The Seine River led to the development of Paris as the center for French trade, politics, religion, and culture. Like travelers of old, cruise the legendary Seine and discover the significant historic, artistic, and cultural highlights of Ile-de-France and Normandy.

Starting at: $4,390 * Price includes special offer Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Cityscape of Paris  Entrance to the Louvre, Paris  Seine River, Paris  The Palace of Versailles  Monet's gardens at Giverny  Monet's gardens at Giverny  The famous lily pads and green bridge at Giverny used as inspiration for Monet   The famous Gros Horloge in Rouen  The cathedral in Rouen  View of Pointe du Hoc   American Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer  The American Cemetery  The charming port of Honfleur

A Seine River Cruise

9 days from $4,390

The Seine River led to the development of Paris as the center for French trade, politics, religion, and culture. Like travelers of old, cruise the legendary Seine and discover the significant historic, artistic, and cultural highlights of Ile-de-France and Normandy.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

TOUR BROCHURE

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WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

We looked at several river cruise vendors. But when the Smithsonian Journeys catalog arrived, there was no question this was the one! Competitive pricing PLUS Smithsonian expertise, plus I just knew we would be comfortable with fellow lovers of the Smithsonian.

- Mary S.

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

See All Journeys Dispatches ››

Activity Level

Activity Level 2: Moderate

Expectations: River cruise that pulls into a pier for disembarkation. Morning, afternoon, or full-day excursions at a moderate pace. Standing and walking for long periods of time during city tours, museum visits, and/or outdoor activities such as gardens. Walking over sometimes difficult terrain (e.g. cobblestones, city hills, stairs without handrails, the absence of elevators); some longer walks to get to city centers where coaches are prohibited. Choice of excursions with varying activity expectations offered on some days.

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

Tour Extension

Paris Pre-Tour Extension  3 Days, 2 Nights

Experience Parisian opulence at the newly refurbished Hilton Paris Opera hotel. Situated in the bustling Opéra district of the city, this classic landmark hotel is close to Paris’ famous Galleries Lafayette and Au Printemps, iconic points of interest like the Opera Garnier and the Louvre. The hotel offers stylish rooms and suites and superb dining options as well as first-class amenities including complimentary Wi-Fi. It’s the perfect hotel for your exciting stay in the French capital.

Day 1 & Day 2  Depart the U.S. for Paris, France

Depart the U.S. for Paris via overnight transatlantic flights. After a morning arrival at Charles de Gaulle International Airport, transfer to the Hilton Paris Opera. This evening enjoy a welcome reception at the hotel. (R)

Hilton Paris Opera

Day 3 - Paris

After breakfast, depart the hotel for a panoramic tour of Paris. View some of the city’s most iconic historic and cultural highlights. You’ll then depart the motor coach for a walking tour of the Marais district. Your expert guide will take you through the heart of this intimate artistic and cultural mecca. Marais means “marsh,” but the neighborhood is much more elegant than its name suggests. After a leisurely lunch, linger longer and explore more of Paris on your own. (B)

Hilton Paris Opera

Day 4 - Paris

Enjoy a leisurely morning and time free of planned activities with lunch independently. Then transfer to the MS Renoir docked on the River Seine. Join the main Smithsonian Journeys program this afternoon. (B)

Hilton Paris Opera

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 upon arrival and departure (in most cases). 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).
River Cruising

Guidance on water levels and itinerary modifications

Your ship is designed with state-of-the-art flexibility in navigating rivers. On rare occasions, river cruising is subject to challenges due to unannounced river lock maintenance and/or weather-related increases or decreases in river depth. Extreme conditions may render a portion of a river itinerary unnavigable.

Should your river cruise be affected: 

  • You will receive a revised schedule outlining any changes prior to your departure either by regular mail or email. 
  • Any additional transportation, hotel accommodations, meals or special events, as a result, changes to the published itinerary will not increase the price of your trip. 
  • All ports of call and trip highlights contained in your original itinerary will be included in your revised schedule.  Under these extreme circumstances, additional motor coach travel, ship changes and/or hotel nights may be required to ensure participants experience the trip safely and as advertised.
Ship

MS Renoir

The charming MS Renoir represents an exciting new generation of ships sailing the rivers of Europe. Newly re-built and launched in 2018, this intimate ship has 54 premium staterooms accommodating 105 travelers. The ship offers passengers the highest level of service, safety, and comfort. The bright open restaurant accommodates all travelers at one convenient sitting with panoramic views of the passing scenery. Delight in refined French and international cuisine accompanied by fine regional wines. A welcoming lounge and bar provide a meeting place for shipboard leisure time and entertainment.

