Join us on this new mystery lover’s program focused on famous detective novels and novelists, as well as real-life art theft and forgery, as you explore London and Venice and ride aboard an iconic train. 

Starting at: $9,850 * Price includes special offer Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express  Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament  Typical Venetian scene with gondolas  Lounge car on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express  The friendly and helpful staff aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express  Dining car aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express  Dining car aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express  Accommodations aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express  Accommodations aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express  Accommodations on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express  Big Ben and Parliament, London  London's Tower Bridge  The iconic British Museum. Credit: Pawel Libera / London and Partners  London's Trafalgar Square  Piazza San Marco at night  Interior of the Basilica of San Marco, Venice  Altar at Santa Maria dei Gloriosa dei Frari  Titian's Assumption at Santa Maria dei Gloriosa dei Frari  Venice's famous Rialto Bridge

Mystery on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

From London to Venice

8 days from $9,850

Join us on this new mystery lover’s program focused on famous detective novels and novelists, as well as real-life art theft and forgery, as you explore London and Venice and ride aboard an iconic train. 

or Call 855-330-1542

Accommodations

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

Hotel Royal Horseguards (Groups C & D)

London, England

This majestic and historic five-star hotel overlooks the River Thames and is walking distance from many popular attractions including Trafalgar Square, the National Theater, the London Eye, and Covent Garden. The hotel even houses a part of history as the former home and office to the first ‘Chief’ of the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), Sir Mansfield Cumming, now commemorated with an English Heritage Blue Plaque. Inside you’ll find glittering chandeliers and contemporary decor, making this hotel the picture of refurbished Victorian splendor. Stunning in every detail, the intimate rooms at the Royal Horseguards are beautifully designed with lavish furnishings and double-glazed windows. The rooms are equipped with modern essentials, complimentary Wi-Fi, safe deposit box, and 32” LCD TV. There is also a fully equipped gym and a dedicated Guest Relations team on hand 24/7.

Number of nights: 3

Hotel Monaco & Grand Canal

Venice, Italy

The four-star Hotel Monaco in Venice is located on the Grand Canal, across from the Salute church and steps from St Mark's square. The historic palace was originally owned by the Dandolo family and was an important meeting place for local residents and foreign visitors in the 17th century, including Casanova. The recent renovations have restored the building to its former glory adding modern conveniences and some contemporary touches. Its 100 elegant rooms are stylishly furnished and offer en-suite bathrooms. The hotel boasts an international restaurant offering fine cuisine and magical views across the Grand Canal.

Number of nights: 2



Activity Level

Level 2: Moderate

Expectations: Long touring days with many full-day motor coach excursions. Standing and walking for long periods of time during city tours, museum visits, and/or outdoor activities. Walking over sometimes difficult terrain (e.g. cobblestones, city hills, stairs without handrails, the absence of elevators, climbing aboard trains with high steps); some longer walks to get to city centers where coaches are prohibited. Possible exposure to higher altitudes. River cruises may offer a choice of excursions with varying activity expectations. 

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

Train

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

The world’s most celebrated train, the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express carries passengers in the style of a former era. Journey across Europe aboard the restored and opulent vintage 1920’s and 1930’s carriages. Experience the golden age of travel during the trip of a lifetime.

There is a piano bar where travelers can relax throughout the day and enjoy one of their specialty cocktails. There are three elegantly decorated restaurant cars, all serving the same fine cuisine. Smithsonian travelers will be seated together for lunch and dinner. Breakfast and tea are served to the individual cabins by your cabin steward.

Most carriages have nine cabins and one restroom at the end of each carriage. Twin cabins have an upper and lower bed. During the day, cabins are set with the lower bed made into a sofa. There are no showers on board. Inside your cabin, draw back the oak panels to reveal the washbasin with hot and cold water, towels, soap, a dual voltage plug, 230/115 volts for electric razors and two 220-volt European two-pin sockets. For travel hair appliances, the maximum wattage available for their use is 1000 watts. Robes are available in your cabin for use on board along with complimentary slippers. Robes may also be purchased at the Boutique. Beside the door of each cabin are switches for the main cabin light, bedside lights and a call button for your steward.

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

The world’s most celebrated train, the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express carries passengers in the style of a former era. Journey across Europe aboard the restored and opulent vintage 1920’s and 1930’s carriages. Experience the golden age of travel during the trip of a lifetime.

