Soak up the ambiance of southern France as you explore the colorful landscapes, celebrated art, and cultural traditions from Carcassonne and Albi to the Pyrénées border and Provence.

Starting at: $5,297 * Includes airfare, taxes & all fees Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Sunflowers, a common flower of southern France  The medieval city and castle of Carcassonne  The delightful seaside village of Collioure  The Pyrénées Mountains near Catalonia  The Salvador Dalí Museum in Figueres  The museum devoted to the work of Salvador Dalí  Pont du Gard, France  Palais des Papes, Avignon  The Roman amphitheater of Arles  Landscape of sunflowers in Provence  Town Hall Square, Aix-en-Provence  Typical flower market and charming square in Aix-en-Provence Credit: Sundrenched Gardens/Alamy  Fountain in central Aix-en-Provence  The hilltown of Gordes  The quintessential Provencal village of Roussillon

Southern France

Featuring Languedoc, the Pyrénées, and Provence

13 days from $5,297 | includes airfare, taxes and all fees

Soak up the ambiance of southern France as you explore the colorful landscapes, celebrated art, and cultural traditions from Carcassonne and Albi to the Pyrénées border and Provence.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

TOUR BROCHURE

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WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

I would recommend Smithsonian Tours to anyone, from the novice to the most experienced traveler. Single travelers will certainly feel at home as well. I feel sure I will travel with Smithsonian again.

- Rosalee C.

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

See All Journeys Dispatches ››

Accommodations

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

Hotel Saint Antoine

Albi, France

The fifth-generation family-owned Hotel Saint Antoine sits in the heart of downtown Albi, with shopping and restaurants just outside the front door. The hotel boasts manicured courtyard gardens perfect for relaxing or taking a stroll, as well as a bar, laundry and dry cleaning service (for a fee), and complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access. Each air-conditioned guest room is individually decorated using antique furniture and floral-patterned fabrics, and includes private bath with hair dryer and phone. 

Number of nights: 2

Avignon Grand Hotel

Avignon, France

The Avignon Grand Hotel stands directly across the street from Avignon’s famed medieval city walls. In contrast to these centuries-old ramparts, the hotel offers a host of modern amenities to complement its contemporary layout and décor, including a bar and breakfast room, outdoor rooftop pool, dry cleaning service (for a fee), library, patio and landscaped courtyard, and complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access.  Each spacious guest room includes a terrace or balcony and has private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, minibar, tea- and coffee-making facilities, TV, and phone.

Number of nights: 3

Hotel Abbaye École De Sorèze

Sorèze, France

Situated within a 15-acre park at the foot of the Black Mountain, the Hôtel Abbaye Ecole de Sorèze occupies a historical monument – a Benedictine abbey originally founded in 754 that later served as a prestigious royal military academy.  The 72-room hotel offers a restaurant, bar and lounge, heated indoor swimming pool, fitness center, sauna, complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access, laundry and dry cleaning services, and safe deposit box.  Guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, mini-bar, TV, and phone.  Please note: This hotel does not offer air conditioning, but fans are available in the rooms.  

Number of nights: 2

La Villa Duflot

Perpignan , France

Designed to resemble an Italian villa, La Villa Duflot sits amidst a three-acre park with cypress, olive, and palm trees a short drive from Languedoc’s city center and nearby beaches.  Amenities of the 24-room lodging include a restaurant, piano bar and lounges, wine cellar, terrace, contemporary art gallery, outdoor swimming pool, gym, and laundry and dry cleaning services.  Art Deco-themed guest rooms are air conditioned and offer private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access, coffee- and tea-making facilities, and phone.

Number of nights: 3

Hotel Imperator

Nimes, France

Hotel Imperator is a well-located art deco hotel in the heart of Nimes, close to parks, shopping, the city’s famous roman theater, and Maison Carree.  Famous past residents include Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, and Ava Gardner.  The three-story hotel has a restaurant and bar, a garden, and a comfortable lobby area.  Each of the 60 guest rooms has air conditioning, private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, mini-bar, complimentary Wi-Fi access, TV, and phone.