On the Sun Deck, travelers can enjoy the outdoors as the ship sails to its next port. Staterooms and suites are well-appointed and its stylish décor features contemporary design and a palette of color that harmonizes with the quiet ambiance onboard. Accommodations feature a modern bathroom with shower and some have French open-air balconies. Wi-Fi service is available aboard ship.

MS Renoir

The charming MS Renoir represents an exciting new generation of ships sailing the rivers of Europe. Newly re-built and launched in 2018, this intimate ship has 54 premium staterooms accommodating 105 travelers. The ship offers passengers the highest level of service, safety, and comfort. The bright open restaurant accommodates all travelers at one convenient sitting with panoramic views of the passing scenery. Delight in refined French and international cuisine accompanied by fine regional wines. A welcoming lounge and bar provide a meeting place for shipboard leisure time and entertainment.

On the Sun Deck, travelers can enjoy the outdoors as the ship sails to its next port. Staterooms and suites are well-appointed and its stylish décor features contemporary design and a palette of color that harmonizes with the quiet ambiance onboard. Accommodations feature a modern bathroom with shower and some have French open-air balconies. Wi-Fi service is available aboard ship.

Testimonials

WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

We looked at several river cruise vendors. But when the Smithsonian Journeys catalog arrived, there was no question this was the one! Competitive pricing PLUS Smithsonian expertise, plus I just knew we would be comfortable with fellow lovers of the Smithsonian.

