Experience a journey of a lifetime as you visit two continents and travel by rail across nearly 4,000 miles to experience ever-changing landscapes and the fascinating cultures between Mongolia and Moscow.

Starting at: $16,995 Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 The <i>Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express</i>, traveling along Lake Baikal  Mongolian nomad on the steppes  Traditional landscape in Mongolia with <i>ger</i> and livestock  Archer at the Naadam Festival, Mongolia.  Credit: Barbara York  Naadam Festival wrestlers  National Horse Guard in ceremonial dress, Naadam Festival  Village along Lake Baikal  Main street in Ulan Ude  Traditional and modern architecture of Yekaterinburg  The Kremlin in Kazan  Sky blue domes of the Annunciation Cathedral in the Kazan Kremlin  St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow  View of Moscow's Kremlin  Cabin aboard the <i>Golden Eagle</i>  Lounge aboard the <i>Golden Eagle</i>

The Trans-Siberian Express

Private Train Journey from Mongolia to Moscow featuring the Naadam Festival Aboard the Golden Eagle

14 days from $16,995

Experience a journey of a lifetime as you visit two continents and travel by rail across nearly 4,000 miles to experience ever-changing landscapes and the fascinating cultures between Mongolia and Moscow.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

TOUR BROCHURE

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WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

This was a wonderful trip. I thoroughly benefited from my time with Smithsonian.  An added bonus is that so many people on the tour are knowledgeable that we learn from each other. 

- Barbara H.

All in all this was an outstanding adventure—unique background information, excellent city guides, and also all the attention to detail and safety was greatly appreciated.  Would urge anyone to take this Journey and experience the vastness of Russia. 

- Pat R.

I really enjoyed this trip and will recommend it to my friends.  The was just ‘as advertised,’ the voyage of a lifetime by private train.  A unique experience with the most professional and personable staff.

- Ken T.

This was an outstanding tour full of very unique experiences and an incredible trip. Enjoyed nature at Lake Baikal and the wildflowers in full bloom; the folk culture at the Nadaam, the village life re-enacted near Irtursk and Lake Baikal, the special concerts at Novosibirsk and Moscow, the dinosaur museum. It was like having eight or ten superb vacations in a single tour!

- Clara Z.

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

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Accommodations

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

Shangri-La Hotel Ulaanbaatar

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Located in the heart of Mongolia’s capital city, Shangri-La Hotel Ulaanbaatar is a luxurious sanctuary. Each well-appointed guest room offers panoramic views of either the city or nearby park and boasts a stunning fusion of contemporary and local design styles. Dine at one of the hotel’s international restaurants or recharge in the fitness center.

Number of nights: 3



Ararat Park Hyatt Hotel

Moscow, Russian Federation

The Ararat Park Hyatt Hotel is located near the Bolshoi Theater, the Kremlin and Red Square. Its spacious and luxurious rooms are equipped with all the amenities needed for an enjoyable stay. The conservatory lounge and bar offer uninterrupted views of the Bolshoi Theater and the Kremlin. Throughout the hotel, collections of original paintings by Armenian and Russian artists can be found. The spa facilities offer an array of treatments for optimum relaxation and enjoyment.

Number of nights: 1

Activity Level

Activity Level 3: Moderate / Active


Expectations: Longer trip featuring an exotic and sometimes challenging destination, with eight nights aboard a luxurious, historic train that crosses nearly 4,000 miles from start to finish. Train travel requires balance for navigating a moving train for an extended period; the restaurant and bar cars may be some distance from the sleeping cars. Travelers may encounter challenges getting on and off trains due to low platforms, steep steps, and or gaps between the platform and train. Long days of touring with daily activity of four to six hours on most days with extended walking of generally two to three miles. Walking entails sometimes difficult terrain (uneven surfaces, uneven steps in older buildings, city hills, steep staircases without handrails, little access to elevators), walking to city centers where coaches are prohibited, and navigating through crowds such as the Naadam Festival. Excursions in Mongolia will involve driving over rough, unpaved roads. This tour entails altitudes up to 6,000 feet, which may cause some travelers additional effort. The daytime temperatures can range from 60 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit during the tour, depending on the location. Flexibility, a sense of humor, and a willingness to accept local standards of amenities and services are essential components to the enjoyment of this trip.  

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

2019 Tour Extension

St. Petersburg Post-Program Extension — 5 Days, 4 Nights (July 22-26, 2019)

Day 1 — Moscow 

Begin the day with a ride on Moscow’s Metro system, one of the largest in the world.  The first Metro station opened in 1935, and today there are some 200 of them along the 200 miles of track, serving nearly 2.5 billion travelers each year.  The stations in the city center are showpieces of Socialist art, furnished with statues, frescoes and mosaics, and with marbled, gilded, and bronzed walls and ceilings.  Some of the more elaborate are Kievskaya Station, its walls clad in framed mosaics showing happy Ukrainians under golden skies; Ploshchad Revolutsii, its black Georgian marble setting off bronze sculptures of Russian workers and soldiers; and Mayakovsky Station, with its slender stainless steel pylons and graceful arches forming domes filled with mosaics. Stalin gave his Anniversary of the October Revolution speech here in 1941, deep underground where he was safe from air raids.

Exit the metro near Andronikov Monastery. Established in 1357, the monastery guarded the steep slopes of Moscow’s Yauza River. The city’s oldest remaining cathedral, the Savior Cathedral, built from 1420 to 1427, still stands here, having undergone a Soviet reconstruction that removed any post-1427 additions. Closed in 1917 and used as a prison, the monastery was declared a national monument in 1947, and in 1985 the Andrei Rublev Museum of Ancient Russian Culture and Art was opened on its premises. The museum includes an invaluable collection of icons from the Rostov, Vladimir, Novgorod, Ryazan and other Russian regions, and also displays collections of sacred articles and needlework ornamented with gems, gold, and pearls.

