Be immersed in the rich cultural heritage and history of Vietnam as you explore Hanoi, Hué, Hoi An, and Ho Chi Minh City by foot and bike. Plus, enjoy two breathtaking days aboard a traditional boat in Ha Long Bay where the more adventurous can go kayaking.

Starting at: $4,395 Register Interest or Call 833-254-6678
 Bicycling in Southeast Asia  Kayaking in Ha Long Bay  The breathtaking Ha Long Bay  Pagoda on Hanoi's West Lake  Gate at the Imperial City, Hue  The Hai Van Pass near Da Nang  The Perfume River near Hue  The village of Hoi An, a World Heritage site  The Japanese Bridge in Hoi An  My Son Sanctuary, near Hoi An  Skyline of Ho Chi Minh City at dusk

Vietnam Cycling Adventure

11 days from $4,395

Be immersed in the rich cultural heritage and history of Vietnam as you explore Hanoi, Hué, Hoi An, and Ho Chi Minh City by foot and bike. Plus, enjoy two breathtaking days aboard a traditional boat in Ha Long Bay where the more adventurous can go kayaking.

or Call 833-254-6678

Accommodations

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

Pan Pacific Hotel

Hanoi, Vietnam

Soaring twenty floors above the city, Pan Pacific Hanoi offers views of the West Lake, Truc Bach Lake and Red River. Just minutes from the city center, guests can visit the vibrant Old Quarter, located just 1.9 mi from the property, or enjoy a stroll by the lake. It features a full spa, indoor heated all-season swimming pool with retractable roof and complimentary WiFi throughout the property.

Number of nights: 2

Ha Long Bay Junk

Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

Explore Ha Long Bay by staying aboard a traditional-style junk boat for two nights. Your boat features comfortable accommodations in cabins with en-suite bathrooms and air conditioning; both Vietnamese and Western cuisine; and a professional and friendly staff.

Number of nights: 2

Pilgrimage Village Boutique Hotel

Hue, Vietnam

Pilgrimage Village Boutique Resort & Spa is a rustic resort in a secluded area of Thua Thien Hue. It offers authentic Vietnamese culture and hospitality, extensive spa treatments, and different on-site bars and restaurants. From the property, guests can take the complimentary shuttle bus into Hue. Nearby attractions include tombs of Khai Dinh, Tu Duc and Minh Mang.

Number of nights: 2

Almanity Hoi An Resort

Hoi An, Vietnam

Almanity Hoi An Resort is an oasis for the soul and a rejuvenating retreat for the weary traveler. Located in the heart of Hoi An ancient town, a World Heritage Centre, the property is charming and poetic, welcoming and unassuming. The hotel offers something unique; personal journeys that connect the ancient culture with modern Vietnam. The spa represents a modern interpretation of ancient fables, and the hotel and restaurant reflect the local culture and cuisine.

Number of nights: 1

Hotel Majestic Saigon

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Located in the heart of the city, the Hotel Majestic overlooks the busy Saigon River and is within walking distance of the main commercial hub of Ho Chi Minh City. The property reflects the grand French colonial style in design, public spaces, and services. All guest rooms are equipped with top of the line amenities. 

Number of nights: 2

Activity Level

Activity Level 4:  Active 


Expectations: This trip is part of the Smithsonian Active Journeys collection. These trips feature a daily schedule of physical activities—such as walking, hiking, kayaking, rafting, or bicycling—in addition to activities designed to offer cultural or historical context. Each trip entails a different level of physical expectations. As some trips are more difficult than others, please review the following activity level description—and feel free to contact an Active Journeys Specialist to discuss the trip at more length—to ensure this Active Journey is right for you.

For this trip, there are two days with cycling excursions covering 25 miles (from three to five hours), and one day of cycling 9 to 10 miles (three hours). Bicycle excursions use hybrid bikes and terrain includes city roads and dirt paths, sometimes in traffic. Previous experience is recommended. Walks and hikes range from 2 to 3 miles at a leisurely pace, covering varied terrain that ranges from city streets to well-established trails. Shorter options may be available. Optional kayaking on Ha Long Bay is also offered. Routes and mileage will depend on weather, currents, and the interests of the group, lasting approximately 1 to 2 hours in protected waters.

