Escape winter and bask in the legendary warmth and pristine beauty of Tahiti and five other evocative South Pacific islands from aboard a four-masted sailing ship.

Starting at: $6,995 * Price includes special offer Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Looking out over the lagoon of Bora Bora  The Wind Spirit sailing in French Polynesia  The island of Huahine in the Society Islands  Underwater view of manta ray and butterfly fish  Tropical fish (Humbug Dascyllus) and pillar coral in the lagoon of Bora Bora  Looking over the lagoon of Bora Bora. Credit: Tahiti-Tourisme.com  The Wind Spirit in French Polynesia  Close up view of the Wind Spirit  Dramatic aerial view of Bora Bora in the Society Islands  Lagoon of Bora Bora. Credit: Tahiti-Tourisme.com  Yellow Plumeria or Frangipani, found in Tahiti  Colorful flowers of Tahiti  A marae or temple area on Moorea  Marae Maeva found on Huahine. Credit: Tahiti-Tourisme.com  A motu, one of many small islands, found in the Society Islands  A lagoon in Tahiti. Credit: Tahiti-Tourisme.com  Sunset from aboard your sailing ship

Voyage to French Polynesia

Featuring Tahiti and Bora Bora Aboard the 148-guest Wind Spirit

11 days from $6,995

Escape winter and bask in the legendary warmth and pristine beauty of Tahiti and five other evocative South Pacific islands from aboard a four-masted sailing ship.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

The trip exceeded my expectations. I chose Smithsonian because my friend and travelling companion had been with them on a trip down the Nile, but I had no idea how wonderful this trip would be.

- Valerie, M

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

See All Journeys Dispatches ››

Accommodations

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

InterContinental Resort Tahiti

Tahiti, French Polynesia

The InterContinental Resort Tahiti is the perfect place to begin your visit to French Polynesia. The 107 guest rooms offer sweeping views of Tahiti’s natural beauty and the expansive grounds include the Aquatica Dive Center, Lagoonarium, private beach, pools, tennis courts, and 30 acres of gardens. Papeete’s museums, shops, galleries, market, and nightlife are only a short drive away.

Number of nights: 2

Activity Level

Activity Level 2: Moderate

Expectations: Long touring days with many full-day motor coach excursions. Standing and walking for long periods of time during city tours, museum visits, and/or outdoor activities. Walking over sometimes difficult terrain (e.g. cobblestones, city hills, stairs without handrails, the absence of elevators, climbing aboard trains with high steps); some longer walks to get to city centers where coaches are prohibited. Possible exposure to higher altitudes. River cruises may offer a choice of excursions with varying activity expectations.  (Typical travel opportunities: Most Cultural Stays, River Cruises, some Land Journeys, U.S. Train Tours)  

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

Tour Extension

Bora Bora Post-Tour Extension 3 Days, 2 Nights

Extend your sojourn in French Polynesia with two nights in a Five-Star seaside resort hotel on Bora Bora, providing an authentic Polynesian experience. On Bora Bora’s dazzling Matira Point, enjoy magnificent, expansive ocean views from your deluxe beachfront or overwater bungalow. Observe the abundant marine life on a reef excursion, dine in one of the island’s gourmet restaurants for the exotic flavors of fresh local seafood prepared with French Polynesian flair, or enjoy the resort’s wide array of watersports and two white-sand beaches. This resort option includes breakfast daily and round-trip air between Tahiti and Bora Bora. Accommodations at the InterContinental Le Moana Bora Bora Resort. 


Post-Tour Pricing:

Beach Bungalow - double occupancy $1,685
Beach Bungalow - single occupancy $2,520
Overwater Bungalow - double occupancy $1,985
Overwater Bungalow - single occupancy $3,120
Horizon Bungalow - double occupancy $2,045
Horizon Bungalow - single occupancy $3,235

The Post-Program Option is available at additional cost. Details will be provided with your reservation confirmation.

