During this special Cultural Stay, immerse yourself in the “City of Light” and see it through the lens of the African American experience. Among other highlights you’ll enjoy insightful thematic tours that focus on esteemed African American expats, authors, activists, and musicians; a meeting with an award-winning novelist; and a jazz concert.

Starting at: $4,840 Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Travelers in front of the iconic Eiffel Tower  The Harlem Hellfighters  Entrance to the Louvre, Paris. Credit: Jan Wlodarczyk, Alamy  Arc de Triomphe, Paris  Fountain at St. Germain-des-Pres  The Hall of Mirrors at Versailles  Paris at night  Place de Tertre by the Sacre Coeur  Musicians in the City of Light

Paris: The African American Experience

9 days from $4,840

During this special Cultural Stay, immerse yourself in the “City of Light” and see it through the lens of the African American experience. Among other highlights you’ll enjoy insightful thematic tours that focus on esteemed African American expats, authors, activists, and musicians; a meeting with an award-winning novelist; and a jazz concert.

or Call 855-330-1542

Accommodations

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

Les Jardins du Marais

Paris, France

The Hotel Les Jardins du Marais is located across several buildings surrounding an attractive courtyard garden. The hotel provides a comfortable base from which to explore the Marais district and central Paris. Enjoy attentive service and well-appointed rooms.

Each of the Jardins du Marais' nine buildings has its own small lobby area and is named after a famous French historical figure; the Eiffel building was actually the former workshop of Gustave Eiffel, engineer, architect, and designer of Paris' best-known landmark, the Eiffel Tower. Amenities include a 24-hour health club, a full-service spa and complimentary Wi-Fi.

Number of nights: 7

Activity Level

Activity Level 2:  Moderate 

Expectations: Week-long Cultural Stay featuring one city and hotel stay. Moderate pace with some afternoons and evenings at leisure. Extensive walking tours of neighborhoods, museums, and outdoor sites. Some included excursions will require the use of public transportation within the city and to Versailles. The hotel is centrally located for easy access to museums, sites, shops, and restaurants, which is ideal for time at leisure. 

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

Special Air Rates/Services

FlexAir is designed to provide you with the flexibility and choice you need to personalize your air travel experience. Explore a wide range of flight options in consultation with our experienced travel professionals to select the flights, routing, class of service, and dates of travel that most fit your needs. Our partner tour operator has negotiated contracts with a wide variety of carriers that allow them to hold flight reservations and then issue your ticket close to departure without additional fees. This protects you from the need to purchase published-fare tickets, which must be ticketed within 24 hours of purchase. FlexAir reservations provide the flexibility to adjust reservations without penalty and to accommodate extensions and upgrades right up until ticketing time, usually around 45 days before departure. We look forward to providing you with more choice and the best possible itinerary for your air travel plans.

Program Includes:

  • Guaranteed transfers between the airport and your overseas accommodations on tour arrival and departure days. We will provide you with all of the details you need to guarantee your transfer.
  • Air schedule change and delay assistance. Book FlexAir to ensure assistance should schedule changes or delays impact your air travel plans.
  • Flight insurance worth up to $250,000, subject to policy terms, is automatically included.
  • Confirmed airline seat assignments at the time of booking (in most cases).
Reading List