Each day features a cultural site or activity associated with the walk, such as a historic site or temple visit, culinary highlight, meeting with local artisans or a local expert. Support vehicles are provided while cycling but are limited while hiking. Most days offer longer and shorter options based upon the group’s fitness and interests. It is often feasible to skip a day’s activities and relax at the hotel if desired. During vehicle transfers, transport is by 15-passenger van. Accommodations feature city hotels, comfortable lodges, and a traditional-style junk on Ha Long Bay. Our junk offers comfortable accommodation in cabins with en-suite bathrooms, hairdryers, and air conditioning. Junk staff offer professional and friendly service, serving both Vietnamese and Western cuisine in their dining room. 

Appropriate for: Travelers who are physically fit, expect a vigorous pace, are comfortable participating in up to five hours of physical activity per day, and enjoy a physical challenge.

Reading List
DK Eyewitness Vietnam: 2019 (Travel Guide)
By: DK Eyewitness
The ideal travel companion, full of insider advice on what to see and do, plus detailed itineraries and comprehensive maps for exploring this compelling country.Explore the legacy of the Nguyen Dynasty at the Imperial City, take a boat trip to offshore islands, wander Ho Chi Minh City, or take an excursion to the awe-inspiring Angkor Wat: everything you need to know is clearly laid out within color-coded chapters. Discover the best of Vietnam with this indispensable travel guide.Inside DK Eyewitness Travel Guide Vietnam & Angkor Wat:- Over 25 color maps help you navigate with ease- Simple layout makes it easy to find the information you need- Comprehensive tours and itineraries of Vietnam, designed for every interest and budget- Illustrations and floor plans show in detail the magnificent Angkor Wat, Jade Emperor Pagoda, Cao Dai Holy See, Hue Citadel, and more- Color photographs of Vietnam's stunning landscape, beautiful islands, ancient pagodas, highlights of the Mekong Delta, the bustling capital city of Hanoi, and more- Detailed chapters, with area maps, cover Ho Chi Minh City, Mekong Delta and Southern Vietnam, South Central Vietnam, Central Vietnam, Hanoi, Northern Vietnam, and excursions to Angkor Wat- Historical and cultural context gives you a richer travel experience: learn about Vietnam's complex history, its landscape and wildlife, festivals, religions, architecture, music and theater, and more- Essential travel tips--our expert choices of where to stay, eat, shop, and sightsee, plus useful phrases and visa and health information DK Eyewitness Travel Guide Vietnam & Angkor Wat is a detailed, easy-to-use guide designed to help you get the most from your visit to Vietnam.DK Eyewitness: winner of the Top Guidebook Series in the Wanderlust Reader Travel Awards 2017. "No other guide whets your appetite quite like this one." --The IndependentTraveling to southeast Asia? Try our DK Eyewitness Travel Guide Cambodia & Laos.About DK Eyewitness Travel: DK's highly visual Eyewitness guides show you what others only tell you, with easy-to-read maps, tips, and tours to inform and enrich your journey. DK is the world's leading illustrated reference publisher, producing beautifully designed books for adults and children in more than 120 countries.
Lonely Planet Vietnamese Phrasebook & Dictionary
By: Lonely Planet, Ben Handicott
Lonely Planet's Vietnamese Phrasebook & Dictionary is your handy passport to culturally enriching travels with the most relevant and useful Vietnamese phrases and vocabulary for all your travel needs. Order your coffee with authority, bargain like a pro at the market, and know what you're eating from street stalls, all with your trusted travel companion. With language tools in your back pocket, you can truly get to the heart of wherever you go, so begin your journey now! Get More From Your Trip with Easy-to-Find Phrases for Every Travel Situation! Feel at ease with essential tips on culture, manners, idioms and multiple meanings Order with confidence, explain food allergies, and try new foods with the menu decoder Save time and hassles with vital phrases at your fingertips Never get stuck for words with the 3500-word two-way, quick-reference dictionary Be prepared for both common and emergency travel situations with practical phrases and terminology Meet friends with conversation starter phrases Get your message across with easy-to-use pronunciation guides Inside Lonely Planet's Vietnamese Phrasebook & Dictionary: Full colour throughout User-friendly layout organized by travel scenario categories Survival