- Mary S.
Reading List
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 Boheme, 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
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.
DK Eyewitness Travel Guide Paris: 2019
By: DK Travel
DK Eyewitness travel guides: award-winning guidebooksFind your corner of Paris with this essential travel guide to this beautiful city, designed to help you create your own unique trip and to transport you there before you’ve even packed your case – get a bird’s eye view of Paris from the Eiffel Tower, admire the art at the Louvre and the Pompidou Centre, or take a stroll along the Canal St-Martin.  The DK Eyewitness Guide to Paris covers the must-see sights and the hidden corners, so you won’t miss a thing.• Gorgeous, all-new color photography so you can imagine yourself there• Reasons to love Paris: iconic landmarks, mouth-watering cuisine, lively local markets and haute couture – what will yours be?• See Paris from a different angle - 26 pages of fresh ideas for exploring the city• A year-long calendar of events in Paris gives a selection of local events and festivals for all seasons• Sturdy, laminated pull-out city map gives transport information and Metro map• Expert advice covers the practical stuff: get ready, get around and stay safe• Over 15 detailed, color maps help you navigate the city 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 eat and drink stops en route.• Hand-drawn illustrations show the inside of the must-see attractions, including Notre-Dame, Sainte-Chapelle, the Sacré-Coeur and the Panthéon• Covers Île de la Cité and Île St-Louis; the Marais; Bastille and Oberkampf; République and Canal St-Martin; Belleville and Ménilmontant; La Villette; Montmartre and Pigalle; Opéra and Grands Boulevards; Louvre and Les Halles; Eiffel Tower and Invalides; Champs-Élysées and Chaillot; St-Germain-des-Prés; Latin Quarter; Jardin des Plantes and Place d’Italie; Montparnasse and Jardin du Luxembourg; plus sights beyond the city.DK Eyewitness Travel Guide Paris is a detailed, easy-to-use guide designed to help you create your own unique trip.DK Eyewitness: winner of the Top Guidebook Series in the Wanderlust Reader Travel Awards 2017. Staying for longer? Try our DK Eyewitness guide to France.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. This year they have been given 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.
Lonely Planet French Phrasebook & Dictionary
By: Lonely Planet, Michael Janes, Jean-Bernard Carillet, Jean-Pierre Masclef
Lonely Planet French Phrasebook & Dictionary is your handy passport to culturally enriching travels with the most relevant and useful French phrases and vocabulary for all your travel needs. Ask about tucked-away vineyards, bargain with local farmers at the market or order wine like a professional; all with your trusted travel companion. With language tools in your back pocket, you can truly get to the heart of wherever you go, so begin your journey now!Get More From Your Trip with Easy-to-Find Phrases for Every Travel Situation! Feel at ease with essential tips on culture, manners, idioms and multiple meanings Order with confidence, explain food allergies, and try new foods with the menu decoder Save time and hassles with vital phrases at your fingertips Never get stuck for words with the 3500-word two-way, quick-reference dictionary Be prepared for both common and emergency travel situations with practical phrases and terminology Meet friends with conversation starter phrases Get your message across with easy-to-use pronunciation guides Inside Lonely Planet French Phrasebook & Dictionary: Full-colour throughout User-friendly layout organised by travel scenario categories Survival phrases inside front cover for at-a-glance on-the-fly cuesCovers Basics - time, dates, numbers, amounts, pronunciation, reading tips, grammar rules Practical - travel with kids, disabled travellers, sightseeing, business, banking, post office, internet, phones, repairs, bargaining, accommodation, directions, border crossing, transport Social - meeting people, interests, feelings, opinions, going out, romance, culture, activities, weather Safe Travel - emergencies, police, doctor, chemist, dentist, symptoms, conditions Food - ordering, at the market, at the bar, dishes, ingredients The Perfect Choice: Lonely Planet French Phrasebook & Dictionary , a pocket-sized comprehensive language guide, provides on-the-go language assistance; great for language students and travellers looking to interact with locals and immerse themselves in local culture.About Lonely Planet: Started in 1973, Lonely Planet is the world's leading travel guide publisher with guidebooks to every destination on the planet, and has been connecting travellers and locals for over 25 years with phrasebooks for 120 languages, more than any other publisher! With an award-winning website, a suite of mobile and digital travel products, and a dedicated traveller community, Lonely Planet enables curious travellers to experience the world and to truly get to the heart of the places they find themselves.
A Moveable Feast: The Restored Edition
