Visit four distinct nations and experience the cultural rebirth of the Baltic States and the imperial riches of St. Petersburg.

Starting at: $4,998 * Includes airfare, taxes & all fees Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 The palace and fountains at the Romanov summer palace at Peterhof  Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood in St. Petersburg  Gallery inside the world-class Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg  Viewing the treasures of the Hermitage Museum  View of St. Petersburg from the Neva River, with the dome of St. Isaac's Cathedral  The magnificent interior of St. Isaac's Cathedral, St. Petersburg  Cathedral Square, Vilnius, Lithuania  The architecture of the Old Town of Vilnius, Lithuania  A medieval castle in Trakai, Lithuania  The turrets and spires of Tallinn's Old Town, a World Heritage site, in Estonia  The Old Town of Estonia's Tallinn  Cityscape of Riga, Latvia  A main square in Riga, Latvia, with the House of the Blackheads  The palace of Rundale, Latvia  The ballroom of Rundale Palace  Gardens at Rundale Palace

St. Petersburg and the Baltics

14 days from $4,998 | includes airfare, taxes and all fees

Visit four distinct nations and experience the cultural rebirth of the Baltic States and the imperial riches of St. Petersburg.

or Call 855-330-1542

Accommodations

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

Radisson Blu Astoria Hotel

Vilnius, Lithuania

Located in the heart of Vilnius overlooking City Hall Square and Old Town, this traditional hotel was built in 1901 and fully renovated in 1998.  Today the hotel boasts facilities that include a restaurant, brasserie, and bar; internet access; laundry and dry cleaning services; and fitness center with indoor swimming pool, sauna, steam, and whirlpool.  Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, mini-bar, tea and coffee making facilities, in-room safe, TV, and phone.  

Number of nights: 3

Radisson Blu Elizabete Hotel

Riga, Latvia

The Radisson Blu Elizabete Hotel, built in 2008, is located in Riga’s city center across from historic Verman Park and close to shops, restaurants, and historic sites.  Amenities of the modern 228-room lodging include a restaurant, bar, internet access, laundry and dry cleaning services, fitness room, and sauna.  Guest rooms are air-conditioned and offer private bath with hair dryer, tea- and coffee-making facilities, in-room safe, mini-bar, TV, and phone.

Number of nights: 3

Radisson Blu Sky Hotel

Tallinn, Estonia

The Radisson Blu Sky Hotel offers dazzling views, walking distance to charming Old Town, and provides plush accommodations in Tallinn's bustling business district. Amenities of this modern 280-room hotel include a restaurant and rooftop bar; fitness center, laundry services, spa and sauna; and complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access. Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, iron and ironing board, in-room safe, TV, and phone.

Number of nights: 3

Belmond Grand Hotel Europe

St. Petersburg, Russian Federation

A cultural and culinary landmark, Belmond Grand Hotel Europe is adjacent to St. Petersburg's Arts Square and among the city’s great architectural treasures. The hotel’s many amenities include three restaurants (including Russia’s oldest continually serving restaurant) and three bars, shopping arcade (including a shop selling house-made pastries and chocolates), fitness center with sauna and plunge pool, and complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access. Each of the 265 air-conditioned guestrooms includes private bath with hairdryer, mini-bar, TV, and phone.

Number of nights: 3

Activity Level

Activity Level 2: Moderate


Expectations: One of our Classic Land Journeys, this tour features four countries and visits to many cities, iconic sites, and hidden gems. 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; five 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. There are three longer coach rides of approximately four to five hours duration, but stops are made along the way. A typical day of touring begins at 8:00/9:00 a.m.