There is a piano bar where travelers can relax throughout the day and enjoy one of their specialty cocktails. There are three elegantly decorated restaurant cars, all serving the same fine cuisine. Smithsonian travelers will be seated together for lunch and dinner. Breakfast and tea are served to the individual cabins by your cabin steward.

Most carriages have nine cabins and one restroom at the end of each carriage. Twin cabins have an upper and lower bed. During the day, cabins are set with the lower bed made into a sofa. There are no showers on board. Inside your cabin, draw back the oak panels to reveal the washbasin with hot and cold water, towels, soap, a dual voltage plug, 230/115 volts for electric razors and two 220-volt European two-pin sockets. For travel hair appliances, the maximum wattage available for their use is 1000 watts. Robes are available in your cabin for use on board along with complimentary slippers. Robes may also be purchased at the Boutique. Beside the door of each cabin are switches for the main cabin light, bedside lights and a call button for your steward.

Reading List
Murder on the Orient Express: A Hercule Poirot Mystery (Hercule Poirot Mysteries)
By: Agatha Christie
THE MOST WIDELY READ MYSTERY OF ALL TIMENOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE FROM TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX RELEASING NOVEMBER 10, 2017DIRECTED BY KENNETH BRANAGH “The murderer is with us—on the train now . . .”Just after midnight, the famous Orient Express is stopped in its tracks by a snowdrift. By morning, the millionaire Samuel Edward Ratchett lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. Without a shred of doubt, one of his fellow passengers is the murderer.Isolated by the storm, detective Hercule Poirot must find the killer among a dozen of the dead man's enemies, before the murderer decides to strike again.Includes a photo insert of images from the film!“What more . . . can a mystery addict desire?”—New York Times 
A Noble Radiance: A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery
By: Donna Leon
A macabre grave is found at the foot of the Italian Dolomites. The body is found to be Roberto Lorenzoni’s, only son and heir of one Venice's oldest, most aristocratic families. Commissario Guido Brunetti must move in the highest circles of power and corruption to unravel the mystery behind the young man’s disappearance and murder.
Fodor's Venice 25 Best (Full-color Travel Guide)
By: Fodor's Travel Guides
Updated for 2018. Compact and affordable, Fodor's Venice's 25 Best is a great travel companion for travelers who want a light, easy-to-pack guidebook to one of Europe's most exciting cities.DISCERNING RECOMMENDATIONS: Fodor's Venice's 25 Best offers savvy advice and recommendations from local writers to help travelers make the most of their visit, providing great places to shop, eat, sleep, and drink for every budget.PULLOUT MAP: A handy, weather-resistant pullout city map provides essential information.GORGEOUS PHOTOS AND MAPS: Full-color pictures and full-size street maps cover the best Venice has to offer, all in an easy-to-use package. INDISPENSIBLE TRIP-PLANNING TOOLS: Save time and space by having Venice's top 25 sights and experiences in one convenient guidebook. The City Tours section shows off the best of the city with self-guided tour ideas. Plan excursions outside the city with the More to See section.PRACTICAL TIPS AND PHRASES: Travel like a local with our Need to Know section, filled with useful travel tips and essential Italian phrases.COVERS: Basilica di San Marco, Collezione Peggy Guggenheim, Galleria dell'Accademia, Grand Canal, Murano, Palazzo Ducale, Rialto, San Sebastiano, Scuola Grande di San Rocco,Torcello.ABOUT FODOR'S AUTHORS: Each Fodor's Travel Guide is researched and written by local experts.
Fodor's London 25 Best (Full-color Travel Guide)
By: Fodor's Travel Guides
Compact and affordable, Fodor's 25 Best London 2018 is a great travel guide for those who want an easy-to-pack guidebook and map to one of the most exciting cities in Europe.Fodor's 25 Best Guides offer highlights of major city destinations in a compact package that includes a sturdy, detailed street map you can bring along with you to help you navigate when cell service is not available. By focusing only on top sights―all divided by neighborhood―we make planning your days easy. Save time and space by having London's top 25 sights and experiences in one convenient guidebook:• UPDATED FOR 2018: Fully updated coverage on the information you need to know. • DISCERNING RECOMMENDATIONS: Best bets from local writers for sightseeing, eating, drinking, sleeping, and shopping, for every budget. • GORGEOUS PHOTOS AND MAPS: Full-color photos and full-size street maps cover the best London has to offer, all in one easy-to-use package. A handy, weather-resistant PULLOUT CITY MAP will help you quickly orient yourself and plan your day.