Experience the spirit, grandeur, and tradition of cruising the Mississippi River aboard a nostalgic riverboat as you make the journey between spirited New Orleans and lively Memphis.  

Starting at: $5,395 * Price includes special offer Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 <i>America</i>  Oak Alley Plantation, with a quarter mile of oak trees leading to the Greek Revival mansion  Civil War cannons  Old Governor's Mansion in Baton Rouge  <i>America</i>  <i>America</i> cruising the legendary river

Voyage on the Mississippi

A River Cruise from New Orleans to Memphis

9 days from $5,395

Experience the spirit, grandeur, and tradition of cruising the Mississippi River aboard a nostalgic riverboat as you make the journey between spirited New Orleans and lively Memphis.  

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

TOUR BROCHURE

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WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

I would highly recommend Smithsonian. They are a high quality tour organization. They organize the tour in a highly efficient manner. I would travel again with them.

- Victoria B.

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

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Accommodations

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

InterContinental New Orleans

New Orleans, Louisiana , United States

Enjoy luxurious accommodations in a quiet location steps from the city’s French Quarter, the InterContinental New Orleans is renowned for its impeccable service and elegant ambiance. Local artwork can be found throughout the public areas, and wrought iron dominates the atrium dining area, where fresh flowers grace every table, and intimate lighting softens the atmosphere. The spacious guest rooms are in a classic style, with hardwood furnishings and beautiful appointments, flat-screen TVs, big oval mirrors and traditionally framed artwork. Amenities include complimentary Wi-Fi.

Number of nights: 1

Activity Level

Activity Level 2: Moderate


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

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

Ship

Queen of the Mississippi

The Queen of the Mississippi (formally the American Eagle) made its debut on the Mississippi River in summer 2015. The 150-guest paddle wheeler features Victorian-influenced design elements reminiscent of an earlier time on the river, including gingerbread architectural details, balconies, and a red paddlewheel. Spacious staterooms feature private balconies, sitting area, king/twin bed configuration, air conditioning, open closet, writing desk, HD flatscreen TV with DVD player, and en suite bathroom with shower. Outdoor public areas feature two open-air lounges with comfortable wicker furniture; open viewing terraces on the bow of the ship; and outdoor fitness area and putting green. Interior spaces include the Magnolia Lounge, which can seat all guests; the large Victorian-style Skye lounge with wicker furniture; the smaller, club-like Paddlewheel Lounge overlooking the paddlewheel; and a chart room and library. The spacious and bright dining room seats all guests at a single seating with regional menus that utilize locally sourced items and often reflect a Creole and Cajun influence. Complimentary WiFi is offered throughout the ship, including each stateroom, and an elevator services all decks.  

America

With features never before seen on a Mississippi riverboat. The ship embodies a casual ambiance and relaxed atmosphere, while providing panoramic views of the passing scenery. With only 185 guests, fellow passengers will quickly become new friends.

The America offers many amenities. Features aboard this riverboat include:

  • Complimentary WiFi
  • Elevator access to all decks of the ship
  • Grand dining room and multiple lounges
  • Complimentary cocktail hour each evening
  • Open-air exercise area 
  • Satellite television and dvd player available in all spacious staterooms
  • Hotel-size private bathrooms with a full set of amenities
  • Private balconies
  • Sliding glass balcony doors offer panoramic views
  • Twice daily stateroom service
  • Mark twain library and chart room
  • Putting green on the top deck
  • Laundry facilities
  • Individual climate control
  • Jazz and evening musical entertainment
  • Culinary program featuring locally sourced ingredients

Queen of the Mississippi

The Queen of the Mississippi (formally the American Eagle) made its debut on the Mississippi River in summer 2015. The 150-guest paddle wheeler features Victorian-influenced design elements reminiscent of an earlier time on the river, including gingerbread architectural details, balconies, and a red paddlewheel. Spacious staterooms feature private balconies, sitting area, king/twin bed configuration, air conditioning, open closet, writing desk, HD flatscreen TV with DVD player, and en suite bathroom with shower. Outdoor public areas feature two open-air lounges with comfortable wicker furniture; open viewing terraces on the bow of the ship; and outdoor fitness area and putting green. Interior spaces include the Magnolia Lounge, which can seat all guests; the large Victorian-style Skye lounge with wicker furniture; the smaller, club-like Paddlewheel Lounge overlooking the paddlewheel; and a chart room and library. The spacious and bright dining room seats all guests at a single seating with regional menus that utilize locally sourced items and often reflect a Creole and Cajun influence. Complimentary WiFi is offered throughout the ship, including each stateroom, and an elevator services all decks.  

