Best of the Baltic
Before You Go
For most activities, a relatively moderate level of exertion is required. You must be able to walk distances of one to three miles, sometimes over rough and uneven surfaces, such as cobblestones, and climb stone steps that at times may not have handrails. Excursions are timed to depart when temperatures will be most pleasant. During this time of year, temperatures will range from the low 70sºF during the day to the upper 50sºF and low 60sºF at night, and we will enjoy long hours of daylight.
Please pay close attention to the following sections: Passport and Visa Requirements, Health Information, and Baggage Allowance.
For most activities, a relatively moderate level of exertion is required. You must be able to walk distances of one to three miles through city centers and museums. There are times where we will be walking over rough and uneven surfaces, such as cobblestones, and climb stone steps that may not have handrails while in crowded areas. During this expedition you will need to keep up with the group pace during these outings and stand during guided tours for long periods of time.
Should you have any physical limitations, please notify us in advance of your departure.
Arrivals & Departures
Departure / Airport Check-In Procedures
Please arrive at the airport for your international flight three hours prior to departure and have access to your passport and airline E-ticket confirmation. Do not pack your passport or other travel documents in your checked luggage. Be certain that the check-in agent properly tags your bags through to your final destination, if allowed, and that you have all baggage and E-ticket receipts.
Arrival / Departure Transfers
Transfers and assistance between airports and group hotels are arranged for participants arriving and departing on group dates. However, if you are arriving prior to the group arrival day and have booked additional night(s) at our group hotel, a transfer from the airport to the hotel will be provided.
Airlines change flight times frequently and our air department will send you any updates for flights booked through Zegrahm as they are received from the carrier. Still, we recommend reconfirming the departure time of your flights with the airline directly within 24 hours of departure. This can be done easily online and will ensure you arrive at the airport with plenty of time to board your flight.
If you are booking your own flights or accommodation, please forward a copy of your flight itinerary to Zegrahm Expeditions, as well as contact information where you can be reached prior to and after the program.
For your international flights to Stockholm, Sweden and from Copenhagen, Denmark, please check for luggage weight restrictions with your airline provider or our air department if you are booking your international air arrangements through Zegrahm.
PLEASE NOTE: Most airlines strictly enforce their baggage regulations. Excess baggage charges, which can be substantial, are the personal responsibility of each participant.
We recommend the use of soft-sided luggage as it is easier to store. Your carry-on bag should include anything you may need in transit. We recommend that you carry essential toiletries and prescription medications on board the flight, as well as a change of clothing appropriate for the initial activities of our itinerary, so that you will be more comfortable in the unlikely event that your baggage is delayed in transit or is slow to be delivered to your room upon arrival.
As we travel through the Baltic, temperatures should range from the low to mid 70s°F (23°C) during the day and dip into the 50s°F (10-13°C) at night and in the early mornings. It is recommended that you pack a warm jacket for late evenings and early mornings, but please consider your own internal thermostat and adjust accordingly. We also recommend packing a rain jacket in the event we encounter rain showers during our program.
The following are average high/low temperatures in July for selected locations on our itinerary:
|Stockholm, Sweden||71ºF (21ºC)||53ºF (11ºC)|
|St. Petersburg, Russia||72ºF (22ºC)||53ºF (11ºC)|
|Riga, Latvia||72ºF (22ºC)||55ºF (13ºC)|
|Gdansk, Poland||73ºF (23ºC)||54ºF (12ºC)|
|Copenhagen, Denmark||71ºF (21ºC)||56ºF (13ºC)|
The Euro is the standard currency on board the Serenissima. Your voyage includes most necessities; therefore, we strongly recommend that you carry most of your spending money in smaller denominations. At the end of your voyage, you may settle your onboard account with your Visa, MasterCard, or American Express credit card.
As of February 2019 the exchange rates are as follows:
|$1 U.S. dollar (USD)||9.05 Swedish Krona (SEK)|
|$1 U.S. dollar (USD)||.87 Euro (EUR)|
|$1 U.S. dollar (USD)||65.48 Russian Ruble (RUB)|
|$1 U.S. dollar (USD)||3.74 Poland Zloty (PLN)|
|$1 U.S. dollar (USD)||6.52 Danish Krone (DKK)|
ATMs are a good option for obtaining local currency in some countries if you have a Visa or MasterCard debit or credit card, although access to ATMs varies greatly from region to region. Please carry smaller denominations as most merchants will require local currency. Also, ensure you have a four-digit PIN (Personal Identification Number) for your debit or credit card if you wish to obtain currency at ATMs.