phrases inside front cover for at-a-glance on-the-fly cues Convenient features Listen For - phrases you may hear Look For - phrases you may see on signs Covers Basics - time, dates, numbers, amounts, pronunciation, reading tips, grammar rules Practical - travel with kids, disabled travellers, sightseeing, business, banking, post office, internet, phones, repairs, bargaining, accommodation, directions, border crossing, transport Social - meeting people, interests, feelings, opinions, going out, romance, culture, activities, weather Safe Travel - emergencies, police, doctor, pharmacist, dentist, symptoms, conditions Food - ordering, at the market, at the bar, dishes, ingredients The Perfect Choice: Lonely Planet's Vietnamese Phrasebook & Dictionary, a pocket-sized comprehensive language guide, provides on-the-go language assistance; great for language students and travellers looking to interact with locals and immerse themselves in local culture. Authors: Written and researched by Lonely Planet, Ben Handicott About Lonely Planet: Started in 1973, Lonely Planet is the world's leading travel guide publisher with guidebooks to every destination on the planet, and has been connecting travellers and locals for over 25 years with phrasebooks for 120 languages, more than any other publisher! With an award-winning website, a suite of mobile and digital travel products, and a dedicated traveller community, Lonely Planet enables curious travellers to experience the world and to truly get to the heart of the places they find themselves. The world awaits! Check out our Fast Talk Phrasebook mobile app for on-the-go language needs. (Available languages: German, Latin Spanish, European Spanish, French, and Italian.)
Understanding Vietnam (Philip E. Lilienthal Book.)
By: Neil L. Jamieson
The American experience in Vietnam divided us as a nation and eroded our confidence in both the morality and the effectiveness of our foreign policy. Yet our understanding of this tragic episode remains superficial because, then and now, we have never grasped the passionate commitment with which the Vietnamese clung to and fought over their own competing visions of what Vietnam was and what it might become. To understand the war, we must understand the Vietnamese, their culture, and their ways of looking at the world. Neil L. Jamieson, after many years of living and working in Vietnam, has written the book that provides this understanding.Jamieson paints a portrait of twentieth-century Vietnam. Against the background of traditional Vietnamese culture, he takes us through the saga of modern Vietnamese history and Western involvement in the country, from the coming of the French in 1858 through the Vietnam War and its aftermath. Throughout his analysis, he allows the Vietnamese―both our friends and foes, and those who wished to be neither―to speak for themselves through poetry, fiction, essays, newspaper editorials and reports of interviews and personal experiences.By putting our old and partial perceptions into this new and broader context, Jamieson provides positive insights that may perhaps ease the lingering pain and doubt resulting from our involvement in Vietnam. As the United States and Vietnam appear poised to embark on a new phase in their relationship, Jamieson's book is particularly timely.
The Vietnam War: An Intimate History
By: Ebury Press
Vietnam: A Traveler's Literary Companion (Traveler's Literary Companions)
By: John Balaban, Nguyen Qui Duc
Since relations between the U.S. and Vietnam have normalized, many more people are traveling to this exotic country, previously closed to a generation of Western visitors. Vietnam provides one of the first chances for Americans to know the Vietnamese outside the context of war. Vietnamese have been telling stories for thousands of years, in poetry and in song, in Chinese script and then in Vietnamese nôm, and more recently, in novels and short stories. These 17 stories, from contemporary Vietnamese writers living in Vietnam and abroad, take the literary traveler to extraordinary places: from the jungle-clad mountain ranges of the North to the mysterious silence of the old capital along the Perfume River. Proximity of the spirit world, love of family, exhaustion from war, one's Confucian, Taoist, and Buddhist obligations, social protest, and the hunger for a better life — these are some of the concerns to be encountered in these thrilling landscapes. Contributors include Nguyen Huy Thiep, Linh Bao, Nguyen Ba Trac, Thich Duc Thien, Ho Anh Thai, Le Minh Khue, Doan Quoc Sy, Vu Bao, Duong Thu Huong, Andrew Q. Lam, Nguyen Qui Duc, Qui The, Bao Ninh, and Pham Thi Hoai.
