In Press Release

New Itineraries Include Northern Lights over Finland; Voyages to the Aegean Sea, the Canary Islands, and the Islands of the Western Mediterranean; and an Immersive “Living In” Stay in Portugal

Washington, D.C. (Jan 24, 2024) Smithsonian Journeys, the travel program of the Smithsonian Institution – the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex announces new trips for 2025, including new small-ship cruises in partnership with PONANT, a new cultural stay program, and new land journeys.

Each of these new travel programs embodies the unique combination of engaging activities and educational enrichment that is the hallmark of Smithsonian Journey. They are accompanied by a Smithsonian Journeys Expert—whether an art historian, an archaeologist, or an international relations expert—whose insight and knowledge deepen a traveler’s understanding of their destination’s cultural and natural history. Travelers might find themselves embarking on our new Northern Lights over Finland journey and exploring Lapland to learn about Sami culture; learning about everyday life in the Amazon from Indigenous communities that live along the riverbanks; or soaking up life during a rewarding week of study and exploration at Scotland’s University of St Andrews.

“We are very excited about our new offerings for 2025! They span the globe from Finnish Lapland to the Mekong River, building on Smithsonian’s heritage as a leader in protecting the world’s cultural and natural treasures and deepening people’s understanding about our world,” noted Lynn Cutter, Senior Vice President, Smithsonian Travel. “Our new cruises aboard the PONANT fleet bring us to fascinating places from Gallipoli and Troy to the Canary Islands, and we’ve expanded our popular “Living In” programs to include a new 19-day cultural immersion in the heart of Lisbon, Portugal.”


Northern Lights Over Finland: Helsinki and Lapland – 9 days from $6,390

Explore two fascinating Baltic Sea capitals—Helsinki and Tallinn—and experience Finland’s sauna tradition before settling into a cozy glass-roofed cabin in Lapland to learn about Sami culture and behold the breathtaking aurora borealis.  

Timeless India: Rajasthan, Varanasi, and the Taj Mahal – 17 days from $6,887

Experience India’s indelible traditions and the irrepressible energy of modern-day life on a journey from Old Delhi to the “Pink City” of Jaipur to the holy city of Varanasi. Observe wildlife in Ranthambore National Park, explore the World Heritage-listed hill forts of Rajasthan, and encounter the exquisite Taj Mahal. Get acquainted with local traditions on visits to artisan villages and farming communities, and witness timeless rituals on the banks of the sacred Ganges.

Southeast Asia: Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and Laos – 19 days from $8,697

Make your way through Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand, experiencing legendary cities and rural life on a journey that features a Mekong cruise and the World Heritage sites of Angkor Wat, Hoi An, and Luang Prabang.

Smithsonian at St Andrews, Scotland 8 days from $5,995

Walk the storied halls of the University of St Andrews and attend courses  taught by the faculty on Scottish clans, historic castles, or literary traditions. Lodge in student accommodations on campus or at a conveniently located hotel, and explore the charming town of St Andrews, Edinburgh, and the region during free time and excursions with your class. 


Cruising the Aegean: Turkey and the Greek Isles – 8 days from $6,060

Sail from Istanbul to Athens aboard the 184-guest Le Bougainville on a voyage that links some of the most storied sites in antiquity—from Troy and Ephesus to Mycenae. As you trace Turkey’s western coast and cross the Aegean Sea, discover ancient temples and cities where the legends of Greek mythology took place. Explore early Christian history on rugged Patmos, sail a catamaran in Santorini’s caldera, and experience the lovely Peloponnese port town of Nafplio.

Lisbon to the Canary Islands by Sea: Spain, Morocco, and the Atlantic Isles – 14 days from $9,020

Aboard the 184-guest Le Bellot, voyage from Lisbon and the Algarve to Andalusia and the souks of Morocco before crossing the eastern Atlantic to the spectacular volcanic archipelagos of Madeira and the Canary Islands. Along the way, encounter interwoven cultures, numerous World Heritage sites, and dramatic landscapes forged by lava.

Cruising the Mediterranean: Sicily, Sardinia, and Mallorca – 8 days from $5,340

Explore the western Mediterranean aboard the 264-guest L’Austral. Set sail from the baroque gem of Valletta, Malta on a voyage that will have you exploring Greek and Arab-Norman treasures in western Sicily, the rose-colored capital of Sardinia, Bronze Age sites in Menorca, and medieval monuments of Palma de Mallorca. Along the way, sample local specialties, visit fascinating archaeological sites, and explore gorgeous coasts of limestone cliffs and secluded coves.

Cruising the Amazon Waterways – 9 days from $5,995

Sail deep into the rainforests of the Peruvian Amazon aboard the elegant, 44-guest Delfin III. Discover the incredible biodiversity and enchanting waterscapes of the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve, venturing into flooded forests by Zodiac and taking walks on terra firma. Spend time with Indigenous ribereño communities along the riverbanks, take a canopy walk, and with luck, enjoy a chance to swim with pink dolphins. The journey begins with the cultural highlights of Lima, and travelers can opt for an extension to Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley.


