Follow in the wake of Vikings aboard our new cruise along the coast of Norway from Bergen to Kirkenes, featuring breathtaking scenery, Norwegian history and culture, and optional hikes. 

Starting at: $3,560 Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 The fjord near Bergen  The Hanseatic wharf in Bergen. Credit: Jens Henrik Nybo/Innovation Norway  The lively harbor of Bergen, Norway

A Cruise of Coastal Norway

Aboard the 335-guest Spitsbergen

9 days from $3,560

Follow in the wake of Vikings aboard our new cruise along the coast of Norway from Bergen to Kirkenes, featuring breathtaking scenery, Norwegian history and culture, and optional hikes. 

or Call 855-330-1542

Accommodations

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

Radisson Blu Royal Hotel

Bergen, Norway

The recently renovated Radisson Blu Royal Hotel is superbly located in the city center of Bergen near the historic wharf area. Each of the 263 guest rooms is equipped with premier amenities including coffee/tea provisions, flat-screen TV, and free high-speed wireless Internet. The hotel offers a fitness center with sauna and solarium; a safe at reception; room service; laundry service; two restaurants and a bar; and a 24-hour business center.

Number of nights: 1

Activity Levels

Activity 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, an absence of elevators, and 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 longer days of touring (both walking tours and coach time).

Ship

Spitsbergen

Elegant, Modern, and Environmentally Friendly

Take in the scenery from open decks or through panoramic windows. Enjoy an active, comfortable, and truly memorable voyage on the Spitsbergen.

The Spitsbergen is named after Norway’s Arctic pearl — the largest island in the Svalbard archipelago. After a complete reconstruction, Spitsbergen joined the Hurtigruten fleet in 2016. Featuring changes that minimize the ship’s environmental footprint; comfortable, modern facilities; and equipment that enables travel in remote areas, the Spitsbergen features a fresh Scandinavian design with a color palette inspired by the sea. The ship’s optimal size and maneuverability make her highly suitable for exploring polar waters. 

The Spitsbergen also has her own onboard expedition team that is dedicated to enhancing your experience by engaging you and interpreting the diverse and stunning nature, wildlife, culture, and history you encounter during your cruise.

The ship accommodates a maximum of 335 passengers. 

THE HURTIGRUTEN STORY
Hurtigruten began providing steamship service between Southern and Northern Norway in 1893. This tradition continues to this day in tandem with cruises of exploration in Norway and beyond, where knowledgeable expedition teams provide insight into the stunning diversity of wilderness, flora, and fauna.

Spitsbergen

Elegant, Modern, and Environmentally Friendly

Take in the scenery from open decks or through panoramic windows. Enjoy an active, comfortable, and truly memorable voyage on the Spitsbergen.

The Spitsbergen is named after Norway’s Arctic pearl — the largest island in the Svalbard archipelago. After a complete reconstruction, Spitsbergen joined the Hurtigruten fleet in 2016. Featuring changes that minimize the ship’s environmental footprint; comfortable, modern facilities; and equipment that enables travel in remote areas, the Spitsbergen features a fresh Scandinavian design with a color palette inspired by the sea. The ship’s optimal size and maneuverability make her highly suitable for exploring polar waters. 

The Spitsbergen also has her own onboard expedition team that is dedicated to enhancing your experience by engaging you and interpreting the diverse and stunning nature, wildlife, culture, and history you encounter during your cruise.

The ship accommodates a maximum of 335 passengers. 

THE HURTIGRUTEN STORY
Hurtigruten began providing steamship service between Southern and Northern Norway in 1893. This tradition continues to this day in tandem with cruises of exploration in Norway and beyond, where knowledgeable expedition teams provide insight into the stunning diversity of wilderness, flora, and fauna.