Number of nights: 3

Grand Hotel Roi Rene

Aix-en-Provence, France

Situated on the edge of Aix-en-Provence’s historic old town and close to the central Cours Mirabeau, Grand Hôtel Roi René conceals a courtyard and pool area behind its pale sandstone walls.  The 134-room hotel offers a restaurant and bar, complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access, safe deposit boxes, and dry-cleaning service.  Each of the air-conditioned guest rooms, decorated in a contemporary style, has a private bath with hair dryer, TV, tea- and coffee-making facilities, and phone. 

Number of nights: 3

Activity Level

Activity Level 2: Moderate


Expectations: One of our Classic Land Journeys, this tour features visits to many cities, iconic sites, hidden gems, and various regions. Although comprehensive, it's not rushed, but well paced and finely tuned. Expectations include longer touring days with many full-day motor coach excursions and four different hotels. Mostly full-day excursions from four to six hours, with eight afternoons at leisure. Standing and walking for long periods of time during city tours, museum visits, and outdoor activities. Daily walks of up to three miles; walking over sometimes difficult terrain (e.g. cobblestones, city hills, stairs without handrails, absence of elevators); some longer walks to get to city centers where coaches are prohibited. The longest coach ride during a day is approximately two and a half hours. 

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

Tour Extension

Provence Post-Tour Extension — 3 Days, 2 Nights

Your Tour Price Includes

  • 2 nights' accommodations in Aix-en-Provence at Grand Hôtel Roi René (Superior First Class)
  • 2 meals: 2 breakfasts
  • Transfer to Marseille airport

Grand Hôtel Roi René
Situated on the edge of Aix-en-Provence’s historic old town, the Grand Hôtel Roi René conceals an idyllic courtyard and pool area behind its pale sandstone walls.  The 134-room property offers a restaurant and bar, complimentary Wi-Fi internet access, safe deposit box, and dry-cleaning service.  Each of the air-conditioned guest rooms has a private bath with hair dryer, TV, tea- and coffee-making facilities, and phone. 

Testimonials

WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

I would recommend Smithsonian Tours to anyone, from the novice to the most experienced traveler. Single travelers will certainly feel at home as well. I feel sure I will travel with Smithsonian again.