Following lunch, tour the State History Museum. Each hall of the renovated saw-toothed red brick building at the northern end of Red Square is lavishly decorated in a different historical or regional style. The huge collection focuses on the Russian Empire from its prehistoric Neandertal beginnings through the unification of the area’s different indigenous groups into the Kievan Rus and beyond to the present day. Highlights are a 5000-year-old longboat found near the Volga River, golden Scythian equestrian armor from the 1st century BC and Napoleon’s bed.

Enjoy a free evening in preparation for the journey to St. Petersburg tomorrow.  Dinner tonight is on your own. (B,L)

Day 2 — Moscow • Train to St. Petersburg

Following breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the railway station for departure to St. Petersburg by an express train. Upon arrival in St. Petersburg, transfer to the city-center hotel for a three-night stay.

The lavish pre-revolutionary palaces and churches of St. Petersburg have been renovated with flair and reverence.  Daily life swirls around the city’s main boulevard, famed Nevsky Prospect, where lanky fashion models in stiletto heels brush past stout kerchiefed babushkas, or grandmothers.  With its tenacious underground current of edgy energy, St. Petersburg is a fundamental lesson in apprehending the spirit of Russia. Reminisce on your Trans-Siberian journey with fellow travelers at dinner this evening. (B,D)  

Days 3  — St. Petersburg

This morning travel by hydrofoil to Peterhof. Peter the Great sketched the original drawings for the beautiful Sea Canal, laid out strictly north and south, and forming a marine entrance to the Grand Palace from the Gulf of Finland. At the terminus of the canal is the Grand Cascade, its double set of stairs pouring water into the Lower Grotto, where a gilded Samson pries open the jaws of a lion from which water jets up to 60 feet.

Peter the Great’s fountains are Peterhof’s main attraction. More than 150 glistening, gilded, sculpted marble, granite and limestone fountains and cascades adorn the Lower Park. The gravity-fed collection pools in Peterhof’s Upper Garden discharge their waters nearly 50 feet down to the Lower Park’s cascades and jets, creating enormous force and powering fountains all over the park.

Drive to the nearby Pushkin for lunch, followed by the afternoon visit to Catherine’s Palace, originally built in 1717. In 1752, famed architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli enlarged and embellished the palace, extending the facade to its current grandeur.  The estate and palace buildings were almost completely destroyed by the Germans during World War II, but they have been carefully and expertly restored into a brilliant architectural monument.

The fully restored Amber Room in Catherine’s Palace has been years in the making. The wall coverings of amber panels, created in the time of Peter the Great, were taken by the Nazis during the Second World War and never recovered. The beautifully crafted amber panels we see today were re-created from photos and descriptions of the originals, and have become one of the highlights of Catherine’s Palace.

Upon completion of the tour, return to the hotel for a free evening. (B,L)

Day 4 —  St. Petersburg

This morning, visit St. Isaac’s Cathedral, an architectural feat that took 40 years to complete. The 48 red granite columns around the lower part of the building each weigh 110 tons and the upper columns around the rotunda weigh 67 tons apiece.  The dome is covered with 220 pounds of gold, and the interior columns faced with lapis lazuli and malachite. The cathedral is bursting with sculptures, frescoes, stained glass works, and woodcarvings.

Later, visit the Church of the Savior on the Blood, built on the spot where Czar Alexander II was felled by a bomb in 1881, and commissioned in the style of St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow by his son and successor, Alexander III. Just off Nevsky Prospekt, the emblematic cathedral with its blue and green patterned domes has become a symbol of St. Petersburg. The interior walls and cupolas are covered in fine mosaics of Biblical scenes, and four jasper columns mark the spot where the czar fell.

In the afternoon take a guided tour of the Hermitage Museum. The Winter Palace, part of the Hermitage ensemble, was built in 1754-62 as the principal home of the czars and was lavishly rebuilt in 1839 after it was destroyed by fire. Originally a small private palace gallery founded by Catherine the Great with a purchase of 255 paintings from Berlin, the Hermitage today houses one of the largest museum collections in the world. It includes works by Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Titian, Rembrandt, Rubens, the French Impressionists, Van Gogh, Matisse, Gauguin, and Picasso. The fabulous rooms with their inlaid floors and gilded woodwork and the grand double entry staircase are works of art in themselves.

Gather tonight for a farewell dinner to toast the completion of your Trans-Siberian adventure. (B,L,D)

Day 5 —  Depart St. Petersburg

Transfer to the airport this morning for international departures.

Ararat Park Hyatt Hotel — Moscow

The Ararat Park Hyatt Hotel is located near the Bolshoi Theater, the Kremlin and Red Square.  Its spacious and luxurious rooms are equipped with all the amenities needed for an enjoyable stay.  The conservatory lounge and bar offer uninterrupted views of the Bolshoi Theater and the Kremlin.  Throughout the hotel, collections of original paintings by Armenian and Russian artists can be found.  The spa facilities offer an array of treatments for optimum relaxation and enjoyment. 

Kempinski Moika 22 — St. Petersburg

The Kempinski Hotel Moika 22 is housed in a pre-revolutionary mansion on the Moika Embankment just across from the Hermitage.  Its renovated interior is furnished with a mix of classic and antique pieces.  Amenities include the ninth floor Bellevue Bar with beautiful views over the city, the Beau Rivage restaurant featuring fine dining, a rooftop Wellness Center and a Tea Room where a Russian/English high tea is offered every day.  Rooms include satellite TV, wireless and cable Internet, minibar, hairdryers, heated bathroom floors, and bathrobes.