• INDISPENSABLE TRIP-PLANNING TOOLS: The “City Tours” section shows off the best of the city with self-guided tour ideas. Plan excursions outside the city with the “More to See” section. • PRACTICAL TIPS: Travel like a local with our “Need to Know” section, filled with useful travel tips and other essential information such as how best to get around. • COVERS: Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Tower of London, Houses of Parliament, the Victoria and Albert, the Tate Modern, Natural History Museum, Museum of London, London Zoo, London Eye, Greenwich, Hampton Court Palace, Windsor, theater and music venues of all kinds, best local shopping in street markets, legendary department stores, offbeat boutiques, and much more. ABOUT FODOR'S AUTHORS: Each Fodor's Travel Guide is researched and written by local experts. Fodor's guidebooks have been offering expert advice for all tastes and budgets for 80 years.Planning to visit other destinations in Europe? Check out Fodor’s 25 Best Paris, Fodor's Essential Europe, and Fodor's Scotland.
Smithsonian Journeys Cultural Guide: Venice
By: Smithsonian Journeys
For the savvy, cosmopolitan traveler who wants to delve into Venice's history and cultureSmithsonian Journeys Cultural Guide: Venice is a travel guide like none other: it gives a vital overview of the history, geography, foodways, and culture of this remarkable destination. This e-book original from Smithsonian Journeys, the Smithsonian Institution's worldwide educational travel program, provides all the cultural and historical information travelers need to inform their visit to Venice.Readers study the city’s influential architects to appreciate every building from the humble villa up to the towering basilica. They are immersed in the rich artistic tradition of Titian, Mantegna, Tintoretto, and other Venetian Renaissance masters to enrich their museum and cathedral visits. They learn the history of Venice’s trading and banking empire to find out how it shapes the food, spices, and silks offered at the Rialto markets. And they discover the origins of Venice’s iconic gondolas and Carnevale masks.Smithsonian Journeys Cultural Guide: Venice lives up to the reputation of the Smithsonian by providing travelers with the knowledge they need to make the most of the journey of a lifetime.
Smithsonian Journeys Magazine (Travel Quarterly Winter 2015 - Venice)
By: V
Seeing The World In A New Light!
Central Europe (English, French and German Edition)
By: fb
Explore Central Europe with this Freytag&Berndt road map. The best way to plan your trip, prepare your itinerary, and to travel independently in this part of Europe. This map covers: Germany, Poland, the Czech and Slovak Republics, Hungary, Austria, Liechtenstein, Slovenia, Croatie, Bosnia Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Albania, Italy, Switzerland, Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, as well as the east part of France, Corsica, and southern Sweden. This map contains a booklet with a place name index and inset maps of Amsterdam, Belgrad, Berlin, Bern, Bratislava, Brussels, Budapest, Copenhagen, La Valetta, Ljubljana, London, Luxembourg, Monaco, Paris, Podgorica, Prag, Pristina, Rome, San Marino, Sarajevo, Skopje, Tirana, Warsaw, Vienna, Zagreb. The legend is in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Czech, Slovak, Hungarian, and Polish.
Thames: The Biography
By: Peter Ackroyd
In this perfect companion to London: The Biography, Peter Ackroyd once again delves into the hidden byways of history, describing the river's endless allure in a journey overflowing with characters, incidents, and wry observations. Thames: The Biography meanders gloriously, rather like the river itself. In short, lively chapters Ackroyd writes about connections between the Thames and such historical figures as Julius Caesar and Henry VIII, and offers memorable portraits of the ordinary men and women who depend upon the river for their livelihoods. The Thames as a source of artistic inspiration comes brilliantly to life as Ackroyd invokes Chaucer, Shakespeare, Turner, Shelley, and other writers, poets, and painters who have been enchanted by its many moods and colors.
The Italian Renaissance
By: J.H. Plumb
Spanning an age that witnessed great achievements in the arts and sciences, this definitive overview of the Italian Renaissance will both captivate ordinary readers and challenge specialists. Dr. Plumb’s impressive and provocative narrative is accompanied by contributions from leading historians, including Morris Bishop, J. Bronowski, Maria Bellonci, and many more, who have further illuminated the lives of some of the era’s most unforgettable personalities, from Petrarch to Pope Pius II, Michelangelo to Isabella d'Este, Machiavelli to Leonardo. A highly readable and engaging volume, THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE is a perfect introduction to the movement that shaped the Western world.
The New York Times Book of Crime: More Than 166 Years of Covering the Beat
By: STERLING