- Rosalee C.
Reading List
The Road from the Past: Traveling through History in France
By: Ina Caro
Caro takes us on an unforgettable driving tour of France, from Provence to the Loire Valley to Paris. With Caro as an epicurean, knowledgeable, and delightfully opinionated guide, we can always be sure to find the most breathtaking vistas, the most extraordinary châteaux, the most inspiring cathedrals, and the very best meals.
Languedoc-Roussillion (Cadogan Guide)
By: Dana Facaros, Michael Pauls
?Discover the vibrant cities of Montpellier, Perpignan, and Narbonne, the medieval splendor of Carcassonne, lagoons full of oysters and flamingos, medieval Catalan villages in quiet Pyrenean valleys, and houseboats lazing down the Canal du Midi, all punctuated by Roman ruins, Cathar castles and Gothic cathedrals. With illuminating commentary from Cadogan’s local experts, this comprehensive cultural guide uncovers the very best that Languedoc-Roussillon has to offer.
The Most Beautiful Villages of Provence (The Most Beautiful Villages)
By: Michael Jacobs
True Provencal spirit comes alive here through photographs and evocative accounts of the best-loved of all French provinces.Provence is a land apart, a territory of outstanding beauty and distinction that has fascinated outsiders since earliest times. The Greeks, the Romans, the barbarians of the North, and the Moors have all left their traces in its villages, from the Luberon to the Alpes-Maritimes.It is in such smaller communities that the true Provencal spirit can be found: in brilliant sunlight falling across the tightly grouped terra-cotta roofs, or in the shade beneath great plane trees in an ancient square. Such scenes come alive here in Hugh Palmer’s photographs and Michael Jacobs’ evocative accounts of the most beautiful villages of this, the best-loved of all French provinces.The book opens with the villages of the Vaucluse and the Bouches-du-Rhone, the region of such architectural gems as Bonnieux and Gordes. Moving east to the Var and eventually the mountains of the Alpine departments, we visit tranquil villages of the center like Les Arcs, set amid some of the finest vineyards of southern France. In stark contrast are the fortified hill villages of the east, perched on crests or terraced along some mountainside. 299 color illustrations
Insight Guides Provence and the French Riviera
By: Insight Guides
With its fabulous artistic heritage, glorious light, glitzy resorts and mouth-watering food, it's little wonder that the Provence-French Riviera region is the second most-visited in France after Paris. And Marseille, the rejuvenated 2013 European Capital of Culture, can now claim to be one of the Mediterranean's most vibrant cities. Be inspired by this thoroughly updated edition of Insight Guide Provence and the French Riviera, a detailed full-colour guide to this glamorous region.Inside Insight Guide Provence and the French Riviera:A thoroughly overhauled edition by our expert authors.Stunning photography brings this stunning region and its people to life. Highlights of the region's top attractions, such as stunning perched villages, arty Avignon and the awe-inspiring Pont du Gard. Descriptive area-by-area accounts cover the whole region from rejuvenated Marseille to glitzy St-Tropez.Detailed, high-quality maps throughout will help you get around and travel tips give you all the essential information for planning a memorable trip.About Insight Guides: Insight Guides has over 40 years' experience of publishing high-quality, visual travel guides. We produce around 400 full-colour print guide books and maps as well as picture-packed eBooks to meet different travellers' needs. Insight Guides' unique combination of beautiful travel photography and focus on history and culture together create a unique visual reference and planning tool to inspire your next adventure.
Lonely Planet French Phrasebook & Dictionary
By: Lonely Planet, Michael Janes, Jean-Bernard Carillet, Jean-Pierre Masclef
Lonely Planet: The world's #1 phrasebook publisher* 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 famers 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 cues Convenient features 5 Phrases to Learn Before You Go 10 Ways to Start a Sentence 10 Phrases to Sound like a Local Listen For - phrases you may hear Look For - phrases you may see on signs Shortcuts - easy-to-remember alternatives to the full phrases Q&A - suggested answers to questions asked Covers 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. Looking for just the basics? Check out Lonely Planet's Fast Talk French, a pocket-sized, essential language guide designed to get you talking quickly; perfect for a quick trip experience. Looking for an auditory guide to pronunciations? Check out Lonely Planet's French Phrasebook & Audio CD. Authors: Written and researched by Lonely Planet, Michael Janes, Jean-Pierre Masclef, Jean-Bernard Carillet. 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. The world awaits! *#1 phrasebook publisher. Source: Nielsen Bookscan UK, US & AUS
A Traveller's History Of France
By: Robert Cole
Millions of travellers visit France each year. The glories of the French countryside, the essential harmony of French architecture, the wealth of historical relics, the myriad of cultural opportunities - all make the country a perennial and irresistible attraction. A Traveller's History of France takes the reader from the first conquests of ancient Gaul through the Renaissance, the turmoil and triumph of the French Revolution, and on through the 20th century of French history all the way to the present.
Provence: A Cultural History (Landscapes of the Imagination) by Martin Garrett (2006-11-09)
By: Martin Garrett;
Will be shipped from US. Used books may not include companion materials, may have some shelf wear, may contain highlighting/notes, may not include CDs or access codes. 100% money back guarantee.
The Yellow House: Van Gogh, Gauguin, and Nine Turbulent Weeks in Provence
By: Martin Gayford