Train

Golden Eagle Train

A true highlight of The Trans-Siberian Express train journey is the legendary train itself. The Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express private train, which travels between Mongolia and Moscow, is the most comfortable train available for this adventurous journey. Dining cars provide traditional Russian and European cuisine and the bar/ lounge car is a relaxing place to gather with other guests. The train offers a choice of comfort levels with different styles of sleeping cars. Each car features two attendants and each cabin offers well-appointed convertible berths, modern amenities, air- conditioning, and private bathroom/shower. 

  • Silver Class: Silver Class cabins are more compact than Gold Class cabins with similar facilities. Silver Class cabins feature the same amenities as Gold Class cabins but in a smaller space. 
  • Gold Class: Gold Class cabins are well-proportioned and feature modern en suite amenities including power showers, under floor heating, a DVD/CD player, LCD screen, remote-controlled air-conditioning/heating, recessed lighting and wardrobe and a personal safe. Each cabin is configured with upper and lower berths, and can accommodate double, twin or single occupancy.
  • Imperial Suite: Imperial Suites are the most beautiful and spacious cabins available onboard the Golden Eagle. Measuring a surprising 120 sq ft (11.1 sq meters), they are furnished with a luxurious king size bed, dedicated seating area, dressing table and private en-suite facilities with large power shower and under floor heating. Individual air-conditioning, wardrobe, DVD/CD player with LCD screen and two large picture windows make the cabin a pleasant retreat.
  • Dining Cars feature local and European cuisine complemented by a selection of local and European wines. Dining cars are multi-purpose, used for on-board lectures and viewing documentaries. One or more dining cars may be included in the train formation of any given departure depending on the number of passengers. 
  • The Bar/Lounge Car is a favorite destination in the train formation and is typically included on most departures. The lounge offers a relaxing and comfortable area where you can enjoy a drink, take language lessons, and gather around the piano with other passengers. 

 Lounge aboard the <i>Golden Eagle</i>  Cabin aboard the <i>Golden Eagle</i>  Members of the <i>Golden Eagle</i> train personnel  Dine aboard the <i>Golden Eagle</i>

Golden Eagle Train

A true highlight of The Trans-Siberian Express train journey is the legendary train itself. The Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express private train, which travels between Mongolia and Moscow, is the most comfortable train available for this adventurous journey. Dining cars provide traditional Russian and European cuisine and the bar/ lounge car is a relaxing place to gather with other guests. The train offers a choice of comfort levels with different styles of sleeping cars. Each car features two attendants and each cabin offers well-appointed convertible berths, modern amenities, air- conditioning, and private bathroom/shower. 

  • Silver Class: Silver Class cabins are more compact than Gold Class cabins with similar facilities. Silver Class cabins feature the same amenities as Gold Class cabins but in a smaller space. 
  • Gold Class: Gold Class cabins are well-proportioned and feature modern en suite amenities including power showers, under floor heating, a DVD/CD player, LCD screen, remote-controlled air-conditioning/heating, recessed lighting and wardrobe and a personal safe. Each cabin is configured with upper and lower berths, and can accommodate double, twin or single occupancy.
  • Imperial Suite: Imperial Suites are the most beautiful and spacious cabins available onboard the Golden Eagle. Measuring a surprising 120 sq ft (11.1 sq meters), they are furnished with a luxurious king size bed, dedicated seating area, dressing table and private en-suite facilities with large power shower and under floor heating. Individual air-conditioning, wardrobe, DVD/CD player with LCD screen and two large picture windows make the cabin a pleasant retreat.
  • Dining Cars feature local and European cuisine complemented by a selection of local and European wines. Dining cars are multi-purpose, used for on-board lectures and viewing documentaries. One or more dining cars may be included in the train formation of any given departure depending on the number of passengers. 
  • The Bar/Lounge Car is a favorite destination in the train formation and is typically included on most departures. The lounge offers a relaxing and comfortable area where you can enjoy a drink, take language lessons, and gather around the piano with other passengers. 

 Lounge aboard the <i>Golden Eagle</i>  Cabin aboard the <i>Golden Eagle</i>  Members of the <i>Golden Eagle</i> train personnel  Dine aboard the <i>Golden Eagle</i>
Testimonials

WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

This was a wonderful trip. I thoroughly benefited from my time with Smithsonian.  An added bonus is that so many people on the tour are knowledgeable that we learn from each other. 

- Barbara H.

All in all this was an outstanding adventure—unique background information, excellent city guides, and also all the attention to detail and safety was greatly appreciated.  Would urge anyone to take this Journey and experience the vastness of Russia. 

- Pat R.

I really enjoyed this trip and will recommend it to my friends.  The was just ‘as advertised,’ the voyage of a lifetime by private train.  A unique experience with the most professional and personable staff.

- Ken T.

This was an outstanding tour full of very unique experiences and an incredible trip. Enjoyed nature at Lake Baikal and the wildflowers in full bloom; the folk culture at the Nadaam, the village life re-enacted near Irtursk and Lake Baikal, the special concerts at Novosibirsk and Moscow, the dinosaur museum. It was like having eight or ten superb vacations in a single tour!

