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America’s largest museum-based travel program has unveiled a wide selection of educational journeys worldwide for 2009. Travelers will find a remarkable array of more than 250 exceptional Signature tour programs, many led by Smithsonian Institution expert curators, historians, scientists and researchers.
Travelers will have a choice of rail journeys through South Africa and India, expedition cruises to Panama and Costa Rica and Antarctica, and luxury cruises to Japan and China, along with European stays and around-the-world tours by private jet. Tours closer to home include enhanced access to the final day of the Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta, Ga., and a behind-the-scenes look at the prestigious Smithsonian’s Craft Show in Washington, D.C., featuring meetings with the artists. Other Smithsonian Journeys offer outdoor adventures and performing arts and fine art tours.
Among the tours led by Smithsonian experts is “In the Footsteps of Galileo,” Oct. 4-11, 2009, a journey through Italy with David Aguilar, director of public affairs at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Mass. On the 400th anniversary of Galileo’s first use of a telescope, Aguilar will explore Galileo’s extraordinary contributions through visits to key sites, including the Institute and Museum of the History of Science in Florence, Italy, where participants will see some of the astronomer’s personal instruments.
Smithsonian anthropologist William Fitzhugh will accompany travelers to “Genghis Khan’s Mongolia,” July 2-15, 2009 and July 6-10, 2009, where they will stay in gers (traditional Mongolian tents), meet nomadic peoples and explore one of the last great untamed places of the world as they travel through areas once ruled by Genghis Khan.
Art lovers will have many programs to choose from in 2009, including “The Venice Biennale and Art of the Veneto,” June 9-17, 2009, accompanied by art historian Mariana Carpinisan, a frequent Smithsonian lecturer. At Venice’s 53rd International Art Exhibition, participants will view works of art from an insider’s perspective as they tour private palazzos and special exhibitions.
Smithsonian Journeys also offers numerous tours throughout the United States and Canada. Travelers can enjoy special entrée to the nation’s most prestigious juried exhibition of contemporary craft work at “The Smithsonian Craft Show,” April 22-26, 2009, private meetings with featured artists; and an exclusive tour of the Luce Foundation Center for American Art at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
Smithsonian aviation historian Tom Crouch will talk about the world’s oldest aviation sport during “Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta,” Oct. 2-5, 2009. Travelers will learn about the history and mechanics of ballooning, meet world-class balloonists and ascend in their own colorful balloon during the four-day program.
Three Smithsonian anthropologists, including Richard Kurin, the Smithsonian’s Acting Under Secretary for History, Art, and Culture, will accompany a maximum of 88 travelers on “Extraordinary Cultures: An Epic Journey Around the World by Private Jet,” from March 11, 2009 through April 5, 2009. Stops include Machu Picchu, Easter Island, Tonga, the Great Barrier Reef, Agra and Marrakech, among other exotic stops.
About Smithsonian Journeys
Smithsonian Journeys, the educational travel program of the Smithsonian Institution, is dedicated to the life-enriching experiences of educational travel. More than 250 international tours annually are led by eminent experts that add extraordinary depth and insider’s access to people, sites and experiences that are rarely available to the casual traveler. More information is available by calling (877) EDU-TOURS (338-8687) or visiting www.smithsonianjourneys.org.
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