, sight-seeing, going out, shopping, hidden gems that most guidebooks miss Cultural insights give you a richer, more rewarding travel experience - history, art, music, architecture, politics, flora, wildlife, outdoor activities, road trips, cuisine, beer, wine Free, convenient pull-out Washington map (included in print version), plus over 50 maps Covers Seattle, Bellingham, the San Juan Islands, Olympic Peninsula, Washington Cascades, Central & Eastern Washington, Portland, Wine Country, Ashland, Eastern Oregon, Vancouver, Whistler, Vancouver Island and more The Perfect Choice: Lonely Planet Washington, Oregon & the Pacific Northwest , our most comprehensive guide to Washington, Oregon & the Pacific Northwest, is perfect for both exploring top sights and taking roads less traveled. Looking for more extensive coverage? Check out Lonely Planet Western USA guide for a comprehensive look at all the region has to offer. 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. The world awaits! Lonely Planet guides have won the TripAdvisor Traveler's Choice Award in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016. '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 'Lonely Planet guides are, quite simply, like no other.' - New York Times
River of Promise: Lewis and Clark on the Columbia
By: David L. Nicandri
In the many published accounts of the Lewis and Clark expedition, historians have tended to undervalue the explorers encounter with Columbia River country. Most narratives emphasize Lewis and Clark s adventures through their journey to the Bitterroot Mountains but have said little about the rest of their travels west of there.River of Promise fills a significant gap in our understanding of Lewis and Clark s legendary expedition. Historian David L. Nicandri shifts the focus to an essential goal of the explorers: to discover the headwaters of the Columbia and a water route to the Pacific Ocean. He also restores William Clark in his role as the primary geographic problem-solver of the partnership. Most historians assume that Meriwether Lewis was a more distinguished scientist than Clark because of his formal training in Philadelphia and superior writing skills. Here we see Clark as Lewis s equal as scientific geographer, not merely the practical manager of boats and personnel.Nicandri places the legend of Sacagawea in clearer perspective by focusing instead on the contributions of often-overlooked Indian leaders in Columbia River country. He also offers many points of comparison to other explorers and a provocative analysis of Lewis s suicide in 1809, arguing that it was not a sudden event but fruit of a seed planted much earlier, quite possibly in Columbia country.
Lewis and Clark Through Indian Eyes: Nine Indian Writers on the Legacy of the Expedition
By: Alvin M. Josephy Jr.
At the heart of this landmark collection of essays rests a single question: What impact, good or bad, immediate or long-range, did Lewis and Clark’s journey have on the Indians whose homelands they traversed? The nine writers in this volume each provide their own unique answers; from Pulitzer prize-winner N. Scott Momaday, who offers a haunting essay evoking the voices of the past; to Debra Magpie Earling’s illumination of her ancestral family, their survival, and the magic they use to this day; to Mark N. Trahant’s attempt to trace his own blood back to Clark himself; and Roberta Conner’s comparisons of the explorer’s journals with the accounts of the expedition passed down to her. Incisive and compelling, these essays shed new light on our understanding of this landmark journey into the American West.
Home Below Hell's Canyon
By: Grace Jordan
During the depression days of the early 1930s the Jordan family - Len Jordan (later governor of Idaho and a United States senator), his wife Grace, and their three small children - moved to an Idaho sheep ranch in the Snake River gorge just below Hell's Canyon, deepest scratch on the face of North America. 'Cut off from the world for months at a time, the Jordans became virtually self-sufficient. Short of cash but long on courage, they raised and preserved their food, made their own soap, and educated their children' - Sterling North, "New York World-Telegram". '"Home Below Hell's Canyon" is valuable because it writes a little-known way of life into the national chronicle. We are put in touch with the kind of people who set the country on its feet and in the generations since have kept it there...Primarily it is a book of courage and effort tempered by the warmth of those who trust in goodness and practice it' - "Christian Science Monitor".'The thrilling story of a modern pioneer family...An intensely human account filled with fun, courage and rich family life' - "Seattle Post Intelligencer".
My Heaven in Hells Canyon: Growing Up in Snake River
By: Violet Wilson Shirley
This is one helluva narrative about one helluva woman who believed that Hells Canyon was her heaven. You'll be captivated by Violet Wilson Shirley's stories about ranch life in the deepest part of Hells Canyon. The Pete and Ethel Wilson family lived exemplary lives. Could we survive and scratch out a productive life in this rugged terrain with rattlesnakes, fickle weather, steep slopes, and animal predators constantly challenging our bodies and minds? Could we successfully raise eight children? After she retired, Violet returned to the canyon as a U.S. Forest Service volunteer at the Kirkwood visitor center. She contributed time almost every year between 1986 and 2004. Violet's spirit is chiseled into the cliffs and slopes of Hells Canyon and floats above the rapids of Snake River as it plunges through that spectacular gorge. - Tracy Vallier