Ship

Wind Spirit

Rated the #1 cruise ship in Tahiti by Conde Nast Traveler, the intimate, four-masted Wind Spirit offers an unforgettable and capitvating sailing experience—seafaring in its most traditional form. A harmonious alliance of nautical history and elegant style, this small ship is designed to sail among the islands, atolls, and motus of Tahiti and French Polynesia—its year-round home—from deep seas into bays and shallow lagoons inaccessible to larger vessels, making it feel like your own private yacht. 

Staterooms: Most of the 73 deluxe, ocean-view Staterooms and the Owner’s Suite feature one queen bed (convertible to two twin beds), a private granite-finished bathroom with shower, luxurious linens and amenities, individual climate control, flat-screen television with DVD player, Bose SoundDock speakers for Apple iPods, Wi-Fi  access, safe, minibar, dressing table, hair dryer, plush robes and slippers. Complimentary fresh welcome flowers and fruit are provided in each Stateroom upon embarkation.

Cuisine and Dining: The elegant AmphorA dining room accommodates all guests at a single, unassigned seating, and an attentive staff serves contemporary international cuisine. Guests may also enjoy indoor or outdoor dining in the Veranda restaurant for breakfast and lunch or reserve a table at Candles for alfresco evening dining. Complimentary alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages are available throughout the cruise and 24-hour room service is also available.

Public Areas: The inviting public areas are tastefully appointed and include a large lounge, where a program of enriching lectures is held, two bars, a comfortable library, spa, fitness center, boutique, outdoor hot tub, swimming pool, and watersports marina with complimentary kayaking and snorkeling equipment. There is no elevator on the ship.

Attentive Service: The international, English-speaking crew provides personable and attentive service throughout the cruise. There is also a doctor present on board ship. 

 The Wind Spirit sailing in French Polynesia  Sunset from aboard your sailing ship  The Wind Spirit in French Polynesia  Close up view of the Wind Spirit  The Wind Spirit near Ra'iatea

Wind Spirit

Rated the #1 cruise ship in Tahiti by Conde Nast Traveler, the intimate, four-masted Wind Spirit offers an unforgettable and capitvating sailing experience—seafaring in its most traditional form. A harmonious alliance of nautical history and elegant style, this small ship is designed to sail among the islands, atolls, and motus of Tahiti and French Polynesia—its year-round home—from deep seas into bays and shallow lagoons inaccessible to larger vessels, making it feel like your own private yacht. 

Staterooms: Most of the 73 deluxe, ocean-view Staterooms and the Owner’s Suite feature one queen bed (convertible to two twin beds), a private granite-finished bathroom with shower, luxurious linens and amenities, individual climate control, flat-screen television with DVD player, Bose SoundDock speakers for Apple iPods, Wi-Fi  access, safe, minibar, dressing table, hair dryer, plush robes and slippers. Complimentary fresh welcome flowers and fruit are provided in each Stateroom upon embarkation.

Cuisine and Dining: The elegant AmphorA dining room accommodates all guests at a single, unassigned seating, and an attentive staff serves contemporary international cuisine. Guests may also enjoy indoor or outdoor dining in the Veranda restaurant for breakfast and lunch or reserve a table at Candles for alfresco evening dining. Complimentary alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages are available throughout the cruise and 24-hour room service is also available.

Public Areas: The inviting public areas are tastefully appointed and include a large lounge, where a program of enriching lectures is held, two bars, a comfortable library, spa, fitness center, boutique, outdoor hot tub, swimming pool, and watersports marina with complimentary kayaking and snorkeling equipment. There is no elevator on the ship.

Attentive Service: The international, English-speaking crew provides personable and attentive service throughout the cruise. There is also a doctor present on board ship. 

 The Wind Spirit sailing in French Polynesia  Sunset from aboard your sailing ship  The Wind Spirit in French Polynesia  Close up view of the Wind Spirit  The Wind Spirit near Ra'iatea
Testimonials

WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

The trip exceeded my expectations. I chose Smithsonian because my friend and travelling companion had been with them on a trip down the Nile, but I had no idea how wonderful this trip would be.