Highly Recommended

Parisians: An Adventure History of Paris
By: Graham Robb
The New York Times bestseller: the secrets of the City of Light, revealed in the lives of the great, the near-great, and the forgotten—by the author of the acclaimed The Discovery of France.This is the Paris you never knew. From the Revolution to the present, Graham Robb has distilled a series of astonishing true narratives, all stranger than fiction, of the lives of the great, the near-great, and the forgotten. A young artillery lieutenant, strolling through the Palais-Royal, observes disapprovingly the courtesans plying their trade. A particular woman catches his eye; nature takes its course. Later that night Napoleon Bonaparte writes a meticulous account of his first sexual encounter. A well-dressed woman, fleeing the Louvre, takes a wrong turn and loses her way in the nameless streets of the Left Bank. For want of a map—there were no reliable ones at the time—Marie-Antoinette will go to the guillotine. Baudelaire, the photographer Marville, Baron Haussmann, the real-life Mimi of La Bohème, Proust, Adolf Hitler touring the occupied capital in the company of his generals, Charles de Gaulle (who is suspected of having faked an assassination attempt in Notre Dame)—these and many more are Robb’s cast of characters, and the settings range from the quarries and catacombs beneath the streets to the grand monuments to the appalling suburbs ringing the city today. The result is a resonant, intimate history with the power of a great novel. 16 pages of full-color illustrations
Ernest Hemingway: A Moveable Feast (Paperback); 1996 Edition
By: Ernest Hemingway
DK Eyewitness Paris: 2020 (Travel Guide)
By: DK Eyewitness
Black France / France Noire: The History and Politics of Blackness
By: Trica Danielle Keaton, T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting, Tyler Stovall
In Black France / France Noire, scholars, activists, and novelists from France and the United States address the untenable paradox at the heart of French society. France's constitutional and legal discourses do not recognize race as a meaningful category. Yet the lived realities of race and racism are ever-present in the nation's supposedly race-blind society. The vaunted universalist principles of the French Republic are far from realized. Any claim of color-blindness is belied by experiences of anti-black racism, which render blackness a real and consequential historical, social, and political formation. Contributors to this collection of essays demonstrate that blackness in France is less an identity than a response to and rejection of anti-black racism. Black France / France Noire is a distinctive and important contribution to the increasingly public debates on diversity, race, racialization, and multicultural intolerance in French society and beyond.Contributors. Rémy Bazenguissa-Ganga, Allison Blakely, Jennifer Anne Boittin, Marcus Bruce, Fred Constant, Mamadou Diouf, Arlette Frund, Michel Giraud, Bennetta Jules-Rosette, Trica Danielle Keaton, Jake Lamar, Patrick Lozès, Alain Mabanckou, Elisabeth Mudimbe-Boyi, T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting, Tyler Stovall, Christiane Taubira, Dominic Thomas, Gary Wilder
Streetwise Paris Map - Laminated City Center Street Map of Paris, France (Michelin Streetwise Maps)
By: Michelin