Myths and Legends of the Pacific Northwest
By: Katharine Berry Judson
From the preface: "IN the days of the first grandfather, when the earth was young, the Indian, armed only with stone knife, stone hatchet, and bows and arrows, found himself confronted with the work of Some One far greater and stronger than himself. This Power, or Powers, for there came to be many of them, had uplifted snowy mountain peaks, had cut deep canons through the solid rock, had carved out mountain passes, and had blocked the passage of mighty rivers by great rocks and bowlders. These Powers were strong and brutal. They had enormous strength and men of only human size were their prey, as helpless as " flybug " under the heel of the Indian. Tatoosh, the Thunder Bird who lived in the sky, was one of these Powers. He shook the mountains with the flapping, of his wings. The flashing of his eye was the lightning. He caught great whales instead of salmon for food. Only by crumbling a rock into powder so small that he could not even see it, could he secure a piece small enough for the Indian to use as a salmon spear. Because Tatoosh is so terrible and the enemy of red men, his picture is painted and carved on their houses, their canoes, and canoe paddles, indeed everywhere, to soften his anger. Often Tatoosh, as shown in the photograph of the Chilcat blanket, is represented by a single eye —the terrible eye that flashes fire. There is no beneficent deity among these Indians of the Northwest. Sahale does not represent the same idea as that of Manitou, the Great Spirit, among the eastern Indians. Yet Tyhee Sahale, along the Columbia River, and Old Man Above, among the California Indians, represent the clearest idea of a single governing spirit living in the sky. But they are not sure of his friendship. Among most of the tribes, on the other hand, there is an utter lack of any friendly deity, as among the Blackfeet, of Montana, with whom Old Man is simply a trickster, half human, who nearly always gets the worst of it in his encounters with Coyote."
The Fifth Generation: A Nez Perce Tale
By: Linwood Laughy
Trapped between 1950s' American culture and the ancestral voices that haunt him, a 31-year-old Nez Perce man faces a choice between self-destruction or burning a rural Idaho town to the ground. A shaman, a pawnbroker, and a lover help Isaac Moses find new truths during his 12-month journey, while the lives of four generations of his ancestors provide an historical context that blends fact and fiction in an emotional and ultimately triumphant tale. In the late 18th century, the Nez Perce knew that strangers from the east would come among them. Once these strangers arrived, the elders prophesied, Nez Perce hearts would ache for five generations. In Linwood Laughy's remarkable novel, Isaac Moses, former high school basketball star, embodies that fifth generation. Encountering small-town life in the 1950s, Isaac Moses is "a witness at the jagged edge of two Americas" just as his great, great, great grandfather had been as an interpreter with the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The Fifth Generation: A Nez Perce Tale is Isaac's story as well as the story of the American West --with its layers peeled back. The story is raw and real, begging of hope, finding eventual triumph in the lives of an individual and of a people. Author Linwood Laughy knows his history well and has crafted an exquisite tale that, like the best of history, tells us from where we came and creates a greater understanding of where we are. His novel will change forever the way you view the history of the American West.
Cataclysms on the Columbia: The Great Missoula Floods (OpenBook)
By: John Eliot Allen, Marjorie Burns, Scott Burns
Cataclysms on the Columbia tells two stories. One follows geological research that challenged the scientific paradigm of the early 20th century, and the other chronicles the result of that research: the discovery of powerful prehistoric floods that shaped the Pacific Northwest. The cataclysms at the end of the last Ice Age left a scabland of buttes, dry falls, and rocky gorges, but it took the detective work of geologist J Harlen Bretz to prove it to the world. His lifetime of research and unshakeable belief changed geology forever.
In Earshot of Water: Notes from the Columbia Plateau (Sightline Books)
By: Paul Lindholdt