Reading List
The Fellowship of Ghosts: Travels in the Land of Midnight Sun
By: Paul Watkins
From the author of The Ice Soldier, comes a real-life adventure among the fjords and icy mountains of Norway.Certain geographies speak to people. We are awed by mountains, challenged by the ocean, haunted by the bleakness of deserts. The effect of landscape on human consciousness is at the heart of novelist Paul Watkins's exhilarating travel story. Long bewitched by the stark beauty of the Scandinavian Alps, Watkins sets off among the ice-clad peaks and dark fjords of the arctic with only a tent and rucksack. On the way, he stops at rustic inns, follows the paths of other solitary travelers, navigates the punishing weather, and confronts the magisterial presence of the past among these mountains--a journey that makes for one of our finest accounts of the life and the land in the frozen north.
Norse Myths: Tales of Odin, Thor and Loki (Walker Studio)
By: Kevin Crossley-Holland
An extraordinary and enthralling illustrated anthology of Norse Myths from a Carnegie-Medal winning author. The gods of the Vikings come to life as never before in this extraordinary illustrated anthology by Carnegie Medal-winning author Kevin Crossley-Holland and artist Jeffrey Alan Love. These dramatic, enthralling and atmospheric tales are based on the Scandinavian myth cycle - one of the greatest and most culturally significant stories in the world - and tell of Odin with his one eye, Thor with his mighty hammer and Loki, the red-haired, shape-shifting trickster. In this stunning collection of myths, the strange world of ancient magic, giants, dwarfs and monsters is unforgettably imagined.
The Penguin Historical Atlas of the Vikings (Hist Atlas)
By: John Haywood
Viking marauders in their longships burst through the defences of ninth-century Europe, striking terror into the hearts of peasants and rulers alike for two centuries. But the Vikings were more than just marine warriors and this atlas shows their development as traders and craftsmen, explorers, settlers and mercenaries. With over sixty full colour maps, it follows the tracks of the Viking merchants who travelled deep into Russia, of Viking mercenaries who served in the emperor’s bodyguard at Constantinople, and Viking mariners who sailed beyond the edge of the known world to North America.
DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Norway
By: DK Travel
DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Norway will lead you straight to the best attractions this breathtaking country has to offer.Explore Norway region by region, from the enchanting Northern Lights and beautiful fjords to the vibrant Oslo nightlife. Experience the culture, history, wildlife, and architecture of Norway with walks and hikes through dramatic landscapes and scenic routes, and guidance on Norwegian cuisine. Whether you are whale watching, exploring museums, or hiking across spectacular mountains, this in-depth guidebook provides all the insider tips you need.Discover DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Norway.   • 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: Norway truly shows you this country as no one else can.Series Overview: For more than two decades, DK Eyewitness Travel Guides have helped travelers experience the world through the history, art, architecture, and culture of their destinations. Expert travel writers and researchers provide independent editorial advice, recommendations, and reviews. With guidebooks to hundreds of places around the globe available in print and digital formats, DK Eyewitness Travel Guides show travelers how they can discover more.DK Eyewitness Travel Guides: the most maps, photographs, and illustrations of any guide.
The Almost Nearly Perfect People: Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia
By: Michael Booth
The Christian Science Monitor's #1 Best Book of the YearA witty, informative, and popular travelogue about the Scandinavian countries and how they may not be as happy or as perfect as we assume, “The Almost Nearly Perfect People offers up the ideal mixture of intriguing and revealing facts” (Laura Miller, Salon).Journalist Michael Booth has lived among the Scandinavians for more than ten years, and he has grown increasingly frustrated with the rose-tinted view of this part of the world offered up by the Western media. In this timely book he leaves his adopted home of Denmark and embarks on a journey through all five of the Nordic countries to discover who these curious tribes are, the secrets of their success, and, most intriguing of all, what they think of one another.Why are the Danes so happy, despite having the highest taxes? Do the Finns really have the best education system? Are the Icelanders as feral as they sometimes appear? How are the Norwegians spending their fantastic oil wealth? And why do all of them hate the Swedes? In The Almost Nearly Perfect People Michael Booth explains who the Scandinavians are, how they differ and why, and what their quirks and foibles are, and he explores why these societies have become so successful and models for the world. Along the way a more nuanced, often darker picture emerges of a region plagued by taboos, characterized by suffocating parochialism, and populated by extremists of various shades. They may very well be almost nearly perfect, but it isn’t easy being Scandinavian.
A History of Scandinavia: Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland
By: T.K. Derry
HISTORY OF NORWAY, SWEDEN, DENMARK, FINLAND, ICELAND.
Vikings: The North Atlantic Saga
By: Smithsonian Books DC
Replete with color photographs, drawings, and maps of Viking sites, artifacts, and landscapes, this book celebrates and explores the Viking saga from the combined perspectives of history, archaeology, oral tradition, literature, and natural science. The book's contributors chart the spread of marauders and traders in Europe as well as the expansion of farmers and explorers throughout the North Atlantic and into the New World. They show that Norse contacts with Native American groups were more extensive than has previously been believed, but that the outnumbered Europeans never established more than temporary settlements in North America.
A History of the Vikings
By: Gwyn Jones