- Clara Z.
Reading List
In Siberia
By: Colin Thubron
As mysterious as its beautiful, as forbidding as it is populated with warm-hearted people, Syberia is a land few Westerners know, and even fewer will ever visit. Traveling alone, by train, boat, car, and on foot, Colin Thubron traversed this vast territory, talking to everyone he encountered about the state of the beauty, whose natural resources have been savagely exploited for decades; a terrain tainted by nuclear waste but filled with citizens who both welcomed him and fed him—despite their own tragic poverty. From Mongoloia to the Artic Circle, from Rasputin's village in the west through tundra, taiga, mountains, lakes, rivers, and finally to a derelict Jewish community in the country's far eastern reaches, Colin Thubron penetrates a little-understood part of the world in a way that no writer ever has.
Dersu the Trapper (Recovered Classics)
By: V. K. Arsen'ev, V. K. Arseniev
Vladimir Klavdievich Arseniev (1872-1930) undertook twelve major scientific expeditions between 1902 and 1930 in the Siberian Far East, and authored some sixty works from the geographical, geological, botanical, and ethnographic data he amassed. Among these, Dersu the Trapper has earned a privileged place in Russian literature. In this Russian counterpart to The Journals of Lewis and Clark and the novels of James Fenimore Cooper, Arseniev combines the precise observations of a naturalist with an exciting narrative of real-life adventure. Arseniev describes three explorations in the Ussurian taiga along the Sea of Japan above Vladivostok, beginning with his first encounter of the solitary aboriginal hunter named Dersu, a member of the Gold tribe, who thereafter becomes his guide. Each expedition is beset with hardship and danger: through blizzard and flood and assorted deprivations, these two men forge an exceptional friendship in their mutual respect for the immense grandeur of the wilderness. But the bridges across language, race and culture also have limitations, and the incursion of civilization exacts its toll. Dersu the Trapper is at once a witnessing of Russia's last frontier and a poignant memoir of rare cross-cultural understanding. Originally published in 1941, this English translation is reprinted in its entirety now for the first time.
Trans-Siberian Handbook: The guide to the world's longest railway journey with 90 maps and guides to the rout, cities and towns in Russia, Mongolia & China
By: Bryn Thomas
A trip across Siberia on the longest continuous railway track in the world is undoubtedly the journey of a lifetime. It's also a convenient way to reach China, Mongolia or Japan. Tickets are not expensive or difficult to arrange.This acclaimed guide shows you how to organise a trip, where to get tickets, where to stay and what to see. Practical information – planning your trip; what to take; getting to Russia from Europe, North America and AustralasiaKilometre-by-kilometre route guides covering the entire routes of the Trans-Siberian, Trans-Manchurian, Trans-Mongolian and Siberian BAM railways with 49 strip maps in English, Russian and Chinese: see where you are as you travel.City guides and maps – the best sights, places to stay and restaurants for all budgets: Moscow, St Petersburg, Ulaan Baatar, Beijing and 32 towns in Siberia; plus Lake Baikal guideSiberia and the railway – the detailed history of Siberia, the construction and the running of the railway today are of great interest not only to visitors but also to armchair travellers.With 90 maps – plus timetables, fares, Russian & Chinese phrasesNew 9th edition a new 16pp color introduction and trip planner
Lonely Planet Trans-Siberian Railway (Travel Guide)
By: Lonely Planet, Simon Richmond, Greg Bloom, Marc Di Duca, Anthony Haywood, Michael Kohn, Tom Masters, Daniel McCrohan, Regis St Louis, Mara Vorhees
Lonely Planet: The world's leading travel guide publisher Lonely Planet Trans-Siberian Railway is your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Get to know your fellow passengers or just gaze through the window at the unfurling landscape, gawk at Moscow's Kremlin or glimpse Lake Baikal, Russia's sacred sea; all with your trusted travel companion. Get to the heart of the Trans-Siberian Railway and begin your journey now! Inside Lonely Planet's Trans-Siberian Railway Travel Guide: Colour maps and images throughout Highlights and itineraries help you tailor your trip to your personal needs and interests Insider tips to save time and money and get around like a local, avoiding crowds and trouble spots Essential info at your fingertips - hours of operation, phone numbers, websites, transit tips, prices Honest reviews for all budgets - eating, sleeping, sight-seeing, going out, shopping, hidden gems that most guidebooks miss Cultural insights give you a richer, more rewarding travel experience - the history of the railway, history of Siberian travel, Russian culture & cuisine, Mongolian culture & cuisine, Chinese culture & cuisine, landscapes & wildlife Over 60 maps Covers Moscow, St Petersburg Beijing, the Trans-Siberian, Trans-Mongolian, Trans-Manchurian and Baikal-Amur Mainline routes and more The Perfect Choice: Lonely Planet Trans-Siberian Railway, our most comprehensive guide to the Trans-Siberian Railway, is perfect for both exploring top sights and taking roads less travelled. Looking for a guide focused on Russia or China? Check out Lonely Planet's Russia guide or China guide for a comprehensive look at all these countries have to offer; Discover China, a photo-rich guide to the country's most popular attractions; or Pocket Beijing, a handy-sized guide focused on the can't-miss sights for a quick trip Authors: Written and researched by Lonely Planet, Simon Richmond, Greg Bloom, Marc Di Duca, Anthony Haywood, Michael Kohn, Shawn Low, Tom Masters, Daniel McCrohan, Leonid Ragozin, Regis St Louis, Mara Vorhees About Lonely Planet: Since 1973, Lonely Planet has become the world's leading travel media company with guidebooks to every destination, an award-winning website, mobile and digital travel products, and a dedicated traveller community. Lonely Planet covers must-see spots but also enables curious travellers to get off beaten paths to understand more of the culture of the places in which they find themselves.
Gulag: A History
By: Anne Applebaum
In this magisterial and acclaimed history, Anne Applebaum offers the first fully documented portrait of the Gulag, from its origins in the Russian Revolution, through its expansion under Stalin, to its collapse in the era of glasnost. The Gulag--a vast array of Soviet concentration camps that held millions of political and criminal prisoners--was a system of repression and punishment that terrorized the entire society, embodying the worst tendencies of Soviet communism. Applebaum intimately re-creates what life was like in the camps and links them to the larger history of the Soviet Union. Immediately recognized as a landmark and long-overdue work of scholarship, Gulag is an essential book for anyone who wishes to understand the history of the twentieth century.
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
Siberia: A Cultural History (Landscapes of the Imagination)
By: A.J. Haywood
Before Russians crossed the Urals Mountains in the sixteenth century to settle their "colony" in North Asia, they heard rumors about bountiful fur, of bizarre people without eyes who ate by shrugging their shoulders and of a land where trees exploded from cold. This region of frozen tundra, endless forest, and humming steppe between the Urals and the Pacific Ocean was a vast, strange, and frightening paradise. It was Siberia.Siberia is a cradle of civilizations, the birthplace of ancient Turkic empires and home to the cultures of indigenes, including peoples whose ancestors migrated to the Americas. It was a promised land to which bonded peasants could flee their cruel masters, yet also a snow-covered "white hell" across which exiles shuffled in felt shoes and chains. In Stalin's era, Siberia became synonymous with the gulag; today, it is a vast region of bustling metropolises and magnificent landscapes: a place where the humdrum, the beautiful, and the bizarre ignite the imagination. Tracing the historical contours of Siberia, A. J. Haywood offers a detailed account of the architectural and cultural landmarks of cities such as Irkutsk, Tobolsk, Barnaul, and Novosibirsk.MAGNIFICENT RIVERS AND LAKES: Lake Baikal, the Ob, Irtysh, Yenisey, Angara, Lena and Amur rivers. Writer Anton Chekhov described some, polar explorer Fridtjof Nansen and the eccentric British merchant captain Joseph Wiggins navigated others.THE CITIES AND THE RAILWAY: High fashion and low life, traffic-choked streets, and chimney stacks. Siberia's cities bring a madding crowd far into the remote taiga-linked by the Trans-Siberian Railway, the nineteenth-century "camel track."MYSTICS, MOUNTAINS AND ANCIENT CIVILIZATIONSNikolay Rerikh sought the mystical kingdom of Shambhala here, Russian writer Valentin Rasputin was confused by its beauty, while local Altaians themselves see their republic of mountains and steppe as a Central Asian heaven on earth.
