Explore the natural and cultural highlights of New Zealand's North and South Islands, including magnificent landscapes and geological features, meetings with the "Kiwi" people, and visits to museums and wineries. 

Starting at: $7,974 * Includes airfare, taxes & all fees Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu, and the Remarkables  Typical New Zealand landscape with sheep farm  Wines of New Zealand. Credit: Chris McLennan/Tourism New Zealand  The city of Auckland. Credit: Tourism New Zealand  Maori artist working on traditional carving. Credit: Eric Lindberg/Tourism New Zealand  Traditional Maori meeting house  Young Maori woman with traditional Moko tattoos. Credit: James Heremaia/Tourism New Zealand  Rotorua's Te Puia. Credit: Eric Lindberg/Tourism New Zealand  Geothermal field with spouting geysers, Rotorua. Credit: Chris McLennan/Tourism New Zealand  Geothermal area, Rotorua. Credit: Tourism New Zealand  The New Zealand Kiwi  Tasting cafe in Wellington. Credit: Tourism New Zealand  The Rose Garden at the Botanical Gardens, Christchurch  Looking out over Queenstown Credit: Chris Sisarich/Tourism New Zealand  View of the dramatic Doubtful Sound  View of Doubtful Sound   Waterfalls in Fiordland National Park  Panoramic view of Queenstown  The excitement of the Shotover Jet, near Queenstown. Credit: Tourism New Zealand

Journey Through New Zealand

From Auckland to Queenstown

16 days from $7,974 | includes airfare, taxes and all fees

Explore the natural and cultural highlights of New Zealand's North and South Islands, including magnificent landscapes and geological features, meetings with the "Kiwi" people, and visits to museums and wineries. 

or Call 855-330-1542

Accommodations

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

Stamford Plaza Auckland

Auckland, New Zealand

Stamford Plaza sits in the heart of Auckland's central business district just one block from Waitemata Harbour and a few minutes' walk to the High Street shopping district, Sky City casino, and DFS Galleria duty-free shopping center. The hotel offers two restaurants and a bar, gift shop, laundry and dry cleaning services. Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath, in-room safe, Internet access, mini-bar, TV, and phone.

Number of nights: 2

Millennium Hotel

Queenstown, New Zealand

Millennium Hotel Queenstown is just minutes from Queenstown central shopping, entertainment and adventurous outdoor activities such as bungy jumping, white water rafting, and jet boating. The hotel’s 220 guest rooms and suites, gym, sauna, spa, bar, and restaurant feature contemporary city-inspired designed. Most accommodations offer scenic views of Queenstown city and mountains.

Number of nights: 2

Scenic Circle Te Pania Hotel

Napier, New Zealand

Napier hotels with Scenic Hotel Te Pania. Hawkes Bay is one of the first places in the world to see the light each day, and Scenic Hotel Te Pania in Napier enjoys a premium waterfront location on Marine Parade. The hotel's slender curved form echoes the shape of the bay, and guests enjoy sweeping views out over the water. A fresh, contemporary style hotel, Scenic Hotel Te Pania is just a short stroll from Napier's main art deco style street.

Number of nights: 1

Museum Art Hotel

Wellington, New Zealand

Number of nights: 2

Rydges Latimer Square

Christchurch, New Zealand

Completely rebuilt, the Rydges Christchurch reopened in 2013.  The 138-room hotel’s amenities include a restaurant and a bar/lounge, fitness center, and sauna.  Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath, complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access, in-room safe, coffee- and tea-making facilities, mini-bar, ironing facilities, TV, and phone.

Number of nights: 1

Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier

Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand

Number of nights: 2

The Millennium Hotel Queenstown (Nov 30 departure only)

Queenstown, New Zealand

The Millennium Hotel Queenstown sits on a hill in Queenstown, just minutes away from the town’s central shopping district.  Amenities include a restaurant, bar, fitness center, sauna, spa, and WiFi internet access (for a fee).  Each of the 220 air-conditioned guest rooms has private bath with hair dryer, minibar, safe, tea- and coffee-making facilities, TV, and phone.

