The Smithsonian Institute: Educating, Even At Sea

Smithsonian Arts Industries Building

Most of us are familiar with the Smithsonian Institute; it is, after all, the world’s largest museum and research complex, with 19 museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park and nine research facilities.

Located in Washington, D.C., most of the Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo are free to the public and open almost every day of the year. My personal favorite is the National Air and Space Museum (which features exhibits such as the 1903 Wright Flyer, Spirit of St. Louis, and the Apollo 11 command module) but every museum is a testament to our amazing planet and man’s accomplishments in its own right.

Founded in 1846, the Smithsonian Institute’s goal has always been to promote education and knowledge, and to preserve heritage and culture for future generations.  Most of this, I already knew…but here’s what I didn’t;  the Smithsonian also does cruises!

As you might imagine, these voyages are focused on education and history, and feature professors, researchers, historians, archeologists, and naturalists as guest lecturers.  Smithsonian Journeys visit global locales, and range in scope from cruises that retrace Lewis and Clark’s expedition, to Egyptian Odysseys, to a “World Leaders Symposium” with guests Colin Powell and Chuck Hagel aboard the Silver Shadow.  There’s also a cruise that showcases the influences of Judaism, Christianity and Islam in Southern Spain and Morocco, another that traces the course of Odysseus from Troy to Naples and Ithaca, and yet another that focuses on the  culture and hidden nature reserves in four West African countries.

These voyages are set up to be the ultimate educational experience – perfect for anyone with a thirst for knowledge as well as travel.  The Smithsonian works with a variety of cruise lines to create these specialized itineraries, so contact your cruise travel agent to find out more about how to book.

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