- Valerie, M
Reading List
The Happy Isles of Oceania: Paddling the Pacific
By: Paul Theroux
In one of his most exotic and breathtaking journeys, the intrepid traveler Paul Theroux ventures to the South Pacific, exploring fifty-one islands by collapsible kayak. Beginning in New Zealand's rain forests and ultimately coming to shore thousands of miles away in Hawaii, Theroux paddles alone over isolated atolls, through dirty harbors and shark-filled waters, and along treacherous coastlines. This exhilarating tropical epic is full of disarming observations and high adventure.
Noa Noa: The Tahitian Journal (Dover Fine Art, History of Art)
By: Paul Gauguin
Paul Gauguin fled what he called "filthy Europe" in 1891 to what he hoped would be an unspoiled paradise, Tahiti. He painted 66 magnificent can vases during the first two years he spent there and kept notes from which he later wrote Noa Noa — a journal recording his thoughts and impressions of that time.Noa Noa — the most widely known of Gauguin's writings — is reproduced here from a rare early edition (1919), in a lucid translation capturing the artist's unpretentious style. Page after page reveals Gauguin's keen observations of Tahiti and its people, and his passionate struggle to achieve the inner harmony he expressed so profoundly on canvas. Gauguin's prose is as seductive as his paintings, filled with descriptions of warm seas, hidden lagoons, lush green forests, and beautiful Maori women.The journal is captivating reading, offering a compelling autobiographical fragment of the soul of a genius and a rare glimpse of Oceanian culture. The brief periods of happiness Gauguin found among the Tahitians are eloquently expressed in his narrative. We understand the motives that drove him and gain a deeper appreciation of his art.Today the manuscript provides unparalleled insight into Gauguin's thoughts as he strove to achieve spiritual peace, and into the wellsprings of a singular artistic style which changed the course of modern art. This wonderfully affordable edition — enhanced by 24 of Gauguin's South Seas drawings — makes a unique and passionate testament accessible to all art lovers.
The Snorkeller's Guide to the Coral Reef: From the Red Sea to the Pacific Ocean
By: Paddy Ryan
Book by Ryan, Paddy
Tahiti & French Polynesia (Lonely Planet)
By: Tony Wheeler, Jean-Bernard Carillet
Contains information on all the archipelagos; fully updated maps, showing 4WD tracks, walking routes and dive sites; historical background, from the Bounty muntineers to the controversial French nuclear-testing program; comprehensive coverage of the Polynesian, French and Asian cuisine; and a Tahitian and French language guide.
South Pacific: Lonely Planet Phrasebook
By: Hadrien Dhont, Lonely Planet Phrasebooks
Lonely Planet: The world's leading travel guide publisher Okay, so you can get around on lots of the Pacific islands with just English or French, but pack a little of the local languages and you'll be able to go beyond the 'one umbrella or two?'. Pack this guide for: Fiji, Hawaii, New Zealand, Samoa, Tahiti, Tonga Covers Fijian, Hawaiian, Maori, Samoan, Tahitian, Tongan and more Guide to pronunciation Tips on etiquette Food, numbers and getting around 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, Hadrien Dhont, John Mayer, Ana Betty Rapahango, Carrie Stipic Fawcett, William Liller, Naomi C Losch, Michael Simpson, and Darrell Tryon. 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)
The People of the Sea: Environment, Identity, and History in Oceania
By: Paul D'Arcy
Oceania is characterized by thousands of islands and archipelagoes amidst the vast expanse of the Pacific. Although it is one of the few truly oceanic habitats occupied permanently by humankind, surprisingly little research has been done on the maritime dimension of Pacific history. The People of the Sea attempts to fill this gap by combining neglected historical and scientific material to provide the first synthetic study of ocean-people interaction in the region from 1770 to 1870. It emphasizes Pacific Islanders' varied and evolving relationships with the sea during a crucial transitional era following sustained European contact. Countering the dominant paradigms of recent Pacific Islands' historiography, which tend to limit understanding of the sea's importance, this volume emphasizes the flux in the maritime environment and how it instilled an expectation and openness toward outside influences and the rapidity with which cultural change could occur in relations between various Islander groups. The author constructs an extended and detailed conceptual framework to examine the ways in which the sea has framed and shaped Islander societies. He looks closely at Islanders' diverse responses to their ocean environment, including the sea in daily life; sea travel and its infrastructure; maritime boundaries; protecting and contesting marine tenure; attitudes to unheralded seaborne arrivals; and conceptions of the world beyond the horizon and the willingness to voyage. He concludes by using this framework to reconsider the influence of the sea on historical processes in Oceania from 1770 to the present and discusses the implications of his findings for Pacific studies.
Gauguin Tahiti
By: Brand: MFA Publications