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

Tour Extension

St. Petersburg Post-Program Option  3 Days, 2 Nights

Explore more of this fascinating city – Russia’s cultural heart – at your own pace, from our centrally located hotel on Nevsky Prospekt adjacent to Arts Square. The extension includes:

  • Accommodations for 2 nights at Belmond Grand Hotel Europe
  • 2 meals: 2 breakfasts
  • Transfer to airport
Reading List
The Baltic: A History
By: Michael North
From the Vikings to the EU the Baltic has been a Nordic Mediterranean, a shared maritime zone with distinct patterns of trade, cultural exchange, and conflict. Covering a thousand years in a part of the globe where seas are more connective than land, Michael North’s overview transforms the way we think about one of the world’s great waterways.
Sunlight at Midnight: St. Petersburg and the Rise of Modern Russia
By: Bruce Lincoln
For Russians, St.Petersburg has embodied power, heroism and fortitude. It has encompassed all the things that the Russians are and that they hope to become. Opulence and artistic brilliance blend with images of suffering on a monumental scale to make up the historic persona the late W. Bruce Lincoln's lavish biography of this mysterious, complex city. Climate and comfort were not what Tsar Peter the Great had in mind when he decided to build a new capital in the muddy marshes of the Neva River delta. Located 500 miles below the Arctic Circle, this area, with its foul weather, bad water and sodden soil, was so unattractive that only a handful of Finnish fisherman had ever settled there. Yet to the Tsar the place he named Sankt Pieter Burkh had the makings of a paradise. His vision was soon borne out: though St. Petersburg was closer to London, Paris and Vienna than to Russian's far-off eastern lands, it quickly became the political, cultural and economic center of an empire that stretched across more than a dozen time zones and over three continents.In this book, revolutionaries and laborers brush shoulders with tsars and builders, soldiers and statesmen share pride of place with poets. For only the entire historical experience of this magnificent and mysterious city can reveal the wealth of human and natural forces that shaped the modern history of the city and the nation it represents.
DK Eyewitness Travel Guide Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania
By: DK Travel
Visit and explore Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania during your trip to the Baltic States.From top restaurants, bars, and clubs to standout scenic sites and walks, our insider tips are sure to make your trip outstanding. Whether you're looking for unique and interesting shops and markets, or seeking the best venues for music and nightlife, we have entertainment and hotel recommendations for every budget covered in our Eyewitness Travel Guide.Discover DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania.   • Detailed itineraries and "don't-miss" destination highlights at a glance.    • Illustrated cutaway 3-D drawings of important sights.    • Floor plans and guided visitor information for major museums.    • Guided walking tours, local drink and dining specialties to try, things to do, and places to eat, drink, and shop by area.    • Area maps marked with sights.    • Detailed city maps include street finder indexes for easy navigation.    • Insights into history and culture to help you understand the stories behind the sights.    • Hotel and restaurant listings highlight DK Choice special recommendations. With hundreds of full-color photographs, hand-drawn illustrations, and custom maps that illuminate every page, DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania truly shows you the country as no one else can.Series Overview: For more than two decades, DK Eyewitness Travel Guides have helped travelers experience the world through the history, art, architecture, and culture of their destinations. Expert travel writers and researchers provide independent editorial advice, recommendations, and reviews. With guidebooks to hundreds of places around the globe available in print and digital formats, DK Eyewitness Travel Guides show travelers how they can discover more.DK Eyewitness Travel Guides: the most maps, photographs, and illustrations of any guide. Visit TravelDK.com to learn more.
DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: St Petersburg
By: DK Travel
DK Eyewitness Travel Guides: the most maps, photography, and illustrations of any guide.DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: St. Petersburg is your in-depth guide to the very best of the city of St. Petersburg.Explore the best of St. Petersburg with our DK Eyewitness Travel Guide. Whether you're on the hunt for stunning cathedrals and churches, soviet landmarks, or the best places to shop and browse, we've packed it all into this fantastic guide. Take walking tours of gorgeous architecture, waterways and bridges, or experience the city's wonderful restaurants, cafes, and bars. No matter your budget, we can help you find a hotel in St. Petersburg, or experience fun activities for families with children or for the solitary traveler.Discover DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: St. Petersburg   • Detailed itineraries and "don't miss" destination highlights at a glance.    • Illustrated cutaway 3-D drawings of important sights.    • Floor plans and guided visitor information for major museums.    • Free, color pull-out map (print edition) marked with sights, a selected sight and street index, public transit map, practical information on getting around, and a distance chart for measuring walking distances.    • Guided walking tours, local drink and dining specialties to try, things to do, and places to eat, drink, and shop by area.    • Area maps marked with sights and restaurants.    • Detailed city maps include street finder index for easy navigation.    • Insights into history and culture to help you understand the stories behind the sights.    • Suggested day-trips and itineraries to explore beyond the city.    • Hotel and restaurant listings highlight DK Choice special recommendations. With hundreds of full-color photographs, hand-drawn illustrations, and custom maps that illuminate every page, DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: St. Petersburg truly shows you the city of St. Petersburg as no one else can.Recommended: For an in-depth guidebook to Russia, check out DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Russia, which offers the most complete coverage of Russia, trip-planning itineraries, and more.
Lonely Planet Russian Phrasebook & Dictionary
By: Lonely Planet, James Jenkin, Grant Taylor
Lonely Planet: The world's leading travel guide publisher Admirers of Russian literature claim that the 'Slavic soul' of writers such as Chekhov or Tolstoy can't be fully appreciated in translation. For the less ambitious, the language will bring you closer to deciphering the 'riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma' that is Russia. Get More From Your Trip with Easy-to-Find Phrases for Every Travel Situation! Lonely Planet Phrasebooks have been connecting travellers and locals for over a quarter of a century - our phrasebooks and mobile apps cover more than any other publisher! Order the right meal with our menu decoder Never get stuck for words with our 3500-word two-way dictionary We make language easy with shortcuts, key phrases & common Q&As Feel at ease, with essential tips on culture & manners Coverage includes: Basics, Practical, Social, Safe Travel, Food! Lonely Planet gets you to the heart of a place. Our job is to make amazing travel experiences happen. We visit the places we write about each and every edition. We never take freebies for positive coverage, so you can always rely on us to tell it like it is. Authors: Written and researched by Lonely Planet, James Jenkin, and Grant Taylor. About Lonely Planet: Started in 1973, Lonely Planet has become the world's leading travel guide publisher with guidebooks to every destination on the planet, as well as an award-winning website, a suite of mobile and digital travel products, and a dedicated traveller community. Lonely Planet's mission is to enable curious travellers to experience the world and to truly get to the heart of the places they find themselves in. TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice Awards 2012 and 2013 winner in Favorite Travel Guide category 'Lonely Planet guides are, quite simply, like no other.' - New York Times 'Lonely Planet. It's on everyone's bookshelves; it's in every traveller's hands. It's on mobile phones. It's on the Internet. It's everywhere, and it's telling entire generations of people how to travel the world.' - Fairfax Media (Australia)
St. Petersburg: A Cultural History
By: Solomon Volkov
A Russian e+a7migre+a7 writer draws a panoramic view of the cosmopolitan culture that thrived over three centuries in Russia's "gateway to the West," producing such figures as Stravinsky, Nabokov, Balanchine, and Chagall. 30,000 first printing. National ad/promo.
The Northern Crusades: Second Edition
By: Eric Christiansen
The 'Northern Crusades', inspired by the Pope's call for a Holy War, are less celebrated than those in the Middle East, but they were also more successful: vast new territories became and remain Christian, such as Finland, Estonia and Prussia. Newly revised in the light of the recent developments in Baltic and Northern medieval research, this authoritative overview provides a balanced and compelling account of a tumultuous era.
Natasha's Dance: A Cultural History of Russia
By: Orlando Figes
Beginning in the eighteenth century with the building of St. Petersburg and culminating with the Soviet regime, Figes examines how writers, artists, and musicians grappled with the idea of Russia itself--its character, spiritual essence, and destiny. Skillfully interweaving the great works--by Dostoevsky, Stravinsky, and Chagall--with folk embroidery, peasant songs, religious icons, and all the customs of daily life, Figes reveals the spirit of "Russianness" as rich and uplifting, complex and contradictory--and more lasting than any Russian ruler or state.
A History of the Baltic States (Palgrave Essential Histories Series)
By: Andres Kasekamp
Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania experienced a sequence of foreign regimes, including Nazism and communism, before recovering their independence and joining the European Union. Clearly and accessibly written, this book is one of the first to provide a general overview of their histories from the stone age to the present using a comparative approach.
St Petersburg: Shadows of the Past
By: Catriona Kelly