Also Recommended

Lonely Planet French Phrasebook & Dictionary
By: Lonely Planet, Janes, Michael, Carillet, Jean-Bernard, Masclef, Jean-Pierre
The Most Beautiful Walk in the World: A Pedestrian in Paris
By: John Baxter
“Aman with a great appreciation of what makes Paris tick.” —NewsdayFromthe author of Immoveable Feast and We’ll Always Have Paris comes aguided tour of the most beautiful walks through the City of Light, includingthe favorite walking routes of the many of the acclaimed artists and writerswho have called Paris their home. Baxter highlights hidden treasures along theSeine, treasured markets at Place d’Aligre, thefavorite ambles of Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, and Sylvia Beach, andmore, in a series of intimate vignettes that evoke the best parts of Paris’smany charms. Baxter’s unforgettable chronicle reveals how walking is the bestway to experience romance, history, and pleasures off the beaten path . . . notonly of La Ville-Lumière, but also, perhaps, of life itself.
The Sweet Life in Paris: Delicious Adventures in the World's Most Glorious - and Perplexing - City
By: David Lebovitz
Like so many others, David Lebovitz dreamed about living in Paris ever since he first visited the city in the 1980s. Finally, after a nearly two-decade career as a pastry chef and cookbook author, he moved to Paris to start a new life. Having crammed all his worldly belongings into three suitcases, he arrived, hopes high, at his new apartment in the lively Bastille neighborhood. But he soon discovered it's a different world en France.From learning the ironclad rules of social conduct to the mysteries of men's footwear, from shopkeepers who work so hard not to sell you anything to the etiquette of working the right way around the cheese plate, here is David's story of how he came to fall in love with—and even understand—this glorious, yet sometimes maddening, city.When did he realize he had morphed into un vrai parisien? It might have been when he found himself considering a purchase of men's dress socks with cartoon characters on them. Or perhaps the time he went to a bank with 135 euros in hand to make a 134-euro payment, was told the bank had no change that day, and thought it was completely normal. Or when he found himself dressing up to take out the garbage because he had come to accept that in Paris appearances and image mean everything. The more than fifty original recipes, for dishes both savory and sweet, such as Pork Loin with Brown Sugar–Bourbon Glaze, Braised Turkey in Beaujolais Nouveau with Prunes, Bacon and Bleu Cheese Cake, Chocolate-Coconut Marshmallows, Chocolate Spice Bread, Lemon-Glazed Madeleines, and Mocha–Crème Fraîche Cake, will have readers running to the kitchen once they stop laughing. The Sweet Life in Paris is a deliciously funny, offbeat, and irreverent look at the city of lights, cheese, chocolate, and other confections.
Long Ago In France: The Years In Dijon (DESTINATIONS)
By: M.F.K. Fisher
In 1929, Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher arrived in Dijon, the provincial capital of Burgundy and the gastronomical capital of France, there to be initiated into the ways of love and life. Long Ago In France is Fisher's exquisitely evocative, deliciously candid memoir of her three-year stay in Dijon. It is a delightful journey backward - in the grandest of company - into a voluptuous, genteel world that has vanished forever.
A Traveller's History of Paris
By: Robert Cole
Packed with facts, anecdotes, and insight, A Traveller's History of Paris offers a complete history of the city and the people who have shaped its destiny. Illustrated with line drawings and historical maps.
Bricktop's Paris: African American Women in Paris between the Two World Wars
By: Sharpley-Whiting, T. Denean
Eiffel's Tower: The Thrilling Story Behind Paris's Beloved Monument and the Extraordinary World's Fair That Introduced It
By: Jill Jonnes
The story of the world-famous monument and the extraordinary world's fair that introduced it In this first general history of the Eiffel Tower in English, Jill Jonnes-acclaimed author of Conquering Gotham-offers an eye- opening look not only at the construction of one of the modern world's most iconic structures, but also the epochal event that surrounded its arrival as a wonder of the world. In this marvelously entertaining portrait of Belle Époque France, fear and loathing over Eiffel's brash design share the spotlight with the celebrities that made the 1889 Exposition Universelle an event to remember-including Buffalo Bill and his sharpshooter Annie Oakley, Thomas Edison, and artists Whistler, Gauguin, and van Gogh. Eiffel's Tower is a richly textured portrait of an era at the dawn of modernity, reveling in the limitless promise of the future.
How Paris Became Paris: The Invention of the Modern City
By: Joan DeJean
At the beginning of the seventeenth century, Paris was known for isolated monuments but had not yet put its brand on urban space. Like other European cities, it was still emerging from its medieval past. But in a mere century Paris would be transformed into the modern and mythic city we know today.Though most people associate the signature characteristics of Paris with the public works of the nineteenth century, Joan DeJean demonstrates that the Parisian model for urban space was in fact invented two centuries earlier, when the first complete design for the French capital was drawn up and implemented. As a result, Paris saw many changes. It became the first city to tear down its fortifications, inviting people in rather than keeping them out. Parisian urban planning showcased new kinds of streets, including the original boulevard, as well as public parks and the earliest sidewalks and bridges without houses. Venues opened for urban entertainment of all kinds, from opera and ballet to a pastime invented in Paris, recreational shopping. Parisians enjoyed the earliest public transportation and street lighting, and Paris became Europe's first great walking city. A century of planned development made Paris both beautiful and exciting. It gave people reasons to be out in public as never before and as nowhere else. And it gave Paris its modern identity as a place that people dreamed of seeing. By 1700, Paris had become the capital that would revolutionize our conception of the city and of urban life.
In Montmartre: Picasso, Matisse and the Birth of Modernist Art
By: Sue Roe