"An utterly splendid book, quite the most brilliantly written, balanced, and explanative general work on the Vikings ever to appear in English or in any language."-- Scandinavian StudiesThe subject of this book is the Viking realms, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, their civilization and culture, and their many sided achievements at home and abroad. A highly readable narrative follows the development of these Northern peoples--the Nordmenn--from their origins and the legendary pre-history to the military triumphs of Canute and the defeat of Harald Hardrádi at Stamford Bridge in 1066, which symbolically ended the Viking age. The book recounts the Vikings' exploits in war, trade, and colonization: the assault on Western Christendom; the trading and military ventures to the Slav and Muslim worlds and to Byzantium; and the western voyages of discovery and settlement to Greenland, Iceland, and America. Numerous photographs, maps, and drawings contribute to Gwyn Jones's rounded portrait of Viking civilization and vividly evoke the importance in their culture of religion, art, and seafaring.
Norway To America: A History of the Migration
By: Ingrid Semmingsen
Traces Norwegian immigration to the United States from 1825 through the twentieth century and examines the lifestyles and culture of Norwegian American pioneers who formed settlements and journeyed across the continent to California
King Harald's Saga: Harald Hardradi of Norway: From Snorri Sturluson's Heimskringla (Penguin Classics)
By: Snorri Sturluson
This compelling Icelandic history describes the life of King Harald Hardradi, from his battles across Europe and Russia to his final assault on England in 1066, less than three weeks before the invasion of William the Conqueror. It was a battle that led to his death and marked the end of an era in which Europe had been dominated by the threat of Scandinavian forces. Despite England's triumph, it also played a crucial part in fatally weakening the English army immediately prior to the Norman Conquest, changing the course of history. Taken from the Heimskringla—Snorri Sturluson's complete account of Norway from prehistoric times to 1177—this is a brilliantly human depiction of the turbulent life and savage death of the last great Norse warrior-king.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.
In Cod We Trust: Living the Norwegian Dream
By: Eric Dregni
Eric Dregni’s great-grandfather Ellef fled Norway in 1893 when it was the poorest country in Europe. More than one hundred years later, his great-grandson traveled back to find that—mostly due to oil and natural gas discoveries—it is now the richest. The circumstances of his return were serendipitous, as the notice that Dregni won a Fulbright Fellowship to go there arrived the same week as the knowledge that his wife Katy was pregnant. Braving a birth abroad and benefiting from a remarkably generous health care system, the Dregnis’ family came full circle when their son Eilif was born in Norway. In this cross-cultural memoir, Dregni tells the hair-raising, hilarious, and sometimes poignant stories of his family’s yearlong Norwegian experiment. Among the exploits he details are staying warm in a remote grass-roofed hytte (hut), surviving a dinner of rakfisk (fermented fish) thanks to 80-proof aquavit, and identifying his great-grandfather’s house in the Lusterfjord only to find out it had been crushed by a boulder and then swept away by a river. To subsist on a student stipend, he rides the meat bus to Sweden for cheap salami with a busload of knitting pensioners. A week later, he and his wife travel to the Lofoten Islands and gnaw on klippefisk (dried cod) while cats follow them through the streets. Dregni’s Scandinavian roots do little to prepare him and his family for the year in Trondheim eating herring cakes, obeying the conformist Janteloven (Jante’s law), and enduring the mørketid (dark time). In Cod We Trust is one Minnesota family’s spirited excursion into Scandinavian life. The land of the midnight sun is far stranger than they previously thought, and their encounters show that there is much we can learn from its unique and surprising culture.
Letters on Sweden, Norway, and Denmark (Dodo Press)
By: Mary Wollstonecraft
Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) was an eighteenthcentury British writer, philosopher, and feminist. During her brief career, she wrote novels, treatises, a travel narrative, a history of the French Revolution, a conduct book, and a children's book. Wollstonecraft is best known for A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), in which she argues that women are not naturally inferior to men, but appear to be only because they lack education. She suggests that both men and women should be treated as rational beings and imagines a social order founded on reason. The majority of her early productions centre around the topic of education; she assembled an anthology of literary extracts "for the improvement of young women" entitled The Female Reader. Her other works include Thoughts on the Education of Daughters (1787), Mary: A Fiction (1788), Original Stories from Real Life (1791), Letters on Sweden, Norway, and Denmark (1796), Maria; or, The Wrongs of Woman (1798), and Posthumous Works of the Author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1798).
Edvard Munch (World of Art)
By: Josef Paul Hodin
Long before the first theories of psychoanalysis were formulated, Edvard Munch (1863-1944) became the pioneer of an art which discovered and depicted the inner conflicts of modern man. The initiator of the movement known as Expressionism, Munch's work was greeted with indignation and incomprehension. But by 1902 he had achieved recognition in artistic circles on the Continent and was considered a leader of the new art.
Norwegian Folktales (The Pantheon Fairy Tale and Folklore Library)
By: Peter Christen Asbjornsen, Jorgen Moe
Long a treasure in Norway, the folktales collected by Peter Christen Asbjørnsen and Jørgen Moe have been acclaimed for their richness of humor, fullness of life, and depth of understanding since they first appeared in translation more than a hundred years ago. The Norwegian folktales, said Jacob Grimm, “surpass nearly all others.” Within these captivating tales we meet witches, trolls, and ogres; sly foxes and great, mysterious bears; beautiful princesses and country-lads-turned-heroes. Collected here in a sparkling contemporary translation by Pat Shaw Iversen and Carl Norman, these tales brim with the matchless vitality and power of their original telling. Included also are the wonderfully evocative original illustrations of Erik Werenskiold and Theodor Kittelsen.With black-and-white drawings throughoutPart of the Pantheon Fairy Tale and Folklore Library 