By: Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Hemingway’s classic memoir of Paris in the 1920s, now available in a restored edition, includes the original manuscript along with insightful recollections and unfinished sketches.Published posthumously in 1964, A Moveable Feast remains one of Ernest Hemingway’s most enduring works. Since Hemingway’s personal papers were released in 1979, scholars have examined the changes made to the text before publication. Now, this special restored edition presents the original manuscript as the author prepared it to be published. Featuring a personal Foreword by Patrick Hemingway, Ernest’s sole surviving son, and an Introduction by grandson of the author, Seán Hemingway, editor of this edition, the book also includes a number of unfinished, never-before-published Paris sketches revealing experiences that Hemingway had with his son, Jack, and his first wife Hadley. Also included are irreverent portraits of literary luminaries, such as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ford Maddox Ford, and insightful recollections of Hemingway’s own early experiments with his craft. Widely celebrated and debated by critics and readers everywhere, the restored edition of A Moveable Feast brilliantly evokes the exuberant mood of Paris after World War I and the unbridled creativity and unquenchable enthusiasm that Hemingway himself epitomized.
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.
Seven Ages of Paris
By: Alistair Horne
In this luminous portrait of Paris, the celebrated historian gives us the history, culture, disasters, and triumphs of one of the world’s truly great cities. While Paris may be many things, it is never boring. From the rise of Philippe Auguste through the reigns of Henry IV and Louis XIV (who abandoned Paris for Versailles); Napoleon’s rise and fall; Baron Haussmann’s rebuilding of Paris (at the cost of much of the medieval city); the Belle Epoque and the Great War that brought it to an end; the Nazi Occupation, the Liberation, and the postwar period dominated by de Gaulle--Horne brings the city’s highs and lows, savagery and sophistication, and heroes and villains splendidly to life. With a keen eye for the telling anecdote and pivotal moment, he portrays an array of vivid incidents to show us how Paris endures through each age, is altered but always emerges more brilliant and beautiful than ever. The Seven Ages of Paris is a great historian’s tribute to a city he loves and has spent a lifetime learning to know."Knowledgeable and colorful, written with gusto and love.... [An] ambitious and skillful narrative that covers the history of Paris with considerable brio and fervor."—LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK REVIEW
Monet at Giverny
By: Adrien Goetz
In 1890, Claude Monet bought a house at Giverny in Normandy. Soon he had laid out the first of the three studios in which he could paint. Now the garden that was to be a constant source of inspiration for those paintings claimed all his attention. In 1893, work started on the excavation of the famous pond that he would plant with water lilies, and over which he would build a Japanese bridge festooned with wisteria.Richly illustrated with photographs taken as the seasons unfold, this guide takes us on a tour of the house and gardens, inviting us to explore the settings in which Monet and his family spent their daily lives, from the iconic yellow dining room to the famous salon-studio. Adrien Goetz leads us through the gardens laid out by the father of Impressionism, where we can admire the dazzling planting schemes and successive flowerings that inspired the paintings that now hang in the world's greatest galleries and museums: drifts and avenues of iris, tulips and narcissi, wallflowers, peonies and forget-me-nots, roses and cascades of clematis and wisteria, not forgetting the legendary water lilies.
Mad Enchantment: Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lilies
By: Ross King
Los Angeles Times Book Prize FinalistFrom bestselling author Ross King, a brilliant portrait of legendary artist Claude Monet and the story of his most memorable achievement, the water lilies.Claude Monet is perhaps the world’s most beloved artist, and among all his creations, the paintings of the water lilies in his garden at Giverny are most famous. Seeing them in museums around the world, viewers are transported by the power of Monet’s brush into a peaceful world of harmonious nature. Monet himself intended them to provide “an asylum of peaceful meditation.” Yet, as Ross King reveals in his magisterial chronicle of both artist and masterpiece, these beautiful canvases belie the intense frustration Monet experienced at the difficulties of capturing the fugitive effects of light, water, and color. They also reflect the terrible personal torments Monet suffered in the last dozen years of his life. Mad Enchantment tells the full story behind the creation of the Water Lilies, as the horrors of World War I came ever closer to Paris and Giverny, and a new generation of younger artists, led by Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso, were challenging the achievements of Impressionism. By early 1914, French newspapers were reporting that Monet, by then 73 and one of the world’s wealthiest, most celebrated painters, had retired his brushes. He had lost his beloved wife, Alice, and his eldest son, Jean. His famously acute vision--what Paul Cezanne called "the most prodigious eye in the history of painting"--was threatened by cataracts. And yet, despite ill health, self-doubt, and advancing age, Monet began painting again on a more ambitious scale than ever before. Linking great artistic achievement to the personal and historical dramas unfolding around it, Ross King presents the most intimate and revealing portrait of an iconic figure in world culture--from his lavish lifestyle and tempestuous personality to his close friendship with the fiery war leader Georges Clemenceau, who regarded the Water Lilies as one of the highest expressions of the human spirit.
Monet and the Seine: Impressions of a River
By: Helga Aurisch, Tanya Paul