Now in paperback, Gauguin Tahiti offers an in-depth study of the fabled Polynesian years that have so defined our image of the painter. Alongside essays on every aspect of Gauguin's art, from the legendary canvases to his sculptures, ceramics and innovative graphic works, are discussions of the Polynesian society, culture and religion that helped shape them; an in-depth biographical narrative, with the many epiphanies, frustrations and discoveries that make his time in the South Seas one of the most mythologically potent episodes in Western art; and a chronicle of his changing fortunes in the century since his death. At the center of it all is Gauguin's 1897 masterpiece, "Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?," the crowning glory of his mature career, presented with unprecedented depth and authority. Over 100 years later, Gauguin remains one of the most enigmatic and attractive figures of nineteenth-century art, the very pivot of modernism, and Gauguin Tahiti portrays this crucial period of his life in all its color and drama. Of the hardback edition, John Richardson wrote in Vanity Fair: "This excellent catalogue sets the record straight." And writing in the New York Observer, Hilton Kramer declared it, "the most exhaustive account of the period that has ever been attempted in a single survey... well-written, scrupulously documented, and lavishly illustrated."
The Bounty: The True Story of the Mutiny on the Bounty
By: Caroline Alexander
More than two centuries after Master’s Mate Fletcher Christian led a mutiny against Lieutenant William Bligh on a small, armed transport vessel called Bounty, the true story of this enthralling adventure has become obscured by the legend. Combining vivid characterization and deft storytelling, Caroline Alexander shatters the centuries-old myths surrounding this story. She brilliantly shows how, in a desperate attempt to save one man from the gallows and another from ignominy, two powerful families came together and began to create the version of history we know today. The true story of the mutiny on the Bounty is an epic of duty and heroism, pride and power, and the assassination of a brave man’s honor at the dawn of the Romantic age.
Kon-Tiki: Across the Pacific in a Raft
By: Thor Heyerdahl
Now a major motion picture, Kon-Tiki is the record of Thor Heyerdahl’s astonishing three-month voyage across the Pacific.Kon-Tiki is the record of an astonishing adventure—a journey of 4,300 nautical miles across the Pacific Ocean by raft. Intrigued by Polynesian folklore, biologist Thor Heyerdahl suspected that the South Sea Islands had been settled by an ancient race from thousands of miles to the east, led by a mythical hero, Kon-Tiki. He decided to prove his theory by duplicating the legendary voyage. On April 28, 1947, Heyerdahl and five other adventurers sailed from Peru on a balsa log raft. After three months on the open sea, encountering raging storms, whales, and sharks, they sighted land—the Polynesian island of Puka Puka. Translated into sixty-five languages, Kon-Tiki is a classic, inspiring tale of daring and courage—a magnificent saga of men against the sea. This edition includes a foreword by the author and a unique visual essay of the voyage.
We, the Navigators: The Ancient Art of Landfinding in the Pacific
By: David Lewis
This new edition includes a discussion of theories about traditional methods of navigation developed during recent decades, the story of the renaissance of star navigation throughout the Pacific, and material about navigation systems in Indonesia, Siberia, and the Indian Ocean.
In the South Seas (Penguin Classics)
By: Robert Louis Stevenson
In the South Seas records Stevenson's travels with his wife Fanny and their family in the Marquesas, the Paumotus and the Gilbert Islands during 1888-9. Originally drafted in journal form while Stevenson travelled, it was then ambitiously rewrittento describe the islands and islanders as well as Stevenson's own personal experiences. In the South Seas was published posthumously in 1896. Its combination of personal anecdote and historical account, of autobiography and anthropology, of Stevenson and South Sea Islands, has a particular charm.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.
Headhunters on My Doorstep: A True Treasure Island Ghost Story
By: J. Maarten Troost
Follow in the footsteps of Robert Louis Stevenson with J. Maarten Troost, the bestselling author of The Sex Lives of Cannibals. Readers and critics alike adore J. Maarten Troost for his signature wry and witty take on the adventure memoir. Headhunters on My Doorstep chronicles Troost’s return to the South Pacific after his struggle with alcoholism left him numb to life. Deciding to retrace the path once traveled by the author of Treasure Island, Troost follows Robert Louis Stevenson to the Marquesas, the Tuamotus, Tahiti, Kiribati, and Samoa, tumbling from one comic misadventure to another. Headhunters on My Doorstep is a funny yet poignant account of one man’s journey to find himself that will captivate travel writing aficionados, Robert Louis Stevenson fans, and anyone who has ever lost his way.
The Fragile Edge: Diving and Other Adventures in the South Pacific
By: Julia Whitty
In The Fragile Edge, the documentary filmmaker and deep-sea diver Julia Whitty paints a mesmerizing, scientifically rich portrait of teeming coral reefs and sea life in the South Pacific. She takes us literally beneath the surface of the usual travel narrative, in an underwater equivalent of an African big-game safari. Hammerhead sharks rule a cascading chain of extraordinary creatures, from eagle rays to reef sharks, as the sound of courting humpback whales reverberates through the deep. Inspiring for both armchair and expert divers, The Fragile Edge reveals how science can extend our understanding of unfathomable waters, opening our eyes to the threats facing coral reefs and explaining why these fragile oases are vital to human survival. In this passionate, spiritual narrative of her adventures in the big blue, Julia Whitty emerges as one of our finest writers on the mystery, beauty, and fragility of the undersea world.
Tales of the South Pacific
By: James A. Michener