Fragile, gritty, and vital to an extraordinary degree, St. Petersburg is one of the world’s most alluring cities—a place in which the past is at once ubiquitous and inescapably controversial. Yet outsiders are far more familiar with the city’s pre-1917 and Second World War history than with its recent past. In this beautifully illustrated and highly original book, Catriona Kelly shows how creative engagement with the past has always been fundamental to St. Petersburg’s residents. Weaving together oral history, personal observation, literary and artistic texts, journalism, and archival materials, she traces the at times paradoxical feelings of anxiety and pride that were inspired by living in the city, both when it was socialist Leningrad, and now. Ranging from rubbish dumps to promenades, from the city’s glamorous center to its grimy outskirts, this ambitious book offers a compelling and always unexpected panorama of an extraordinary and elusive place.
The 900 Days: The Siege Of Leningrad
By: Harrison E. Salisbury
The Nazi siege of Leningrad from 1941 to 1944 was one of the most gruesome episodes of World War II. Nearly three million people endured it; just under half of them died. For twenty-five years the distinguished journalist and historian Harrison Salisbury pieced together this remarkable narrative of villainy and survival, in which the city had much to fear-from both Hitler and Stalin.
Russia of the Tsars (History Files)
By: Peter Waldron
History Files: This new paperback series presents the people, events, and ideas that shaped our past and made our present. Drawing upon the latest research, the books are abundantly illustrated with telling images from out-of-the-way sources, and offer the tangible fragments of vanished times in the form of loose-leaf facsimile documents that are included in the books. Between the seventeenth century and the 1917 revolution, the Russian Tsars became absolute rulers of the largest and most diverse empire in the world. The splendor of their court and their capital city, St. Petersburg, was extraordinary, but this imperial edifice was supported by the toil of millions of serfs tied to the land and brutally repressed. The vast majority of the people were uneducated, yet Russia produced writers, artists, and composers of world importance. The Tsars created a mighty army, but it failed them in the Crimea and in World War I. This empire of contradictions was to have a profound influence on both Europe and Asia. Peter Waldron tells the stories of all the Russians, exploring how the vastness of the empire and its extremes of climate affected the lives of rulers and peasants alike. He recounts how Peter the Great and later Tsars built the empire, and describes some of the individuals who worked for and against social change in Russia. Box features on specific people, places, and events and many quotations from Russian sources bring this saga vividly to life. The ten facsimile documents include a 1710 map of St. Petersburg, a newspaper report on the Crimean War, and the announcement of Nicholas II’s abdication in 1917. 133 illustrations, 89 in color, and 10 facsimile documents
The Summer Palaces of the Romanovs: Treasures from Tsarskoye Selo
By: Emmanuel Ducamp, Marc Walter
Specially commissioned photographs by Marc Walter and fascinating archive images capture a bygone age of Romanov splendor that will captivate art lovers and historians alike Situated just south of St. Petersburg, the Russian imperial residence of Tsarskoye Selo is now more than three hundred years old. Tsarskoye Selo (“Tsar’s Village”) was once a modest estate housing a summer residence for Catherine I, second wife of Peter the Great. The building now known as the Catherine Palace was extensively rebuilt by Empress Elizabeth and then lavishly refurbished by Catherine the Great. This empress's love of art and decoration is evident in the sumptuous interiors and in the extensive park, filled with fanciful pavilions, bridges, and monuments. Catherine also commissioned the neoclassical Alexander Palace for her favorite grandson, the future Alexander I; this later became home to the last tsar, Nicholas II, and his family until their exile to Siberia. The palace is a glorious showcase for Russian art and craftsmanship in a huge variety of materials and techniques, from the mirrors and lavish gilding of the Great Hall to the blood-red beauty of the Agate Rooms, their walls lined with Siberian jasper. Tsarskoye Selo is not only a piece of art history but a living testimony to the tastes and private passions of the Romanov family. Their clothes and porcelain, their desks and bookshelves build an intimate and involving portrait of life in imperial Russia. 340 illustrations, 289 in color
The Hermitage Collections: Volume I: Treasures of World Art; Volume II: From the Age of Enlightenment to the Present Day
By: Oleg Yakovlevich Neverov, Dmitry Pavlovich Alexinsky
The definitive volumes celebrating the collections of the Hermitage Museum. For nearly 250 years the State Hermitage has been one of Europe’s most palatial museums. It encompasses more than three million works of art and artifacts displayed within a spectacular architectural ensemble, the heart of which is the famed Winter Palace. The two volumes of The Hermitage Collections capture the masterpieces and discuss the history that make this world-famous institution a cultural destination and a global treasure. Many of its rarely reproduced works are included in these two volumes, such as The Raphael Loggias (as copied from the Vatican), Michelangelo’s Crouching Boy, The Gonzaga Cameo, Leonardo da Vinci’s Madonna with a Flower (The Benois Madonna), and Titian’s St. Sebastian. The Hermitage collections were developed beginning in 1764 by Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia. Today, the Hermitage collections constitute one of the great art museums of the world.
The Empress of Art: Catherine the Great and the Transformation of Russia
