The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg
The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg

Waterways of RussiaA cruise from St. Petersburg to Moscow

Jul 16 - 26, 2014 (Call to Inquire)
Experience Russia's heartland and major cities while cruising aboard the deluxe M.S. Volga Dream
Call 855-330-1542 or Ask Us a Question

Waterways of Russia

Our Mission

Smithsonian Journeys are designed to engage travelers in Smithsonian’s mission - “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, the 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 Study Leader, Tour Manager, and local guides throughout the tour
  • Welcome and farewell receptions aboard ship.
  • Meals as noted in the itinerary.
  • Complimentary house wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner aboard ship.
  • Complete program of tours and shore excursions as described in the itinerary.
  • Pre-tour information, including a reading list.
  • Baggage handling and transfers abroad on the designated program departure and arrival dates.
  • Gratuities to guides and drivers.
  • Port dues and embarkation taxes.
  • All on-tour transportation, including internal flights if applicable.
  • On-Tour Emergency Evacuation Insurance (up to $50,000), Medical Expense coverage (up to $25,000), Dental Expense coverage (up to $500), Travel Medical Assistance and Worldwide Travel Assistance.

What Is Not Included in the Tour Cost

  • Passport fees, Russian Visa is required for this program, and visa photos as required.
  • Transfers and baggage handling abroad for those not traveling on the designated program departure and arrival dates.
  • Travel insurance.
  • Personal expenses and other items not specifically mentioned as included.
  • Gratuities to ship’s crew.
  • Airfare, and air and departure taxes.
  • Expenses incurred by the tour operator in making additional travel arrangements in conjunction with the tour.
  • Other items not specifically mentioned as included.


Space is reserved in the order of receipt of reservation request.

To submit a request for a reservation, please order using our secure online process starting at the bottom of each tour page, or call 1-855-330-1542 to speak with a Reservations Specialist, Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (Eastern Time).

Submitting an online request does not guarantee space on a tour. You will be notified of your status when your request has been received and processed.

To complete your request, the following is necessary:


Deposit of $800 per person for main and $200 deposit pre/post tour, payable by check or major credit card to the tour operator is required to reserve a space on a tour. Deposits are applied to payment of the program price.

Please note: Balance due upon invoicing, 90 days prior to departure.

If purchasing air arrangements, airfare will be billed by the tour operator 45 days prior to departure and may be paid by check or credit card.

Late Registration
Due to the nature of tour operators and supplier payment schedules, any registration received within 90 days of departure is considered a "late registration" and must be subject to special confirmation by a Reservation Specialist.

Full payment is required at this time and must be paid immediately to the tour operator. You will be advised by the Smithsonian as to the name of the operator and what forms of payment are acceptable.

For additional information, please call a Reservations Specialist at 1-855-330-1542 weekdays 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) or e-mail

A Note About Costs
Tour costs are based upon current airfares, tariffs, currency values, and on the basis of a minimum number of participants. While we will do everything possible to maintain the listed prices, they are subject to change. Should actual enrollments fall significantly below minimum numbers, a surcharge may be added. Due to fluctuations in oil prices, a fuel surcharge may be added to your tour fee (e.g. internal flights, cruises, etc.). Details and costs will be advised prior to departure.

Wait List
If the program(s) of your choice are fully subscribed, you will be placed on a wait list. If you choose to withdraw from the wait list, please notify us.
Please note that we are unable to keep you apprised of your status on the wait list. We will call you only if a space becomes available, but you are welcome to call us at your convenience to inquire about your status at 1-855-330-1542.

Cancellation and Refund Policy

Per person cancellation fees are based on date of notice to Smithsonian Journeys (subsequent written notice required):

  • Cancellation within 7 days of booking (prior to final payment date): full refund.
  • Cancellation after 7 days of booking: $800; $200 pre/post tour per person cancellation fee(entire deposit).
  • Final payment due: 90 days before departure.
  • Cancellation made less than 90 days prior to departure: no refund.
  • Cancellation by the Smithsonian: full refund.
  • No refund for unused portions of the tour, including but not limited to, missed meals, hotel nights, and sightseeing.

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

Air Service

Individual Arrivals and Group Transfers
Your first tour bulletin will thoroughly explain the details of the options available for your 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 cancelled 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. This travel insurance plan includes emergency evacuation insurance (up to $50,000), medical and dental expense coverage and 24-hr worldwide travel and medical assistance. Please click here to view complete coverage details.

Please visit or call Travel Guard at 1.800.208.6142 to learn about additional (optional) coverage.

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 Special Tour Information link.

Itinerary or Program Modifications – Cruises and Train Tours

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 itineraries are sent. Please note that weather conditions may force changes to the advertised sailing schedule. The ship’s captain has the authority to change the ship’s schedule.


Smithsonian Journeys offers special tours and cruises for families. In general, children should be at least 8 years old to enroll in a family program. All other tours are designed for adults, although 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.


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/cabins 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/cabin. 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 room/cabin. When a roommate cannot be found, the single supplement will be charged.

Preparing for Your Journey

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

Tour Bulletin 1 includes such information as:

  • 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.

Tour Bulletin 2 includes such information as:

  • Information about your study leader(s) and tour staff
  • Baggage tags and name badges
  • Final Itinerary
  • Participant List

Additional Information

Participants may join the group en route and/or stay on after the end of the program. In such cases, however, no refund can be made for unused portions of the tour. 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.

Participants on Smithsonian Journeys may be photographed for the educational and promotional purposes of the Smithsonian Institution.

Smoking Policy
For the comfort of all participants, we ask that there be no smoking during all group activities, including excursions and meals. Smoking is not permitted in passenger cabins aboard ships and is only allowed on a limited basis in designated outdoor public areas aboard ships.


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.

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.