Soak up the rich history of the Iberian Peninsula as you follow in the wake of ancient Spanish and Portuguese mariners on this extraordinary voyage aboard Sea Cloud II.

Starting at: $6,990 * Price includes special offer Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Sails on the <i>Sea Cloud II</i>  The medieval Belém Tower in Lisbon  <i>Rabelo</i> boats in Porto  <i>Sea Cloud II</i>  The cathedral in Santiago de Compostela  The city of Bilbao, with the Guggenheim Museum, set amid the Basque countryside  The Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao

Sailing the Coast of Iberia

From Lisbon to Bilbao Aboard the Sea Cloud II

11 days from $6,990

Soak up the rich history of the Iberian Peninsula as you follow in the wake of ancient Spanish and Portuguese mariners on this extraordinary voyage aboard Sea Cloud II.

or Call 855-330-1542

Accommodations

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

Four Seasons Hotel Ritz

Lisbon, Portugal

Located on one of the seven hills of Lisbon, the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz is walking distance from the city’s historic district. The lobby and public spaces feature tapestries and sculpture from local contemporary artists. The Business Center is available 24-hours a day, and the rooftop Fitness Center and running track offer a large selection of equipment and stunning views of the city. The Ritz Spa on the garden level features an indoor lap pool, pool lounge area, and treatment rooms. A lavish breakfast buffet is available in the Varanda Restaurant with views over Eduardo VII Park. Guestrooms are spacious and have complimentary Wi-Fi, TV, mini-bar, hair dryer, safe, daily newspaper, and L’Occitane toiletries.  

Number of nights: 3

Gran Hotel Domine

Bilbao, Spain

Just a short distance from the city’s fine museums and shopping area, the Gran Hotel Domine Bilbao is a modern, stylish hotel, inspired by its neighbor building, the renowned Guggenheim Museum. The interior has been described as “a museum of 20th-century furniture design,” which is reflected throughout the public areas and the 145 spacious guestrooms. The luxurious hotel facilities include a reading lounge with library, cocktail lounge bar, an all-day brasserie menu at the Le cafe Metropole, and fine dining at the onsite Doma restaurant, which boasts a terrace with views over Bilbao. Rooms have complimentary wifi, TV, mini-bar, & hairdryer. The hotel offers a business center, laundry service, currency exchange, exercise facilities and wellness center

Number of nights: 1

Activity Level

Level 3: Moderate / Active

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

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

Ship

Sea Cloud II

Sailing aboard Sea Cloud II is seafaring at its finest. Modeled after the original Sea Cloud built for heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post, Sea Cloud II is a genuine barque with 23 sails. Exquisitely appointed befitting her legacy, with some staterooms reflecting the original owner's suites, the ship offers 47 cabins with outside-facing portholes or windows, sitting area, TV with VCR, mini bar, safe, private bath, and hairdryer. The elegant dining room serves all 75 passengers in a single unassigned seating, and features savory continental cuisine with complimentary house wine and beer. The expansive decks provide space to lounge or enjoy lunch, while the piano bar serves as the ideal spot for evening conversation.

 <i>Sea Cloud II</i>  <i> Sea Cloud II </i>  The magnificent <i>Sea Cloud II</i>  Sails on the <i>Sea Cloud II</i>

Sea Cloud II

Sailing aboard Sea Cloud II is seafaring at its finest. Modeled after the original Sea Cloud built for heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post, Sea Cloud II is a genuine barque with 23 sails. Exquisitely appointed befitting her legacy, with some staterooms reflecting the original owner's suites, the ship offers 47 cabins with outside-facing portholes or windows, sitting area, TV with VCR, mini bar, safe, private bath, and hairdryer. The elegant dining room serves all 75 passengers in a single unassigned seating, and features savory continental cuisine with complimentary house wine and beer. The expansive decks provide space to lounge or enjoy lunch, while the piano bar serves as the ideal spot for evening conversation.