Don't Look Back
By: Karin Fossum
Meet Inspector Sejer: smart and enigmatic, tough but fair. At the foot of the imposing Kollen Mountain lies a small, idyllic village, where neighbors know neighbors and children play happily in the streets. But when the body of a teenage girl is found by the lake at the mountaintop, the town's tranquility is shattered forever. Annie was strong, intelligent, and loved by everyone. What went so terribly wrong? Doggedly, yet subtly, Inspector Sejer uncovers layer upon layer of distrust and lies beneath the town's seemingly perfect façade. Critically acclaimed across Europe, Karin Fossum's Inspector Sejer novels are masterfully constructed, psychologically convincing, and compulsively readable. They evoke a world that is at once profoundly disturbing and terrifyingly familiar.
Mysteries (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics)
By: Knut Hamsun
The first complete English translation of the Nobel Prize-winner’s literary masterpiece Mysteries is the story of Johan Nilsen Nagel, a mysterious stranger who suddenly turns up in a small Norwegian town one summer—and just as suddenly disappears. Nagel is a complete outsider, a sort of modern Christ treated in a spirit of near parody. He condemns the politics and thought of the age, brings comfort to the “insulted and injured,” and gains the love of two women suggestive of the biblical Mary and Martha. But there is a sinister side of him: in his vest he carries a vial of prussic acid... The novel creates a powerful sense of Nagel's stream of thought, as he increasingly withdraws into the torture chamber of his own subconscious psyche.For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,800 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.
My Struggle: Book 1
By: Karl Ove Knausgaard
A New York Times bestseller, My Struggle: Book 1 introduces American readers to the audacious, addictive, and profoundly surprising international literary sensation that is the provocative and brilliant six-volume autobiographical novel by Karl Ove Knausgaard. It has already been anointed a Proustian masterpiece and is the rare work of dazzling literary originality that is intensely, irresistibly readable. Unafraid of the big issues―death, love, art, fear―and yet committed to the intimate details of life as it is lived, My Struggle is an essential work of contemporary literature.
Out Stealing Horses: A Novel
By: Per Petterson
We were going out stealing horses. That was what he said, standing at the door to the cabin where I was spending the summer with my father. I was fifteen. It was 1948 and oneof the first days of July.Trond's friend Jon often appeared at his doorstep with an adventure in mind for the two of them. But this morning was different. What began as a joy ride on "borrowed" horses ends with Jon falling into a strange trance of grief. Trond soon learns what befell Jon earlier that day―an incident that marks the beginning of a series of vital losses for both boys.Set in the easternmost region of Norway, Out Stealing Horses begins with an ending. Sixty-seven-year-old Trond has settled into a rustic cabin in an isolated area to live the rest of his life with a quiet deliberation. A meeting with his only neighbor, however, forces him to reflect on that fateful summer.
Wildlife of the North Atlantic: A Cruising Guide (Bradt Wildlife Guides)
By: Tony Soper
The latest edition to Tony Soper's successful wildlife series, North Atlantic: A Guide to the Wildlife, is beautifully illustrated throughout with watercolour paintings by renowned wildlife artist Dan Powell. This full-colour guide covers the surface wildlife that inhabits the waters of the North Atlantic. It’s an ideal companion for anyone at sea or exploring the coast between Brittany and the British Isles, Norway, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland, Newfoundland and Maine. Sail the region and experience the company of gannets, fulmars, pigeons, leaping dolphins and sociable seals.
24x36 World Wall Map by Smithsonian Journeys - Tan Oceans Special Edition (24x36 Paper Folded)
By: Smithsonian Journeys
Swiftmaps is proud to partner with Smithsonian Journeys to bring a new and exciting World Map series to the American marketplace. Featuring eye-catching bold and vivid colors complemented with rich vintage tan ocean tones that will make this the perfect reference piece --- sure to stand-out and highlight any home or business wall. The precise detail and digital accuracy shows color-matching visual shaded 3D relief and other physical features without sacrificing the maps readability. Now printed on high-quality 80 lb. paper and professionally FOLDED in a compact 8x10 inch size. FEATURES: 1) Africa centered allowing viewers to see continents complete and intact 2) Clearly labeled country and city names for easy location 3) Latitude and longitude indications 4) Shaded relief of ocean and land topography 4) Desirable Miller Projection. The Smithsonian Journeys wall map series serve not only as a handy reference piece, but as an eye-catching accent for any room or office. NOTE: each map is professionally folded to 8x10 inches and when unfolded the map is 24 inches high and 36 inches wide.
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, experienced Expedition Team onboard, tour director, and local guides throughout the tour
  • All gratuities for the expert, tour director, on-tour guides and drivers
  • 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)
  • Pre-tour information, including a reading list
  • Transfers and luggage handling abroad for all travelers whose arrival(s)/departure(s) coincide with the scheduled group transfer(s)
  • All on-tour transportation, including the flights from Kirkenes and Oslo, unless otherwise noted
  • All accommodations for the duration of the tour
  • Meals, as noted in the itinerary (B-breakfast; L-lunch; D-dinner; R-reception)
  • All sightseeing and visits as noted in each itinerary