Vietnam - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture
By: Geoffrey Murray, Culture Smart!
In the second half of the twentieth century war raged in Vietnam. It was hard to know if it would ever end, and harder still to understand fully the rights and wrongs of the various protagonists. At last, the North Vietnamese turned out to be tough, resilient, and ultimately victorious. Patience in adversity sums up the Vietnamese character. After reunification in 1975 the Vietnamese experienced many difficulties. The immediate postwar years were harsh. Some fled into exile; others underwent “rehabilitation” to make them fit to live in a Communist state. To this were added economic hardships and even starvation. Since then, however, life has been transformed. The decision to abandon the centrally planned economy in favor of a “socialist market economy” was a bold step, as was the decision to throw open the doors and invite the world to invest in the new Vietnam. Visitors today will find a confident, independent people, nursing few if any grudges about the war. They are open and friendly, with a sense of humor and irony, and frankly curious about the outside world. Kind and generally helpful toward strangers, they are industrious, shrewd, and determined to improve their lot. Culture Smart! Vietnam outlines the history, culture, traditions, sensibilities, and modern way of life of the Vietnamese. It explains certain deep-seated attitudes, describes some of the social and cultural changes now under way, and gives practical advice on what to expect and how to behave in unfamiliar situations. It aims to help you discover for yourself the warmth and vast potential of this fascinating country and its delightful people.
Vietnam: Rising Dragon
By: Bill Hayton
A much-needed behind-the-scenes survey of an emerging Asian power The eyes of the West have recently been trained on China and India, but Vietnam is rising fast among its Asian peers. A breathtaking period of social change has seen foreign investment bringing capitalism flooding into its nominally communist society, booming cities swallowing up smaller villages, and the lure of modern living tugging at the traditional networks of family and community. Yet beneath these sweeping developments lurks an authoritarian political system that complicates the nation’s apparent renaissance. In this engaging work, experienced journalist Bill Hayton looks at the costs of change in Vietnam and questions whether this rising Asian power is really heading toward capitalism and democracy.Based on vivid eyewitness accounts and pertinent case studies, Hayton’s book addresses a broad variety of issues in today’s Vietnam, including important shifts in international relations, the growth of civil society, economic developments and challenges, and the nation’s nascent democracy movement as well as its notorious internal security. His analysis of Vietnam’s “police state,” and its systematic mechanisms of social control, coercion, and surveillance, is fresh and particularly imperative when viewed alongside his portraits of urban and street life, cultural legacies, religion, the media, and the arts. With a firm sense of historical and cultural context, Hayton examines how these issues have emerged and where they will lead Vietnam in the next stage of its development.
Eating Viet Nam: Dispatches from a Blue Plastic Table
By: Graham Holliday
A journalist and blogger takes us on a colorful and spicy gastronomic tour through Viet Nam in this entertaining, offbeat travel memoir, with a foreword by Anthony Bourdain. Growing up in a small town in northern England, Graham Holliday wasn’t keen on travel. But in his early twenties, a picture of Hanoi sparked a curiosity that propelled him halfway across the globe. Graham didn’t want to be a tourist in an alien land, though; he was determined to live it. An ordinary guy who liked trying interesting food, he moved to the capital city and embarked on a quest to find real Vietnamese food. In Eating Viet Nam, he chronicles his odyssey in this strange, enticing land infused with sublime smells and tastes.Traveling through the back alleys and across the boulevards of Hanoi—where home cooks set up grills and stripped-down stands serving sumptuous fare on blue plastic furniture—he risked dysentery, giardia, and diarrhea to discover a culinary treasure-load that was truly foreign and unique. Holliday shares every bite of the extraordinary fresh dishes, pungent and bursting with flavor, which he came to love in Hanoi, Saigon, and the countryside. Here, too, are the remarkable people who became a part of his new life, including his wife, Sophie.A feast for the senses, funny, charming, and always delicious, Eating Viet Nam will inspire armchair travelers, curious palates, and everyone itching for a taste of adventure. 