From the archives of The New York Times, 165 years of the most notorious real-life crimes. For 166 years, The New York Times has been a rich source of information about crime, its reporters racing alongside tabloids to track the shocking incidents that disrupt daily life. This fascinating compilation, edited by seasoned Times crime-beat veteran Kevin Flynn, captures the full sweep of the newspaper’s coverage of the subject—from the assassinations of icons like Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, and Malcolm X to the deadly trails left behind by serial killers like H. H. Holmes (America’s first recognized serial killer), the Son of Sam, and Jeffrey Dahmer. This comprehensive review examines issues like incarceration, organized crime, and vice—from the Attica riot to the powerful Medellin Cartel—as well as the infamous crimes that riveted the world. The kidnappings of Jaycee Dugard and the Lindbergh baby. The Manson murders. The robberies that exasperated law enforcement, from bank heists by Dillinger to the enduring mystery of the greatest art heist in American history at Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. White-collar crimes from Ponzi to Madoff. Crimes of passion, such as Harry Thaw’s dramatic shooting of Stanford White, his rival for the charms of the beautiful Evelyn Nesbit. Chapters are organized by topic and include explanatory material by Flynn to provide context. The book features more than 70 photographs as well as reproductions of front-page stories. Although the focus is on the US, important international stories are included.
Curiouser and Curiouser: Essays (21st Century Essays)
By: Nicholas Delbanco
A miscellany of sorts, preeminent author and critic Nicholas Delbanco’s Curiouser and Curiouser attests to a lifelong interest in music and the visual arts as well as both “mere” and “sheer” literature. With essays ranging from the restoration of his father-in-law’s famed Stradivarius cello—known throughout the world as “The Countess of Stanlein”—to a reimagining of H. A. and Margaret Rey’s lives and the creation of their most beloved character, Curious George, Delbanco examines what it means to live and love with the arts.     Whether exploring the history of personal viewing in the business of museum-going, musing on the process of rewriting one’s earliest published work, or looking back on the twists and turns of a life that spans the greater part of the twentieth century and into the twenty-first, Delbanco’s Curiouser and Curiouser invites adventurous readers to follow him down the rabbit hole as he reflects on life as a student, an observer, a writer, a lover, a father, a teacher, and most importantly, a participant in the everyday experiences of human life.  
The Grand Tour: Around the World with the Queen of Mystery
By: Agatha Christie
Agatha Christie is the most widely published author of all time, outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare. In this fascinating travelogue of the prolific author's yearlong trip around the British Empire in 1922, Christie provides the clues to the origins of the plots and locales of some of her bestselling mystery novels. Containing never-before-published letters and photos from her travels, and filled with intriguing details about the exotic locations she visited, The Grand Tour is a must-have for Agatha Christie fans, revealing an unexpected side to the world's most renowned mystery writer.In 1922 Agatha Christie set sail on a ten-month voyage around the world. Her husband, Archibald Christie, had been invited to join a trade mission to promote the British Empire Exhibition, and Christie was determined to go with him. It was a life-changing decision for the young novelist, a true voyage of discovery that would inspire her future writing for years to come.Placing her two-year-old daughter in the care of her sister, Christie set sail at the end of January and did not return home until December. Throughout her journey, she kept up a detailed weekly correspondence with her mother, describing the exotic places and the remarkable people she encountered as the mission traveled through South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, and Canada. Reproduced here for the first time, the letters are full of tales of seasickness and sunburn, motor trips and surfboarding, glamor and misery. The Grand Tour also brings to life the places and people Christie encountered through the photos she took on her portable camera, as well as some of the original postcards, newspaper cuttings, and memorabilia she collected on her trip.Edited and introduced by Agatha Christie's grandson, Mathew Prichard, and accompanied by reminiscences from her own autobiography, this unique travelogue reveals a new adventurous side to Agatha Christie, one that would ultimately influence the stories that made her a household name.
Death at La Fenice: A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery
By: Donna Leon