Number of nights: 3

Activity Level

Activity Level 3: Moderate / Active


Expectations: Most trips will feature long touring days, many full-day excursions, and a full and active itinerary with a faster pace and longer distances. Some tours may have activities with higher intensity and more active choices/options. Excursions require standing and walking for extended periods of time over more difficult terrain (cobblestones, city hills, stairs without handrails, limited or no access to elevators, muddy/slippery walking/hiking trails), and walking to city centers where coaches are prohibited. Specific itineraries may feature hiking, use of local transportation, extended overnight train travel, extensive use of Zodiac crafts or other smaller ship conveyances, or multiple internal plane rides. Some itineraries may require early morning departures and later evening returns. Travelers may be in remote and/or rugged regions, and may be touring at higher altitudes with steep ascents/descents. Leisure time may be limited (sometimes only in the later evenings). Certain tours feature more active excursions (such as moderate hiking, swimming, snorkeling, canoeing, bicycling, rafting, or kayaking), though another choice may be offered for an alternate skill level. Walking/hiking tours may feature up to six-mile walks/hikes.  

Appropriate for: Travelers who are physically fit, lead active lives, are comfortable participating in long days of activities, and expect some physical exertion. 

Reading List
New Zealand Wildlife: A Folding Pocket Guide to Familiar Animals (A Pocket Naturalist Guide)
By: James Kavanagh, Waterford Press
The unique, dinosaur-like, tuatara is one of thousands of species of animals inhabiting the diverse ecosystems found throughout New Zealand, many endemic to the islands. This beautifully illustrated guide highlights over 140 familiar and unique species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fishes and butterflies/insects and includes a map featuring prominent wildlife-viewing areas. Laminated for durability, this lightweight, pocket-sized folding guide is an excellent source of portable information and ideal for field use by visitors and residents alike. Made in the USA.
Come on Shore and We Will Kill and Eat You All: A New Zealand Story
By: Christina Thompson
In this involving, compassionate memoir, Christina Thompson tells the story of her romance and eventual marriage to a Maori man, interspersing it with a narrative history of the cultural collision between Westerners and the Maoris of New Zealand. Despite their significant differences, Thompson and her husband, Seven, share a similar sense of adventure and a willingness to depart from the customs of their families and forge a life together on their own. Thompson explores cultural displacement through the ages and the fascinating history of Europeans in the South Pacific, beginning with Abel Tasman's discovery of New Zealand in 1642. Yet at its core, this is the story of two people who meet, fall in love, and are forever changed.
DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: New Zealand
By: DK Travel
Visit Middle Earth and discover the land of the Kiwis when you travel to New Zealand. From Auckland to Poor Knights Island, this travel guide takes you straight to the best attractions this island nation has to offer.Filled with over 900 photographs and 65 detailed maps, DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: New Zealand explores the country's Maori heritage, flora and fauna, beaches and national parks, focusing on the best scenic routes from which to explore the diverse New Zealand landscape—from the glistening glaciers on the West Coast to the surfers' paradise on Central North Island.DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: New Zealand features:   • 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 Zealand truly shows you this region as no one else can.About the series: 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.
Middle-earth Landscapes: Locations in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Film Trilogies by Ian Brodie (2016-03-24)
By: Ian Brodie
Beginner's Maori (Beginner's (Foreign Language))
By: K. T. Harawira
The Beginner's Series is designed to meet the bilingual needs of the traveling businessperson, tourist, and student. These language lessons cover such common situations as: passing through customs, checking into a hotel, placing phone calls, going to the post office, and extending and accepting invitations. First learn about the country's history and culture, acquaint yourself with social customs, restaurant practices, and transportation systems. Then learn basic language skills, including vocabulary, grammar, and useful phrases that will have you communicating with natives and moving about feeely. Clear, easy to use, and insightful, the Beginner's Series will introduce you to the languages of the world.
New Zealand - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture
By: Ljiljana Ortolja-Baird