The Conquest of a Continent: Siberia and the Russians
By: Bruce Lincoln
"In The Conquest of a Continent, the historian W. Bruce Lincoln details Siberia's role in Russian history, one remarkably similar to that of the frontier in the development of the United States. . . . It is a big, panoramic book, in keeping with the immensity of its subject."―Chicago Tribune"Lincoln is a compelling writer whose chapters are colorful snapshots of Siberia's past and present. . . . The Conquest of a Continent is a vivid narrative that will inform and entertain the broader reading public."―American Historical Review"This story includes Genghis Khan, who sent the Mongols warring into Russia; Ivan the Terrible, who conquered Siberia for Russia; Peter the Great, who supported scientific expeditions and mining enterprises; and Mikhail Gorbachev, whose glasnost policy prompted a new sense of 'Siberian' nationalism. It is also the story of millions of souls who themselves were conquered by Siberia. . . . Vast riches and great misery, often intertwined, mark this region."―The Wall Street JournalStretching from the Urals to the Arctic Ocean to China, Siberia is so vast that the continental United States and Western Europe could be fitted into its borders, with land to spare. Yet, in only six decades, Russian trappers, cossacks, and adventurers crossed this huge territory, beginning in the 1580s a process of conquest that continues to this day. As rich in resources as it was large in size, Siberia brought the Russians a sixth of the world's gold and silver, a fifth of its platinum, a third of its iron, and a quarter of its timber. The conquest of Siberia allowed Russia to build the modern world's largest empire, and Siberia's vast natural wealth continues to play a vital part in determining Russia's place in international affairs.Bleak yet romantic, Siberia's history comes to life in W. Bruce Lincoln's epic telling. The Conquest of a Continent, first published in 1993, stands as the most comprehensive and vivid account of the Russians in Siberia, from their first victories over the Mongol Khans to the environmental degradation of the twentieth century. Dynasties of incomparable wealth, such as the Stroganovs, figure into the story, as do explorers, natives, gold seekers, and the thousands of men and women sentenced to penal servitude or forced labor in Russia's great wilderness prisonhouse.
To the Edge of the World: The Story of the Trans-Siberian Express, the World's Greatest Railroad
By: Christian Wolmar
To the Edge of the World is an adventure in travel—full of extraordinary personalities, more than a century of explosive political, economic, and cultural events, and almost inconceivable feats of engineering. Christian Wolmar passionately recounts the improbable origins of the Trans-Siberian railroad, the vital artery for Russian expansion that spans almost 6,000 miles and seven time zones from Moscow to Vladivostok. The world's longest train route took a decade to build—in the face of punishing climates, rampant disease, scarcity of funds and materials, and widespread corruption.The line sprawls over a treacherous landmass that was previously populated only by disparate tribes and convicts serving out their terms in labor camps—where men were regularly starved, tortured, or mutilated for minor offenses. Once built, it led to the establishment of new cities and transformed the region's history. Exceeding all expectations, it became, according to Wolmar, “the best thing that ever happened to Siberia.”It was not all good news, however. The railroad was the cause of the 1904–1905 Russo-Japanese War, and played a vital—and at times bloody—role in the Russian Revolution and the subsequent Civil War. More positively, the Russians were able to resist the Nazi invasion during the Second World War as new routes enabled whole industries to be sent east. Siberia, previously a lost and distant region, became an inextricable part of Russia's cultural identity. And what began as one meandering, single-track line is now, arguably, the world's most important railroad.
Train: Riding the Rails That Created the Modern World--from the Trans-Siberian to the Southwest Chief
By: Tom Zoellner
An epic and revelatory narrative of the most important transportation technology of the modern worldIn his wide-ranging and entertaining new book, Tom Zoellner—coauthor of the New York Times–bestselling An Ordinary Man—travels the globe to tell the story of the sociological and economic impact of the railway technology that transformed the world—and could very well change it again. From the frigid trans-Siberian railroad to the antiquated Indian Railways to the Japanese-style bullet trains, Zoellner offers a stirring story of this most indispensable form of travel. A masterful narrative history, Train also explores the sleek elegance of railroads and their hypnotizing rhythms, and explains how locomotives became living symbols of sex, death, power, and romance.
Tent Life in Siberia: An Incredible Account of Siberian Adventure, Travel, and Survival
By: George Kennan
“An incredible adventure story. A real classic.” —Annie Dillard, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek In the 1860s, the Russian-American Telegraph Company set out to telegraphically connect the United States and Europe using lines running through the Bering Strait and Siberia. The failed expedition marked one of the first explorations of the vast Siberian wilderness, and George Kennan’s tale of a seemingly endless land filled with wildlife and nomadic tribes is as entertaining today as it was 140 years ago. With biting humor and poignant insight, Kennan details his years fighting to survive a doomed mission. He depicts the quiet loneliness of the desolate landscape, the eerie glow of the sun at midnight, and the refusal to give in to one of the harshest places man has ever tried to conquer. His book is a testament to our planet’s beauty and danger, as well as to the tireless will of the human spirit.
Midnight in Siberia: A Train Journey into the Heart of Russia
By: David Greene
Travels with NPR host David Greene along the Trans-Siberian Railroad capture an overlooked, idiosyncratic Russia in the age of Putin.Far away from the trendy cafés, designer boutiques, and political protests and crackdowns in Moscow, the real Russia exists.Midnight in Siberia chronicles David Greene’s journey on the Trans-Siberian Railway, a 6,000-mile cross-country trip from Moscow to the Pacific port of Vladivostok. In quadruple-bunked cabins and stopover towns sprinkled across the country’s snowy landscape, Greene speaks with ordinary Russians about how their lives have changed in the post-Soviet years.These travels offer a glimpse of the new Russia―a nation that boasts open elections and newfound prosperity but continues to endure oppression, corruption, a dwindling population, and stark inequality.We follow Greene as he finds opportunity and hardship embodied in his fellow train travelers and in conversations with residents of towns throughout Siberia.We meet Nadezhda, an entrepreneur who runs a small hotel in Ishim, fighting through corrupt layers of bureaucracy every day. Greene spends a joyous evening with a group of babushkas who made international headlines as runners-up at the Eurovision singing competition. They sing Beatles covers, alongside their traditional songs, finding that music and companionship can heal wounds from the past. In Novosibirsk, Greene has tea with Alexei, who runs the carpet company his mother began after the Soviet collapse and has mixed feelings about a government in which his family has done quite well. And in Chelyabinsk, a hunt for space debris after a meteorite landing leads Greene to a young man orphaned as a teenager, forced into military service, and now figuring out if any of his dreams are possible.Midnight in Siberia is a lively travel narrative filled with humor, adventure, and insight. It opens a window onto that country’s complicated relationship with democracy and offers a rare look into the soul of twenty-first-century Russia. map