Tales of the South Pacific is the iconic, Pulitzer Prize–winning masterpiece that inspired a Broadway classic and launched the career of James A. Michener, one of America’s most beloved storytellers. This thrilling work invites the reader to enter the exotic world of the South Pacific and luxuriate in the endless ocean, the coconut palms, the waves breaking into spray against the reefs, the full moon rising behind the volcanoes. And yet here also are the men and women caught up in the heady drama of World War II: the young Marine who falls for a beautiful Tonkinese girl; the Navy nurse whose prejudices are challenged by a French aristocrat; and all the soldiers and sailors preparing for war against the seemingly peaceful backdrop of a tropical paradise.   Praise for James A. Michener and Tales of the South Pacific   “Truly one of the most remarkable books to come out of [World War II] . . . Michener is a born storyteller.”—The New York Times   “Riveting and emotional . . . Ever since James Michener wrote Tales of the South Pacific, the dreamers among us have been searching for our own Bali Ha’i.”—The Washington Post   “Atmospheric . . . [Tales of the South Pacific marks] the beginning of Michener’s long exploration of what happens when cultures connect, or fail to.”—Los Angeles Times   “Few writers changed the face of American fiction as profoundly as did James Michener.”—San Francisco ChronicleFrom the Paperback edition.
South Sea Tales (Oxford World's Classics)
By: Robert Louis Stevenson
In South Sea Tales Stevenson shows himself to be a virtuoso of narrative styles. But beyond their generic diversity the stories are linked by their concern with representing the multiracial society of which their author had become a member. In this collection--the first to bring together all his shorter Pacific fiction in one volume--Stevenson emerges as a witness both to the cross-cultural encounters of nineteenth-century imperialism and to the creation of the global culture which characterizes the post-colonial world.About the Series: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the broadest spectrum of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, voluminous notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
Reef Fishes of the Indo-Pacific
By: Matthias Bergbauer, Manuela Kirschner
The Indo-Pacific region is the dream destination for all SCUBA divers and snorkellers. The coral reefs in this region are bursting with marine life and are home to more animal species than any other diving spot in the world – more than 40 per cent of all coral reef fishes known worldwide. Added to this, the waters are crystal-clear, giving the best chance of viewing the underwater stars.  Top-quality, close-up photographs of each species (in some cases including juvenile or sub-adult variants) are accompanied by detailed information listing identifying features, size, biology and distribution. The introductory section focuses on specific types of behaviour, such as mimicry, cleaning stations and the symbiotic relationships between various species. The species descriptions that follow are grouped in three chapters on fishes, invertebrates, and reptiles and sea mammals. Covering Mauritius, Seychelles, the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Australia, Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia and describing over 800 species, this book is an invaluable identification guide.
A Field Guide to the Birds of Hawaii and the Tropical Pacific
By: H. Douglas Pratt, Phillip L. Bruner, Delwyn G. Berrett
This is the first field guide to the identification of the birds of the islands of the tropical Pacific, including the Hawaiian Islands, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, southeastern Polynesia, and Micronesia. It is intended both as a reference for the expert and as an introduction to birding in the region for the novice. Small enough to be carried afield, it contains much previously unpublished information about behavior, vocalizations, ecology, and distribution. The forty-five color plates depict all plumages of all bird species that breed in the islands, as well as of those that regularly visit them and the surrounding oceans, and of most species believed to be extinct on the islands. Black-and-white figures show many of the rarer visitors.Introductory sections discuss the tropical Pacific as an environment for birds, problems of birding on islands, and bird conservation. Appendixes include maps of the island groups and a thorough bibliography.
Reef and Shore Fishes of the South Pacific: New Caledonia to Tahiti and the Pitcairn Islands
By: John E. Randall
The South Pacific has long been in need of a comprehensive guide to reef and shore fishes. This volume covers the inshore fish fauna of New Caledonia, the Loyalty Islands, the southern Gilbert Islands (Kiribati), Tuvalu, Fiji, the Wallis Islands, Tonga, Samoa, American Samoa, the Tokelau Islands, the Phoenix Islands, the Cook Islands, the Austral Islands, Rapa, the Society Islands, the Tuamoto Archipelago, the Marquesas Islands, and the Pitcairn Islands. It contains accounts of nearly 1,500 species of fishes, illustrated with more than 2,000 color photographs, taken mostly underwater. (A few drab species are illustrated by only black and white photographs or drawings.) Species accounts are headed by the English common name, the scientific name, the author or authors who described the fish, and the date of the description. This is followed by a concise list of the characteristics needed to identify the species, the total length it attains, its distribution, habitat, and in summary form what may be known of its biology. More than 600 references are given for those seeking more information on individual species. The introduction contains a two-page color spread of the main external features of fishes. An extensive glossary of scientific terms precedes the index.
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