A lively and deeply researched group biography of the vibrant figures who invented modernist art in bohemian Paris at the dawn of the twentieth century   When the young Pablo Picasso first arrived in Paris in 1900, the most progressive young artists all lived and worked in the seedy hillside quarter of Montmartre, in the shade of the old windmills. Over the next decade, among the studios, salons, cafés, dance halls, and galleries of Montmartre, the young Spaniard joined the likes of Henri Matisse, André Derain, Maurice de Vlaminck, Georges Braque, Amedeo Modigliani, Constantin Brancusi, Gertrude Stein, and many more in revolutionizing artistic expression.   Blending exceptional scholarship with graceful prose, Sue Roe paints a remarkable group portrait of the men and women who profoundly changed the arts of painting, sculpture, dance, music, literature, and fashion. She describes the origins of such movements as Fauvism, Cubism, and Futurism, and reconstructs the stories behind immortal paintings by Picasso and Matisse. She shows how daily life in Montmartre—which brought artists together with acrobats and dancers, prostitutes and clowns—provided an essential cauldron for artistic experimentation and for the colorful relationships, friendships, loyalties, and feuds that gave rise to some of the most pathbreaking and lasting works of the twentieth century.   In Montmartre is a thrilling account of an extraordinary group of artists on the cusp of fame and immortality that brings vividly to life one of the key moments in the history of modern art.   Praise for In Montmartre: “A lively and concise account . . . [Roe is] very good at synthesizing and distilling complicated art movements and ideas without getting bogged down in technical details or jargon. And she offers up plenty of juicy tidbits about the artists’ love affairs, infidelities, opium parties, and eccentric habits. . . . Roe’s book is a great introduction to one of the most pivotal periods in 20th century art. Even those familiar with the era will likely find that it broadens their understanding of key players and events.” —Associated Press
The Sun King (New York Review Books Classics)
By: Nancy Mitford
The Sun King is a dazzling double portrait of Louis XIV and Versailles, the opulent court from which he ruled. With characteristic élan, Nancy Mitford reconstructs the daily life of king and courtiers during France’s golden age, offering vivid sketches of the architects, artists, and gardeners responsible for the creation of the most magnificent palace Europe had yet seen. Mitford lays bare the complex and deadly intrigues in the stateroom and the no less high-stakes power struggles in the bedroom. At the center of it all is Louis XIV himself, the demanding, mercurial, but remarkably resilient sovereign who guided France through nearly three quarters of the Grand Siècle.Brimming with sumptuous detail and delicious bons mots, and written in a witty, conversational style, The Sun King restores a distant glittering century to vibrant life.
A Day at Versailles
By: Yves Carlier
The Chateau de Versailles is one of the most beautiful and fascinating achievements of eighteenth-century French art. This unique book offers readers unprecedented access to this historical treasure. The world's most iconic chateau has welcomed tourists the world over, yet this handsome slipcased volume offers up the charm of a thousand and one hidden places in the chateau, its gardens, and pavilions. All were designed to surprise and delight the eye and all the senses at every turn, their ornate decoration forming an integral part of the elite lifestyle of the eighteenth century. This comprehensive volume captures the exquisite setting and inimitable ambience of Versailles and its gardens, from its intimate private spaces usually closed to the general public to the charming Petit Trianon and dairy farm created for the pure pleasure of Marie-Antoinette.
Paris Blues: African American Music and French Popular Culture, 1920-1960
By: Andy Fry
The Jazz Age. The phrase conjures images of Louis Armstrong holding court at the Sunset Cafe in Chicago, Duke Ellington dazzling crowds at the Cotton Club in Harlem, and star singers like Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey. But the Jazz Age was every bit as much of a Paris phenomenon as it was a Chicago and New York scene. In Paris Blues, Andy Fry provides an alternative history of African American music and musicians in France, one that looks beyond familiar personalities and well-rehearsed stories. He pinpoints key issues of race and nation in France’s complicated jazz history from the 1920s through the 1950s. While he deals with many of the traditional icons―such as Josephine Baker, Django Reinhardt, and Sidney Bechet, among others―what he asks is how they came to be so iconic, and what their stories hide as well as what they preserve. Fry focuses throughout on early jazz and swing but includes its re-creation―reinvention―in the 1950s. Along the way, he pays tribute to forgotten traditions such as black musical theater, white show bands, and French wartime swing. Paris Blues provides a nuanced account of the French reception of African Americans and their music and contributes greatly to a growing literature on jazz, race, and nation in France.
Between Meals: An Appetite for Paris
By: A. J. Liebling
New Yorker staff writer A.J. Liebling recalls his Parisian apprenticeship in the fine art of eating in this charming memoir, Between Meals: An Appetite for Paris.
Eugene Bullard, Black Expatriate in Jazz-Age Paris
By: Craig Lloyd
Although he was the first African American fighter pilot, Eugene J. Bullard is still a relative stranger in his homeland. An accomplished professional boxer, musician, club manager, and impresario of Parisian nightlife between the world wars, Bullard found in Europe a degree of respect and freedom unknown to blacks in America. There, for twenty-five years, he helped define the expatriate experience for countless other African American artists, writers, performers, and athletes.This is the first biography of Bullard in thirty years and the most complete ever. It follows Bullard's lifelong search for respect from his poor boyhood in Jim-Crow Georgia to his attainment of notoriety in Jazz-Age Paris and his exploits fighting for his adopted country, for which he was awarded the Croix de Guerre. Drawing on a vast amount of archival material in the United States, Great Britain, and France, Craig Lloyd unfolds the vibrant story of an African American who sought freedom overseas. Lloyd provides a new look at the black expatriate community in Paris, taking readers into the cabarets where Bullard rubbed elbows with Josephine Baker, Louis Armstrong, and even the Prince of Wales. Lloyd also uses Bullard's life as a lens through which to view the racism that continued to dog him even in Europe in his encounters with traveling Americans.When Hitler conquered France, Bullard was wounded in action and then escaped to America. There, his European successes counted for little: he spent his last years in obscurity and hardship but continued to work for racial justice. Eugene Bullard, Black Expatriate in Jazz-Age Paris offers a fascinating look at an extraordinary man who lived on his own terms and adds a new facet to our understanding of the black diaspora.
Paris to the Moon
By: Adam Gopnik
Non-Fiction, Parenting, Travel
The Secret Life of the Seine
By: Mort Rosenblum
Mort Rosenblum, a celebrated foreign correspondent, invites us aboard his fifty-four-foot launch tied up in the center of Paris and introduces us to the characters who share his life along the river, ranging from eccentric movie stars and reclusive novelists to barge families just scraping by. He then hauls in the bow line for an unforgettable tour of the river itself from its source to its mouth. The Secret Life of the Seine is a love story between man and boat and the river that they live on, a discourse on the sensual beauty of France and the art of living well. In the tradition of A Year in Provence, Under the Tuscan Sun, and Paris to the Moon, here is what Garry Trudeau called "a moveable feast [with] a top speed of five knots—fast enough for fun, languid enough for dreaming. Take a trip you'll never take: This is what books are for."