Whether the subject is the plants that grow there, the animals that live there, the rivers that run there, or the people he has known there, Paul Lindholdt’s In Earshot of Water illuminates the Pacific Northwest in vivid detail. Lindholdt writes with the precision of a naturalist, the critical eye of an ecologist, the affection of an apologist, and the self-revelation and self-awareness of a personal essayist in the manner of Annie Dillard, Loren Eiseley, Derrick Jensen, John McPhee, Robert Michael Pyle, and Kathleen Dean Moore.              Exploring both the literal and literary sense of place, with particular emphasis on environmental issues and politics in the far Northwest, Lindholdt weds passages from the journals of Lewis and Clark, the log of Captain James Cook, the novelized memoir of Theodore Winthrop, and Bureau of Reclamation records growing from the paintings that the agency commissioned to publicize its dams in the 1960s and 1970s, to tell ecological and personal histories of the region he knows and loves. In Lindholdt’s beautiful prose, America’s environmental legacies—those inherited from his blood relatives as well as those from the influences of mass culture—and illuminations of  the hazards of neglecting nature’s warning signs blur and merge and reemerge in new forms. Themes of fathers and sons layer the book, as well—the narrator as father and as son—interwoven with a call to responsible social activism with appeals to reason and emotion. Like water itself, In Earshot of Water cascades across boundaries and blends genres, at once learned and literary.
Sky Time in Gray's River: Living for Keeps in a Forgotten Place
By: Robert Michael Pyle
Sky Time in Gray’s River is an elegant meditation on life in the rural Northwest. Although Robert Michael Pyle is a lepidopterist and southwestern Washington is notable for its lack of butterflies, something about the village of Gray’s River spoke to him on a visit thirty years ago. Ever since then he has lived in the village, one of the first to be established near the mouth of the Columbia River and only tenuously connected to the world of the twenty-first century. Sky Time brings Gray’s River to life by compressing those thirty years into twelve chapters, following the lives of the people, plants, and animals month by month through the seasons. Through his story of how the village has changed his life, Pyle illustrates how a special place can transform anyone lucky enough to find it. He shows that you don’t have to travel far to see something new every day — if you know how to look.
The Good Rain: Across Time and Terrain in the Pacific Northwest (Vintage Departures)
By: Timothy Egan
A fantastic book! Timothy Egan describes his journeys in the Pacific Northwest through visits to salmon fisheries, redwood forests and the manicured English gardens of Vancouver. Here is a blend of history, anthropology and politics.
National Audubon Society Field Guide to the Pacific Northwest
By: Peter Alden, Dennis Paulson
The most comprehensive field guide available to the Pacific Northwest--a portable, essential companion for visitors and residents alike--from the go-to reference source for over 18 million nature lovers.This compact volume contains:An easy-to-use field guide for identifying 1,000 of the region's wildflowers, trees, mushrooms, mosses, fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, butterflies, mammals, and much more;A complete overview of the Pacific Northwest's natural history, covering geology, wildlife habitats, ecology, fossils, rocks and minerals, clouds and weather patterns and night sky;An extensive sampling of the area's best parks, preserves, beaches, forests, islands, and wildlife sanctuaries, with detailed descriptions and visitor information for 50 sites and notes on dozens of others.The guide is packed with visual information -- the 1,500 full-color images include more than 1,300 photographs, 14 maps, and 16 night-sky charts, as well as 150 drawings explaining everything from geological processes to the basic features of different plants and animals. For everyone who lives or spends time in Washington or Oregon, there can be no finer guide to the area's natural surroundings than the National Audubon Society Field Guide to the Pacific Northwest.
The Smithsonian's History of America in 101 Objects
By: Richard Kurin
The Smithsonian Institution is America's largest, most important, and most beloved repository for the objects that define our common heritage. Now Under Secretary for Art, History, and Culture Richard Kurin, aided by a team of top Smithsonian curators and scholars, has assembled a literary exhibition of 101 objects from across the Smithsonian's museums that together offer a marvelous new perspective on the history of the United States.Ranging from the earliest years of the pre-Columbian continent to the digital age, and from the American Revolution to Vietnam, each entry pairs the fascinating history surrounding each object with the story of its creation or discovery and the place it has come to occupy in our national memory. Kurin sheds remarkable new light on objects we think we know well, from Lincoln's hat to Dorothy's ruby slippers and Julia Child's kitchen, including the often astonishing tales of how each made its way into the collections of the Smithsonian. Other objects will be eye-opening new discoveries for many, but no less evocative of the most poignant and important moments of the American experience. Some objects, such as Harriet Tubman's hymnal, Sitting Bull's ledger, Cesar Chavez's union jacket, and the Enola Gay bomber, tell difficult stories from the nation's history, and inspire controversies when exhibited at the Smithsonian. Others, from George Washington's sword to the space shuttle Discovery, celebrate the richness and vitality of the American spirit. In Kurin's hands, each object comes to vivid life, providing a tactile connection to American history.Beautifully designed and illustrated with color photographs throughout, The Smithsonian's History of America in 101 Objects is a rich and fascinating journey through America's collective memory, and a beautiful object in its own right.
Travel Insurance