There is little violent crime in Venice, a serenely beautiful floating city of mystery and magic, history and decay. But the evil that does occasionally rear its head is the jurisdiction of Guido Brunetti, the suave, urbane vice-commissario of police and a genius at detection. Now all of his admirable abilities must come into play in the deadly affair of Maestro Helmut Wellauer, a world-renowned conductor who died painfully from cyanide poisoning during an intermission at La Fenice. But as the investigation unfolds, a chilling picture slowly begins to take shape—a detailed portrait of revenge painted with vivid strokes of hatred and shocking depravity. And the dilemma for Guido Brunetti will not be finding a murder suspect, but rather narrowing the choices down to one. . . .
London Stories (Everyman's Library Pocket Classics Series)
By: Everyman s Library
London has the greatest literary tradition of any city in the world. Its roll call of storytellers includes cultural giants like Shakespeare, Defoe, and Dickens, and an innumerable host of writers of all sorts who sought to capture the essence of the place. Acclaimed historian Jerry White has collected some twenty-six stories to illustrate the extraordinary diversity of both London life and writing over the past four centuries, from Shakespeare’s day to the present. These are stories of fact and fiction and occasionally something in between, some from well-known voices and others practically unknown. Here are dramatic views of such iconic events as the plague, the Great Fire of London, and the Blitz, but also William Thackeray’s account of going to see a man hanged, Thomas De Quincey’s friendship with a teenaged prostitute, and Doris Lessing’s defense of the Underground. This literary London encompasses the famous Baker Street residence of Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and the bombed-out moonscape of Elizabeth Bowen’s wartime streets, Charles Dicken’s treacherous River Thames and Frederick Treves’s tragic Elephant Man. Graham Greene, Jean Rhys, Muriel Spark, and Hanif Kureishi are among the many great writers who give us their varied Londons here, revealing a city of boundless wealth and ragged squalor, of moving tragedy and riotous joy.(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)
Mrs. Dalloway
By: Virginia Woolf
Direct and vivid in her account of Clarissa Dalloway’s preparations for a party, Virginia Woolf explores the hidden springs of thought and action in one day of a woman’s life.  In Mrs. Dalloway, the novel on which the movie The Hours was based, Virginia Woolf details Clarissa Dalloway’s preparations for a party of which she is to be hostess, exploring the hidden springs of thought and action in one day of a woman’s life. The novel "contains some of the most beautiful, complex, incisive and idiosyncratic sentences ever written in English, and that alone would be reason enough to read it. It is one of the most moving, revolutionary artworks of the twentieth century" (Michael Cunningham).
Orient Express (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)
By: Graham Greene
"The purser took the last landing-card in his hand and watched the passengers cross the wet quay, over a wilderness of rails and points, round the corners of abandoned trucks." As the Orient Express hurtles across Europe on its three-day journey from Ostend to Constantinople, its voyage binds together the lives of several of its passengers in a fateful interlock. The menagerie of characters includes Coral Musker, a beautiful chorus girl; Carleton Myatt, a rich Jewish businessman; Richard John, a mysterious and kind doctor returning to his native Belgrade; the spiteful journalist Mabel Warren; and Josef Grunlich, a cunning, murderous burglar. What happens to these strangers as they put on and take off their masks of identity and passion, all the while confessing, prevaricating, and reaching out to one another in the "veracious air" of the onrushing train, makes for one of Graham Greene's most exciting and suspenseful stories. Originally published in 1933, Orient Express was Greene's first major success. This Penguin Deluxe Edition features an introduction by Christopher Hitchens.For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
The Heat of the Day
By: Elizabeth Bowen
In The Heat of the Day, Elizabeth Bowen brilliantly recreates the tense and dangerous atmosphere of London during the bombing raids of World War II.Many people have fled the city, and those who stayed behind find themselves thrown together in an odd intimacy born of crisis. Stella Rodney is one of those who chose to stay. But for her, the sense of impending catastrophe becomes acutely personal when she discovers that her lover, Robert, is suspected of selling secrets to the enemy, and that the man who is following him wants Stella herself as the price of his silence. Caught between these two men, not sure whom to believe, Stella finds her world crumbling as she learns how little we can truly know of those around us.
The Immaculate Deception
By: Iain Pears