The Other Side of Russia: A Slice of Life in Siberia and the Russian Far East (Eugenia & Hugh M. Stewart '26 Series)
By: Sharon Hudgins
Travel to postSoviet Siberia and the Russian Far East with author Sharon Hudgins as she takes readers on a personal adventure through the Asian side of Russia—an area closed to most Westerners and many Russians prior to the 1990s. Even today, few people from the West have ridden the TransSiberian railroad in winter, stood on the frozen surface of Lake Baikal, feasted with the Siberian Buryats, or lived in the "highrise villages" of Vladivostok and Irkutsk.One of the few American women who has lived and worked in this part of the world, Hudgins debunks many of the myths and misconceptions that surround this "other side of Russia." She artfully depicts the details of everyday life, set within their cultural and historical context—local customs, foods, and festivals, as well as urban life, the education system, and the developing market economy in postSoviet Siberia and the Russian Far East.Hudgin's prose shines in her colorful descriptions of multicourse meals washed down with champagne and vodka, often eaten by candlelight when the electricity failed. The author's accounts of hors d'oeuvres made of sea slugs and roulades of raw horse liver will fascinate those with adventuresome tastes, while her stories of hosting Spanish, French, and TexMex feasts will come as a surprise to anyone who thinks of Russia as a gastronomic wasteland.Readers of The Other Side of Russia: A Slice of Life in Siberia and the Russian Far East will find themselves among the guests at Christmas parties, New Year's banquets, Easter dinners, and birthday celebrations. They will experience the challenges of living in highrise apartment buildings often lacking water, heat, and electricity. Above all, Asian Russia's natural beauty, thriving cities, and proud people shine from the pages, proving it is not only a land of harsh winters and vast uninhabited spaces, but also home to millions of Russian citizens who live and work in modern metropolises and enjoy a rich cultural and social life.
The Great Railway Bazaar
By: Paul Theroux
First published more than thirty years ago, Paul Theroux's strange, unique, and hugely entertaining railway odyssey has become a modern classic of travel literature. Here Theroux recounts his early adventures on an unusual grand continental tour. Asia's fabled trains -- the Orient Express, the Khyber Pass Local, the Frontier Mail, the Golden Arrow to Kuala Lumpur, the Mandalay Express, the Trans-Siberian Express -- are the stars of a journey that takes him on a loop eastbound from London's Victoria Station to Tokyo Central, then back from Japan on the Trans-Siberian. Brimming with Theroux's signature humor and wry observations, this engrossing chronicle is essential reading for both the ardent adventurer and the armchair traveler.
Travels in Siberia
By: Ian Frazier
New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the YearA Boston Globe Best Book of 2010A Christian Science Monitor Best Book of 2010A San Francisco Chronicle Top 10 Books of 2010A Washington Post Best Book of the YearA Kansas City Star 100 Best Books of 2010A St. Louis Post-Dispatch Best of 2010In this astonishing new work from one of our greatest and most entertaining storytellers, Ian Frazier trains his perceptive, generous eye on Siberia. With great passion and enthusiasm, he reveals Siberia's role in history―its science, economics, and politics―and tells the stories of its most famous exiles, such as Dostoyevsky, Lenin, and Stalin. At the same time, Frazier draws a unique portrait of Russia since the end of the Soviet Union, and gives a personal account of adventure among Russian friends and acquaintances. A unique, captivating, totally Frazierian take on what he calls the "amazingness" of Russia―Travels in Siberia is "a masterpiece of nonfiction writing―tragic, bizarre, and funny" (San Francisco Chronicle).
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
By: Alexander Solzhenitsyn
The first published novel from the controversial Nobel Prize winning Russian author of The Gulag Archipelago.In the madness of World War II, a dutiful Russian soldier is wrongfully convicted of treason and sentenced to ten years in a Siberian labor camp. So begins this masterpiece of modern Russian fiction, a harrowing account of a man who has conceded to all things evil with dignity and strength.   First published in 1962, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich is considered one of the most significant works ever to emerge from Soviet Russia. Illuminating a dark chapter in Russian history, it is at once a graphic picture of work camp life and a moving tribute to man’s will to prevail over relentless dehumanization.Includes an Introduction by Yevgeny Yevtushenkoand an Afterword by Eric Bogosian
Birds of Europe, Russia, China, and Japan: Passerines: Tyrant Flycatchers to Buntings (Princeton Illustrated Checklists)
By: Norman Arlott
This is the first of two field guides illustrating and describing all of the approximately 1,800 bird species found in the Palearctic--the huge region that includes Europe, Asia north of the Himalayas, and Africa north of the Sahara. This area spans the countries of the former Soviet Union, all of the Russian Arctic, China, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea, Japan, and the Middle East excluding the Gulf countries. This first volume covers all the passerines (perching birds, from tyrant flycatchers to buntings) or songbirds and will soon be followed by a companion guide to the nonpasserines (divers to woodpeckers). These volumes are the first and only field guides for many parts of the area covered, and mark the first time all of these birds have been included in a single pair of books. This first volume covers every passerine species and subspecies in the area, in every adult plumage--all illustrated and described by Norman Arlott, a leading bird artist who has many years of field experience with these species. Color plates of all field-identifiable species, including subspecies and color morphs Succinct facing-page text concentrates on key field-identification features, including voice Detailed distribution map for each species Well-researched and accessible Handy format-the ideal field guide Essential for anyone interested in Eurasian birds
24x36 World Wall Map by Smithsonian Journeys - Tan Oceans Special Edition (24x36 Paper Folded)
By: Smithsonian Journeys
Swiftmaps is proud to partner with Smithsonian Journeys to bring a new and exciting World Map series to the American marketplace. Featuring eye-catching bold and vivid colors complemented with rich vintage tan ocean tones that will make this the perfect reference piece --- sure to stand-out and highlight any home or business wall. The precise detail and digital accuracy shows color-matching visual shaded 3D relief and other physical features without sacrificing the maps readability. Now printed on high-quality 80 lb. paper and professionally FOLDED in a compact 8x10 inch size. FEATURES: 1) Africa centered allowing viewers to see continents complete and intact 2) Clearly labeled country and city names for easy location 3) Latitude and longitude indications 4) Shaded relief of ocean and land topography 4) Desirable Miller Projection. The Smithsonian Journeys wall map series serve not only as a handy reference piece, but as an eye-catching accent for any room or office. NOTE: each map is professionally folded to 8x10 inches and when unfolded the map is 24 inches high and 36 inches wide.
Terms and conditions

