American Express Travel, the largest travel agency in the world and one of the most trusted companies for travel, has announced a new partnership with Smithsonian Journeys, the educational travel program of the Smithsonian Institution, and the world’s largest museum- based travel program. American Express Travel agents can now exclusively offer Smithsonian Journeys’ cultural and educational group trips, marking the first time that an outside travel company’s agents can offer the majority of Smithsonian Journeys tours to their clients.

Enriching, exclusive and educational, Smithsonian Journeys’ trips delve deeply into travelers’ personal passions, from archaeology to opera, civil war history to architecture, astronomy, literature, cuisine and wildlife safaris. Encompassing every corner of the globe and every mode of travel — land, cruise, rail, private jet — Smithsonian Journeys are escorted by study leaders, passionate and knowledgeable experts who share insights and compelling commentary designed to engage participants and to maximize each travel experience. Itineraries also feature inside access experiences including private recitals, curator-led tours and backstage admissions.

When booking with an American Express Charge Card, Cardmembers will receive a special benefit: a gift certificate to Longitude, an on-line travel bookstore, keeping with the overall educational theme. Cardmembers with a Platinum Card(R) or Gold Card will receive a $100 gift certificate when purchasing vacations $3,000 or more and a $50 certificate for vacations under that amount. American Express Green Card(R) members receive a $50 gift certificate for any vacation.

“American Express Travel is so pleased to partner with Smithsonian Journeys to offer our customers enriching travel experiences that creatively combine learning and leisure, and are customized and suited to their personal interests,” said Audrey Hendley, vice president of marketing, American Express Travel. “This partnership really builds on American Express’ commitment to cater to the growing consumer desire for educational and unique experiences while traveling. We are delighted that American Express agents, including our Representative Network agents, are now able to add Smithsonian Journeys to their offerings because the knowledge-based vacations available run from ultra luxurious to extremely affordable to meet all budgets and needs.”

According to Amy Kotkin, director, Smithsonian Journeys, “The mission of Smithsonian Journeys has always been to give the intrepid traveler, actively curious about the world, access to inside experiences in the most fascinating corners of the globe through a roster of distinctive itineraries led by distinguished Study Leaders and surrounded by like-minded individuals. American Express is an ideal partner in this endeavor — and we’re delighted to open our engaging journeys to their discerning, well-traveled clientele.”

Smithsonian Journeys itineraries now available through American Express Travel include:
— Small ship cruising on chartered, ocean-faring vessels of 50-200 passengers

— River cruising in Europe, Africa and South America

— Luxury trains, including Rovos Rail and the Trans-Siberian Express

— European stays on week-long programs in charming enclaves of the Cotswolds, Dordogne, Tuscany and more

— Special interest land tours such as an inside look at Italian sports cars and design, examining the booming architectural scene of the Twin Cities, premier seating at the Santa Fe opera, and skyward views of the universe for astronomy buffs in Chile

— Family tours to the Galapagos, Tanzania, Amazon, the Grand Tetons and more

Smithsonian Journeys features two types of travel programs: Smithsonian Journeys Signature Tours

Comprising approximately 200 luxury cruises, land and rail tours worldwide, these journeys are emblematic of the unparallel access and notch-up experiences offered by America’s national museum. Take The Art and Craft of Japan tour, where travelers are welcomed as guests at the studios of Japanese artists and craftsmen whose work represents the best of contemporary and traditional styles. The tour also includes a visit to a Japanese gourmet food market led by Tokyo food expert and former New York Times columnist Elizabeth Andoh.

Other Smithsonian Journeys Signature Tours offer a creative blend of the upscale and the awe-inspiring. In Around the World by Private Jet, span the globe in just three weeks drinking in the world’s greatest natural treasures and legendary locales, from Machu Picchu to the Great Barrier Reef, from Easter Island to Tibet, all by private jet.

Smithsonian Journeys Travel Adventures

These value-priced vacations feature multiple departures of 16 educational itineraries worldwide. For example, on the Costa Rica: Nature’s Museum tour, a Costa Rican naturalist takes travelers off the beaten path to discover the nation’s spectacular flora and fauna, geological wonders and tropical forest ecology. Expert local guest speakers and knowledgeable tour managers provide the educational content on these tours.

About American Express Travel

American Express entered the travel agency business in 1915 and today is one of the world’s largest travel agency networks. The company has more than 2,200* Travel and Foreign Exchange Services locations worldwide in more than 140 countries.

American Express Company is a diversified worldwide travel, network and financial services provider founded in 1850. It is a leader in charge and credit cards, Travelers Cheques, travel, international banking. For more information, visit * Not all services available at all locations and subject to local laws and cash availability.

About Smithsonian Journeys

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 annual departures to all seven continents are led by eminent Study Leaders, a Smithsonian Journeys hallmark, or include talks by fascinating local experts. For more information, contact toll-free 1-877-338-8687 (Smithsonian Journeys Signature Tours), 1-800-528-8147 (Smithsonian Journeys Travel Adventures) or visit

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