  • All accommodations (based on double occupancy) 
  • Expertise of a Smithsonian Journeys Expert, Travel Director(s), and local guides throughout the tour.
  • Meals, including special Welcome and Farewell Receptions, as noted in the itinerary (B-breakfast; L-lunch; R-reception; D-dinner).
  • Air included from Los Angeles (Economy Class).
  • All alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks included throughout the cruise.
  • All sightseeing and visits as noted in the itinerary.
  • Pre-tour information, including a reading list.
  • Gratuities to local guides, ship staff and drivers.
  • All on-tour transportation unless otherwise noted.
  • Transfers and luggage handling abroad for all participants whose arrival(s)/departure(s) coincide with the scheduled group transfer(s).
  • 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).

What Is Not Included in the Tour Cost

  • Passport fees, visas, and visa photos as required.
  • Personal items such as wines, liquors, à la carte orders, meals other than specified.
  • Gratuities to hotel staff.
  • Expenses incurred by our tour operators in making travel arrangements in conjunction with the tour.
  • Any optional excursions available at additional cost.
  • Additional flights to/from Los Angeles.
  • Taxes.
  • 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

Space is reserved in the order of receipt of phone or web reservations.

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

Submitting an online request does not guarantee space on a tour. You will be notified of your status when your request has been received and processed. Please note: No new registrations can be accepted within 30 days of most tours. Some tours are more restrictive; please see individual tour pages for these exceptions.

To complete your request, the following is necessary:

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

Payments
Deposit of $1,000 per person, per tour, payable by check or major credit card, to the tour operator is required to reserve a space on a tour. Deposits are applied to payment of the program price.

