Frequently Asked Questions
- What is Scholarly Sojourns?
Scholarly Sojourns is a unique tour operator offering a boutique collection of carefully crafted educational tours (we call them “sojourns”) for life-long learners of all ages. Focusing on fascinating subjects and keeping our groups small, we are able to take you off the beaten path, beyond the throngs of tourists, and allow you to experience a side of the world that few others ever get to see. Led by respected scholars, noted experts, and gifted teachers, each sojourn is an opportunity to explore a fascinating subject while traveling under the guidance of a genuine expert. If you enjoyed studying abroad in college, or if you never got the chance to, here’s another opportunity!
- How is Scholarly Sojourns different from other tour operators?
There are many features that set Scholarly Sojourns apart from other tour operators. But if we had to sum it up in just two words, we’d have to say – our Scholars! Each sojourn is led by a renowned scholar and genuine expert in their field. Most often that means a sitting professor from a noted college or university. Many are widely published authors whose expertise is frequently sought by media organizations such as The History Channel, CNN, or The New York Times. Our sojourn leaders are one of the major differences that make each Scholarly Sojourn an absolutely unparalleled learning experience. These dedicated, committed, and passionate teachers design the entire scholarly program of each sojourn and personally invest themselves in making sure you have an unmatched learning experience. No other tour organizer can claim to have the distinguished leaders that Scholarly Sojourns offers you.
- How can I contact you?
We love hearing from you! If you have any questions, comments, feedback, or if you are ready to register for a sojourn, we offer a variety of ways to get in touch. Of course the fastest way is to call us at 1-800-419-3433. Click here for our complete contact details.
- You offer several different types of sojourns. What is the difference between Scholarly Sojourns, Cultural Sojourns, Active Scholar Sojourns, Epicurean Sojourns, and Spiritual Sojourns?
While all of our sojourns combine an unforgettable vacation with a engaging learning experience, we offer different types of programs tailored more specifically to certain interests. Scholarly Sojourns are our flagship tours: these programs focus on subjects you would find in the traditional liberal arts curriculum and are always led by a noted college or university professor. Cultural Sojourns explore subjects from the visual and performing arts such a music, opera, and painting and they offer opportunities to attend performances and explore museums. Active Scholar Sojourns combine a learning experience with physical activity and adventure such a hiking, cycling, or sailing. Epicurean Sojourns are gastronomic explorations of regional cuisines, cooking and other artisanally-produced delicacies such as wine and beer. Finally, Spiritual Sojourns are modern-day pilgrimages and examine subjects of a spiritual nature and are frequently led by a religious authorities or theologians.
- How do I book my Scholarly Sojourn?
It’s easy—you can register online using our secure registration form (accessible from any sojourn page), call us toll-free at 1-800-449-3443, or print and mail (or fax) the registration form. Once we receive your registration and confirm your space, you will need to pay a $500 deposit per traveler. This can be paid by Visa, MasterCard, or personal check. Once the deposit is received, you are officially booked on the sojourn.
- Can I purchase a Scholarly Sojourn as a gift for someone else?
Yes you can! But before you do, we need to contact the recipient to make sure they are ready and able to travel for the dates of the sojourn. For more information, call us at 1-800-419-3443.
- What is included with the cost of my Scholarly Sojourn?
Each sojourn is a little different is this regard so we encourage you to check the “Sojourn Price” page for each specific sojourn as well as review the detailed itinerary which you can request in advance. In general, all sojourns include: a complete scholarly program of lectures, presentations, visits, and discussions guided by expertise of a sojourn leader; the services of a sojourn manager; lodging for each night of the sojourn; all breakfasts and variety of other meals; opening and closing receptions; all entry fees, sightseeing, visits, and guides; any special equipment necessary; service charges and gratuities for hotels, group meals, drivers, and guides; on tour transportation except local subway/light rail, bus, and taxi fares.
- Is airfare included in the sojourn price?
Because we have found that many participants prefer to make their own travel arrangements, wish to take advantage of loyalty program award travel, or combine a sojourn with business or other travel, airfare to and from the destination is not included in the base price of a sojourn. We do, however, offer an optional air travel package for each sojourn which includes round-trip flights from New York City.
- Can you help me arrange air fare?