America

With features never before seen on a Mississippi riverboat. The ship embodies a casual ambiance and relaxed atmosphere, while providing panoramic views of the passing scenery. With only 185 guests, fellow passengers will quickly become new friends.

The America offers many amenities. Features aboard this riverboat include:

  • Complimentary WiFi
  • Elevator access to all decks of the ship
  • Grand dining room and multiple lounges
  • Complimentary cocktail hour each evening
  • Open-air exercise area 
  • Satellite television and dvd player available in all spacious staterooms
  • Hotel-size private bathrooms with a full set of amenities
  • Private balconies
  • Sliding glass balcony doors offer panoramic views
  • Twice daily stateroom service
  • Mark twain library and chart room
  • Putting green on the top deck
  • Laundry facilities
  • Individual climate control
  • Jazz and evening musical entertainment
  • Culinary program featuring locally sourced ingredients

Testimonials

WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

I would highly recommend Smithsonian. They are a high quality tour organization. They organize the tour in a highly efficient manner. I would travel again with them.

- Victoria B.
Reading List
Life on the Mississippi
By: Mark Twain
“I loved this job more than any other I had later; I was incredibly proud of It”, a unique Mark Twain wrote. He didn’t write this about literature but about his job as a pilot. In the days of his youth he had a chance to spend five years on the powerful Mississippi river, he navigated ships up and down the river. That’s how Life on the Mississippi, one of his best and unusual books, appeared.
Starving the South: How the North Won the Civil War
By: Andrew F. Smith
A historian’s new look at how Union blockades brought about the defeat of a hungry Confederacy In April 1861, Lincoln ordered a blockade of Southern ports used by the Confederacy for cotton and tobacco exporting as well as for the importation of food. The Army of the Confederacy grew thin while Union dinner tables groaned and Northern canning operations kept Grant’s army strong. In Starving the South, Andrew Smith takes a gastronomical look at the war’s outcome and legacy. While the war split the country in a way that still affects race and politics today, it also affected the way we eat: It transformed local markets into nationalized food suppliers, forced the development of a Northern canning industry, established Thanksgiving as a national holiday and forged the first true national cuisine from the recipes of emancipated slaves who migrated north. On the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Fort Sumter, Andrew Smith is the first to ask “Did hunger defeat the Confederacy?”.
Wicked River: The Mississippi When It Last Ran Wild
By: Lee Sandlin
A riveting narrative look at one of the most colorful, dangerous, and peculiar places in America's historical landscape: the strange, wonderful, and mysterious Mississippi River of the 19th century. Beginning in the early 1800s and climaxing with the siege of Vicksburg in 1863, Wicked River brings to life a place where river pirates brushed elbows with future presidents and religious visionaries shared passage with thieves. Here is a minute-by-minute account of Natchez being flattened by a tornado; the St. Louis harbor being crushed by a massive ice floe; hidden, nefarious celebrations of Mardi Gras; and the sinking of the Sultana, the worst naval disaster in American history. Here, too, is the Mississippi itself: gorgeous, perilous, and unpredictable. Masterfully told, Wicked River is an exuberant work of Americana that portrays a forgotten society on the edge of revolutionary change.
DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: New Orleans
By: DK Travel
Explore the busy streets of New Orleans, including the French Quarter and Bourbon Street, see where to get the best beignets and hurricanes, and find the best places to shop.Discover DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: New Orleans.   • 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.    • Detailed city maps include street finder indexes for easy navigation.    • 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: New Orleans truly shows you this country as no one else can.Series Overview: For more than two decades, DK Eyewitness Travel Guides have helped travelers experience the world through the history, art, architecture, and culture of their destinations. Expert travel writers and researchers provide independent editorial advice, recommendations, and reviews. With guidebooks to hundreds of places around the globe available in print and digital formats, DK Eyewitness Travel Guides show travelers how they can discover more.DK Eyewitness Travel Guides: the most maps, photographs, and illustrations of any guide.
Moon Nashville (Travel Guide)
By: Margaret Littman