During his career, French artist Claude Monet (1840–1926) used the Seine as his testing ground for documenting on canvas the transformative effects of light and atmosphere. He produced many ethereal, evocative, and poetic paintings of the meandering river, which remained his favorite subject and also provided solace throughout his life.   This beautiful book brings together fifty of Monet’s most glorious paintings of the Seine, from the early works focusing on Argenteuil, Le Havre, and Paris, to the works on Lavacourt and Vétheuil, and culminating with the stunningly beautiful works that make up the acclaimed series Mornings on the Seine, which depicts an intimate stretch of the river near Giverny. These paintings not only offer special glimpses into Monet’s creative process but also introduce the concept of the series—a concept that would influence the art of future generations. Monet and the Seine features gorgeously reproduced images and engaging essays by four distinguished scholars.  
The Most Beautiful Villages of Normandy (The Most Beautiful Villages)
By: Hugh Palmer
Featuring 34 of the most picturesque villages from the five departements of Normandy, this book also presents special sections on the churches, chateaux, harbours and coastline. A varied region of open country and woodland, it includes Mont-St-Michel and Monet's garden at Giverny.
Michelin Green Guide Normandy: Travel Guide (Green Guide/Michelin)
By: Michelin
The updated Green Guide Normandy accompanies travelers as they explore this bucolic region of France with its picturesque patchwork fields, quaint fishing villages, high chalk cliffs and wide sandy beaches. Michelin's famed star-rating system pinpoints Norman highlights from iconic Mont-St-Michel to WWII's D-Day landing beaches. Suggested places to eat and stay for a variety of budgets, driving and walking tours, respected maps, color photos and evocative area descriptions complete the picture for a successful visit.Attractions reviewed and rated, using Michelin's celebrated star-rating system, from the 3-star dramatic high cliffs and crashing waves of Étretat to the 2-star art-inspiring village of Giverny where Impressionist artist Claude Monet lived for many years.Walk-throughs of major museums, galleries, churches and attractions; includes illustrations and floor plans.Sidebars throughout the guide on such topics as the construction of Mont-St-Michel over the centuries to the herring fishing tradition.Drive around the elegant seaside resort of Deauville, or through the heart of traditional rural Normandy with its pastures, thatched cottages, manor houses and apple orchards. Stroll through the streets of old Caen for glimpses of Gothic and Renaissance buildings and architectural features. Michelin walking and driving tours give clear, comprehensive directions and maps to keep you on track.Comprehensive illustrated sections on 21st century Normandy, nature, history, art and culture, all written by experts in their fields.Detailed visitor information given for every attraction―opening hours, entry fees, tour times, phone, website.Michelin area and city maps to help visitors find their way.Practical advice includes transportation information, road regulations, events calendar, plus hotel and restaurant recommendations for a variety of budgets.Companion publications: MICHELIN Guide France for a selection of the best restaurants and hotels in the region. Michelin France Road and Tourist Map no. 721 (scale 1:1,000,000) and/or Michelin Normandy Road and Tourist Map no. 513 (scale 1:200,000) for navigating and planning.
The Normandy Battlefields: D-Day and the Bridgehead
By: Leo Marriott, Simon Forty
Over 75 years have passed and the D-Day landings have lost none of their impact. Even today the vestiges of Hitler’s Atlantic Wall speak of the huge undertaking necessary for the Allies to gain a foothold in Normandy. In this beautiful new full-color book, the reader goes “on-site” to the sacred battleground from its scarred medieval villages to the remains of modern means of destruction. The huge armada that attacked from Britain left behind many signs of their passage: from the huge caissons of the mulberry harbor around Arromanches, the gun emplacements at Longues and Merville, to the multitude of hardware used as memorials—tanks, artillery, pillboxes—and the many graves and cemeteries that honor those who died on both sides. It is in memory of the dead that much of what can be seen on the ground survives, but as the last few survivors reach their 90s, a new audience requires information about the events of the past that can only come from seeing the ground where the battle was fought. Today, the beaches are a fascinating mixture of the new and the old, including the new visitors’ center at Colleville and the renovation and expansion of the Utah Beach museum—even as further new memorials jostle with the older sites that have changed little in 75 years.The Normandy Battlefields details what can be seen on the ground today using a mixture of media to provide a complete overview of the campaign. Maps old and new highlight what has survived and what hasn’t; then-and-now photography allows fascinating comparisons with the images taken at the time—particularly the aerial views—and computer artwork provides graphic details of things that can’t be seen today.The book describes the area from Cherbourg to Le Havre by way of the key D-Day locations, providing a handbook for the visitor and an overview for the armchair traveler. It covers, wherever possible, the forces from both sides and the memorials to those young men who fought so many years ago.
D Day: June 6, 1944: The Climactic Battle of World War II
By: Stephen E. Ambrose