 <i>Sea Cloud II</i>  <i> Sea Cloud II </i>  The magnificent <i>Sea Cloud II</i>  Sails on the <i>Sea Cloud II</i>
Reading List
The Alhambra (Wonders of the World)
By: Robert Irwin
Read the Bldg Blog interview with Mary Beard about the Wonders of the World series(Part I and Part II)The Alhambra has long been a byword for exotic and melancholy beauty. In his absorbing new book, Robert Irwin, Arabist and novelist, examines its history and allure.The Alhambra is the only Muslim palace to have survived since the Middle Ages. Built by a threatened dynasty of Muslim Spain, it was preserved as a monument to the triumph of Christianity. Every day thousands of tourists enter this magnificent site to be awestruck by its towers and courts, its fountained gardens, its honeycombed ceilings and intricate tile work. It is a complex full of mysteries--even its purpose is unclear. Its sophisticated ornamentation is not indiscriminate but full of hidden meaning. Its most impressive buildings were designed not by architects, but by philosophers and poets. The Alhambra, which resembles a fairy-tale palace, was constructed by slave labor in an era of economic decline, plague, and political violence. Its sumptuously appointed halls have lain witness to murder and mayhem. Yet its influence on art and on literature--including Orientalist painting and the architecture of cinemas, Washington Irving and Jorge Luis Borges--has been lasting and significant. As our guide to this architectural masterpiece, Robert Irwin allows us to fully understand the impact of the Alhambra.
Spain: A Traveler's Literary Companion (Traveler's Literary Companions)
By: Peter Bush, Lisa Dillman
Explore Spain's rich literary landscape with some of the country's best contemporary writers. Arranged geographically, these thirty stories — many of which appear in English for the first time — transport the reader through Spain's many enchanting regions: experience a bull-run with Juan Goytisolo in Albacete, join Bernardo Atxaga in a Basque village, travel to the misty woods of Galicia with Manuel Rivas, and reminisce nostalgically with Julio Llamazares over black-and-white photos of his childhood Spain. Contributors include Nuria Amat, Bernardo Atxaga, Julián Ayesta, Carlos Blanco, Antón Castro, Agustín Cerezales, Rosa Chacel, Dulce Chacón, Rafael Chirbes, Miguel Delibes, Lucía Etxebarria, José Ferrer Bermejo, Laura Freixas, Amaia Gabantxo, Federico García Lorca, Juan Goytisolo, Julio Llamazares, José Jiménez Lozano, Javier Marías, Juan Marsé, Quim Monzó, Javier Puebla, Fernando Quiñones, Carme Riera, Manuel Rivas, Germán Sierra, Nivaria Tejera, and Angela Vallvey.
DK Eyewitness Travel Guide Spain
By: DK Eyewitness
DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Spain is your indispensable guide to this beautiful part of the world. The fully updated guide includes unique cutaways, floor plans, and reconstructions of the must-see sights, along with street-by-street maps of key cities and towns. The uniquely visual DK Eyewitness Travel Guide will help you to discover everything region-by-region, from local festivals and markets to day trips around the countryside. Detailed listings will guide you to the best hotels, restaurants, bars, and shops for all budgets. Detailed transportation and other practical information will help you to get around easily by train, bus, or car. What's new in DK Eyewitness Travel Guides: New itineraries based on length of stay, regional destinations, and themes. Brand-new hotel and restaurants listings including DK's Choice recommendations. Restaurant locations plotted on redrawn area maps and listed with sights. Redesigned and refreshed interiors make the guides even easier to read. With hundreds of full-color photographs, hand-drawn illustrations, and custom maps that illuminate every page, DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Spain truly shows you this destination as no one else can.
Spain - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture
By: Belén Aguado Viguer
For many, Spain conjures up images of rapacious conquistadors, the unworldly Don Quixote, brave bullfighters, fiery flamenco dancers, and brilliant artists. All true enough—but how does the reality conform to these stereotypes? The Spanish people are certainly distinctive. Visitors are often astounded by their vitality, entranced by their friendliness, and driven mad by their frequent indulgence of their friends and relatives. They tend to be proud, passionate, spontaneous, generous, and loyal; they can also be procrastinators, individualistic to a fault, suspicious, and, not least, very noisy! Spain has had a major impact on European and world history. This is the nation that enjoyed a golden age of enlightenment, that discovered America and gathered in its riches, and that left the great legacy of its culture and its language, today spoken by over four hundred million people. In the early twentieth century, Spain suffered a bitter civil war and a stultifying dictatorship, from which it emerged in the late seventies to become again an integral part of Europe and the international arena. Culture Smart! Spain explores the complex human realities of modern Spanish life. It describes how history and geography have created both regional differences and shared values and attitudes. It reveals what the Spaniards are like at home, and in business, and how they socialize. It prepares you for their boundless energy and widespread religious devotion; and offers practical tips on how to behave and make the very most of your visit. The better you understand the Spanish people, the more you will be enriched by your experience of this vital, warm, and varied country—where the individual is important, and the enjoyment of life is paramount.