Culture Smart! New Zealand offers insights into a country that is reflecting on its identity, having shed its colonial past and now moving from a bicultural society (Maori and European) toward a new multiculturalism. Despite the challenges ahead, New Zealand society is resilient, underpinned by the values of anti-materialism, tolerance, patience, and commonsense, and driven by a shared passion about being a Kiwi. Not by chance was New Zealand chosen to represent Tolkien’s ancient Middle-Earth in the film trilogy The Lord of the Rings. New Zealand is remote, and even sometimes inadvertently left off world maps. This remoteness might be one of its greatest assets. It is off the beaten track, with a wilderness of World Heritage national parks to explore—embracing ice-carved fiords, lakes, valleys, and towering mountains; lush lowland forests and limestone canyons. Set against this stunning background are the New Zealanders, who, not surprisingly, are passionate about their country and the quality of life it offers. Kiwis, as they are affectionately known, are friendly, helpful, and fiercely equalitarian.  All great companions for enjoying the prowess of the All Blacks rugby team in action!
Fairness and Freedom: A History of Two Open Societies: New Zealand and the United States
By: David Hackett Fischer
Fairness and Freedom compares the history of two open societies--New Zealand and the United States--with much in common. Both have democratic polities, mixed-enterprise economies, individuated societies, pluralist cultures, and a deep concern for human rights and the rule of law. But all of these elements take different forms, because constellations of value are far apart. The dream of living free is America's Polaris; fairness and natural justice are New Zealand's Southern Cross. Fischer asks why these similar countries went different ways. Both were founded by English-speaking colonists, but at different times and with disparate purposes. They lived in the first and second British Empires, which operated in very different ways. Indians and Maori were important agents of change, but to different ends. On the American frontier and in New Zealand's Bush, material possibilities and moral choices were not the same. Fischer takes the same comparative approach to parallel processes of nation-building and immigration, women's rights and racial wrongs, reform causes and conservative responses, war-fighting and peace-making, and global engagement in our own time--with similar results. On another level, this book expands Fischer's past work on liberty and freedom. It is the first book to be published on the history of fairness. And it also poses new questions in the old tradition of history and moral philosophy. Is it possible to be both fair and free? In a vast array of evidence, Fischer finds that the strengths of these great values are needed to correct their weaknesses. As many societies seek to become more open--never twice in the same way, an understanding of our differences is the only path to peace.
A New Zealand Book of Beasts: Animals in Our Culture, History and Everday Life
By: Annie Potts, Philip Armstrong, Deidre Brown
A New Zealand Book of Beasts is a groundbreaking examination of the interactions between humans and `nonhuman animals' - both real and imagined - in New Zealand's arts and literature, popular culture, historiography, media and everyday life. Structured in four parts - Animal Icons, Animal Companions, Art Animals and Controversial Animals - the Book of Beasts touches on topics as diverse as moa-hunting and the SPCA, pest-control and pet-keeping, whaling and whale-watching; on species ranging from sheep to sperm whales and from pekapeka to possums; and on the works of authors and artists as various as Samuel Butler and Witi Ihimaera, Lady Mary Anne Barker and Janet Frame, Michael Parekowhai and Don Binney, Bill Hammond and Fiona Pardington. In examining through literature, art and culture the ways New Zealanders use and abuse, shape and are shaped by, glorify and co-opt, and describe and imagine animals, the authors tell us a great deal about our society and culture: how we understand our own identities and those of others; how we regard, inhabit and make use of the natural world; and how we think about what to buy, eat, wear, watch and read. This is an engaging, original and scholarly rigorous book of cultural criticism and a thoughtful addition to New Zealand literature.
Maori Tattooing (Dover Pictorial Archives)
By: H. G. Robley
Originally published in 1896, this classic of ethnography was assembled by a skilled illustrator who first encountered Maori tattoo art during his military service in New Zealand. Maori tattooing (moko) consists of a complex design of marks, made in ink and incised into the skin, that communicate the bearer's genealogy, tribal affiliation, and spirituality. This well-illustrated volume summarizes all previous accounts of moko and encompasses many of Robley's own observations. He relates how moko first became known to Europeans and discusses the distinctions between men and women's moko, patterns and designs, moko in legend and song, and the practice of mokomokai: the preservation of the heads of Maori ancestors. Features 180 black-and-white illustrations.
A River Rules My Kitchen
By: Tony Smith
A Taste of New Zealand From The Mountains To The Sea. 'I am truly at peace when wandering up a river with a fly rod.' Join chef and outdoorsman tony Smith as he follows a New Zealand river from the headwaters in the iconic High Country, down to the foothills and plains and on to the magnificent coast, and explore the amazing variety of food, game and produce he catches, hunts and cooks along the way. With recipes as ravishing as the landscapes that inspired them, A River Rules My Kitchen is the culmination of a culinary journey into the heartland of a wild and beautiful country.