By: Susan Jaques
Ruthless and passionate, Catherine the Great is singularly responsible for amassing one of the most awe-inspiring collections of art in the world and turning St. Petersburg in to a world wonder.  The Empress of Art brings to life the creation of this captivating woman's greatest legacy An art-oriented biography of the mighty Catherine the Great, who rose from seemingly innocuous beginnings to become one of the most powerful people in the world. A German princess who married a decadent and lazy Russian prince, Catherine mobilized support amongst the Russian nobles, playing off of her husband's increasing corruption and abuse of power. She then staged a coup that ended with him being strangled with his own scarf in the halls of the palace and herself crowned the Empress of Russia.Intelligent and determined, Catherine modeled herself off of her grandfather in-law, Peter the Great, and sought to further modernize and westernize Russia. She believed that the best way to do this was through a ravenous acquisition of art, which Catherine often used as a form of diplomacy with other powers throughout Europe. She was a self-proclaimed "glutton for art" and she would be responsible for the creation of the Hermitage, one of the largest museums in the world, second only to the Louvre. Catherine also spearheaded the further expansion of St. Petersburg, and the magnificent architectural wonder the city became is largely her doing. There are few women in history more fascinating than Catherine the Great, and for the first time, Susan Jaques brings her to life through the prism of art. 24 pages of color illustrations
Peter the Great: His Life and World
By: Robert K. Massie
From the Modern Library’s new set of beautifully repackaged hardcover classics by Robert K. Massie—also available are Nicholas and Alexandra and The RomanovsAgainst the monumental canvas of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Europe and Russia unfolds the magnificent story of Peter the Great, crowned co-tsar at the age of ten. The acclaimed author of Catherine the Great, Robert K. Massie delves deep into the life of this captivating historical figure, chronicling the pivotal events that shaped a boy into a legend—including his “incognito” travels in Europe, his unquenchable curiosity about Western ways, his obsession with the sea and establishment of the stupendous Russian navy, his creation of an unbeatable army, his transformation of Russia, and his relationships with those he loved most: Catherine, the robust yet gentle peasant, his loving mistress, wife, and successor; and Menshikov, the charming, bold, unscrupulous prince who rose to wealth and power through Peter’s friendship. Impetuous and stubborn, generous and cruel, tender and unforgiving, a man of enormous energy and complexity, Peter the Great is brought fully to life.   The Modern Library of the World’s Best Books   Peter the Great Winner of the Pulitzer Prize   “Enthralling . . . as fascinating as any novel and more so than most.”—The New York Times Book Review   Nicholas and Alexandra   “A magnificent and intimate picture . . . Not only the main characters but a whole era become alive and comprehensible.”—Harper’s   The Romanovs   “Riveting . . . unfolds like a detective story.”—Los Angeles Times Book Review
Speak, Memory: An Autobiography Revisited
By: Vladimir Nabokov
Speak, Memory, first published in 1951 as Conclusive Evidence and then assiduously revised in 1966, is an elegant and rich evocation of Nabokov's life and times, even as it offers incisive insights into his major works, including Lolita, Pnin, Despair, The Gift, The Real Life of Sebastian Knight, and The Defense.
Russian Short Stories from Pushkin to Buida (Penguin Classics)
By: Various
From the reign of the Tsars in the early nineteenth century to the collapse of the Soviet Union and beyond, the short story has long occupied a central place in Russian culture. Included here are pieces from many of the acknowledged masters of Russian literature—including Pushkin, Turgenev, Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, and Solzhenitsyn—alongside tales by long-suppressed figures such as the subversive Kryzhanowsky and the surrealist Shalamov. Whether written in reaction to the cruelty of the bourgeoisie, the bureaucracy of communism, or the torture of the prison camps, they offer a wonderfully wide-ranging and exciting representation of one of the most vital and enduring forms of Russian literature.For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
The Dogs of Riga
By: Henning Mankell
From the dean of Scandinavian noir, the second riveting installment in the internationally bestselling and universally acclaimed Kurt Wallander series, the basis for the PBS series staring Kenneth Branagh.On the Swedish coastline, two bodies, victims of grisly torture and cold execution, are discovered in a life raft. With no witnesses, no motives, and no crime scene, Detective Kurt Wallander is frustrated and uncertain he has the ability to solve a case as mysterious as it is heinous. But after the victims are traced to the Baltic state of Latvia, a country gripped by the upheaval of Soviet disintegration, Major Liepa of the Riga police takes over the investigation. Thinking his work done, Wallander slips into routine once more, until suddenly, he is called to Riga and plunged into an alien world where shadows are everywhere, everything is watched, and old regimes will do anything to stay alive.
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