Catfish and Mandala: A Two-Wheeled Voyage Through the Landscape and Memory of Vietnam
By: Andrew X. Pham
Winner of the Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book PrizeA New York Times Notable Book of the YearWinner of the Whiting Writers' AwardA Seattle Post-Intelligencer Best Book of the YearCatfish and Mandala is the story of an American odyssey―a solo bicycle voyage around the Pacific Rim to Vietnam―made by a young Vietnamese-American man in pursuit of both his adopted homeland and his forsaken fatherland. Andrew X. Pham was born in Vietnam and raised in California. His father had been a POW of the Vietcong; his family came to America as "boat people." Following the suicide of his sister, Pham quit his job, sold all of his possessions, and embarked on a year-long bicycle journey that took him through the Mexican desert, around a thousand-mile loop from Narita to Kyoto in Japan; and, after five months and 2,357 miles, to Saigon, where he finds "nothing familiar in the bombed-out darkness." In Vietnam, he's taken for Japanese or Korean by his countrymen, except, of course, by his relatives, who doubt that as a Vietnamese he has the stamina to complete his journey ("Only Westerners can do it"); and in the United States he's considered anything but American. A vibrant, picaresque memoir written with narrative flair and an eye-opening sense of adventure, Catfish and Mandala is an unforgettable search for cultural identity.
The Eaves of Heaven: A Life in Three Wars
By: Andrew X. Pham
One of the Ten Best Books of the Year, Washington Post Book WorldOne of the Los Angeles Times’ Favorite Books of the YearOne of the Top Ten National Books of 2008, Portland OregonianA 2009 Honor Book of the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association“Few books have combined the historical scope and the literary skill to give the ­foreign reader a sense of events from a Vietnamese perspective. . . . Now we can add Andrew Pham’s Eaves of Heaven to this list of indispensable books.” —New York Times Book Review“Searing . . . vivid–and harrowing . . . Here is war and life through the eyes of a Vietnamese everyman.”—Seattle TimesOnce wealthy landowners, Thong Van Pham’s family was shattered by the tumultuous events of the twentieth century: the French occupation of Indochina, the Japanese invasion during World War II, and the Vietnam War.Told in dazzling chapters that alternate between events in the past and those closer to the present, The Eaves of Heaven brilliantly re-creates the trials of everyday life in Vietnam as endured by one man, from the fall of Hanoi and the collapse of French colonialism to the frenzied evacuation of Saigon. Pham offers a rare portal into a lost world as he chronicles Thong Van Pham’s heartbreaks, triumphs, and bizarre reversals of fortune, whether as a South Vietnamese soldier pinned down by enemy fire, a prisoner of the North Vietnamese under brutal interrogation, or a refugee desperately trying to escape Vietnam after the last American helicopter has abandoned Saigon. This is the story of a man caught in the maelstrom of twentieth-century politics, a gripping memoir told with the urgency of a wartime dispatch by a writer of surpassing talent.
The Quiet American (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)
By: Graham Greene
Graham Greene's classic exploration of love, innocence, and morality in Vietnam "I never knew a man who had better motives for all the trouble he caused," Graham Greene's narrator Fowler remarks of Alden Pyle, the eponymous "Quiet American" of what is perhaps the most controversial novel of his career. Pyle is the brash young idealist sent out by Washington on a mysterious mission to Saigon, where the French Army struggles against the Vietminh guerrillas.As young Pyle's well-intentioned policies blunder into bloodshed, Fowler, a seasoned and cynical British reporter, finds it impossible to stand safely aside as an observer. But Fowler's motives for intervening are suspect, both to the police and himself, for Pyle has stolen Fowler's beautiful Vietnamese mistress.Originally published in 1956 and twice adapted to film, The Quiet American remains a terrifiying and prescient portrait of innocence at large. This Graham Greene Centennial Edition includes a new introductory essay by Robert Stone.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.
A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain: Stories
By: Robert Olen Butler