A Traveller's History of Spain
By: Juan Lalaguna
During its "golden age," Spain was a political giant whose influence spanned the world from Germany to the Western Pacific. Rich on American gold and silver, Spain was able to send the Armada against England, defeat the Turks and challenge France for the hegemony of Europe. This book will unlock the secrets of Spain's vibrant and colorful past, its people and culture for the interested traveller. It takes the reader on a journey from the earliest settlements on the Iberian Peninsula, through the influences of the Romans, the Goths and the Muslims, the traumas of expansion and the end of the Empire, right up to the present.
Conquerors: How Portugal Forged the First Global Empire
By: Roger Crowley
In Empires of the Sea and City of Fortune, New York Times bestselling author Roger Crowley established himself as our generation’s preeminent historian of the great European seafaring empires, and the go-to author for post-Crusade clashes of East and West. Now, in Conquerors, Crowley gives us the epic story of the emergence of Portugal, a small, poor nation that enjoyed a century of maritime supremacy thanks to the daring and navigational skill of its explorers—a tactical advantage no other country could match. Portugal’s discovery of a sea route to India, campaign of imperial conquest over Muslim rulers, and domination of the spice trade would forever disrupt the Mediterranean and build the first global economy. Crowley relies on letters and eyewitness testimony to tell the story of tiny Portugal’s rapid and breathtaking rise to power. Conquerors reveals the Império Português in all of its splendor and ferocity, bringing to life the personalities of the enterprising and fanatical house of Aviz. Figures such as King Manuel “the Fortunate,” João II “the Perfect Prince,” marauding governor Afonso de Albuquerque, and explorer Vasco da Gama juggled their private ambitions and the public aims of the empire, often suffering astonishing losses in pursuit of a global fortune. Also central to the story of Portugal’s ascent was its drive to eradicate Islamic culture and establish a Christian empire in the Indian Ocean. Portuguese explorers pushed deep into the African continent in search of the mythical Christian king Prester John, and they ruthlessly besieged Indian port cities in their attempts to monopolize trade. The discovery of a route to India around the horn of Africa was not only a brilliant breakthrough in navigation but heralded a complete upset of the world order. For the next century, no European empire was more ambitious, no rulers more rapacious than the kings of Portugal. In the process they created the first long-range maritime empire and set in motion the forces of globalization that now shape our world. At Crowley’s hand, the complete story of the Portuguese empire and the human cost of its ambition can finally be told.Praise for Conquerors “Excellent . . . Crowley’s interpretations are nuanced and fair.”—The Christian Science Monitor “In a riveting narrative, Crowley chronicles Portugal's horrifically violent trajectory from ‘impoverished, marginal’ nation to European power, vying with Spain and Venice to dominate the spice trade.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review) “Brings to life the Portuguese explorers . . . perfect for anyone who likes a high seas tale.”—Publishers Weekly “Readers of Crowley’s previous books will not be disappointed by this exciting tale of sea battles, land campaigns and shipwrecks. . . . Crowley makes a good case for reclaiming Portugal’s significance as forger of the first global empire.”—The Daily Telegraph “Crowley has shown a rare gift for combining compelling narrative with lightly worn academic thoroughness as well as for balancing the human with the geopolitical—qualities on display here. The story he has to tell may be a thrilling one but not every historian could tell it so thrillingly.”—Michael Prodger, Financial Times “A fast-moving and highly readable narrative . . . [Crowley’s] detailed reconstruction of events is based on a close reading of the works of the chroniclers, notably Barros and Correa, whose accounts were written in the tradition of the chronicles of chivalry.”—History Today
Ghosts of Spain: Travels Through Spain and Its Silent Past
By: Giles Tremlett