Paris: The Novel
By: Edward Rutherfurd
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER From Edward Rutherfurd the grand master of the historical novel comes a dazzling epic about the magnificent city of Paris Moving back and forth in time the story unfolds through intimate and thrilling tales of self-discovery divided loyalty and long-kept secrets As various characters come of age seek their fortunes and fall in and out of love the novel follows nobles who claim descent from the hero of the celebrated poem The Song of Roland a humble family that embodies the ideals of the French Revolution a pair of brothers from the slums behind Montmartre one of whom works on the Eiffel Tower as the other joins the underworld near the Moulin Rouge and merchants who lose everything during the reign of Louis XV rise again in the age of Napoleon and help establish Paris as the great center of art and culture that it is today With Rutherfurds unrivaled blend of impeccable research and narrative verve this bold novel brings the sights scents and tastes of the City of Light to brilliant life Praise for Paris A tour de force Edward Rutherfurds most romantic and richly detailed work of fiction yet -Bookreporter Fantastic as grand and engrossing as Paris itself -Historical Novels Review This saga is filled with historical detail and a huge cast of characters fictional and real spanning generations and centuries But Paris with its art architecture culture and couture is the undisputed main character -Fort Worth Star-Telegram Both Paris the venerable City of Light and Rutherfurd the undisputed master of the multigenerational historical saga shine in this sumptuous urban epic -Booklist There is suspense intrigue and romance around every corner -Asbury Park Press
Paris In Mind: From Mark Twain to Langston Hughes, from Saul Bellow to David Sedaris: Three Centuries of Americans Writing About Their Romance (and Frustrations) with Paris
By: Jennifer Lee
“Paris is a moveable feast,” Ernest Hemingway famously wrote, and in this captivating anthology, American writers share their pleasures, obsessions, and quibbles with the great city and its denizens. Mark Twain celebrates the unbridled energy of the Can-Can. Sylvia Beach recalls the excitement of opening Shakespeare & Company on the Rue Dupuytren. David Sedaris praises Parisians for keeping quiet at the movies. These are just a few of the writers assembled here, and each selection is as surprising and rewarding as the next.Including essays, book excerpts, letters, articles, and journal entries, this seductive collection captures the long and passionate relationship Americans have had with Paris. Accompanied by an illuminating introduction, Paris in Mind is sure to be a fascinating voyage for literary travelers.Jennifer Allen * Deborah Baldwin * James Baldwin * Dave Barry * Sylvia Beach * Saul Bellow * Bricktop * Art Buchwald * T. S. Eliot * M.F.K. Fisher * Janet Flanner * Benjamin Franklin * Ernest Hemingway *Langston Hughes * Thomas Jefferson * Stanley Karnow * Patric Kuh * A. J. Liebling * Anaïs Nin * Grant Rosenberg * David Sedaris * Irwin Shaw *Gertrude Stein * Mark Twain * Edith Wharton * E. B. White
The Paris Wife
By: Paula McLain
A deeply evocative story of ambition and betrayal, The Paris Wife captures the love affair between two unforgettable people: Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley.   Chicago, 1920: Hadley Richardson is a quiet twenty-eight-year-old who has all but given up on love and happiness—until she meets Ernest Hemingway. Following a whirlwind courtship and wedding, the pair set sail for Paris, where they become the golden couple in a lively and volatile group—the fabled “Lost Generation”—that includes Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and F. Scott Fitzgerald.   Though deeply in love, the Hemingways are ill prepared for the hard-drinking, fast-living, and free-loving life of Jazz Age Paris. As Ernest struggles to find the voice that will earn him a place in history and pours himself into the novel that will become The Sun Also Rises, Hadley strives to hold on to her sense of self as her roles as wife, friend, and muse become more challenging. Eventually they find themselves facing the ultimate crisis of their marriage—a deception that will lead to the unraveling of everything they’ve fought so hard for.   A heartbreaking portrayal of love and torn loyalty, The Paris Wife is all the more poignant because we know that, in the end, Hemingway wrote that he would rather have died than fallen in love with anyone but Hadley.   NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER   WINNER—BEST HISTORICAL FICTION—GOODREADS CHOICE AWARDS   NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY People • Chicago Tribune • NPR • The Philadelphia Inquirer • Kirkus Reviews • The Toronto Sun • BookPage   Look for special features inside. Join the Circle for author chats and more.
Smithsonian Journeys (Paris) Spring 2015
By: various
Rendezvous Eighteenth (American Mysteries in Paris)
By: Lamar, Jake
Bourgeois Blues: An American Memoir
By: Jake Lamar
The author, a successful journalist, describes his efforts to come to terms with his father and the sometimes subtle racism of modern society
If 6 Were 9: A "Militant" Mystery
By: Jake Lamar
In the wee hours of the morning, a phone call awakens Clay Robinette, once a disgraced reporter, now a happily married, happily tenured black professor. The caller is Reggie Brogus, a famous black militant who, after a mysterious seven-year exile, remade himself as a fire-breathing conservative professor. There's a dead body in Reggie's office and he's sure it's the work of government agents looking to frame him for his radical past. He needs Clay's help and trusts Clay's wry sense of humor and famous cool head to get him out of trouble. But Clay, dragged out of his bed into the winter night, recognizes the victim -- Jennifer Wolfsheim, aka Pirate Jenny, Clay's student and, for a brief time, his mistress. Knowing he too could be implicated in Jenny's death, Clay tries to cover up his knowledge of the murder; he gives Reggie a ride out of town, goes home, and gets back into bed as though the whole episode were a nightmare. But when he wakes up in the morning, his life slowly but surely begins to fall apart. Dragged into the nvestigation in spite of himself, Clay knows he must unmask the killer before he becomes the prime suspect. Is Reggie guilty after all? Is the murder indeed linked to the FBI and a long-ago counterintelligence operation? Or is the killer someone with a sterling reputation and a hidden sadistic streak?Part whodunit, part conspiracy thriller, part social satire, If 6 Were 9 is a funny, fast-paced novel filled with vibrant characters, unexpected plot twists, and provocative ideas about the complexities of race and politics in America.
24x36 World Wall Map by Smithsonian Journeys - Tan Oceans Special Edition (24x36 Laminated)
Travel Insurance

