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Smithsonian Journeys

3.0 | Average
  • 50% Recommend
Service Level
  • Luxury
  • Global Operator
  • 1970
  • Washington, DC, USA
  • 12

Smithsonian Journeys Reviews & Ratings 50% Recommend

3.0 out of 5
Excellent 1 Great 0 Average 0 Disappointing 0 Terrible 1
3.0 Guide:
3.0 Activities:
5.0 Lodging:
5.0 Transportation:
3.0 Meals:

Tour Reviews


Does Not Recommend

The trip was awful due to flight cancellations and failure of the contractor to adequately compensate for missed activities and days. May 2018

  • Value 1.0
  • Guide 1.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 1.0
  • Meals 4.0
My wife and I were on the Smithsonian Journeys Splendors of Australia and New Zealand between April 13 and May 2, 2018. Smithsonian is rated by this site as Luxury travel. However, Smithsonian "farms out" the logistics for their trip to Odysseys Unlimited. Odysseys booked within country air travel with the lowest cost air carriers. Flights were cancelled from Ayers Rock to Sydney and from Queenstown New Zealand to Rotorua. Another flight was significantly delayed so that we did not arrive at our Christchurch destination until 2:00 am, making for a really tired next day. Odysseys Unlimited compensated us $400 per person for missing a day in Sydney and paid for an excursion in Auckland for missing Rotorua. This was wholly inadequate, given that these were highlights of the trip. In addition, our tour guide was rude to several people on the trip. If Smithsonian Journeys is truly a luxury travel outfit, as we had believed, then they would not be farming out travel logistics to such a chinch company as Odysseys Unlimited. We will think twice about traveling with Smithsonian again, and so should others.
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Get to Cuba before it changes because it has to. January 2017

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 4.0
Cuba has been open to limited group travel for four years and is being opened to individual travel (still with restrictions) now. With thousands of Americans descending on our nearest island neighbor, Cuba has to increase its tourist infrastructure - and lose some of its charm.

Smithsonian Journeys is a great way to see Cuba before it changes. Yes, Smithsonian tours are more expensive than some other tour companies but the phrase, "you get what you pay for", certainly holds true. Everything about the tour was top notch - the American tour coordinator, the local Cuban guide, the itinerary - the best. And everything is included - everything - tipping, all activities, tours. Cuba is a fascinating destination and deserves a quality tour company.
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Known For

50-Plus Travel Tours, North Amercian Tours, Central America & Caribbean Tours

Established in 1970, Smithsonian Journeys offers small group tours to 150 destinations around the globe. Smithsonian Journeys’ variability in style and destinations allows individuals to choose the perfect trip for them personally. Trips focus on “bringing a destination to life” through stories, facts, and tours led by experts in a variety of fields. 

What Makes Them Stand Out?

Unique to Smithsonian Journeys are the Smithsonian Journey Experts who accompany the programs. These scholars and experts range from art historians, anthropologists, geologists and more. Charismatic and knowledgable, they are a defining element of all Smithsonian trips. Their commitment and backgrounds bring insight meaningfulness to all travelers who join them on trips.  

Who Travels With Them?

The typical age range on Smithsonian trips is between 55-65, with younger travelers on outdoor, active adventures and older individuals often on special interest tours. Family tours, however, cater to a wide variety of ages including children. Trips are ideally suited to those looking to meet fellow travelers and lifelong learners. 

Where Do They Operate?

Smithsonian Journeys has trips to all 7 continents. Travelers can pick from a wide variety of travel styles including: exploring by land, ship, train, private jet, immersion programs, family trips, tailer-made journeys, and special-interest travel! 

Why Travel With Them?

The common denominator in all of it is the “diffusion of knowledge,” as Smithsonian Journeys puts it. Trips are sure to be educational, exciting and memorable for all who participate.

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From Smithsonian Journeys

Smithsonian Journeys marks its 45th anniversary in 2015! We, along with our travelers, continue to be inspired by the Smithsonian’s mission of “the increase and diffusion of knowledge.” This dedication to lifelong learning and passion for exploring the world drives us to develop authentic and exceptional cultural experiences.

Since 1970, our collection of diverse tours and cruises has grown to more than 150 destinations on all seven continents. From a stop at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama during a small-ship cruise to touring the sublime collections of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence when the museum is closed to the public from witnessing an infinite array of celestial phenomena during a hands-on telescope viewing at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Arizona to exclusive meetings with top mystery writers in England. Smithsonian Journeys is the enduring leader in cultural and enrichment travel.

It is through our knowledgeable and charismatic Smithsonian Journeys Experts, our dedicated tour staff, and carefully selected travel partners, who combine their expertise, unflagging care, and detailed planning skills, that we are able to create such exceptional travel experiences, and memories to last a lifetime. We look forward to the years ahead and thank you for being part of our journey!

The Smithsonian Journeys Difference

Inspiring generations through learning and discovery, the Smithsonian museums have exhilarated visitors with unique and authentic experiences for more than 160 years. This same sense of awe and wonder can be yours, anywhere you travel in the world with Smithsonian Journeys. So let Smithsonian be your compass and help get you started on your exploration.

Preserving our National Treasures: Like the Institution, our tours enrich our guests’ lives and satisfy their curiosity about the world around them. Your participation benefits the work of the Smithsonian’s nineteen museums, national zoo, and nine research centers, helping to preserve national treasures and shape the future through science, research, and exhibitions.

Bringing Your Destination to Life: When you travel with Smithsonian, you will explore the world with experts who are masters at bringing your destination to life. These inspiring scholars are compelling storytellers and charming travel companions, who will enrich your travel experience in a unique and personal way.

Behind-the-Scenes Access: From people to places, our Smithsonian connections provide you with behind-the-scenes access to iconic sites, knowledgeable guides, local experts, and exclusive events all over the world, adding even more meaning and authenticity to your travel experience.

Travel with New Friends: On any given trip, you will be sure to forge lasting friendships with like-minded travelers who share your passion for exploration. Our small groups deliver an intimate journey and you’ll never feel herded or rushed.

We Know Where to Take You: From unique lodgings in far-flung regions and charming hotels in well-traveled places to the ideal cruise ship or train experience, you’ll always travel in comfort and style, and enjoy authentic cuisine that reflects the local culture.

We've Got Everything Covered: When you travel with Smithsonian, there is no need for exhaustive planning or worrying about travel logistics. Our first-rate staff meticulously manages every aspect of each trip to ensure the highest quality and provide you with comfortable, stress-free travel.

Discover Real Value: Once you add up the extras we include as a matter of course—experts, meals, transfers, excursions, little luxuries, and even airfare inclusive pricing on many tours—you’ll know you’re getting more than you pay for. That’s what we call real value!


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