“Part modern social history, part travelogue, Ghosts of Spain is held together by elegant first-person prose…an invaluable book…[that] has become something of a bible for those of us extranjeros who have chosen to live in Spain. A country finally facing its past could scarcely hope for a better, or more enamored, chronicler of its present.”—Sarah Wildman, New York Times Book Review The appearance, more than sixty years after the Spanish Civil War ended, of mass graves containing victims of Francisco Franco’s death squads finally broke what Spaniards call “the pact of forgetting”—the unwritten understanding that their recent, painful past was best left unexplored. At this charged moment, Giles Tremlett embarked on a journey around the country and through its history to discover why some of Europe’s most voluble people have kept silent so long. In elegant and passionate prose, Tremlett unveils the tinderbox of disagreements that mark the country today. Ghosts of Spain is a revelatory book about one of Europe’s most exciting countries.
Spain: The Root and the Flower: An Interpretation of Spain and the Spanish People
By: John A. Crow
This is the late John A. Crow's classic study of the cultural history of Spain and its people, which he last updated in 1985 but which seems as fresh and pertinent as when he first wrote it. Crow devoted a lifetime to Hispanic studies and here provides a historical interpretation of Spanish civilization from its earliest beginnings to the present. The scope of this study is remarkable and includes chapters on Roman Spain, the Jews in Spain, the Moors, life in medieval towns, and the Golden Age of Spain, plus a view of Franco's legacy.
The Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain
By: Maria Rosa Menocal
Widely hailed as a revelation of a "lost" golden age, this history brings to vivid life the rich and thriving culture of medieval Spain where, for more than seven centuries, Muslims, Jews, and Christians lived together in an atmosphere of tolerance, and literature, science, and the arts flourished. of photos. 3 maps.
Driving Over Lemons: An Optimist in Spain
By: Chris Stewart
  No sooner had Chris Stewart set eyes on El Valero than he handed over a check.  Now all he had to do was explain to Ana, his wife that they were the proud owners of an isolated sheep farm in the Alpujarra Mountains in Southern Spain.  That was the easy part.Lush with olive, lemon, and almond groves, the farm lacks a few essentials—running water, electricity, an access road.  And then there's the problem of rapacious Pedro Romero, the previous owner who refuses to leave.  A perpetual optimist, whose skill as a sheepshearer provides an ideal entrée into his new community, Stewart also possesses an unflappable spirit that, we soon learn, nothing can diminish.  Wholly enchanted by the rugged terrain of the hillside and the people they meet along the way—among them farmers, including the ever-resourceful Domingo, other expatriates and artists—Chris and Ana Stewart build an enviable life, complete with a child and dogs, in a country far from home.
Homage to Catalonia
By: George Orwell
Iberia
By: James A. Michener
Spain is an immemorial land like no other one that James A Michener the Pulitzer Prize winning author and celebrated citizen of the world came to love as his own Iberia is Michener s enduring nonfiction tribute to his cherished second home In the fresh and vivid prose that is his trademark he not only reveals the celebrated history of bullfighters and warrior kings painters and processions cathedrals and olive orchards he also shares the intimate often hidden country he came to know where the congeniality of living souls is thrust against the dark weight of history Wild contradictory passionately beautiful this is Spain as experienced by a master writer Praise for Iberia From the glories of the Prado to the loneliest stone villages here is Spain castle of old dreams and new realities The New York Times Massive beautiful unquestionably some of the best writing on Spain and the best that Mr Michener has ever done on any subject The Wall Street Journal A dazzling panorama one of the richest and most satisfying books about Spain in living memory Saturday Review Kaleidoscopic This book will make you fall in love with Spain The Houston Post From the Paperback edition
Journey to Portugal: In Pursuit of Portugal's History and Culture
By: José Saramago
When José Saramago decided to write a book about Portugal, his only desire was that it be unlike all other books on the subject, and in this he has certainly succeeded. Recording the events and observations of a journey across the length and breadth of the country he loves dearly, Saramago brings Portugal to life as only a writer of his brilliance can. Forfeiting the usual sources such as tourist guides and road maps, he scours the country with the eyes and ears of an observer fascinated by the ancient myths and history of his people. Whether it be an inaccessible medieval fortress set on a cliff, a wayside chapel thick with cobwebs, or a grand mansion in the city, the extraordinary places of this land come alive.Always meticulously attentive to those elements of ancient Portugal that persist today, he examines the country in its current period of rapid transition and growth. Journey to Portugal is an ode to a country and its rich traditions.
Small Memories
By: José Saramago