From internationally bestselling author Iain Pears comes the seventh in his Jonathan Argyll series -- an intriguing mystery of love, loss, and artistic license. For newlywed and Italian art theft squad head Flavia di Stefano, the honeymoon is over when a painting, borrowed from the Louvre and en route to a celebratory exhibition, is stolen. Desperate to avoid public embarrassment -- and to avoid paying a ransom -- the Italian prime minister leans hard on Flavia to get it back quickly and quietly. Across town, her husband, art historian Jonathan Argyll, begins an investigation of his own, tracing the past of a small Renaissance painting -- an Immaculate Conception -- owned by Flavia's mentor, retired general Taddeo Bottando. Soon both husband and wife uncover astonishing and chilling secrets, and Flavia's investigation takes a sudden turn from the search for an art thief to the hunt for a murderer.
The Ministry of Fear: An Entertainment (Penguin Classics)
By: Graham Greene
"A master thriller and a remarkable portrait of a twisted character." —Time   For Arthur Rowe, the trip to the charity fête was a joyful step back into adolescence, a chance to forget the nightmare of the Blitz and the aching guilt of having mercifully murdered his sick wife. He was surviving alone, outside the war, until he happened to win a cake at the fête. From that moment, he is ruthlessly hunted by Nazi agents and finds himself the prey of malign and shadowy forces. This Penguin Classics edition features an introduction by Alan Furst.For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
The Raphael Affair (Art History Mystery)
By: Iain Pears
"Deliciously literate" (Kirkus Reviews) and filled with "articulate characters and erudite art commentary" (The New York Times Book Review), this acclaimed series of novels by Iain Pears combines art and history, literature and mystery fiction, with the same passion for detail he displayed in his New York Times bestseller An Instance of the Fingerpost. In The Raphael Affair, the first book in the series, we are introduced to Jonathan Argyll, an enthusiastic young art scholar from England who has followed his suspicions about a long-lost Raphael painting to a small church in Rome. Not only is the painting in question gone from the site, it has been swiftly purchased, restored, auctioned, and installed in Rome's National Museum. But when the recovered Raphael is just as swiftly destroyed in a fire, Argyll begins to suspect its authenticity…and the innocence of every person in its path.
The New York Times: 36 Hours, London & Beyond
By: Ireland Barbara
Britain in a weekendBite-sized itineraries in and around LondonSimultaneously a fast-paced contemporary metropolis and a venerable center of history and culture, London seduces the traveler with infinite possibilities for an action-packed weekend. Now, with the help of The New York Times and its expert travel writers and photographers, you can refine choices and cut through tourist clichés to get the best of British in just 36 hours.Through treasure-house museums and cutting-edge galleries, classic pubs and top-notch theater, picture-perfect lunch spots and legendary curry houses, discover the best of this buzzing world capital with a selection of lively itineraries, including thematic and neighborhood specials such as Literary London, London with Children, East London, and Hampstead. And if it’s time to venture further afield, choose from a selection of glorious weekend trips from the Highlands of Scotland to sleepy Welsh villages, the dreaming spires of Oxford to nonstop partying in Brighton.Featured destinations: London, Literary London, East London, London with Children, Hampstead, Brighton, Oxford, Cambridge, Birmingham, Liverpool, South Wales, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and the Highlands & Isle of Skye.
Piazza San Marco (Wonders of the World)
By: Iain Fenlon
The Piazza San Marco, one of the most famous and instantly recognizable townscapes in the West, if not the world, has been described as a stage set, as Europe’s drawing room, as a painter’s canvas. This book traces the changing shape and function of the piazza, from its beginnings in the ninth century to its present day ubiquity in the Venetian, European, as well as global imagination.Through its long history, the Piazza San Marco has functioned as civic space that was used for such varied activities as public meetings; animal-baiting; executions; state processions; meat and produce markets; a performance venue for rock concerts; as well as, more recently, a cafe to enjoy a leisurely Campari. Constantly alert to the question of function, this book recreates not only rituals of the past but also activities of the present, from the coronation of the doge to the legendary Pink Floyd concert of 1989, with much fanfare in between. Iain Fenlon recreates the dynamic, colorful, and noisy history of the piazza―a history that is also the history of Venice and, indeed, of Europe.
Murder On The Orient Express [Blu-ray]
By: 20th Century Fox
blu ray
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.