Move to the beat and savor the unique creative energy of Music City. From hot Southern food to warm Southern hospitality, you can experience it all with Moon Nashville.Explore the City: Navigate by neighborhood or by activity with color-coded maps, or follow one of our guided neighborhood walksSee the Sites: Visit the Grand Ole Opry, Tennessee State Capitol, and Country Music Hall of Fame, or pay respects to the King on a day trip to Graceland. Stroll the Vanderbilt campus, shop for vintage records and a well-worn pair of cowboy boots, and go honky-tonking late into the nightGet a Taste of the City: Sample authentic hot chicken, dine at a classic cafeteria-style meat-and-three, or find your new favorite food truckBars and Nightlife: Tap your foot to some live music at the Bluebird Café or pull up a barstool for a flight of classic Tennessee whiskeys. Get inspired by up-and-coming singers in The Basement before finding your voice at Lonnie's Western Room karaoke, or try a free dance lesson at Wildhorse Saloon Local Advice from Nashvillian Margaret Littman Flexible, strategic itineraries including a two-day tour, a foodie weekend, and "Music City Without Moola," plus day trips like Land Between the Lakes, Bell Buckle, and the Jack Daniels Distillery in LynchburgTips for Travelers including where to stay, how to safely cycle the city, and more, plus advice for LGBTQ visitors, international travelers, and families with childrenMaps and Tools like background information on the history and culture of Nashville, easy-to-read maps, full-color photos, and neighborhood guides from Midtown to Music Valley With Moon Nashville's practical tips and local know-how, you can plan your trip your way.Hitting the road? Try Moon Blue Ridge Parkway Road Trip or Moon Nashville to New Orleans Road Trip. If you're heading to more of the South's best cities, try Moon Memphis or Moon Atlanta.
The Mississippi and the Making of a Nation: From the Louisiana Purchase to Today
By: Stephen E. Ambrose, Douglas Brinkley
On a map, the Mississippi River cuts America neatly in half coursing from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico and separating East from West. But the Mississippi is in fact the “spine of our nation,” says Stephen Ambrose. It knits the nation together and connects the heartland to the world. It is our great natural wonder, a priceless treasure bought for a fledgling America by the visionary Thomas Jefferson just 200 years ago.   Distinguished historians Stephen Ambrose and Douglas Brinkley, with acclaimed National Geographic photographer Sam Abell, explore the length of the Mississippi—from its mouth at Delacroix Island, Louisiana, to its source at Lake Itasca, Minnesota. The result is this lavish, entertaining, engrossing chronicle of the “father of the waters,” which has shaped the history, the culture, and the very landscape of America.   Highlighted by Sam Abell’s evocative contemporary photographs and wonderful period illustrations, artwork, documents, and maps, this extraordinary panorama of America’s heartland offers a lively, informative journey through the history and the landscape carved by the mighty Mississippi.
The Civil War: An Illustrated History
By: Geoffrey C. Ward, Ric Burns, Ken Burns
The companion volume to the celebrated PBS television series, with a new preface to mark its twenty-fifth anniversary   With more than 500 illustrations: rare Civil War photographs—many never before published—as well as paintings, lithographs, and maps reproduced in full color   It was the greatest war in American history. It was waged in 10,000 places—from Valverde, New Mexico, and Tullahoma, Tennessee, to St. Albans, Vermont, and Fernandina on the Florida coast. More than 3 million Americans fought in it and more than 600,000 men died in it. Not only the immensity of the cataclysm but the new weapons, the new standards of generalship, and the new strategies of destruction—together with the birth of photography—were to make the Civil War an event present ever since in the American consciousness. Thousands of books have been written about it. Yet there has never been a history of the Civil War quite like this one.   A wealth of documentary illustrations and a narrative alive with original and energetic scholarship combine to present both the grand sweep of events and the minutest of human details. Here are the crucial events of the war: the firing of the first shots at Fort Sumter; the battles of Shiloh, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg; the siege of Vicksburg; Sherman’s dramatic march to the sea; the surrender at Appomattox. Here are the superb portraits of the key figures: Abraham Lincoln, claiming for the presidency almost autocratic power in order to preserve the Union; the austere Jefferson Davis, whose government disappeared almost before it could be formed; Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant, seasoned generals of fierce brilliance and reckless determination. Here is the America in which the war was fought: The Civil War is not simply the story of great battles and great generals; it is also an elaborate portrait of the American people—individuals and families, northerners and southerners, soldiers and civilians, slaves and slaveowners, rich and poor, urban and rural—caught up in the turbulence of the times.   An additional resonance is provided by four essays, the work of prominent Civil War historians. Don E. Fehrenbacher discusses the causes of the war; Barbara J. Fields writes about emancipation; James M. McPherson looks at the politics of the 1864 election; C. Vann Woodward speculates on how the war has affected the American identity. And Shelby Foote talks to filmmaker Ken Burns about wartime life on the battlefield and at home.   A magnificent book. In its visual power, its meticulous research, its textual brilliance, and the humanity of its narrative, The Civil War will stand among the most illuminating and memorable portrayals of the American past. 
The Beleaguered City: The Vicksburg Campaign, December 1862-July 1863 (Modern Library)
By: Shelby Foote