As a reminder, itinerary related expenses have been included in the price of your trip. Therefore, we recommend that you carry most of your money in smaller denominations.
You will receive your pre-departure information—including a complete packing list and gear certificate—approximately five months prior to departure. Final documents—including a final itinerary, contact list, and staff biographies—will be sent approximately one month prior to departure.
The electrical outlets on board the Serenissima are European-style outlets (two round prongs) at 220 volts. There is a 110/220 volt outlet for electric shavers in the bathroom.
The electrical current in the Baltic is:
- 230V/50Hz with electrical outlet types C & F
PLEASE NOTE: Most modern electronics (cell phones, computers, and tablets) are dual voltage and don’t require a converter and adapter. Some appliances, such as video camera battery packs, require heavy-duty converters rather than the normal travel type. Please check your equipment to be sure you bring what is necessary for your personal needs.
International flights are not included in the cost of expedition; however, Zegrahm has a fully-staffed air department that can assist you with flight arrangements. You will need to purchase airfare from your home city/Stockholm, Sweden and Copenhagen, Denmark/home city. For more detailed information, please contact our in-house air department for fare quotes, reservations, or other air-related questions.
At this time, no inoculations or prophylaxes are required in conjunction with this expedition.
Be sure to bring a sufficient amount of your personal medications, as we will not have access to pharmacies while in the remote areas of this expedition.
We suggest that you contact your physician or local health center for current and other information concerning health precautions, immunizations, and prescriptions based on your physical condition and medical history. Your doctor may recommend a flu shot, Hepatitis A, Tetanus, and other routine vaccinations. This will vary by guest and can only be advised by a medical professional.
To prevent dehydration, drink plenty of fluids whenever you can, not just when you are thirsty as this can help prevent a range of medical problems associated with traveling. Take precautions to avoid overexposure to the sun by bringing a sun hat with a wide brim or scarf, polarized sunglasses, and a high-SPF sunscreen.
There could be potential for mosquito and insect bites, so we recommend you bring a small supply of both insect bite relief products and insect repellent.
In case of serious injury or illness while traveling, it is important to understand that satisfactory medical facilities may not exist nearby. Should you require emergency medical care, it may be necessary to depart the country by international medical evacuation services. The cost of our expedition includes $100,000 of emergency evacuation cover and $25,000 cover for medical expenses. If you would like request more information about this policy, please contact our office at 206. 285.4000, or you can review the pamphlet given in your final documents package.
The information herein is a guideline and is subject to change without notice. Contact your physician or local health center for current and other information concerning health precautions, immunizations, and prescriptions based on your physical condition and medical history.
Internet & Phone
Your final documentation will include contact information for our group hotel and the Serenissima. Wi-Fi is available in public areas on board the Serenissima for a fee. Connectivity may be slow and intermittent at times. Please limit your Internet activity to basic email and Internet browsing. Downloading or uploading large files, such as images or videos, will impact the Internet connection.
Following are local times that apply to this expedition when it is 7:00 a.m. on the North American west coast:
|7:00 a.m.||Seattle, WA (PDT)|
|10:00 a.m.||New York, NY (EDT)|
|4:00 p.m.||Germany, Denmark, Poland, Sweden (CEST)|
|5:00 p.m.||Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland (EEST) & Russia (MSK)|
Should you have any particular dietary needs, or life-threatening allergies, please let us know on your Personal Information Form, and we will do our best to prepare for them. Unfortunately, kosher meals cannot be accommodated.
It is essential to maximize the versatility of your travel wardrobe by packing clothing that can be layered. Wash-and-wear, lightweight fabrics are recommended. As you pack, consider your own internal thermostat and adjust accordingly.
Laundry service will be available for a small fee during the trip, and by using it, you can limit yourself to just four or five outfits and not be inconvenienced by an overabundance of clothing.