Mission

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

What Is Included in the Tour Cost

  • Expertise of a Smithsonian Journeys expert, tour director and local English-speaking guides throughout the tour
  • Gratuities to local guides, drivers, tour manager, car attendants and staff on board the train
  • Visa support documents that are required in order to apply for the Russian visas
  • 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)
  • Pre-tour information, including a reading list
  • Transfers and luggage handling abroad for all travelers whose arrival(s)/departure(s) coincide with the scheduled group transfer(s)
  • All on-tour transportation, unless otherwise noted
  • All accommodations for the duration of the tour
  • Meals, as noted in the itinerary (B-breakfast; L-lunch; D-dinner; R-reception)
  • Welcome and farewell dinners including local beer and wine
  • All sightseeing, special cultural features, and visits as noted in each itinerary
  • Baggage handling at hotels and railway stations in Ulaanbaatar and Moscow where available

What Is Not Included in the Tour Cost

  • Passport and all visa fees and photos; immunization(s); and any other travel documentation fees as required
  • Optional travel insurance, including cancellation/delay/lost baggage insurance
  • Personal items, unless otherwise stated, such as wine, liquors, a-la-carte orders
  • Expenses incurred by our tour operator in making any individual travel arrangements in conjunction with the tour
  • Airline baggage and other airline fees and associated taxes, unless noted in Tour description
  • Communication Charges (e.g.: phone, internet, etc.)
  • Other items noted as optional or not specifically mentioned as included
  • International airfare between the U.S. and the tour start and end cities; air taxes or fuel surcharges; pre- or post-tour services; visa or passport fees; medical and trip cancellation/ interruption insurance; evacuation costs; food or beverages not included in group meals; baggage handling at airports; items of personal nature such as laundry, alcohol, additional beverages with included meals, telephone expenses, excess baggage fees, baggage handling at airports and railway stations, photo/video expenses inside museums (where allowed); other items not expressly listed as included.  