Slipping into Paradise: Why I Live in New Zealand
By: Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson
In the tradition of Under the Tuscan Sun and A Year in Provence, here is Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson’s ode to his personal paradise–his adopted home, New Zealand. After living in California, why did Masson settle– out of all the places on earth–in such a faraway land? It turns out that while visiting a beautiful sandy beach just fifteen minutes from bustling Auckland, Masson and his family were utterly seduced by the exotic locale. There was little deliberation. This place, surrounded by lush forest on a bay dotted with volcanic islands, would be their new home.Masson takes readers on a remarkable journey to another world, as he and his family “slip into” the paradise that is New Zealand. For anyone who has ever dreamed of finding utopia, Masson reveals a country where neighbors talk to one another and provide a sense of real community–rarely, outside of the big cities, locking their doors–and where politics are as mellow as the weather. New Zealand is also a land of spectacular scenery, made even more famous for being the shooting location for the Lord of the Rings films. The flora is plentiful. Mangroves, banana plants, papaya trees, and more than ten thousand species of ferns grow wild and freely. The fauna is benign. There are no snakes, tarantulas, or scorpions. Children can walk to school barefoot without a care– there is nothing to sting them, bite them, or give them a rash. In the blue waters near the lush coastline, dolphins and orcas abound. While describing his love affair with the country and his affinity for its citizens, Masson reflects on the meaning of home, the importance of acting on intuition, and what happens when we lose our connection to the place we live in. Responding to an impulse, Masson reveals, he realized a dream.Featuring a its glossary of phrases used by New Zealanders and important Maori words, as well as the author’s recommended travel itinerary, Slipping into Paradise is ideal for anyone planning a visit to this exquisite land. Full of photographs, delightful anecdotes, and little-known facts (jogging, for example, was invented in New Zealand), Slipping into Paradise is also a book for those who fantasize about dramatically changing their lives–and who imagine something better for themselves. Jeffrey Masson’s message: New Zealand awaits.From the Hardcover edition.
Captain Cook: Master of the Seas
By: Frank McLynn
The age of discovery was at its peak in the eighteenth century, with heroic adventurers charting the furthest reaches of the globe. Foremost among these explorers was navigator and cartographer Captain James Cook of the British Royal Navy.Recent writers have viewed Cook largely through the lens of colonial exploitation, regarding him as a villain and overlooking an important aspect of his identity: his nautical skills. In this authentic, engrossing biography, Frank McLynn reveals Cook's place in history as a brave and brilliant seaman. He shows how the Captain's life was one of struggle--with himself, with institutions, with the environment, with the desire to be remembered--and also one of great success.In Captain Cook, McLynn re-creates the voyages that took the famous navigator from his native England to the outer reaches of the Pacific Ocean. Ultimately, Cook, who began his career as a deckhand, transcended his humble beginnings and triumphed through good fortune, courage, and talent. Although Cook died in a senseless, avoidable conflict with the people of Hawaii, McLynn illustrates that to the men with whom he served, Cook was master of the seas and nothing less than a titan.
The Happy Isles of Oceania: Paddling the Pacific
By: Paul Theroux
In one of his most exotic and breathtaking journeys, the intrepid traveler Paul Theroux ventures to the South Pacific, exploring fifty-one islands by collapsible kayak. Beginning in New Zealand's rain forests and ultimately coming to shore thousands of miles away in Hawaii, Theroux paddles alone over isolated atolls, through dirty harbors and shark-filled waters, and along treacherous coastlines. This exhilarating tropical epic is full of disarming observations and high adventure.
The Luminaries
By: Eleanor Catton
The bestselling, Man Booker Prize-winning novel hailed as "a true achievement. Catton has built a lively parody of a 19th-century novel, and in so doing created a novel for the 21st, something utterly new. The pages fly."--New York Times Book ReviewIt is 1866, and Walter Moody has come to stake his claim in New Zealand's booming gold rush. On the stormy night of his arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of 12 local men who have met in secret to discuss a series of unexplained events: a wealthy man has vanished, a prostitute has tried to end her life, and an enormous cache of gold has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn into a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely ornate as the night sky.Richly evoking a mid-nineteenth-century world of shipping, banking, and gold rush boom and bust, THE LUMINARIES is at once a fiendishly clever ghost story, a gripping page-turner, and a thrilling novelistic achievement. It richly confirms that Eleanor Catton is one of the brightest stars in the international literary firmament.
The Bone People: A Novel
By: Keri Hulme