Robert Olen Butler's lyrical and poignant collection of stories about the aftermath of the Vietnam War and its impact on the Vietnamese was acclaimed by critics across the nation and won the Pulitzer Prize in 1993. Now Grove Press is proud to reissue this contemporary classic by one of America's most important living writers, in a new edition of A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain that includes two subsequently published stories -- "Salem" and "Missing" -- that brilliantly complete the collection's narrative journey, returning to the jungles of Vietnam.
Wildlife of Southeast Asia (Princeton Pocket Guides)
By: Susan Myers
This handy photographic guide offers a stunning look at the wildlife of Southeast Asia, which includes Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, West Malaysia, and Singapore. Accessible text and more than 500 color photographs help readers to learn about and identify the most common species found in the region, particularly the mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and insects that visitors will most likely encounter. Detailed photos are accompanied on facing pages by succinct species accounts highlighting key identification features, status, and distribution. The book's brief introduction offers readers useful information on major wildlife sites as well as practical advice on making the most of a wildlife-watching trip.Wildlife of Southeast Asia is the essential resource for visitors and residents interested in the fauna of this fascinating area of the world.A photographic guide to the wildlife of Southeast Asia, including Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, West Malaysia, and SingaporeMore than 500 stunning color photographsAccessible species accounts highlight key identification features, status, and distributionA brief introduction discusses wildlife locations and practical travel know-how
Vietnam: A Natural History
By: Eleanor Jane Sterling, Martha Maud Hurley, Le Duc Minh
A milestone book that provides the first guide to Vietnam’s spectacular flora and fauna and the diverse natural areas in which they live A country uncommonly rich in plants, animals, and natural habitats, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam shelters a significant portion of the world’s biological diversity, including rare and unique organisms and an unusual mixture of tropical and temperate species. This book is the first comprehensive account of Vietnam’s natural history in English. Illustrated with maps, photographs, and thirty-five original watercolor illustrations, the book offers a complete tour of the country’s plants and animals along with a full discussion of the factors shaping their evolution and distribution. Separate chapters focus on northern, central, and southern Vietnam, regions that encompass tropics, subtropics, mountains, lowlands, wetland and river regions, delta and coastal areas, and offshore islands. The authors provide detailed descriptions of key natural areas to visit, where a traveler might explore limestone caves or glimpse some of the country’s twenty-seven monkey and ape species and more than 850 bird species. The book also explores the long history of humans in the country, including the impact of the Vietnam-American War on plants and animals, and describes current efforts to conserve Vietnam’s complex, fragile, and widely threatened biodiversity.
24x36 World Wall Map by Smithsonian Journeys - Tan Oceans Special Edition (24x36 Paper Folded)
By: Smithsonian Journeys
Swiftmaps is proud to partner with Smithsonian Journeys to bring a new and exciting World Map series to the American marketplace. Featuring eye-catching bold and vivid colors complemented with rich vintage tan ocean tones that will make this the perfect reference piece --- sure to stand-out and highlight any home or business wall. The precise detail and digital accuracy shows color-matching visual shaded 3D relief and other physical features without sacrificing the maps readability. Now printed on high-quality 80 lb. paper and professionally FOLDED in a compact 8x10 inch size. FEATURES: 1) Africa centered allowing viewers to see continents complete and intact 2) Clearly labeled country and city names for easy location 3) Latitude and longitude indications 4) Shaded relief of ocean and land topography 4) Desirable Miller Projection. The Smithsonian Journeys wall map series serve not only as a handy reference piece, but as an eye-catching accent for any room or office. NOTE: each map is professionally folded to 8x10 inches and when unfolded the map is 24 inches high and 36 inches wide.
Travel Insurance