From October to December of 1888, Paul Gauguin shared a yellow house in the south of France with Vincent van Gogh. They were the odd couple of the art world -- one calm, the other volatile -- and the denouement of their living arrangement was explosive. Making use of new evidence and Van Gogh’s voluminous correspondence, Martin Gayford describes not only how these two hallowed artists painted and exchanged ideas, but also the texture of their everyday lives. Gayford also makes a persuasive analysis of Van Gogh’s mental illness -- the probable bipolar affliction that led him to commit suicide at the age of thirty-seven. The Yellow House is a singular biographical work, as dramatic and vibrant as the work of these brilliant artists.
The Popes of Avignon: A Century in Exile
By: Edwin Mullins
Like the finest medieval tapestry, this narrative history masterfully weaves together the sweeping events surrounding what has become known as the "Babylonian captivity" of the popes into the broader story of 14th-century Europe—one of the most turbulent times in the continent's history. It was a time of fear, ferocity, and religious agony, which saw the suppression of the Knights Templar and the Cathars. This century also marked the first onslaught of the plague, the beginning of the Hundred Years' War and produced great writers and artists in the western tradition, including Giotto, Boccaccio, Petrarch, and Chaucer. Central to this period was the movement of the papal seat from Rome to Avignon in the south of France, where seven successive popes held power from 1309 to 1377. The drama, intrigue, and tumult associated with the papacy in exile forms the perfect lens through which to clearly see a Europe making the transition from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance.
The Food of France
By: Waverley Root
A celebration of French cuisine and culture, from a culinary adventurer who made his mark decades before Anthony Bourdain arrived on the scene. Traveling through the provinces, cities, and remote country towns that make up France, Waverley Root discovers not only the Calvados and Camembert cheese of Normandy, the haute cuisine of Paris, and the hearty bouillabaisse of Marseilles, but also the local histories, customs, and geographies that shape the French national character.  Here are the origins of the Plantagenet kings and Rabelais’s favorite truffle-flavored sausages, and the tale of how the kitchens of Versailles cooked for one thousand aristocrats and four thousand servants in a single day. Here, too, are notes on the proper time of year to harvest snails; the Moorish influences on the confections of the Pyrenees, where the plumpest geese are raised; and the age of the oldest olive tree in Provence. In short, here is France for the chef, the traveler, and the connoisseur of fine prose, with maps and line drawings throughout.
Dali A&I (Art and Ideas)
By: Robert Radford
One of the best-known and most visually influential artists of the 20th century, Salvadore Dali achieved fame on an international scale as both painter and celebrity. Bridging the gap between high art and popular culture, he created in his Surrealist works a startling imagery that moved freely into the Freudian world of the subconcious - and which has subsequently been widely adopted by media and advertising.
Living in Provence
By: Barbara & René Stoeltie
Bienvenue à la maison: The textures and tones of dreamy Provence   Nestled in the south of France, bordering the Mediterranean sea, is a magical region of the world renowned for its lavender fields, fine cuisine, golden sun, and dreamy landscapes. This land, known as Provence, has inspired such writers and artists as Alphonse Daudet, Frédéric Mistral, and Vincent Van Gogh. Paul Cezanne loved the region’s Mount Sainte Victoire so much that he immortalized it in his famous paintings; his Provence studio, which still looks the same as it did over one hundred years ago, is featured herein, as is the house where Mistral, 1904 Nobel prize-winner, lived and wrote. Also included are photographs of the famous Hotel Nord-Pinus in Arles where Jean Cocteau sojourned and Picasso stayed when he came to see the bullfights. Bringing together the region’s most remarkable interiors, classical and contemporary, this book paints a gorgeous picture of Provençal living.   Text in English, French, and German
Provence, 1970: M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, James Beard, and the Reinvention of American Taste
By: Luke Barr
Provence, 1970 is about a singular historic moment. In the winter of that year, more or less coincidentally, the iconic culinary figures James Beard, M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, Richard Olney, Simone Beck, and Judith Jones found themselves together in the South of France. They cooked and ate, talked and argued, about the future of food in America, the meaning of taste, and the limits of snobbery. Without quite realizing it, they were shaping today’s tastes and culture, the way we eat now. The conversations among this group were chronicled by M.F.K. Fisher in journals and letters—some of which were later discovered by Luke Barr, her great-nephew. In Provence, 1970, he captures this seminal season, set against a stunning backdrop in cinematic scope—complete with gossip, drama, and contemporary relevance.
Two Towns in Provence: Map of Another Town and a Considerable Town
By: M. F. K. Fisher
This volume brings together two delightful books—Map of Another Town and A Considerable Town—by one of our most beloved food and travel writers. In her inimitable style, here M.F.K. Fisher tells the stories—and reveals the secrets—of two quintessential French cities. Map of Another Town, Fisher’s memoir of the French provincial capital of Aix-en-Provence is, as the author tells us, “my picture, my map, of a place and therefore of myself,” and a vibrant and perceptive profile of the kinship between a person and a place. Then, in A Considerable Town, she scans the centuries to reveal the ancient sources that clarify the Marseille of today and the indestructible nature of its people, and in so doing weaves a delightful journey filtered through the senses of a profound writer.
On Provence (On Series)
By: Henry James