“Small Memories is a . . . nourishing last gift from a great writer.”—Washington PostShifting back and forth between childhood and his teenage years, between Azinhaga and Lisbon, this is a mosaic of memories, a simply told, affecting look into the author’s boyhood: the tragic death of his older brother at the age of four; his mother pawning the family’s blankets every spring and buying them back in time for winter; his beloved grandparents bringing the weaker piglets into their bed on cold nights; and Saramago’s early encounters with literature, from teaching himself to read by deciphering articles in the daily newspaper, to poring over an entertaining dialogue in a Portuguese-French conversation guide, not realizing that he was in fact reading a play by Molière.Written with Saramago’s characteristic wit and honesty, Small Memories traces the formation of an artist fascinated by words and stories from an early age who emerged, against all odds, as one of the world’s most respected writers.“Like a nostalgic progenitor bestowing his wealth of life experience upon a younger generation, Saramago digs deep into his peasant roots to sketch a rough outline of the little boy who would become one of the greatest Portuguese-language writers”—Portland Oregonian
For Whom the Bell Tolls
By: Ernest Hemingway
In 1937 Ernest Hemingway traveled to Spain to cover the civil war there for the North American Newspaper Alliance. Three years later he completed the greatest novel to emerge from "the good fight," For Whom the Bell Tolls.
DK Eyewitness Travel Guide Lisbon
By: DK Eyewitness
Your journey starts here. We've reimagined and updated our iconic DK Eyewitness travel guides. This brand new Lisbon guide, now in a lightweight format, has been expertly curated with all new photography plus DK's much-loved illustrations and maps.Explore the maze of narrow lanes in historic Alfama, soak up views of the city from the Castelo de São Jorge, or admire spectacular palaces and scenery in Sintra: everything you need to know is clearly laid out within color-coded chapters. Discover the best of Lisbon with this indispensable travel guide.Inside DK Eyewitness Travel Guide Lisbon:  •  Gorgeous, all-new color photography so you can imagine yourself there   •  Reasons to love Lisbon: picture-perfect views, quirky museums and iconic pastries - what will yours be?   •  See Lisbon from a different angle: 12 pages of fresh ideas for exploring this spectacular city   •  A year-long calendar of events in Lisbon gives a selection of local events and festivals for all seasons   •  Expert advice covers the practical stuff: get ready, get around and stay safe   •  Detailed, color maps help you navigate the country with ease   •  Expert tips to make memories that last - where to snap and share the perfect photo, take in stunning views and escape the crowds   •  The most authentic places to stay, eat, drink and shop  •  Easy-to-follow walks and itineraries take you on a tour of each area, with plenty of food and drink stops en route   •  Hand-drawn illustrations show the inside of the must-see attractions, including the spectacular Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, tile-filled Museu Nacional do Azulejo and Sintra's Palácio Nacional da Pena   •  Covers Alfama, Baixa and Avenida, Bairro Alto and Estrela, Belém, Beyond the Center and the Lisbon Coast DK Eyewitness Travel Guide Lisbon is a detailed, easy-to-use guide designed to help you create your own unique trip. Want to explore beyond Lisbon? Try our DK Eyewitness Travel Guide Portugal.About DK Eyewitness Travel: For 25 years, DK's beautifully practical Eyewitness guides have been combining inspiring ideas and expert advice with easy-to-read maps and vivid photography to inform and enrich your holiday. Now they have a stunning new look that you will love even more. DK is the world's leading illustrated reference publisher, producing beautifully designed books for adults and children in over 120 countries.
DK Eyewitness Travel Guide Barcelona and Catalonia
By: DK Eyewitness
An unbeatable guide to the buzzing city of Barcelona and the rural region of Catalonia, packed with photos and maps, insider tips, useful advice, and information.Inspiring itineraries will help you discover the best things to do in Barcelona and Catalonia, from marveling at Barcelona Cathedral and Gaudí's Sagrada Família and Park Güell, to enjoying the sun on the Costa Brava and visiting the peaceful monasteries, such as Montserrat, in the hills of Catalonia. You'll find listings for a variety of Catalonian hotels and restaurants, as well as a guide to help you find the best tapas in Barcelona. Unique illustrations, stunning photography, and detailed maps make this guide the essential companion to your trip to the region. With hundreds of full-color photographs, hand-drawn illustrations, and custom maps that illuminate every page, DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Barcelona & Catalonia truly shows you this city as no one else can.
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, 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 engages travelers in the wide-ranging mission of the Smithsonian. Like the Institution, our tours enrich our guests’ lives and satisfy their curiosity about the world around them. Your participation benefits the work of Smithsonian’s 19 museums, National Zoo, and nine research centers, helping to preserve our national treasures and shape the future through science, research, and exhibitions.