For the convenience of our travelers, Travel Guard provides an on-tour Insurance Plan. 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.

Terms and conditions

Our 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 around them. Your participation benefits the work of Smithsonian’s 19 museums, national zoo, and nine research centers, helping to preserve our national treasures and shape the future through science, research, and exhibitions.

What Is Provided With Your Tour

  • Expertise of a Smithsonian Journeys expert, travel director and local guides throughout the tour
  • All gratuities for the expert, travel director, on tour guides and drivers
  • Pre-tour information, including a reading list
  • Airport transfers, luggage handling and gratuities (when applicable) for both Flex Air participants and participants who are able to meet the scheduled group departure times. Reservations are required.
  • All on-tour transportation, unless otherwise noted
  • All accommodations for the duration of the tour
  • All meals and beverages 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 Provided With Your Tour

  • Passport and all visa fees and photos; immunization(s); and any other travel documentation fees as required 
  • Optional travel insurance
  • Personal items, unless otherwise stated, such as wine, liquors, a-la-carte orders
  • Expenses incurred by our tour operator in making any individual travel arrangements in conjunction with the tour
  • Airline baggage and other airline fees and associated taxes, unless noted in Tour description
  • Communication Charges (e.g.: phone, the internet, etc.)
  • Other items noted as optional or not specifically mentioned as included
  • Airfare to/from your departure city is not included. Optional airfare may be available at an additional cost.