Clothing on Board
The ship is air-conditioned and heated throughout, with individual controls in each cabin. Comfortable and casual clothing, in the expedition spirit, is recommended. Normally, there are two shipboard occasions when you may wish to wear slightly more formal attire: the captain’s welcome aboard and farewell cocktail parties, followed by dinner. On these two occasions, women may choose to wear a dress or other appropriate attire, and men may choose to dress business casual. The degree of dress is in accordance with one’s personal preference.
Loose, lightweight, wash-and-wear slacks, skirts, blouses, shirts, and T-shirts are recommended. Temperatures will fluctuate greatly throughout the day, so dressing in layers will be key. Bring a sweater or light fleece for cool mornings and evenings to stay warm. During the afternoon the sun can be strong, so bring adequate sun-protective clothing. Wear hats, and use sun block, as we will be out in the sun for extended periods of time. Also, keep in mind that we may encounter a rain shower or two during the trip.
Conservative clothing should be worn when visiting and entering any religious venue. Women should not expose their shoulders and all guests are asked to make sure shorts are at least knee length.
Shore excursions will involve a fair amount of walking and hiking over uneven surfaces, including cobblestones. Sturdy walking shoes with thick soles are recommended. Make sure your shoes or boots are well broken-in before your trip. If you suffer from any balance issues, we recommend bringing walking sticks for the added support.
Passport & Visa Information
A valid passport is required for participation in this program. It must be valid for at least six (6) months after you return home, through January 18, 2020. If you do not have a passport, or if it is not valid for the correct length of time, you should apply for one as soon as possible. You need to have a minimum of three blank pages available for entry/exit stamps in your passport. If your passport is nearly full, and you have insufficient pages for this expedition, then a new passport must be obtained. We suggest that you carry extra passport photos and a photocopy of your passport’s information pagewhen you travel.
We have arranged a group visa for entry into Russia. This group visa will include all passengers of American and Canadian nationalities. This visa requires you to stay with the group at all times; if you wish to deviate from the group’s itinerary in Russia, you will need a separate visa.
Please send Zegrahm Expeditions, a high-resolution scanned color copy of your passport as this will be needed to assist in completing your travel arraignments. You may email a copy to your Expedition Advisor or mail a copy to 3131 Elliott Ave, Suite 250, Seattle WA 98121.
Visas are not required of U.S. nationals for entry into any of the other countries we will be visiting during this voyage for stays less than 90 days.
If you are traveling independently of the group or to any other countries prior to or after the voyage, check the entry and visa requirements with the local consulates of each country you plan on visiting.
PLEASE NOTE: Citizens of countries other than the U.S. should check with the nearest consulates for specific visa and entry requirements for their entire itinerary, including both the group arrangements and any travel prior to or after the program.
Payments & Cancellations
A deposit totaling 25% of the expedition fare will reserve a place for you on this Zegrahm program. The balance of the expedition fare is due 120 days prior to departure. Air fare is due at the time tickets are issued. All prices are quoted in U.S. dollars and must be paid in U.S. dollars.
Cancellation & Refund Policy
Notification of cancellation must be received in writing by Zegrahm. At the time we receive your written cancellation, the following penalties will apply:
- 180 days or more prior to departure: $750 per person
- 120 through 179 days prior to departure: 25% of expedition fare
- 1 through 119 days prior to departure: 100% of expedition fare
Please note, fees associated with cancelled airline tickets are in addition to this and will be clearly outlined for you on your flight itinerary.
Trip Cancellation & Interruption Insurance
We strongly advise that all travelers purchase trip cancellation and interruption insurance to protect themselves from an unforeseen emergency that may force you to cancel or leave an expedition while it is in progress. Information describing coverage will be sent to you upon receipt of your deposit for the expedition. Unfortunately, we are unable to offer insurance to guests residing outside the United States.
With Our Compliments
We are pleased to offer complimentary amenities to our explorers so they can be fully prepared before departing on one of our expeditions. A gift certificate to our Zegrahm Store will offer you the opportunity to purchase essential trip gear from our store. The certificate will be emailed to you approximately five months prior to departure. Please refer to the gift certificate for more details.