Stephen E. Ambrose’s D-Day is the definitive history of World War II’s most pivotal battle, a day that changed the course of history.D-Day is the epic story of men at the most demanding moment of their lives, when the horrors, complexities, and triumphs of life are laid bare. Distinguished historian Stephen E. Ambrose portrays the faces of courage and heroism, fear and determination—what Eisenhower called “the fury of an aroused democracy”—that shaped the victory of the citizen soldiers whom Hitler had disparaged.Drawing on more than 1,400 interviews with American, British, Canadian, French, and German veterans, Ambrose reveals how the original plans for the invasion had to be abandoned, and how enlisted men and junior officers acted on their own initiative when they realized that nothing was as they were told it would be. The action begins at midnight, June 5/6, when the first British and American airborne troops jumped into France. It ends at midnight June 6/7. Focusing on those pivotal twenty-four hours, it moves from the level of Supreme Commander to that of a French child, from General Omar Bradley to an American paratrooper, from Field Marshal Montgomery to a German sergeant. Ambrose’s D-Day is the finest account of one of our history’s most important days.
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."
Houseboat on the Seine: A Memoir
By: William Wharton
The title brings to mind a luxury vessel on the most glamorous river in the world, but readers expecting to learn about the high life in France will be in for a surprise. In this charming memoir, painter and novelist Wharton (Birdy) instead gives us literally the nuts and bolts of building a houseboat, along with generous dollops of humor and local color. As a struggling artist in Paris with his schoolteacher wife and four children, Wharton decided to build his own boat after visiting that of an acquaintance in the mid-1970s. He recounts the family's adventures in making their dream come true. They gave up their Paris flat and moved onto the boat, which docked 12 miles downriver from Paris at Le Port Marly. There they spent the next 25 years adding the finishing touches. The most poignant moment comes at the wedding of oldest child, Kate, aboard ship. The author reminds us that she, her husband and their two children were to perish in 1988 in an Oregon fire, a tragedy he recounted in Ever After. Some readers might have preferred learning more about life aboard the boat than about the details of building it, but this work will satisfy Wharton devotees and Francophiles alike.
Claude & Camille: A Novel of Monet
By: Stephanie Cowell
A vividly-rendered portrait of both the rise of Impressionism and of the artist at the center of the movement, Claude and Camille is above all a love story of the highest romantic order.In the mid-nineteenth century, a young man named Claude Monet decided that he would rather endure a difficult life painting landscapes than take over his father’s nautical supplies business in a French seaside town. Against his father’s will, and with nothing but a dream and an insatiable urge to create a new style of art that repudiated the Classical Realism of the time, he set off for Paris. But once there he is confronted with obstacles: an art world that refused to validate his style, extreme poverty, and a war that led him away from his home and friends. But there were bright spots as well: his deep, enduring friendships with men named Renoir, Cézanne, Pissarro, Manet—a group that together would come to be known as the Impressionists, and that supported each other through the difficult years. Even more illuminating was his lifelong love, Camille Doncieux, a beautiful, upper-class Parisian girl who threw away her privileged life to be by the side of the defiant painter and embrace the lively Bohemian life of their time.  His muse, his best friend, his passionate lover, and the mother to his two children, Camille stayed with Monet—and believed in his work—even as they lived in wretched rooms and often suffered the indignities of destitution. But Camille had her own demons—secrets that Monet could never penetrate—including one that when eventually revealed would pain him so deeply that he would never fully recover from its impact.
Turbulence: A novel (Vintage International)
By: Giles Foden
Giles Foden, the prizewinning author of The Last King of Scotland, delivers a mesmerizing blend of fact and fiction in this novel about how human beings deal with uncertainty. Five days before D-day, a team of Allied scientists is charged with making an accurate weather forecast for the landings. Henry Meadows—a young math prodigy from the Met Office—is sent to Scotland to uncover Wallace Ryman’s revolutionary system for understanding turbulence, one of the last great mysteries of modern physics. But Ryman is a reclusive pacifist who stubbornly refuses to divulge his secrets, and when Henry meets Gill—Ryman’s beautiful wife—events, like the weather, begin to spiral out of control.
24x36 World Wall Map by Smithsonian Journeys - Tan Oceans Special Edition (24x36 Paper Folded)
By: Smithsonian Journeys
Swiftmaps is proud to partner with Smithsonian Journeys to bring a new and exciting World Map series to the American marketplace. Featuring eye-catching bold and vivid colors complemented with rich vintage tan ocean tones that will make this the perfect reference piece --- sure to stand-out and highlight any home or business wall. The precise detail and digital accuracy shows color-matching visual shaded 3D relief and other physical features without sacrificing the maps readability. Now printed on high-quality 80 lb. paper and professionally FOLDED in a compact 8x10 inch size. FEATURES: 1) Africa centered allowing viewers to see continents complete and intact 2) Clearly labeled country and city names for easy location 3) Latitude and longitude indications 4) Shaded relief of ocean and land topography 4) Desirable Miller Projection. The Smithsonian Journeys wall map series serve not only as a handy reference piece, but as an eye-catching accent for any room or office. NOTE: each map is professionally folded to 8x10 inches and when unfolded the map is 24 inches high and 36 inches wide.
Travel Insurance

