Explore thousands of years of Black history in London and learn how individuals of the African diaspora shaped the London culture of today.

Starting at: $4,890 * Price includes special offer Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 London's iconic Trafalgar Square.  Enjoy walking tours of London's iconic sites.  Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery. Credit: London On View  Art on view at the National Gallery. Credit: London On View  St. Paul's Cathedral, London. Credit: London On View  Enjoy a toe-tapping jazz performance.  Credit: Jorge Zapata  London's Tower Bridge  Houses of Parliament overlooking the Thames River  London and the River Thames. Credit: Julian Lovel, London and Partners  Lobby of the historic Radisson Blu Vanderbilt Hotel, Kensington, London

London: The African Diaspora

9 days from $4,890

Explore thousands of years of Black history in London and learn how individuals of the African diaspora shaped the London culture of today.

or Call 855-330-1542

Overview

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).

Itinerary

Day 1 & 2 – Depart the U.S., Arrive London

Depart the U.S. on your transatlantic flight to LondonAfter arrival at London’s Heathrow Airport, transfer to the Radisson Blu Edwardian Vanderbilt Hotel, located within walking distance of many of London’s famous highlights.

Upon arrival at the hotel, you will receive a Welcome Package with information about London as well as a map of the city. You will also receive a London Transport Oyster pass, good for travel on London’s Underground, its iconic double-decker buses, and so much more. You'll learn how to use local transportation by traveling as a group to London sites. Your Smithsonian Journeys Travel Director will be available throughout the program for suggestions regarding theater, restaurants, and independent activities.

This afternoon, gather for a walking tour of the neighborhood around your hotel. This evening join fellow travelers for a welcome reception and dinner at the hotel. (R,D)

Day 3 – London

Watch a poignant film screening that reveals the struggles against racism in the United Kingdom, followed by a discussion comparing the Black British Civil Rights Movement to the U.S. Civil Rights Movement. Then follow thousands of years of fascinating Black history during a panoramic tour of London. View famous landmarks, including the Tower of London and Piccadilly Circus, through the African Caribbean perspective. See spaces integral to London’s Black communities, and learn about prominent historical figures and their significant contributions to London’s culture. This evening, gather at a local pub for a festive dinner. (B,D)

Day 4 – London

At the National Gallery, a local expert joins you to offer insight into works of art illustrating the Black presence in London from the 15th to 19th centuries. After an included lunch, spend time exploring Trafalgar Square and discover the rich history of this section of London and its important links between the African, Indian, and Caribbean communities. In the early evening, gather at a local pub for a Smithsonian Journeys Travelers Corner and an opportunity to share insights. (B,L)

Day 5 – London

Gather for a presentation by a local expert on the legacies of notable African American figures, including James Baldwin, Frederick Douglass, and Phillis Wheatley.

Then depart on a walking tour of Soho to learn about the hundreds of years of African-Caribbean history in this neighborhood, and the presence of blues and jazz in its musical scene. Discuss key events and important figures such as Marcus Garvey, Paul Robeson, and Dr. Ivan Van Sertima. This afternoon is free for you to explore London on your own. Your Smithsonian Journeys Travel Director will offer guidance on using the London Tube to access the city. This evening is free of planned activities. (B)

Day 6 – London

Travel by London’s Tube to one of the city’s oldest areas. Visit St. Paul’s Cathedral, known for its splendid dome, and the Roman Amphitheatre, discovered in 1988. Afterwards, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.

This afternoon, travel to the southern neighborhood of Brixton to visit the Black Cultural Archives, the only national heritage center dedicated to collecting, preserving, and celebrating the histories of African and Caribbean people in Britain. Then visit the neighborhood of Brixton and experience the colorful, buzzing arcades of Brixton Market, a hub of activity with stalls selling everything from coffee and textiles to jewelry and African-Caribbean cuisine.

This evening, return to Soho to enjoy a festive dinner followed by a toe-tapping jazz show at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club. (B,L,D)

Day 7 – London

This morning, take a cruise on the iconic Thames, which meanders through the heart of London. Pass by the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, the London Eye, and other important sites.

This afternoon, travel beyond the city along the Thames to the Museum of London Docklands, situated in a former sugar warehouse, which features a notable permanent exhibition entitled "London, Sugar & Slavery" that explores London's role in the transatlantic slave trade. Discover how the trade in enslaved Africans and sugar shaped London. In the early evening gather in the Smithsonian Journeys Travelers Corner to informally discuss the day’s events. (B)

Day 8 – London

After breakfast attend an engaging discussion about London’s current political, economic, and social status within the context of the city’s Black communities. Then enjoy time at leisure to explore London further independently. This evening gather for a festive farewell reception followed by dinner. (B,R,D)

Day 9 - Depart for the U.S.

After breakfast check out of the hotel. A group transfer is provided to London’s Heathrow Airport for flights home. (B)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)