We are happy to. In fact, we offer an optional air travel package for each sojourn which not only includes round-trip airfare from New York City, but also round-trip airport transfers in the destination and 100% travel assurance. We can also arrange connecting flights from any major airport in the United States or Canada.
- What type of people travel with Scholarly Sojourns?
Our sojourns attract an intellectually-engaged group of travelers from a variety of different backgrounds and experiences. In general, these individuals enjoy keeping their minds active; have a passion for travel, and a dedication to life-long learning.
- How many other travelers are on a Scholarly Sojourn?
Our philosophy is that small groups foster the most intellectually stimulating atmosphere and provide all travelers the opportunity to participate in discussions and have interaction with the sojourn leader. Small groups also allow us to stay at atmospheric boutique hotels and dine at intimate restaurants that could not accommodate larger groups. The exact size of the sojourn will vary depending upon the program, but the average size is 16 members.
- At what kind of hotels can I expect to stay on a Scholarly Sojourn?
The superior hotels you’ll find on a our sojourns are often stories in themselves. They are selected to help create an atmospheric backdrop to the program and are therefore often steeped in history and charm. Many have been recognized with awards from major travel publications such as Conde Nast Traveler or Travel & Leisure Magazine. We choose these hotels based upon a variety of criteria including, their superior service, unique atmosphere, and desirable location.
- What if I am traveling alone?
No problem! Scholarly Sojourns are perfect for people traveling alone and they provide the opportunity to meet people with similar interests. In fact, many friendships are forged on sojourns. We reserve single rooms at all of our destinations to accommodate single travelers. If you would like to have a roommate, Scholarly Sojourns can also try to match you with one. If we are unable to do so, however, you will need to pay the single occupancy price.
- What is the typical age of a Scholarly Sojourns participant?
Scholarly Sojourns offers a variety of educational travel opportunities that appeal to a wide range of people. Because of this, our programs attract a wide range of ages. Typically, participants on Scholarly Sojourns are between 40 and 80 years of age, but certain specialty programs, such as Active Scholar Sojourns, attract a slightly younger age range from about 35 to 65. We find a broad mix of generations on the programs contributes greatly to the intellectually-stimulating atmosphere of each sojourn.
- Are there any physical or health requirements for participants?
Specific details of what to expect on each journey can be found on the “Notes & FAQ” page for each sojourn. In general, participants should be comfortable walking up to two miles at a relaxed pace and capable of climbing three flights of stairs at a time.
- What if something prevents me from traveling once I book my sojourn?
Because a number of unforeseen circumstance could prevent you from traveling as planned, we encourage all participants to purchase a travel insurance policy which protects their investment should something prevent you from traveling. Further information about such policies is included with pre-sojourn packet 1 which is sent to you shortly after you register.
- Are any of your programs appropriate for children?
In general, Scholarly Sojourns are designed for adults. There are, however, several sojourns which may be appropriate for high-school aged adolescents. The “Notes & FAQ” page of each sojourn gives more specific details on the suitability of the program for younger members.
- Do you publish a catalog of your tours?
Scholarly Sojourns currently does not produce a printed catalog of our tours. All of our sojourns are featured on our website which provides up-to-the-minute information about each program. The best way to stay abreast of all of our offerings is to sign up for our email newsletter and periodic email alerts.
- What is the best way to stay informed about your upcoming tours?
The best way to stay abreast of all of our offerings is to sign up for our email newsletter and periodic email alerts.
- Can you accommodate special dietary restrictions on a sojourn?
In general, we can accommodate most special dietary needs if you let us know in advance. You should include all such requirements on your personal information form which is included with pre-sojourn packet 1.
- Can I earn college credit for participating in a Scholarly Sojourn?
Most Scholarly Sojourns are designed and led by noted professors form renowned colleges and universities. While official college credit is not offered for participating on a sojourn, it is certainly appropriate to list these experiences on resumes and job applications.
- What if I want to combine sojourns?
We attempt to schedule sojourns that complement each other successively so that travelers who wish to extend their travel can combine sojourns that match their interests. By doing so, you’ll find you can often create your own study programs on a number of themes.
- Can Scholarly Sojourns help me arrange a pre or post-sojourn extension to my travel?
Yes! Scholarly Sojourns is happy assist participants who may wish to extend their stay in the group hotel either before or after a sojourn. In fact, we are often able to secure more attractive rates than those offered to the general public. Of course any such arrangements are dependent upon space availability at the time of booking.