Balance due upon invoicing at least 95 days prior to the program. If full payment is not received by the final payment due date, your place cannot be guaranteed on the tour.

Late Registration
Any registration received within 95 days of departure is considered a "late registration" and must be subject to special confirmation. Payment in full must be made immediately by credit card or by check and sent by overnight mail to the tour operator before confirmation is possible.

Once confirmed, cancellation penalties apply as set forth below. If confirmation is not possible, all payments made will be refunded in full.

Late registration confirmation procedures apply to any participant who is transferred from the wait list to the program within the designated late registration period for that program.

For additional information, please call a Reservations Specialist at 855-330-1542, Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) or visit www.SmithsonianJourneys.org/Contact.

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

Wait List

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

Cancellation and Refund Policy

Per person cancellation fees are based on the date of notice to Smithsonian Journeys.

  • Cancellation within 7 days of booking (if not within final payment date): full refund.
  • Cancellation after 7 days of booking: $1,000 retained; $200 pre/post cruise optional extension retained (entire deposit).
  • Final payment due: 95 days before departure.
  • Cancellation made less than 95 days prior to departure: no refund.
  • Cancellation by the Smithsonian: full refund.
  • No refund for unused portions of the tour, including but not limited to, missed meals, hotel nights, and sightseeing.

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

Air Service

For tours that include round-trip international airfare, rates are based on economy class from designated departure cities as shown. Airfares from other cities are available upon request.  Airline upgrades at additional cost may be available on request for the international portion of your flight. If an air schedule requires an overnight stay in a gateway city, or otherwise because of a flight delay, the cost of the overnight will be at your expense. For tours that include round-trip international airfare, we will be happy to help with arrangements.

Air Service/Tickets Purchased Independently of the Tour

International and domestic air schedules are subject to change at any time.  If you make your own airline reservations, we recommend that you do not purchase nonrefundable tickets or tickets with high fees for changes. We urge you to check airline cancellation fees before purchasing airline tickets since international departure times and flights can change. Neither the Smithsonian Institution nor the tour operator accepts liability for cancellation fees related to domestic or international airline tickets.

Travel Insurance Cancellation/Delay/Lost Baggage

Smithsonian Journeys recommends that all participants purchase travel insurance.  Smithsonian Journeys provides the following travel coverages with Travel Guard as part of your trip.

Limit (Maximum per person)

·   Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation of Remains up to $100,000

·   Emergency Medical Expenses up to $25,000

·   Emergency Dental Expenses up to $500

The Evacuation/Repatriation provides coverage for emergency air and ground transportation due to a serious illness or injury.  You also have worldwide access to a 24-hour travel assistance hotline if you need help with lost documents, cash transfers, and other travel-related problems.

IMPORTANT: Smithsonian Journeys offers an optional, travel insurance plan which will cover you for trip cancellation, interruption, and/or delay; baggage loss, theft, damage or delay; accident and/or sickness, medical expenses, and accidental death. To learn more, visit www.TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys or call 800-208-6142. Please consider this or other coverage.  Many insurance and HMO/PPO plans offer reduced benefits when traveling internationally and Medicare does not provide coverage outside of the U.S. 

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 you are a U.S. citizen and 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 certain international departures, a passport valid for at least six months after the completion of your tour, and/or with at least six blank visa pages, is required for U.S. citizens. The U.S. Department of State no longer will add visa pages into U.S. passports. 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 strongly recommend the “Learn about your destination” section on the U.S. Department of State travel website www.travel.state.gov. For medical information, we strongly 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 Program 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, itinerary changes, speakers, experts, places visited, and services for any stated in the itinerary.

Every effort will be made to carry out the tour as planned but alterations may still occur after the final itinerary has been sent to you. Please note that weather and other conditions may force changes to the advertised sailing schedule on cruise tours. The ship’s captain has the authority to change the ship’s schedule. Smithsonian Journeys and the tour operator reserve the right to substitute motorcoach transportation use, hotels, inns or lodges for cruise accommodations if necessary due to weather, water conditions or levels, other events of force majeure, mechanical, or other conditions beyond their control.