What Is Not Included in the Tour Cost

  • Passport and all visa fees and photos; immunization(s); and any other travel documentation fees as required
  • Optional travel insurance, including cancellation/delay/lost baggage insurance
  • Personal items, unless otherwise stated, such as wine, liquors, a-la-carte orders
  • Gratuities to ship's crew
  • Expenses incurred by our tour operator in making any individual travel arrangements in conjunction with the tour
  • Airline baggage and other airline fees and associated taxes, unless noted in Tour description
  • Communication Charges (e.g.: phone, internet, etc.)
  • 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 call 855-330-1542 to speak with a Reservations Specialist, Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Eastern Time). Submitting an online request does not guarantee space on a tour.  You will be notified by a Reservation Specialist of your status once your request has been received and processed.  

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

Payments

Deposit or $1,000 (cruise tours) 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 full payment is not received by the final payment due date, your place cannot be guaranteed on the tour.

Late Registration

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

Once confirmed, cancellation penalties apply as set forth below. If confirmation is not possible, all payments made will be refunded in full. Late registration confirmation procedures apply to any traveler 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 Reservations Specialist at 1-855-330-1542 Monday - Friday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. (Eastern Time), at SJReservations@si.edu or SmithsonianJourneys.org.

A Note about Costs

All prices are based on two persons sharing a room/cabin. All prices are quoted in U.S. dollars. Tour costs are based upon current airfares, tariffs, currency values, and on the basis of a presumptive minimum number of travelers. 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 wait list by contacting a Reservation Specialist at 1-855-330-1542 Monday - Friday 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. (Eastern Time), at SJReservations@si.edu or at www.SmithsonianJourneys.org/Contact. 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 traveler’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 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.

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.