For the convenience of our travelers, Travel Guard provides an on-tour Insurance Plan. 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.

Terms and conditions

Our 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 Provided With Your Tour

  • Expertise of select speakers, Adventure Guide, and local guides throughout the tour as described in each itinerary
  • All gratuities for all tour staff
  • Pre-tour information, including a reading list
  • 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)
  • All sightseeing and visits as noted in each itinerary

What Is Not Provided With Your Tour

  • International and in-country airfare and departure taxes
  • Passport and all visa fees and photos; immunization(s) and medication(s); and any other travel documentation fees as required
  • Optional travel 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
  • Communication charges (e.g. phone, internet, etc.)
  • Other items noted as optional or not specifically mentioned as included

Payments

A deposit of $500 per person for a land tour reservation, unless otherwise noted, is required to reserve a space on a tour.  All payments must be made by credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express) 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 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 by the tour operator. Late registration confirmation procedures apply to any participant who is transferred from the wait list to the tour within the designated late registration period for that tour.

A Note About Costs

All prices are based on two persons sharing accommodations. All prices are quoted in U.S. dollars. Tour costs are based upon current airfares, tariffs, currency values, and on the basis of a presumptive minimum number of participants. While we will do everything possible to maintain the listed prices, they are subject to change.   Due to fluctuations in oil prices, a fuel surcharge may be added to your tour fee (e.g. internal flights, cruises, etc.).  Details and costs will be advised at the time of final invoicing.

Wait List

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

Cancellation and Refund Policy

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

Per person cancellation fees are based on the date of written notice. 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

This policy also applies to pre and post tour extensions. If we cancel a Tour, we will not be responsible for any additional expenses incurred by participant in his/her preparation for the Tour (e.g. nonrefundable airline tickets, visa fees, if applicable, clothing, equipment and medical expenses, etc.).

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

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

Air Service/Tickets Purchased Independently of the Tour

International and domestic air schedules are subject to change at any time. If you make your own airline reservations, we recommend that you do not purchase nonrefundable tickets or tickets with high penalties for changes. 

We urge you to check airline cancellation penalties before purchasing airline tickets since international departure times and flights can change. Neither the Smithsonian Institution nor the tour operator accepts liability for cancellation penalties related to domestic or international airline tickets purchased independently in conjunction with a tour.

Travel Insurance

For the convenience of our travelers, Travel Guard provides an on-tour Insurance Plan. 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

Participants are responsible for obtaining any documents required for their participation in the tour such as a valid passport, all visas, vaccination certificates, and any other documents. If your tour requires a visa or other entry documents, the tour operator will send you the appropriate information after you make a reservation.  Failure to obtain documents does not negate the terms and conditions, and any extra costs incurred for rerouting or delay due to travel without the necessary documents will be the participant’s responsibility. If you are not a U.S. citizen, please contact your embassy or consulate to ensure you obtain the proper documentation.

For all international departures, a passport valid for at least six months after the completion of your tour, and with at least six blank visa pages, is required for U.S. citizens on all tours. For more information on how or where to apply, please visit Travel.State.Gov/ApplyEarly or call the National Passport Information Center toll-free at 1-877-487-2778/1-888-874-7793 (TTY/TTD).