What Is Provided With Your Tour

  • The expertise of a Smithsonian Journeys Expert, Tour Director, and local guides throughout the tour.
  • All accommodations (based on double occupancy).
  • All meals during the cruise (B-breakfast; L-lunch; R-reception; D-dinner). House wine and beer served with all included lunches and dinners.
  • Enrichment program of lectures and special events.
  • All sightseeing and visits as noted in the itinerary.
  • Pre-tour information, including a reading list.
  • All on-tour transportation, unless otherwise noted.
  • Taxes, service, and port charges.
  • Personal listening devices. 
  • Gratuities for all on tour staff, local guides, drivers, porters, waitstaff, and ship’s crew.
  • Wi-Fi in hotels. 
  • Airport transfers from those arriving and departing on scheduled program dates.

What Is Not Provided With Your Tour

  • International airfare.
  • Passport fees, visas, and visa photos as required.
  • Personal items such as wines, liquors, à-la-carte orders, meals other than specified.
  • Expenses incurred by our tour operators in making individual travel arrangements in conjunction with the tour.
  • Airport transfers for those not arriving or departing group travel days.
  • Baggage in excess of one suitcase.
  • Other items not specifically mentioned as included. 
  • Optional Travel Insurance

Registration

Space is reserved in the order of receipt of phone or web reservations. To submit a request for a reservation, please order using our secure online process, or call 855-330-1542 to speak with a Cultural Travel Specialist, Mon-Fri 9 am - 7 pm; Sat 9 am – 4 pm (Eastern Time).

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. Please note: No new registrations can be accepted within 30 days of most tours. Some tours are more restrictive; please see individual tour pages for these exceptions. To complete your request, the following is necessary:

Required Information

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

Payments

  • Deposit of $1000 per person, unless otherwise noted, is required to reserve a space on tour. This deposit may be made by credit card or check to Smithsonian Journeys and is applied to the final payment of the tour price. 

Late Registration

  • Any registration received within 120 days of departure is considered a “late registration” and must be subject to special confirmation. Smithsonian Journeys will process the credit card deposit of $1000 per person, then payment in full must be made immediately by credit card, or by check sent by overnight mail to the tour operator before confirmation is possible.
  • Once confirmed, cancellation penalties apply as set forth below. If confirmation is not possible, all payments made will be refunded in full.
  • Late registration confirmation procedures apply to any participant who is transferred from the wait list to the program within the designated late registration period for that program.
  • For more information, please call 855-330-1542 to speak with a Cultural Travel Specialist, Mon-Fri 9 am - 7 pm; Sat 9 am – 4 pm (Eastern Time).  www.SmithsonianJourneys.org/Contact

A Note About Costs

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

Wait List

If the tour of your choice is fully subscribed, you may choose to be placed on a waitlist by contacting a Reservation Specialist at 1-855-330-1542 Mon-Fri 9 am - 7 pm; Sat 9 am – 4 pm (Eastern Time), or SJReservations@si.edu. Individuals on the wait list will be contacted if space becomes available and can inquire about tour status by contacting a Reservation Specialist. If you choose to withdraw from a wait list, please notify us.

Cancellation and Refund Policy: Per person cancellation fees are based on date of notice to Smithsonian Journeys.

  • Cancellation within 7 days of booking (if not within final payment date): full refund.
  • Cancellation 7 days after booking: $1,000 retained.
  • Final payment due: 120 days before departure.
  • Cancellation made less than 120 days prior to departure: no refund.
  • Cancellation by the Smithsonian: full refund.
  • No refund for unused portions of the tour, including but not limited to, missed meals, hotel nights, and sightseeing.

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

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- Cancellation/Delay/Lost Baggage

Smithsonian Journeys recommends that all participants purchase travel insurance.

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. 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 bathroom.

Singles and Roommates

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

Children

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

Special Travel Arrangements

Participants may wish to extend their stay in the group hotel either before or after the tour. Our tour operator 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, 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.

Updated August 13, 2019