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Our Mission

Smithsonian Journeys engages travelers in the wide-ranging mission of the Smithsonian. 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 Included in the Tour Cost

  • Expertise of a Smithsonian Journeys Expert and tour management throughout the tour.
  • All accommodations (based on double occupancy).
  • Meals as indicated on the tour page, including special welcome and farewell dinners (B-breakfast; L-lunch; R-reception; D-dinner).
  • All sightseeing and visits as noted in each itinerary.
  • Pre-tour information, including a reading list.
  • Baggage handling for one bag plus one carry-on bag per person.
  • All on-tour transportation, unless otherwise noted.
  • 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).
  • Wi-Fi in trip hotels. 
  • Gratuities for all on tour staff, local guides, and drivers. 

What Is Not Included in the Tour Cost

  • Round-trip international airfare and air and departure taxes.
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  • Passport fees, visas, and visa photos as required.
  • Personal items such as wines, liquors, a-la-carte orders, meals other than specified.
  • Room service and valet/laundry service.
  • Expenses incurred by our tour operators in making individual travel arrangements in conjunction with the tour.
  • Other items not specifically mentioned as included.  
  • Optional Travelers’ Protection Plan: Unexpected events before or during a trip may leave you with cancelled plans, lost luggage, or unforeseen medical expenses. This optional plan offers an affordable package of benefits and services that can provide coverage and assistance for the unexpected. Visit TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys to learn more.

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To submit a request for a reservation, please order using our secure online process, 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).

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To complete your request, the following is necessary:

Required Information
For all international departures, passport information including the following, in accordance with the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) Secure Flight program as well as by our international travel partners: your full name as it appears on your passport, date of birth, and gender (for further information, please visit www.tsa.gov). In the event, an airline ticket is issued with incorrect information you have provided, or if you use a different passport than originally cited, you will be responsible for charges associated with the ticket’s reissue.

Payments
Deposit of $1000 per person, per tour, payable by check to the tour operator or by major credit card, is required to reserve a space on a tour program. Deposits are applied to payment of the program price.

Balance due upon invoicing at least 120 days prior to the program. If 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 a “late registration” and must be subject to special confirmation. Payment in full must be made immediately by credit card or by check and 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 program within the designated late registration period for that program.

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).  or visit www.SmithsonianJourneys.org/Contact.

A Note About Costs

Tour costs are based upon current airfares, tariffs, currency values, and on the basis of a minimum number of participants. While we will do everything possible to maintain the listed prices, they are subject to change. Should actual enrollments fall significantly below minimum numbers, a surcharge may be added. 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 program(s) of your choice are fully subscribed, you will be placed on a wait list. If you choose to withdraw from the wait list, please notify us.

Please note that we are unable to keep you apprised of your status on the wait list. We will call you only if a space becomes available, but you are welcome to call us at your convenience to inquire about your status at 855-330-1542.

Cancellation and Refund Policy

Per person cancellation fees are based on date of notice to Smithsonian Journeys.

  • Cancellations within 7 days of booking (if not within final payment date): full refund.
  • Cancellations after 7 days of booking: entire deposit retained.
  • Final payment due: 120 days prior to departure.
  • Cancellations made less than 120 days prior to departure: no refund.
  • Cancellation by the Smithsonian: full refund.
  • No refund for unused portions of the tour, including but not limited to, missed meals, hotel nights, and sightseeing.

Please understand that there will be no exceptions to our cancellation policy.

Air Service

For tour packages 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.

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

Neither Smithsonian Journeys nor the tour operator has any liability for any loss resulting from tour cancellations or changes in international gateways, travel dates, or airline schedule changes. If an air schedule requires an overnight stay in a gateway city, the cost of the overnight will be at your expense. For tour packages that include round-trip international airfare, we will be happy to help with arrangements. Please note that seat assignment on your international flight is usually done at airport check-in. The tour operator is unable to guarantee any seat assignments.

When planning our tours that include international round-trip airfare, the tour operator contracts with those airlines that they feel provide the level of service, routings, and value necessary for your entire trip. While another airline may offer a more direct connection, it may be at a price unavailable at the lower group rates that enable us to offer you the best possible travel value. Please note that frequent flyer mileage credits are issued at the discretion of the airline(s) and may not be available for the flights on your tour. If you prefer to make your own airline reservations, “land only” pricing is available on most of our tours.