In a tower on the New Zealand sea lives Kerewin Holmes, part Maori, part European, an artist estranged from her art, a woman in exile from her family. One night her solitude is disrupted by a visitor—a speechless, mercurial boy named Simon, who tries to steal from her and then repays her with his most precious possession. As Kerewin succumbs to Simon's feral charm, she also falls under the spell of his Maori foster father Joe, who rescued the boy from a shipwreck and now treats him with an unsettling mixture of tenderness and brutality. Out of this unorthodox trinity Keri Hulme has created what is at once a mystery, a love story, and an ambitious exploration of the zone where Maori and European New Zealand meet, clash, and sometimes merge.Winner of both a Booker Prize and Pegasus Prize for Literature, The Bone People is a work of unfettered wordplay and mesmerizing emotional complexity.
Stories (Vintage Classics)
By: Katherine Mansfield
Although Katherine Mansfield was closely associated with D.H. Lawrence and something of a rival of Virginia Woolf, her stories suggest someone writing in a different era and in a vastly different English. Her language is as transparent as clean glass, yet hovers on the edge of poetry. Her characters are passionate men and women swaddled in English reserve -- and sometimes briefly breaking through. And her genius is to pinpoint those unacknowledged and almost imperceptible moments in which those people's relationships -- with one another and themselves -- change forever. This collection includes such masterpieces as "Prelude," "At the Bay" "Bliss," "The Man Without a Temperament" and "The Garden Party" and has a new introduction by Jeffrey Meyers.
Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises
By: Mark Carwardine
Authoritative text, detailed illustrations, and a systematic approach make DK's Smithsonian Handbook of Whales, Dolphins, and Porpoises the most comprehensive and concise pocket guide to cetaceans. With more than 900 illustrations, this visual recognition guide is designed to make identification as simple and accurate as possible.This book is one of a series covering plants, animals, and other natural phenomena from around the world and is published in association with the Smithsonian Institution.
A Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand (Princeton Pocket Guides)
By: Julian Fitter, Don Merton
New Zealand is commonly described as "the land of birds." Now, there is an easy-to-use guide for all those interested in this country's remarkable bird population. A Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand contains over 600 stunning photographs of the more than 350 bird species likely to be seen in this area of the world. Comprehensive and compact, the book includes full descriptions of all native species and regular visitors, distribution maps and measurements, key information on national parks, and useful information on ongoing conservation efforts in the country. Filled with handy tips for nature enthusiasts wanting to make the most of their trip, this is the only bird guide that anyone exploring this region will need.600+ color photographs feature more than 350 bird species with full descriptions Distribution maps and measurements Key information on national parks helps readers find the best spots for bird sightings Useful information on conservation efforts Guidelines on sensible behavior for encountering nature at its best
Tutira the Story of a New Zealand Sheep Station (Classic Reprint)
By: H. Guthrie-Smith
Excerpt from Tutira the Story of a New Zealand Sheep StationSo vast and so rapid have been the alterations which have occurred in New Zealand during the past forty years, that even those who, like myself, have noted them day by day, find it difficult to connect past and present - the pleasant past so completely obliterated, the changeful present so full of possibility. These alterations are not traceable merely in the fauna, avifauna, and flora of the Dominion, nor are they only to be noted on the physical surface of the countryside: more profound, they permeate the whole outlook in regard to agriculture, stock-raising, and land tenure.The story of Tutira is the record of such change noted on one sheep-station in one province. Should its pages be found to contain matter of any permanent interest, it will be owing to the fact that the life portrayed has for ever vanished, the conditions sketched passed away beyond recall. A virgin countryside cannot be restocked; the vicissitudes of its pioneers cannot be re-enacted; its invasion by alien plants, animals, and birds cannot be repeated; its ancient vegetation cannot be resuscitated, - the words terra incognita have been expunged from the map of little New Zealand.About the PublisherForgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.comThis book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.
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, tour director, 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, not including U.S. Territories. Destination must be at least 100 miles from the insured’s primary residence.)
  • Pre-tour information, including a reading list
  • Luggage handling for one bag per person
  • 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)
  • All sightseeing and visits as noted in each  itinerary
  • Airfare to/from your departure city, transfers, airline taxes, surcharges, and fees, which are subject to change until final payment is made (for air inclusive guests only)