The companion volume to Stars in Their Courses, this marvelous account of Grant's siege of the Mississippi port of Vicksburg continues Foote's narrative of the great battles of the Civil War--culled from his massive three-volume history--recounting a campaign which Lincoln called "one of the most brilliant in the world."
Africans in America: America's Journey through Slavery
By: Charles Johnson, Patricia Smith, WGBH Series Research Team
A riveting narrative history of America, from the 1607 landing in Jamestown to the brink of the Civil War, Africans in America tells the shared history of Africans and Europeans as seen through the lens of slavery. It is told from the point of view of the Africans who arrived in shackles and endured the terrible dichotomy of this new land founded on the ideal of liberty but dedicated to the perpetuation of slavery. Meticulously researched, this book weaves together the experiences of the colonists, slaves, free and fugitive blacks, and abolitionists to present an utterly original document, a startling and moving drama of the effects of slavery and racism on our conflicted national identity. The result transcends history as we were taught it and transforms the way we see our past.
Coming Back: New Orleans Resurgent
By: Brand: Umbrage Editions
Mario Tama's moving body of award-winning pictures documents Hurricane Katrina's shocking disaster and the resilience of recovery, hope, and change. It won the 2011 Nautilus Silver Award and was a finalist for Pictures of the Year Best PhotoBook Award.As a news photographer for Getty Images, Tama's powerful imagery of events like September 11th, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the funeral of Pope John Paul II, and the earthquake in Haiti have appeared in major magazines and newspapers internationally. His numerous honors include the prestigious Cliff Edom's New America Award at the NPPA Best of Photojournalism Awards, POY Year International, White House News Photographers Association, NPPA's Best of Photojournalism, UNICEF Photo of the Year, and Care International Award for Humanitarian Reportage. In 2008 Tama was nominated for an Emmy Award for his Coney Island series, and his work on Baghdad's orphans was exhibited at Visa Pour L'Image in Perpignan.Features an introduction by Anderson Cooper, who joined CNN in 2001 and has anchored Anderson Cooper 360 since 2003. Previously a correspondent for ABC News and Channel One News, his many awards include four Emmys for his comprehensive and impassioned coverage of world events.
It Came From Memphis
By: Robert Gordon
Robert Gordon begins where most chroniclers of the music world end and spins a magical fairy tale peopled with Delta bluesmen, a peanut vendor, a matinee cowboy, a professional wrestler, and a manic deejay. It Came From Memphis doesn't focus on Elvis, Al Green, or the Sun/Stax studios. Instead it creeps into the shadows cast by those institutions, concentrating on artists like Jim Dickinson and Alex Chilton, and bands like the MarKeys and Big Star. Gordon limns, with respect and the fascination born of true devotion, the story of white teenagers caught in the middle of an extraordinary confluence of music, entrepreneurship, to usher in an exciting new musical form. The result is a rock 'n' roll and Memphis -- its alma mater.
The Barber of Natchez
By: Edwin Adams Davis, William Ransom Hogan
The diary, letters, and business records of an ex-slave reveal his personal thoughts concerning the social, political, and economic conditions of the antebellum South.In The Barber of Natchez, Edwin Adams Davis and William Ransom Hogan tell the remarkable story of William Johnson, a slave who rose to freedom, business success, and high community standing in the heart of the South--all before 1850. Emancipated as a young boy in 1820, Johnson became a barber's apprentice and later opened several profitable barber shops of his own. As his wealth grew, he expanded into real estate and acquired large tracts of nearby farm and timber land. The authors explore in detail Johnson's family, work, and social life, including his friendships with people of both races. They also examine his wanton murder and the resulting trial of the man accused of shooting him. More than the story of one individual, the narrative also offers compelling insight into the southern code of honor, the apprentice system, and the ownership of slaves by free blacks. Based on Johnson's two-thousand-page diary, letters, and business records, this extraordinary biography reveals the complicated life of a freedman in Mississippi and a new perspective on antebellum Natchez.
Around the Bend: A Mississippi River Adventure
By: C. C. Lockwood
In the Summer of 1997, renowned nature photographer C.C. Lockwood embarked on a remarkable adventure. First by canoe and then by Grand Canyon-style pontoon raft, he journeyed the length of the Mississippi River - 2,320 miles - from its source at Lake Itasca, Minnesota, to its mouth at the Gulf of Mexico. Armed with his camera and computer equipment to transmit stories and pictures to school children, this high-tech Huck Finn trained his lens on spectacular scenes, creating images that vividly depict the life pulsing in and near this vital artery - water and lands that touch the lives of every American.
Louisiana Rambles: Exploring America's Cajun and Creole Heartland
By: Ian McNulty