Hotel Accommodations

Smithsonian Journeys chooses hotels based on a combination of location, service, atmosphere, and price. On adventure tours and tours in out-of-the-way places, best-available hotels are used. Tour prices are based on two persons sharing a room with a bath.

Singles and Roommates

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

Children

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

Special Travel Arrangements

Participants may wish to extend their stay in the group hotel either before or after the tour. Our tour operator will work with you on these arrangements, dependent upon space availability.  Your pre-tour bulletins will further explain all options.

Should you decide not to participate in certain parts of the tour or use certain goods included in the tour, no refunds will be made for those unused parts of the tour or goods.

Dispute Resolution

This paragraph relates solely to the tour operator (Thomas P. Gohagan & Company). You agree that any dispute between you and the tour operator (but not between you and the Smithsonian Institution) concerning, relating or referring to these Terms and Conditions, the brochure or any other literature concerning your tour, or the touritself, shall be resolved exclusively by binding arbitration pursuant to the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. §§1-16, either according to the then existing Commercial Rules of the American Arbitration Association (AAA) or pursuant to the Comprehensive Arbitration Rules & Procedures of the Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services, Inc. (JAMS). Such proceedings will be governed by substantive (but not procedural) Illinois law and will take place in Chicago, IL. The arbitrator and not any federal, state, or local court or agency shall have exclusive authority to resolve any dispute between you and the tour operator (but not between you and the Smithsonian Institution) relating to the interpretation, applicability, enforceability, conscionability, or formation of this contract, including but not limited to any claim that all or any part of this contract is void or voidable. By agreeing to these terms and conditions, you (and we) are waiving our right to a trial by jury.

Any action or legal proceeding against the Smithsonian Institution in connection with your trip shall be brought only in a United States federal court of competent jurisdiction.

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 in certain hotels or aboard ship. There is no smoking aboard the ship, and some hotels may not allow smoking anywhere on the property. 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 travelers a wide array of educational travel opportunities. The tour operator books services of independent suppliers for transportation, accommodations, and other services. Neither the Smithsonian Institution nor the tour operator is 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 to 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.

Thomas P. Gohagan & Company and its employees, shareholders, subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, directors or trustees, successors and assigns (“Gohagan”) and Smithsonian Institution and its  Regents, officers, employees, representatives, agents, successors, and assigns (“Smithsonian”) do not own or operate any entity which is to or does provide goods or services for your tour including, for example, lodging facilities, airline, vessel, or other transportation companies, guides or guide services, local ground operators, providers or organizers of optional excursions, food service or entertainment providers, etc.  All such persons and entities are independent contractors.  As a result, neither Gohagan nor Smithsonian is liable for any negligent or willful act or failure to act of any such person or entity or of any other third party.

  

In addition and without limitation, neither Gohagan nor Smithsonian is responsible for any injury, loss, death, inconvenience, delay, or damage to persons or property in connection with the provision of any goods or services whether resulting from, but not limited to, acts of force majeure, acts of government, acts of war or civil unrest, insurrection or revolt, bites from or attacks by animals, insects or pests, strikes or other labor activities, criminal or terrorist activities of any kind or the threat thereof, sickness, illness, epidemics or the threat thereof, the lack of availability of or access to medical attention or the quality thereof, overbooking or downgrading of accommodations, mechanical or other failure of airplanes, vessels, or other means of transportation, or for any failure of any transportation mechanism to arrive or depart timely or safely. 

AS A CONDITION OF ACCEPTANCE OF ANY APPLICATION, EACH APPLICANT MUST AGREE TO THE STATEMENT SET FORTH BELOW:

The reader 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 including the Dispute Resolution paragraph as set forth in the tour materials, and recognizes and accepts any risk associated with the tour as well as the conditions, including the refund policy, set forth in the tour materials. The reader further acknowledges that there are many risks and uncertainties inherent in any travel tour, including but not limited to acts of force majeure, the hazards of various modes of transportation, forces of nature, acts or omissions of foreign governments, terrorism, war or insurrection, theft, other criminal conduct, illness, inadequate medical facilities and difficulty in evacuation to same, and damage to persons 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 the Smithsonian, the United States, and/or Gohagan. 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.