Our Mission

Smithsonian Journeys engages 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

  • Expertise of a Smithsonian Journeys Expert, Tour Director, and local guides throughout the tour.
  • All accommodations (based on double occupancy).
  • Airfare from your departure city (for air inclusive guests only).
  • Airline taxes, fuel surcharges, and departure fees, and port charges and cruise line fees (where applicable), which are subject to change until final payment has been made.
  • Meals as indicated (B-breakfast; L-lunch; D-dinner) on the tour itinerary, including special welcome and farewell dinners.
  • All sightseeing and visits as noted in the itinerary.
  • Pre-tour information, including a reading list.
  • Baggage handling for one bag per person.
  • Service charges and gratuities, except some cruise and rail programs.
  • All on-tour transportation, unless otherwise noted.
  • Transfer from the airport to the hotel for travelers on, or meeting, group flights (for most international tours).
  • On-tour emergency evacuation insurance (up to $100,000), medical expense coverage (up to $25,000), dental expense coverage (up to $500), travel medical assistance and worldwide travel assistance (U.S. Residents only).
  • Gratituties to local guides and drivers.

What Is Not Included in the Tour Cost

  • Passport fees, visas, and visa photos as required.
  • Personal items such as wines, liquors, a-la-carte orders, meals other than specified.
  • Room service and valet/laundry service.
  • Expenses incurred by our tour operators in making individual travel arrangements in conjunction with the tour.
  • Airport arrival and departure transfers when purchasing “land only” package.
  • Additional baggage fees levied directly by the airline(s) may apply and are subject to change at any time. You should conform directly with your airline(s) prior to departure.
  • Airfare from your hometown to your departure city (for air inclusive guests only).
  • Communication charges.
  • Other items not specifically mentioned as included. 
  • Optional Travelers’ Protection Plan: Unexpected events before or during a trip may leave you with cancelled plans, lost luggage, or unforeseen medical expenses. This optional plan offers an affordable package of benefits and services that can provide coverage and assistance for the unexpected. Visit TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys to learn more.

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.