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

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

Terms and conditions

Our Mission

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

What Is Provided With Your Tour

  • The expertise of a Smithsonian Journeys Expert, an experienced Smithsonian Journeys Travel Director throughout the program
  • All accommodations for the duration of the tour
  • Meals, as noted in the itinerary (B-breakfast; L-lunch; D-dinner)
  • Welcome and farewell receptions and dinners as well as a pre-dinner reception each evening
  • Shore excursions, as noted on the itinerary
  • Pre-tour information, including a reading list
  • All on-tour transportation, unless otherwise noted
  • Airport transfers including gratuities for luggage handling for those able to meet the group arrive and departure times. Reservations are required.
  • Free Wi-Fi at the hotel and aboard ship
  • All applicable VAT and sales taxes
  • Gratuities for tour staff, the ship's crew, porters for luggage handling, local guides and drivers, waiters and maîtres d’ at group meals as indicated in the itinerary.

What Is Not Provided With Your Tour

  • Passport fees, visas, and visa photos as required
  • International and in-country airfare and departure taxes
  • Personal items such as wine, liquor, à-la-carte orders, and meals other than those outlined in the itinerary
  • Optional excursions provided with you pre-tour documents
  • Expenses incurred by our tour operator in making individual travel arrangements in conjunction with the tour.
  • Other items not specifically mentioned as included. Optional excursions are at additional cost to be advised
  • Optional travel insurance
  • Port taxes are at an additional cost to the traveler and subject to change

Registration

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

To complete your reservation, the following information is required.

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

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 $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 the final payment of the tour price.

Final payment is due 120 days prior to departure.  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 120 days of departure is considered “on-request” and is subject to specific confirmation. Some tours are more restrictive. Payment in full must be made immediately by credit card, or by check sent by overnight mail to the tour operator before confirmation is possible.

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

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

A Note about Costs

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

Wait List

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

Cancellation and Refund Policy

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

Per person cancellation fees are based on a 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, 120 days before departure)
  • Cancellations after 7 days of booking but within 121 days of departure:  $500 Retained
  • Cancellations made between 120 days and 91 days before departure: $1,000 Retained.
  • Cancellation within 90 days of 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

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

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

Travel Documents and Information

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

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

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

Physical and Medical Considerations

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

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

Itinerary or Tour Modifications

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

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

Hotel Accommodations

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

Singles and Roommates

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

Children

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

Special Travel Arrangements

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

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

Dispute Resolution

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

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

Photography and Video

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

Smoking Policy

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

READ CAREFULLY: RESPONSIBILITY STATEMENT AND LIABILITY DISCLAIMER

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

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

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

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

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

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