Meander through Provence in the company of Henry James with this vivid collection of travel writing taken from his little-known book A Little Tour in FranceIn 1882, a year after the publication of his wildly successful The Portrait of a Lady, which dealt with the difficulties faced by American expatriate Daisy Miller in Europe, Henry James set out a six-week tour of southeastern France, taking in Tours, Bourges, Nantes, Toulouse, and Arles. Although a sometime resident of Paris, James was convinced that the soul of France resided not in the capital but in the provinces, and he set out to find it. Beginning in Touraine, James followed the course of the Rhône north to Burgundy, writing articles on architecture, literature, and personal observation that were serialized in the Atlantic Monthly. The resulting work is a fascinating patchwork, switching seamlessly between the broad strokes of classic travel writing and the smallest details of human behavior for which James is best known. This is at once an excellent example of James' prose writing and an outstanding work of travel writing in its own right.
A Year in Provence
By: Peter Mayle
National Bestseller In this witty and warm-hearted account, Peter Mayle tells what it is like to realize a long-cherished dream and actually move into a 200-year-old stone farmhouse in the remote country of the Lubéron with his wife and two large dogs. He endures January's frosty mistral as it comes howling down the Rhône Valley, discovers the secrets of goat racing through the middle of town, and delights in the glorious regional cuisine. A Year in Provence transports us into all the earthy pleasures of Provençal life and lets us live vicariously at a tempo governed by seasons, not by days.
My Father's Glory & My Mother's Castle: Marcel Pagnol's Memories of Childhood
By: Marcel Pagnol
Bathed in the warm clarity of the summer sun in Provence, Marcel Pagnol's childhood memories celebrate a time of rare beauty and delight.Called by Jean Renoir "the leading film artist of his age," Pagnol is best known for such films as The Baker's Wife, Harvest, Fanny, and Topaze, as well as the screen adaptations of his novels Jean de Florette and Manon of the Springs (North Point, 1988). But he never forgot the magic of his Provencal childhood, and when he set his memories to paper late in life the result was a great new success. My Father's Glory and My Mother's Castle appeared on the scene like a fresh breeze, captivating readers with its sweet enchantments. Pagnol recalls his days hunting and fishing in the hill country, his jaunts about Marseilles, his schoolboy diversions, and above all his family: his anticlerical father and sanctimonious uncle, his mild and beautiful mother, and many others. This bright and lively book sparkles with the charm and magic that were Marcel Pagnol's own.
Death at the Chateau Bremont (A Provençal Mystery)
By: M. L. Longworth
The first installment in the beloved, sumptuous mystery series set in Provence, featuring chief magistrate Antoine Verlaque and his old flame Marine Bonnet, who must team up to solve a pair of murdersThe newest book in the Provençal Mystery series, The Secrets of the Bastide Blanche, is available now from Penguin BooksWhen local nobleman Étienne de Bremont falls to his death from the family château, it sets the historic town of Aix-en-Provence abuzz with rumors. Antoine Verlaque, the charming chief magistrate of Aix, suspects foul play, and when he discovers that Bremont had been a close friend of Marine Bonnet, his on-again off-again girlfriend, Verlaque must turn to her for help.The once idyllic town suddenly seems filled with people who scould have benefited from Bremont's death—including his playboy brother François, who's heavily in debt and mixed up with some unsavory characters. But just as Verlaque and Bonnet are narrowing down their list of suspects, another death occurs. And this time, there can be no doubt—it's murder.A lively mystery steeped in the enticing atmosphere of the south of France and seasoned with romance as rich as the French cuisine that inspires it, this first installment in the acclaimed Verlaque & Bonnet Provençal Mystery series is as addictive and captivating as Provence itself.“Longworth’s voice is like a rich vintage of sparkling Dorothy Sayers and grounded Donna Leon. . . . Bon appétit!” —Booklist 
France: A Traveler's Literary Companion (Traveler's Literary Companions)
By: William Rodarmor, Anna Livia
This guide for literature enthusiasts and travelers alike reveals what Francophiles have long known: France is so much more than the Eiffel Tower and the Champs-Elysées. Including contributions from such celebrated French writers as Colette, Gabriel Chevallier, and Emmanuelle Laborit, this lively anthology takes readers through France in literary style. In Paris, walk down twisty Rue Ferrière, take a spin on a Franco-Arab carousel, and eavesdrop on a Jewish funeral party. In the suburbs, meet a pint-sized book thief and a gritty ghetto gang. Then visit Provence, Brittany, Normandy, and Alsace-Lorraine, and even witness the Tour de France. Organized by region, these charming stories are often funny, occasionally surreal, and always compelling.
24x36 World Wall Map by Smithsonian Journeys - Tan Oceans Special Edition (24x36 Paper Folded)
By: Smithsonian Journeys
Swiftmaps is proud to partner with Smithsonian Journeys to bring a new and exciting World Map series to the American marketplace. Featuring eye-catching bold and vivid colors complemented with rich vintage tan ocean tones that will make this the perfect reference piece --- sure to stand-out and highlight any home or business wall. The precise detail and digital accuracy shows color-matching visual shaded 3D relief and other physical features without sacrificing the maps readability. Now printed on high-quality 80 lb. paper and professionally FOLDED in a compact 8x10 inch size. FEATURES: 1) Africa centered allowing viewers to see continents complete and intact 2) Clearly labeled country and city names for easy location 3) Latitude and longitude indications 4) Shaded relief of ocean and land topography 4) Desirable Miller Projection. The Smithsonian Journeys wall map series serve not only as a handy reference piece, but as an eye-catching accent for any room or office. NOTE: each map is professionally folded to 8x10 inches and when unfolded the map is 24 inches high and 36 inches wide.
Travel Insurance