Registration

To submit a reservation request, please use our secure online system at SmithsonianJourneys.org or call 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.  
 

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).

Payments

A deposit of $1,000 per person 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 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 traveler 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), at SJReservations@si.edu or SmithsonianJourneys.org.

A Note about Costs

All prices are based on two persons sharing a room/cabin. All prices are quoted in U.S. dollars. Tour costs are based upon current airfares, tariffs, currency values, and on the basis of a presumptive minimum number of travelers. 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 traveler’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

Air Service

For tour packages 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. Since international and domestic air schedules are subject to change at any time, we recommend that if you choose to make your own airline reservations, you do not purchase nonrefundable tickets or those with high penalties for changes. Neither Smithsonian Journeys nor the tour operator has any liability for any loss resulting from tour cancellations or changes in international gateways, travel dates, or airline schedule changes. If an air schedule requires an overnight stay in a gateway city, the cost of the overnight will be at your expense. For tour packages that include round-trip international airfare, we will be happy to help with arrangements. Please note that seat assignment on your international flight 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.

Individual Arrivals and Group Transfers
A designated group flight is not included on most tours. However, transportation from the arrival airport to the ship/hotel is included in your tour cost if you arrive in time to meet the scheduled group transfer. Your first tour bulletin will thoroughly explain the details of the options available for your individual flights.

Air Tickets Purchased Independently of the Tour
We urge you to check airline cancellation penalties before purchasing airline tickets since international departure times and flights can change. Tours also can be canceled due to low enrollments. Neither 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

For the convenience of our travelers, Smithsonian Journeys includes an on-tour Provided Insurance Plan, through Travel Guard, with the price of your tour. On-tour emergency evacuation insurance (up to $100,000), medical expense coverage (up to $25,000), dental expense coverage (up to $500), travel medical assistance and worldwide travel assistance (U.S. Residents only). It also includes up to $25,000 medical and up to $500 dental expense coverage, and 24-hour worldwide travel and medical assistance. Please click here to view complete coverage details.

Please visit www.TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys or call Travel Guard at 1-800-208-6142 to learn about additional (optional) coverage.

Travel Documents

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 in this catalog. If your tour requires a visa or other entry documents, we will send you the appropriate information after you make a reservation. You are responsible for obtaining these documents. If you are not a U.S. citizen, please contact your embassy or consulate to ensure you obtain the proper documentation.

Physical and Medical Considerations

Please note that these tours require that participants be in good physical condition. You must be capable, without assistance, of walking a minimum of two miles over uneven terrain and of climbing stairs that may not have handrails. Participants should have sufficient stamina to keep pace with an active group of travelers 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. Some tours have additional notes regarding physical and medical considerations, which may be discussed with the Cultural Travel Specialist at 855-330-1542.

Itinerary or Program Modifications

Smithsonian strives to improve tour itineraries and their features. If improvements can be made, or unforeseen circumstances beyond our control make changes necessary, we reserve the right to vary itineraries and to substitute hotels. Every effort will be made to carry out the program as planned but alterations may still occur after the final itinerary is sent. Please note that weather conditions may force changes to the advertised sailing schedule on cruise programs. The ship’s captain has the authority to change the ship’s schedule.

Accommodations

Smithsonian chooses hotels based on a combination of their location, service, atmosphere, and price. On adventure tours and programs in out-of-the-way places, best-available hotels are used. In most cases, hotels have elevators and meeting rooms for Smithsonian lectures. Program prices are based on two persons sharing a room with a bath.

Singles and Roommates
Hotel rooms are always reserved for single travelers; 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 apply for a single room. If you are traveling alone and wish to share a room, 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. When a roommate cannot be found, the single supplement will be charged. 

Children

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

Special Travel Arrangements

Participants may wish to extend their stay in the group hotel. Please note that the tour operator can assist you in making post-tour arrangements only. We regret that we are unable to help with pre-tour arrangements.

Photography
Participants on tour may be photographed for the educational and promotional purposes of the Smithsonian Institution. Photographs may be printed in publications and posted on websites to promote Smithsonian Journeys. Travelers who prefer that their image not be used must advise the tour manager at 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.

Preparing for Your Journey

Prior to departure, you will receive Tour Bulletins containing both general and tour specific information to help you prepare for your travel experience. These bulletins will include:

  • Passport and visa instructions
  • Flight information
  • Weather, clothing, and packing suggestions
  • A suggested reading list
  • General information about the countries you will visit, e.g. the food, customs, medical precautions, and currency.
  • Information about your Smithsonian Journeys Expert and tour staff
  • Baggage tag(s) and name badge(s)
  • Final itinerary
  • Participant list  

RESPONSIBILITY STATEMENT AND LIABILITY DISCLAIMER

Read Carefully: Responsibility Statement and Liability Disclaimer
Smithsonian Journeys are managed by professional tour operators hired as independent contractors. The use of tour operators allows the Smithsonian to offer its members 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 the 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, 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, subject only to the requirement that the recoverable portion of the total amount paid that corresponds to the cost of unused services and accommodations be refunded, if any. If your tour does not include airfare, your Tour Bulletins will provide information about when participants are recommended to purchase airline tickets. The Smithsonian Institution and the tour operator accept no liability for the purchase of non-refundable airline tickets to/from the tour departure city if a tour is canceled or otherwise modified subsequent to the participant’s purchase of those tickets. Baggage and personal effects are at all times the sole responsibility of the participant.

Dates, schedules, program details, and costs, although provided in good faith based on information available at the time of publication of 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 brochure(s), and recognizes and accepts any risk associated with the tour and the conditions, including the refund policy, set forth in the tour brochure(s). 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.