After Hurricane Katrina laid bare the fragility and environmental peril of South Louisiana, author Ian McNulty set out on a series of daytrips to delve into the area's diverse cultural landscapes. He explored communities staked up and down the Mississippi River, nestled into the teeming bayous, braced along the edge of the Gulf, and planted out on the golden prairie stretching to the west. Louisiana Rambles is his richly evocative guide to those journeys.McNulty delivers an inimitable take on Cajun and Creole Louisiana-the siren call of zydeco dance halls pulsing in the country darkness; of crawfish "boiling points" and traditional country smokehouses; of Cajun jam sessions, where even wallflowers are compelled to dance; of equine gambits in the cradle of jockeys; and of fishing trips where anyone can land impressive catches. In South Louisiana, distilled European heritage, the African American experience, and modern southern exuberance mix with tumultuous history and fantastically fecund natural environments. The territories McNulty opens to the reader are arguably the nation's most exotic and culturally distinct destinations.McNulty quests for the heart of these places and people. Much more than a travel guide or collection of travel narratives, Louisiana Rambles is a seasoned writer's witness to an epic locale that is very often joyous, sometimes heartbreaking, and always vital and stimulating. An extensive, chapter-by-chapter appendix filled with travel tips and notes from the road (or the bayou) will let visitors explore well beyond the beaten tourist paths and help Louisiana residents appreciate their own terrain in a new light.
The Moviegoer
By: Walker Percy
Winner of the 1961 National Book AwardThe dazzling novel that established Walker Percy as one of the major voices in Southern literature is now available for the first time in Vintage paperback.The Moviegoer is Binx Bolling, a young New Orleans stockbroker who surveys the world with the detached gaze of a Bourbon Street dandy even as he yearns for a spiritual redemption he cannot bring himself to believe in. On the eve of his thirtieth birthday, he occupies himself dallying with his secretaries and going to movies, which provide him with the "treasurable moments" absent from his real life. But one fateful Mardi Gras, Binx embarks on a hare-brained quest that outrages his family, endangers his fragile cousin Kate, and sends him reeling through the chaos of New Orleans' French Quarter. Wry and wrenching, rich in irony and romance, The Moviegoer is a genuine American classic.
Delta Wedding (A Harvest/Hbj Book)
By: Eudora Welty
A vivid and charming portrait of a large southern family, the Fairchilds, who live on a plantation in the Mississippi delta. The story, set in 1923, is exquisitely woven from the ordinary events of family life, centered around the visit of a young relative, Laura McRaven, and the family’s preparations for her cousin Dabney’s wedding.
National Audubon Society Regional Guide to the Southeastern States: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, ... (National Audubon Society Field Guides)
By: National Audubon Society
The most comprehensive field guide available to the American Southeast--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 state's wildflowers, trees, mushrooms, mosses, fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, butterflies, mammals, and much more;A complete overview of the southeastern region's natural history, covering geology, wildlife habitats, ecology, fossils, rocks and minerals, clouds and weather patterns, and the night sky;An extensive sampling of the area's best parks, preserves, hiking trails, forests, 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, 13 maps, and 16 night-sky charts, as well as more than 100 drawings explaining everything from geological processes to the basic features of different plants and animals.  For everyone who lives or spends time in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, or Tennessee, there can be no finer guide to the area's natural surroundings than the National Audubon Society Field Guide to the Southeastern States.
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

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
  • All gratuities for the expert, ship's crew, tour director, ship's crew, on-tour guides and drivers
  • 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)
  • Pre-tour information, including a reading list
  • All on-tour transportation, unless otherwise noted
  • All accommodations for the duration of the tour
  • Meals, as noted in the itinerary (B-breakfast; L-lunch; D-dinner; R-reception)
  • All sightseeing and visits as noted in each itinerary
  • For tours that include  round-trip international airfare:  Airfare to/from your departure city, airline taxes, fuel surcharges, and departure fees are included
  • For cruises and train journeys: Port charges and cruise line fees, gratuities for ship’s crew

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
  • Optional travel insurance, including cancellation/delay/lost baggage insurance
  • Personal items, unless otherwise stated, such as wine, liquors, a-la-carte orders
  • Expenses incurred by our tour operator in making any individual travel arrangements in conjunction with the tour
  • Airline baggage and other airline fees and associated taxes, unless noted in Tour description
  • Communication Charges (e.g.: phone, internet, etc.)
  • Port Charges are an additional $250 per person. 
  • 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 Cultural Travel 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 $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 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 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 91days 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- 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.