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 (learn more at TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys)
  • 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
  • Transfers when purchasing “land only” package
  • Communication Charges (e.g.: phone, internet,   etc.)
  • Airfare from your hometown to your departure city (for air inclusive guests only)
  • Other items noted as optional or not specifically mentioned as included

Registration

To submit a reservation request, please use our secure online system at SmithsonianJourneys.org or contact a Cultural Travel Specialist, at 1-855-330-1542 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. Please note: No new registrations can be accepted within 30 days of most tours. Some tours are more restrictive; please see individual tour pages for these exceptions.

To complete your reservation, the following information is required.

Upon reservation, we will need to obtain from you the following, in accordance with the Transportation

Security Administration’s (TSA) Secure Flight program (for details, please visit www.tsa.gov), as well as for our travel partners: for international tours your full name as it appears on your passport, date of birth, and gender; for domestic tours – your full name as it appears on the accepted form of government-issued photo identification that you plan to use, date of birth, and gender.

For tours that include round-trip airfare: If you provide incorrect information to the ticketing agent, or if you use a different passport/identification 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, 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 95 days prior to departure unless otherwise noted.  Balance is due upon invoicing.  If full payment is not received by the final payment due date, your place cannot be guaranteed on the tour.

Late Registration

Any registration received within 95 days of departure is considered “on-request” and is subject to specific confirmation. Some tours are more restrictive. Smithsonian Journeys will process the credit card deposit of $500 per person, then 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 pay- ments made will be refunded in full. Late registration confirmation procedures apply to any participant who is transferred from the wait list to the tour within the designated late registration period for that tour.

For additional information, please contact a Cultural Travel Specialist, at 1-855-330-1542 Mon-Fri 9 am - 7 pm; Sat 9 am – 4 pm (Eastern Time), or SJReservations@si.edu and 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 the date of written notice to Smithsonian Journeys. Tour operator will refund on the following basis:

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

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

Smithsonian Journeys recommends that all participants purchase travel insurance.

If your flights are delayed or if for any reason you are prevented from joining the tour on the scheduled departure date and time, or if you choose to leave the tour early, we cannot provide a full or partial refund or credit toward a future tour.

Smithsonian Journeys reserves the right to cancel any tour due to low enrollment and when a U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory is issued for the destination.

Changes to Your Reservation 

We will not charge a fee for any changes made to your reservation outside of 95 days before departure. From 94 to 30 days before departure, if you make any changes to your reservation, a $100 per person administrative fee will apply, in addition to any fees or penalties imposed by airlines, hotels, or other third parties. Changes are subject to availability and cannot be guaranteed. If your reservation changes from double occupancy to single occupancy for any reason or at any time, you will be charged the single supplement.

Please note that no changes to your departure date and no name changes are allowed within 95 days of departure. No changes to your reservation can be made within 30 days of departure.

Air Service

For tours that include round-trip international airfare, rates are based on an 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, the tour operator will be happy to help with arrangements. Please note that seat assignments for your international flights are 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.

Air Service/Tickets Purchased Independently of the Tour

International and domestic air schedules are subject to change at any time. Tours can also be canceled due to low enrollments. 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.  Learn more at TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys.

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, the 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.

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 bathroom.

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 after the tour. Our tour operators will work with you on these arrangements, dependent upon space availability. For participants using air, only post-tour extensions are offered. Tour operator may be able to assist land only participants with pre-tour arrangements.

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

Dispute Resolution

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

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

Photography and Video

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

Smoking Policy

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

READ CAREFULLY: RESPONSIBILITY STATEMENT AND  LIABILITY DISCLAIMER

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

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

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

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

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