Registration 

To submit a reservation request, please use our secure online system at SmithsonianJourneys.org or call 855-330-1542 to speak with a 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).

For tours that include round-trip international airfare: If you provide incorrect information to the ticketing agent, or if you use a different passport than originally cited, you will be responsible for charges associated with the ticket’s reissue.

Payments

A deposit of $500 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 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. Payment in full must be made immediately by credit card, or by check sent by overnight mail to the tour operator, before confirmation is possible.

Once confirmed, cancellation penalties apply as set forth below. If confirmation is not possible, all payments made will be refunded in full. Late registration confirmation procedures apply to any participant who is transferred from the wait list to the tour within the designated late registration period for that tour.

For additional information, please call 855-330-1542 to speak with a Cultural Travel Specialist, Mon-Fri 9 am – 6 pm (Eastern Time), at SJReservations@si.edu or SmithsonianJourneys.org.

A Note About Costs

All prices are based on two persons sharing a room/cabin. All prices are quoted in U.S. dollars. Tour costs are based upon current airfares, tariffs, currency values, and on the basis of a presumptive minimum number of participants. While we will do everything possible to maintain the listed prices, they are subject to change.   Due to fluctuations in oil prices, a fuel surcharge may be added to your tour fee (e.g. internal flights, cruises, etc.).  Details and costs will be advised prior to departure.

Wait List

If the tour of your choice is fully subscribed, you may choose to be placed on a waitlist by contacting a Reservation Specialist at 1-855-330-1542 Mon-Fri 9 am - 6 pm (Eastern Time), or SJReservations@si.edu. Individuals on the wait list will be contacted if space becomes available and can inquire about tour status by contacting a Reservation Specialist. If you choose to withdraw from a wait list, please notify us.

Cancellation and Refund Policy

Following enrollment, a participant’s withdrawal from the tour for any reason, including, but not limited to, illness, injury, family engagements, work-related issues, or geopolitical concerns, etc., will be deemed a cancellation. Please understand that there will be no exceptions to our cancellation policy.

Per person cancellation fees are based on date of written notice to Smithsonian Journeys. Tour operator will refund on the following basis:

  • Cancellations within 7 days of booking:  Full Refund (unless it is within final payment date, 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

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 95 days (final payment) of 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 economy class from designated departure cities as shown. Airfares from other cities are available upon request.  Airline upgrades at additional cost may be available on request for the international portion of your flight.  If an air schedule requires an overnight stay in a gateway city, the cost of the overnight will be at your expense.  For tours that include round-trip international airfare, we will be happy to help with arrangements.

Individual Arrivals and Group Transfers

A designated group flight is not included on most tours. Your first tour bulletin will thoroughly explain the details of the options available for your individual flights. Airport transfers (when applicable) are complimentary for both Flex Air participants and participants who are able to meet the scheduled group departure times. Reservations are required.

Air Service/Tickets Purchased Independently of the Tour

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

We urge you to check airline cancellation penalties before purchasing airline tickets since international departure times and flights can change. Neither the Smithsonian Institution nor the tour operator accepts liability for cancellation penalties related to domestic or international airline tickets purchased independently in conjunction with a tour.

Travel Insurance

For the convenience of our travelers, Travel Guard provides an on-tour Insurance Plan. 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 and Information

Participants are responsible for obtaining any documents required for their participation in the tour such as a valid passport, all visas, vaccination certificates, and any other documents. If your tour requires a visa or other entry documents, we will send you the appropriate information after you make a reservation.  Failure to obtain documents does not negate the terms and conditions, and any extra costs incurred for rerouting or delay due to travel without the necessary documents will be the participant’s responsibility. If you are not a U.S. citizen, please contact your embassy or consulate to ensure you obtain the proper documentation.

For all international departures, a passport valid for at least six months after the completion of your tour, and with at least six blank visa pages, is required for U.S. citizens on all tours. The U.S. Department of State will no longer add visa pages into U.S. passports beginning January 1, 2016. The decision to discontinue this service was made to enhance the security of the passport and to abide by international passport standards. Beginning January 1, 2016, applicants in need of additional pages in their valid passports must obtain a new passport. For more information on how or where to apply, please visit Travel.State.Gov/ApplyEarly or call the National Passport Information Center toll-free at 1-877-487-2778/1-888-874-7793 (TTY/TTD).