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

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

Terms and conditions

Mission

Smithsonian Journeys engage travelers in the mission of the Smithsonian – “the increase and diffusion of knowledge.” Like the Institution, our tours enrich our guests’ lives and satisfy their curiosity about the world. Your participation benefits the work of Smithsonian’s 19 museums, National Zoo, and nine research centers, helping to preserve our national treasures and shape the future through science, research, and exhibitions.

What Is Included in the Tour Cost

  • Expertise of a Smithsonian Journeys expert, tour director and local guides throughout the tour
  • All gratuities for the expert, tour director, on-tour guides and drivers
  • 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)
  • Pre-tour information, including a reading list
  • Transfers and luggage handling abroad (for air inclusive guests)
  • All on-tour transportation including flights within the itinerary, unless otherwise noted
  • All accommodations for the duration of the tour
  • Meals, as noted in the itinerary (B-breakfast; L-lunch; D-dinner)
  • All sightseeing and visits as noted in each itinerary
  • Airfare to/from your departure city, airline taxes, surcharges, and fees, which are subject to change until final payment is made (for air inclusive guests only)

What Is Not Included in the Tour Cost

  • Passport and all visa fees and photos; immunization(s); and any other travel documentation fees as required
  • Optional travel insurance, including cancellation/delay/lost baggage insurance (learn more at TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys)
  • Personal items, unless otherwise stated, such as wine, liquors, a-la-carte orders
  • Expenses incurred by our tour operator in making any individual travel arrangements in conjunction with the tour
  • Airline baggage and other airline fees and associated taxes, unless noted in Tour description
  • Transfers and baggage handling abroad when purchasing “land only” package
  • Communication Charges (e.g.: phone, internet, etc.)
  • Other items noted as optional or not specifically mentioned as included
  • Airfare from your hometown to your departure city (for air inclusive guests only).