For more information about traveling to destinations abroad, we recommend the “Learn about your destination” section on the U.S. Department of State travel website www.travel.state.gov.  For medical information, we recommend contacting the Centers for Disease Control at (877) FYI-TRIP or www.cdc.gov/travel

Physical and Medical Considerations

Smithsonian Journeys strives to offer programs that optimize our travelers' time and enjoyment, and we want participants to be aware of the physical requirements involved. By registering for a Smithsonian Journeys tour, the participant certifies that he/she is physically fit and does not have a condition that would limit mobility or trip participation. Participant further certifies that he/she does not have any mental, physical, or other condition or disability that would create a hazard for him/herself or other participants. For Tours that take place at higher elevations (above 5,000 feet), participant certifies that he/she does not suffer from a respiratory, cardiac or circulatory disorder. Participant must notify tour operator of any medical issues well before departure. We reserve the right in our sole discretion to accept, decline to accept, or remove any participant on a Tour at any time during the Tour. In the event of removal from a Tour, refunds are not given. Hospital facilities or appropriate medical facilities or doctors are often unavailable and evacuation can be prolonged, difficult, and expensive. We assume no liability regarding provision of medical care. Participants will receive appropriate health information and provide the tour operator with his/her medical history and any dietary restrictions as requested on the Personal Information Form. On certain designated Tours, a Physician Certificate must be signed by the participant’s physician and returned to us within 30 days after the participant receives it.

Each tour carries an activity rating from Level 1- Level 5. For the most satisfying experience (and in fairness to your fellow travelers), please carefully review the itinerary and physical requirements for your specific trip. If you have questions about the physical demands of your itinerary, call us at 833-254-6678.

Please be aware that healthcare standards, facilities, and services abroad may be different or even inadequate for treating certain health conditions.  It is essential that you inform tour operator in writing 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, speakers, and services for any stated in the itinerary. We will not be responsible for providing any reimbursement for delays in the Tour due to bad weather, trail conditions, river levels, road conditions, transportation delays, or government intervention.

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

Hotel Accommodations

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

Singles and Roommates

Accommodations (hotels, lodges, tents, etc.) are always reserved for single participants, however, the number 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 to share with you. If 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.

Dispute Resolution

If a complaint arises, the participant should first inform a member of the on-tour staff, so that the staff can attempt to rectify the matter. If the issue remains unresolved, the individual should submit the complaint in writing to Smithsonian Journeys within 30 days of the completion of the tour.

Photography and Video

Participants on tour may be photographed or recorded (audio and video) for the educational and promotional purposes of the Smithsonian Institution and Smithsonian authorized third parties.  This content may be used in marketing publications and posted on websites to promote Smithsonian Journeys without compensation to the participant. Participants who prefer that their name, voice and/or image not be used must notify us in writing prior to the beginning of the tour.

Smoking Policy 

For the comfort of all participants, we ask that there be no smoking during all group activities, including excursions and meals. On certain cruises, there is no smoking aboard the ship. Your pre-tour bulletins will provide further information.

Responsibility Statement

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 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, and safety of our travelers.

The Smithsonian Institution and its designated tour operator also reserve the right, without penalty, to withdraw the tour, to decline to accept any person as a participant in a tour, or to require any participant to withdraw from the tour at any time (including, but not limited for inappropriate, or offensive behavior) when such action is determined by tour staff to be in the best interests of the health, safety or general welfare of the tour group or the individual participant.

Dates, schedules, tour details, and costs, although provided in good faith based on information available at the time of publication on the website, in the brochure or catalog, are subject to change and revision.

Responsibilities of Participants

Participant is responsible for understanding the conditions as described in the Tour Itinerary and selecting a Tour in consultation with us that is appropriate to his/her interests and abilities. In addition, the participant should prepare for the Tour by reading the Tour Itinerary and supplemental Tour information in the pre-Tour materials and bringing the appropriate clothing and equipment as advised in those materials. The participant should also consult his or her physician to determine his/her suitability for the Tour and to discuss any over the counter or prescription medicines he/she should consider taking in the case of Tours which travel to higher altitudes. Screening for fitness (for Tours rated “Level 4 or Level 5”) is made during the confirmation of booking. In addition, we strongly urge all participants to review any State Department warnings, alerts, advisories, and destination specific information at www.travel.state.gov as well as specific health information for their destination at www.cdc.gov.