Washington, DC, November 15, 2006 â€“ Lifelong learning adventures for the whole family will get a boost in Summer 2007 as Smithsonian Journeys goes on location around the world with its well-crafted series of inter-generational learning vacations. Led by expert Study Leaders and Youth Coordinators who enhance each journey with informed insights, the program is geared to lift curious family members of all ages into exciting new realms of discovery.
â€œThe gift of travel is a wonderful way for multiple generations to share quality family time,â€ said Amy Kotkin, director of Smithsonian Journeys. â€œWhile itâ€™s not a present you can gift wrap or stuff in a stocking, it offers creative ways to extend the holiday spirit and give each family member a personally rewarding, and stimulating experience to anticipate, enjoy and look back on with fond memories.â€
International Forays of Discovery
Tanzania Family Safari, August 6 â€“ 17, 2007: Join an exotic safari to East Africaâ€™s largest country. Unlike standard safaris, this program is designed around children, and uniquely paced to their needs and interests. All ages will thrill to this adventure, while observing herds of Africaâ€™s â€œbig fiveâ€ â€“ lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and rhinoceros in their natural habitat, and studying curious wildlife behavior up close with Dr. Suzan Murray, chief veterinarian at the Smithsonian Institutionâ€™s National Zoo. Hear the surprisingly expressive barks of vervet monkeys when you spend three nights at the 100-square-mile Ngorongoro Crater, home to the worldâ€™s largest concentration of plains game. Descend on foot to the bottom of Empakaai Crater, located in the shadow of Oldoinyo Lengai, sacred volcano to the Masai. Learn about the origins of man in Olduvai Gorge, at the very site where anthropologists Mary and Louis Leakey unearthed human fossils dating back almost two million years. Over the next two days, explore the famed Serengeti, Tanzaniaâ€™s largest national park, thriving with wildebeest, zebra and numerous hoofed animals. On a game drive at Lake Manyara, keep a keen eye out for the parkâ€™s nimble tree-climbing lions. Finally, meet with children at a local elementary school, an experience bound to leave a lasting impression in the hearts and minds of your own children.
Rates are $7,895 per adult; $4,595 per child (ages 7 â€“ 12 years), based on doubles, land only, and include: accommodations in Arusha, Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti, and Lake Manyara; excursions; meals; study leader; youth coordinator; and emergency trip evacuation insurance. Bring a Friend who is new to Smithsonian Journeys, and both of you will receive a $250 discount.
A Family Adventure in the GalÃ¡pagos Islands, June 17 â€“ 26, 2007: Sail off on the evolutionary trail in pursuit of seabirds and reptiles. Led by Study Leaders as well as fun-loving science teachers who present exciting hands-on learning activities for young people, this enchanting cruise on the 90-passenger Santa Cruz sails deep into the heart of the islands that inspired Darwinâ€™s theory of evolution. Embark in Baltra Island, and journey through this ancient archipelago formed by volcanic eruptions. Hop into a dinghy and cruise mangrove-lined inlets unfolding pelicans, boobies and endemic marine iguanas. See the only lizard adapted to live and forage in the sea, as well as their land cousins, reintroduced to the island by the Charles Darwin Research Station. Hike BartolomÃ© Islandâ€™s summit for panoramic views, snorkel with GalÃ¡pagos penguins (the only penguin in the Northern Hemisphere), and observe sea lion pups at play in their nursery. Families will enjoy privileged access to the Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz Island, learning about crucial conservations efforts on behalf of the endangered giant tortoises. These lessons in natural history continue at the tortoise-breeding center at San Cristobal Island, where Darwin himself first set foot in the GalÃ¡pagos in 1835.
Rates start at $4,990 per adult; $500 less per child (ages 8-17 years), based on doubles, land only, and include: accommodations aboard Santa Cruz; excursions; meals; and emergency trip evacuation insurance. Bring a Friend who is new to Smithsonian Journeys, and both of you will receive a $250 discount.
The most biologically diverse wildlife on earth is sure to spark childrenâ€™s innate curiosity about the wonders of the natural world. On Amazon Voyage aboard La Amatista, July 6 â€“ 15, 2007, biologist Patty Hostiuck shares her expertise in geography and natural history to fascinating effect. By day, aspiring naturalists might view primates, sloths, macaws and pink river dolphins, while nocturnal excursions reveal caimans and capybaras. A forest canopy walk, a soccer game with local children, and a meeting with a traditional shaman are among the many highlights. Rates from $3,289 per person.
A classic family favorite, Voyage to the Lands of Gods and Heroes aboard Corinthian II sets sail on its 12th year from July 20 â€“ August 1, 2007. This Mediterranean all-suite cruise delves deep into Greek and Roman history, literature and mythology, while exploring the ruins of ancient civilizations. Young Explorers are in for a special treat: youth counselors lead an archeological excavation, teach the basics of celestial navigation, host a visit to the shipâ€™s bridge, and even produce a Greek or Roman farewell play. Rates from $9,895 per person; 8 year minimum age applies.
Escapades for the Family in Wyoming and Alaska
Family Adventure in Jackson Hole, July 7 â€“ 13, 2007, is a first-time itinerary to the magnificent landscapes of Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks. Discover the regionâ€™s ecology, fossils, native animals and edible wild plants, and become an amateur conservationist by helping experts catch and band song birds. Every day is filled with exhilarating hiking, rafting and horseback riding excursions, and even a traditional western rodeo and chuck wagon dinner, complete with tall tales and lively music. Rates from $2,595 per person; 8 year minimum age applies.
Experience the magic of Americaâ€™s last frontier on Alaskaâ€™s Coastal Wilderness Adventure for Families aboard M.V. Sea Bird, July 1 â€“ 8, 2007. Explore the islands, bays and fjords of the 49th state from Juneau to Frederick Sound, as well as the marine wilderness of Glacier Bay National Park. Kayak among icebergs, listen to the soulful songs of humpback whales, and uncover Alaskaâ€™s remarkable native heritage of 11 distinct cultures. Rates from $4,840 per person; children under 18 receive a $500 discount off the double rate.
Smithsonian Journeys, the travel program of the renowned Smithsonian Institution, is the largest museum-based travel program in the world, and is unflinchingly dedicated to the life-enriching experiences of educational travel. Every year more than 250 inspiring itineraries to all seven continents are led by eminent Study Leaders, a Smithsonian Journeys hallmark. For more information visit www.smithsonianjourneys.org.