For the convenience of our travelers, Smithsonian Journeys includes an on-tour Provided Insurance Plan through Travel Guard with the price of your tour. This travel insurance plan includes On-tour medical evacuation insurance (up to $100,000), emergency medical expense coverage (up to $25,000), dental expense coverage (up to $500), travel medical assistance and worldwide travel assistance (U.S. Residents only, not including U.S. Territories). Travel must be more than 100 miles from the Insured’s primary residence.

In addition, you may want to consider purchasing travel insurance to protect your investment from unforeseen events, such as missed flight connections, lost luggage, and cancelled plans. There are many plans you can consider. For your convenience, you may visit www.TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys or call Travel Guard at 1.800.208.6142 to learn more.

Terms and conditions

Mission

Smithsonian Journeys engage travelers in the mission of the Smithsonian – “the increase and diffusion of knowledge.” Like the Institution, our tours enrich our guests’ lives and satisfy their curiosity about the world 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 Included in the Tour Cost

  • The expertise of a Smithsonian Journeys expert, experienced tour director, and local guides throughout the tour
  • Shipboard accommodations (based on double occupancy)
  • Meals, as noted in the itinerary (B-breakfast; L-lunch; D-dinner; R-reception)
  • All gratuities for the expert, travel director, and tour staff
  • On-tour medical evacuation insurance (up to $100,000), emergency medical expense coverage (up to $25,000), dental expense coverage (up to $500), travel medical assistance and worldwide travel assistance (U.S. Residents only; not including U.S. Territories. Destination must be at least 100 miles from the insured primary residence.)
  • Pre-tour information, including a reading list
  • All on-tour transportation, unless otherwise noted
  • 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 accommodations for the duration of the tour
  • Pre-tour information, including a reading list
  • Choice of excursions, sightseeing, lectures, and visits as noted in each itinerary
  • Personal VOX listening device
  • All applicable VAT and sales taxes
  • WiFi stations aboard ship (availability and speed subject to local conditions at the time of use)

What Is Not Included in the Tour Cost

  • Passport and all visa fees and photos; immunization(s); and any other travel documentation fees as required
  • Gratuities to the ship’s crew (we suggest between $9-11 USD per person per day)
  • Optional travel insurance, including cancellation/delay/lost baggage insurance
  • Personal items, unless otherwise stated, such as wine, liquors, a-la-carte orders, and meals other than specified in Tour itinerary
  • Expenses incurred by our tour operator in making any individual travel arrangements in conjunction with the tour
  • Airline baggage and other airline fees and associated taxes, unless noted in Tour description
  • Communication Charges (e.g.: phone, internet, etc.)
  • Other items noted as optional or not specifically mentioned as included
  • Airfare to/from your departure city is not included. Optional airfare may be available at an additional cost.
  • Transfers, luggage handling, and gratuities to and from airports for individuals who are unable to meet the scheduled group departure times 
  • WLAN Internet connection aboard ship (pricing and availability subject to local conditions at the time of use)
  • Port dues, embarkation fees, and taxes
  • Internal flights that are not a part of the program

Registration

To submit a reservation request, please use our secure online system at SmithsonianJourneys.org 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 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 $1,000, unless otherwise noted, is required to reserve a space on a tour. All payments may be made by credit card or check to the tour operator. Deposits are applied to the final payment of the tour price.

Final payment is due 95 days prior to departure unless otherwise noted.  Balance is due upon invoicing.  If full payment is not received by the final payment due date, your place cannot be guaranteed on the tour.

Late Registration

Any registration received within 95 days of departure is considered “on-request” and is subject to specific confirmation. Some tours are more restrictive. 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 - 7 pm; Sat 9 am – 4 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 - 7 pm; Sat 9 am – 4 pm (Eastern Time), or SJReservations@si.edu. Individuals on the wait list will be contacted if space becomes available and can inquire about tour status by contacting a Reservation Specialist. If you choose to withdraw from a wait list, please notify us. 

Cancellation and Refund Policy

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

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

  • Cancellations within 7 days of booking: Full Refund (unless it is within final payment date, 120 days before departure)
  • Cancellations after 7 days of booking but within 121 days of departure: Entire deposit retained.
  • Final payment due: 95 days prior to departure.
  • Cancellations made less than 95 days prior to departure: No Refund.
  • Cancellation by the Smithsonian: Full Refund 
  • No refund for unused portions of the tour, including but not limited to, missed meals, hotel nights, and sightseeing.

Air Service

For 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. 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