Travelers can fulfill their dream of living abroad during an immersion stay that includes excursions to must-see and lesser-known sites, talks by local experts, and plenty of free time for independent exploration. These “Living In” programs can be personalized with special enrichment tracks such as Language, Cuisine, and Art and Architecture. Popular options continue in France (Provence), Italy (Florence), and Spain (Andalusia). New for 2025 is:

Living in Portugal: A Stay in Lisbon – 19 days from $7,890

Soak up the rhythms of life in Portugal from your base in the heart of Lisbon, discovering World Heritage sites, walled villages, and an enduring culture through guided visits and off-the-beaten-path experiences from the rugged Atlantic shores to the Roman ruins of Évora. 

*Pricing reflects a savings of 5% to 30%, based on availability at press release. See our website for current pricing. Book early for the highest savings.


Among many highlights IN 2023 were touring the brief, sold-out Vermeer retrospective at Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum during a river cruise to Holland and Belgium and a music-filled voyage along the St. Lawrence River with Boston Pops maestro Keith Lockhart. Top 10 Trips in 2023 were:

Highlights of Italy – Journey from the Amalfi Coast to the Adriatic, experiencing some of Italy’s most beloved cities and sites on a tour that includes Rome, Florence, Venice, and a stay in a lovely Tuscan villa. 

Waterways of Holland and Belgium – Experience Holland and Belgium at the height of the spring bloom as you sail inland waterways between Antwerp and Amsterdam. Discover medieval trade centers, vibrant cities, and magnificent art and architecture; and encounter millions of blossoms at the incomparable Keukenhof Gardens.

Scottish Isles and Norwegian Fjords Voyage – Uncover the legacy of ancient civilizations from prehistory to the Vikings as you sail from Norway’s fjord-carved coast to the far-flung Scottish isles.  

Splendors of Morocco – Journey to Morocco’s four imperial cities—Rabat, Meknes, Fez, and Marrakech, experiencing the country’s rich culture, stunning geographical diversity, and six World Heritage sites as you travel from the Atlantic coast to the Sahara desert and through the High Atlas mountains.  

Eternal Japan – From historic castle towns to the dazzle of downtown Tokyo, experience the essence of Japan past and present, delving into art, cuisine, and spiritual traditions in great cities and stunning rural areas.

Classical Greece – Delve into some of the most legendary sites in ancient Greece—and soak up contemporary Greek culture—on a journey from the Athens Acropolis to the Peloponnese, Crete, and Santorini.

Adventure in Iceland – Encounter the natural splendor of Iceland—home to powerful waterfalls, massive glaciers, volcanoes, spouting hot springs, and black-sand beaches — on a popular tour to the geological wonders of the island’s north, south, and west.

Treasures of Southern Spain and Portugal -Stay in historic paradores and pousadas as you make your way from Lisbon to Madrid, exploring cities brimming with history and contemporary culture, ancient Roman sites, and the Moorish strongholds and whitewashed hill towns of Andalusia.

Living in Italy: A Three-Week Stay in Florence – Feel at home in Florence, enjoying endless opportunities to explore the city’s arts, history, and culture during a three-week immersion program. Take part in walking tours and guided museum visits and discover the charms of Tuscany on day trips to Siena, Lucca, and beyond. Choose to learn Italian, delve deeper into art history,  or enjoy cooking classes and culinary tours through one included enrichment track of your choice—and opt to join as many tracks as you wish.

A Danube River Cruise – Discover eight countries and numerous World Heritage sites as you follow the fabled Danube River between Bulgaria and Bavaria. Explore medieval towns and world-class cities, enjoy wine tastings in Croatia and Austria, and bookend your voyage with stays in Prague and Sofia.

About the Smithsonian   

Since its founding in 1846, the Smithsonian Institution has been committed to inspiring generations through knowledge and discovery. It is the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex,  consisting of 21 museums, the National Zoological Park, education centers, research facilities, cultural centers, and libraries.  Two of the 21 museums – the National Museum of the American Latino and the  Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum – are in the early planning stages. The total number of objects, works of art, and specimens at the Smithsonian is estimated at nearly 155 million, of which nearly  146 million are scientific specimens at the National Museum of Natural History.   

About Smithsonian Journeys   

Smithsonian Journeys is a global leader in cultural travel for diverse audiences, offering unique, expert-led trips on all seven continents. In addition to these new active journeys, Smithsonian Journeys offers smallgroup land journeys, small-ship ocean cruises, river cruises, cultural stays, private jet trips, tailor-made journeys for the independent traveler, and student travel programs. Smithsonian Journeys is part of Smithsonian Enterprises, a division of the Smithsonian which oversees the institution’s commercial activities, including the Smithsonian Channel, which is available in over 55 million households globally; the retail operation, which includes 35 museum and airport stores, and food concessions; an E-commerce business,; Smithsonian magazine, which reaches more than 8 million monthly readers; consumer and education licensing; and books. For more information visit or call 1-855-330-1542.

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