Registration

To submit a reservation request, please use our secure online system at SmithsonianJourneys.org or contact a Cultural Travel Specialist, at 1-855-330-1542 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.  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 reservation, the following information is required.
In accordance with the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) Secure Flight program, for all international tours, passport information is required, including the following:   Full name as it appears on your passport, Date of birth, and Gender (for further information, please visit www.tsa.gov).

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

Payments

A deposit of $500 per person for a land tour reservation, unless otherwise noted, is required to reserve a space on a tour.  All payments may be made by credit card or check to the tour operator.  Deposits are applied to final payment of the tour price.

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

Late Registration

Any registration received within 95 days (180 for Alaska) 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 contact a Cultural Travel Specialist, at 1-855-330-1542 Mon-Fri 9 am - 7 pm; Sat 9 am – 4 pm (Eastern Time), or SJReservations@si.edu and 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 date of written notice to Smithsonian Journeys. Tour operator will refund on the following basis:

  • Cancellations within 7 days of booking:  Full Refund (unless it is within final payment date, 95 days before departure)
  • Cancellations after 7 days of booking:  Full Deposit Retained
  • Cancellations made within final payment date, 95 days before departure:  No Refund
  • Cancellation by Smithsonian Journeys:  Full Refund or Credit

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

Smithsonian Journeys recommends that all participants purchase travel insurance.

If your flights are delayed or if for any reason you are prevented from joining the tour on the scheduled departure date and time, or if you choose to leave the tour early, we cannot provide a full or partial refund or credit toward a future tour.

Smithsonian Journeys reserves the right to cancel any tour due to low enrollment and when a U.S. Department of State Travel Warning is issued for the destination.

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, the tour operator  will be happy to help with arrangements. Please note that seat assignments for your international flights is usually done at airport check-in. The tour operator is unable to guarantee any seat assignments.

When planning our tours that include international round-trip airfare, the tour operator contracts with those airlines that they feel provide the level of service, routings, and value necessary for your entire trip. While another airline may offer a more direct connection, it may be at a price unavailable at the lower group rates that enable us to offer you the best possible travel value. Please note that frequent flyer mileage credits are issued at the discretion of the airline(s) and may not be available for the flights on your tour. If you prefer to make your own airline reservations, “land only” pricing is available on most of our tours.

Air Service/Tickets Purchased Independently of the Tour

International and domestic air schedules are subject to change at any time. Tours can also be canceled due to low enrollments. 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.  Learn more at TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys.

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.

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 after the tour. Our tour operators will work with you on these arrangements, dependent upon space availability.  . For participants using air, only post tour extensions are offered. Tour operator may be able to assist land only participants with pre-tour arrangements.

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, acts or omissions of foreign governments, terrorism, war or insurrection, theft, illness, and damage to person or property due to the negligent acts or omissions of tour staff or others. In consideration of, and as part payment for, the right to participate in the tour, the undersigned, on behalf of himself, his dependents, heirs, executors, administrators and assigns, agrees to release the Smithsonian Institution, its Regents, officers, employees, representatives or agents, the United States, and the tour operator and its officers, employees and agents, from liability for personal injury, death, property damage or loss suffered by any person in connection with this tour, even if caused by the negligence (but not the reckless, willful, or fraudulent conduct) of tour staff or other related persons or entities. In addition, by registering for this tour, the applicant certifies that he or she is mentally and physically capable of full participation in this tour. By registering for a Smithsonian Journey, the participant agrees to the Responsibility Statement and Liability Disclaimer and the Terms and Conditions herein.