Individual Arrivals and Group Transfers
A designated group flight is not included on most tours. However, transportation from the arrival airport to the ship/hotel is included in your tour cost if you arrive in time to meet the scheduled group transfer. Your first tour bulletin will thoroughly explain the details of the options available for your individual flights.

Air Tickets Purchased Independently of the Tour
We urge you to check airline cancellation penalties before purchasing airline tickets since international departure times and flights can change. Tours also can be canceled due to low enrollments. Neither 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, Smithsonian Journeys includes an on-tour Provided Insurance Plan, through Travel Guard, with the price of your tour. 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

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 in this catalog. If your tour requires a visa or other entry documents, we will send you the appropriate information after you make a reservation. You are responsible for obtaining these documents. If you are not a U.S. citizen, please contact your embassy or consulate to ensure you obtain the proper documentation.

Physical and Medical Considerations

Please note that these tours require that participants be in good physical condition. You must be capable, without assistance, of walking a minimum of two miles over uneven terrain and of climbing stairs that may not have handrails. Participants should have sufficient stamina to keep pace with an active group of travelers 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. Some tours have additional notes regarding physical and medical considerations, which are noted on the Tour Information link

Itinerary or Program Modifications

Smithsonian strives to improve tour itineraries and their features. If improvements can be made, or unforeseen circumstances beyond our control make changes necessary, we reserve the right to vary itineraries and to substitute hotels. Every effort will be made to carry out the program as planned but alterations may still occur after the final itinerary is sent. Please note that weather conditions may force changes to the advertised sailing schedule on cruise programs. The ship’s captain has the authority to change the ship’s schedule.

Accommodations

Smithsonian chooses hotels based on a combination of their location, service, atmosphere, and price. On adventure tours and programs in out-of-the-way places, best-available hotels are used. In most cases, hotels have elevators and meeting rooms for Smithsonian lectures. Program prices are based on two persons sharing a room with a bath.

Singles and Roommates
Hotel rooms are always reserved for single travelers; 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 apply for a single room. If you are traveling alone and wish to share a room, 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. When a roommate cannot be found, the single supplement will be charged. 

Children

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

Special Travel Arrangements
Participants may wish to extend their stay in the group hotel. Please note that the tour operator can assist you in making post-tour arrangements only. We regret that we are unable to help with pre-tour arrangements.

Photography
Participants on tour may be photographed for the educational and promotional purposes of the Smithsonian Institution. Photographs may be printed in publications and posted on websites to promote Smithsonian Journeys. Travelers who prefer that their image not be used must advise the tour manager at 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.

Preparing for Your Journey

Prior to departure, you will receive Tour Bulletins containing both general and tour specific information to help you prepare for your travel experience. These bulletins will include:

  • Passport and visa instructions
  • Flight information
  • Weather, clothing, and packing suggestions
  • A suggested reading list
  • General information about the countries you will visit, e.g. the food, customs, medical precautions, and currency.
  • Information about your Smithsonian Journeys Expert and tour staff
  • Baggage tag(s) and name badge(s)
  • Final itinerary
  • Participant list  

RESPONSIBILITY STATEMENT AND LIABILITY DISCLAIMER

Read Carefully: Responsibility Statement and Liability Disclaimer
Smithsonian Journeys are managed by professional tour operators hired as independent contractors. The use of tour operators allows the Smithsonian to offer its members 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 the 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, 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, subject only to the requirement that the recoverable portion of the total amount paid that corresponds to the cost of unused services and accommodations be refunded, if any. If your tour does not include airfare, your Tour Bulletins will provide information about when participants are recommended to purchase airline tickets. The Smithsonian Institution and the tour operator accept no liability for the purchase of non-refundable airline tickets to/from the tour departure city if a tour is canceled or otherwise modified subsequent to the participant’s purchase of those tickets. Baggage and personal effects are at all times the sole responsibility of the participant.

Dates, schedules, program details, and costs, although provided in good faith based on information available at the time of publication of 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 brochure(s), and recognizes and accepts any risk associated with the tour and the conditions, including the refund policy, set forth in the tour brochure(s). 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.