For more information about traveling to destinations abroad, we recommend the “Learn about your destination” section on the U.S. Department of State travel website www.travel.state.gov.  For medical information, we recommend contacting the Centers for Disease Control at (877) FYI-TRIP or www.cdc.gov/travel

Physical and Medical Considerations

To enjoy the travel experience, participants should be in good physical and mental health. All tours require an element of walking (up to two miles per day over uneven terrain) and of climbing stairs, often without handrails. Participants should have sufficient stamina to keep pace with an active group of participants on long days of touring. If you have any questions about your ability to participate in a tour, please call us at 855-330-1542. Any physical condition, diet, or special request for accommodation must be identified in writing on the Personal Information Form when the reservation is made. Some tours have additional information regarding physical and medical considerations, which may be discussed with the Reservation Specialist at 855-330-1542.

Please be aware that health care standards, facilities, and services abroad may be different or even inadequate for treating certain health conditions.  It is essential that you inform us in writing (on the provided Personal Information Form) of any existing condition for which you may require medical attention or accommodation during the tour. We will make reasonable efforts to accommodate the needs of our participants; however, services of a personal nature cannot be expected or guaranteed. By forwarding the deposit for pre-registration or registration in full, you affirm that you do not have any physical or other limitations that would create a hazard for yourself or other participants or would require adjustments to the tour for other participants.

Itinerary or Tour Modifications

Smithsonian Journeys strives to improve tour itineraries and their features. If improvements can be made, or unforeseen circumstances beyond our control make changes necessary, at our sole discretion, we reserve the right to vary itineraries and to substitute elements of the tour.  These elements include, but are not limited to:  hotels, staff, speakers, experts, and services for any stated in the itinerary.

Every effort will be made to carry out the tour as planned but alterations may still occur after the final itinerary has been sent to you. Please note that weather and other conditions may force changes to the advertised sailing schedule on cruise tours. The ship’s captain has the authority to change the ship’s schedule. Smithsonian Journeys and the tour operator reserve the right to substitute motorcoach transportation using hotels, inns or lodges for cruise accommodations if necessary due to weather, water conditions or levels, other events of force majeure, mechanical, or other conditions beyond their control.

Hotel Accommodations

Smithsonian Journeys chooses hotels based on a combination of location, service, atmosphere, and price. On adventure tours and tours in out-of-the-way places, best-available hotels are used.  Tour prices are based on two persons sharing a room with a bath.

Singles and Roommates

Hotel rooms are always reserved for single participants, however, the number of single rooms available on a tour may be limited. Therefore we recommend that you register early. Please note that a single supplement will most likely apply for a single room.  If you are traveling alone and wish to share a room/cabin, we will do our best to find someone of the same gender and smoking preference to share with you. If you are matched with a non-smoking roommate, it is mutually agreed that you cannot smoke in your hotel room/cabin. When a roommate cannot be found, a single supplement will be charged. Please note that the single rooms in many foreign hotels may be smaller than those to which you are accustomed.

Children

All tours except family journeys, are designed for adults. Some may be suitable for children 16 and older. Regardless of age, children must pay full price unless otherwise noted, moreover, a parent or guardian must accompany those under 18.

Special Travel Arrangements

Participants may wish to extend their stay in the group hotel either before or after the tour. Our tour operators will work with you on these arrangements, dependent upon space availability.  Your pre-tour bulletins will further explain all options.

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

Dispute Resolution

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

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

Photography and Video

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

Smoking Policy

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

READ CAREFULLY: RESPONSIBILITY STATEMENT AND LIABILITY DISCLAIMER

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

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

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

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

The undersigned has read carefully the Responsibility Statement and Liability Disclaimer set forth above, the schedule of activities for this tour, as well as the terms and conditions of application and participation as set forth in the tour materials, and recognizes and accepts any risk associated with the tour and the conditions, including the refund policy, set forth in the tour materials. The undersigned further acknowledges that there are many risks and uncertainties inherent in any travel tour, including but not limited to the hazards of various modes of transportation, forces of nature 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.

By Registering For A Smithsonian Journey, The Participant Agrees To The Responsibility Statement And Liability Disclaimer And The Terms And Conditions Herein. Updated August 2019. ©2019, Smithsonian Institution