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, unaided, over sometimes uneven surfaces, such as cobblestones, climb stone steps that at times may not have handrails, and stand during tours. Opportunities will also be available for optional walks requiring more exertion.
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 three miles, unaided, often over uneven surfaces (such as cobblestones), climb stone steps that at times may not have handrails, and stand during tours. Opportunities will also be available for optional walks requiring more exertion.
PLEASE NOTE: When ashore, our tours will primarily be walking tours. Walks will vary in length and will require you to be able to meet the rest of the group at the designated meeting points on time. The buses are limited as to where they can stop, and you will not be able to remain on the bus. Should you have any mobility restrictions, please let us know on your Personal Information Form, and we will do our best to prepare for them
Arrivals & Departures
Departure / Airport Check-In Procedures
Please arrive at the airport for your international flight to Barcelona, Spain three hours prior to departure and have access to your passport and airline E-ticket confirmation. Do not pack important medications, 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 (BCN), 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 important updates for flights booked through Zegrahm. Still, we recommend reconfirming the departure time and flight numbers 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 Barcelona, Spain, and from Bilbao, Spain, please check for luggage weight restrictions with your airline provider or our air department if you are booking your international air arrangements through Zegrahm Expeditions.
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 Spain, temperatures should range from the low 60s°F (17°C) to mid-70s°F (23°C) during the day and dip into the 40s°F (6-8°C) at night and in the early mornings. We suggest bringing a warm jacket, but please consider your own internal thermostat and adjust accordingly. Please also consider packing a rain coat for use in the event we encounter rain showers during our program.
The following are average high/low temperatures ºF (ºC) in April & May for selected locations on our itinerary:
|Barcelona, Spain||66ºF (19ºC)||47ºF (8ºC)|
|Granada, Spain||70ºF (21ºC)||43ºF (6ºC)|
|Seville, Spain||75ºF (23ºC)||54ºF (12ºC)|
|Porto, Portugal||65ºF (18ºF)||50ºF (10ºC)|
|Santiago de Compostela, Spain||62ºF (17ºF)||44ºF (6ºC)|
|Bilbao, Spain||62ºF (17ºF)||46ºF (7ºC)|
The U.S. dollar is the standard currency on board the Ocean Adventurer. 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 or MasterCard. The Ocean Adventurer will charge your credit card in U.S. dollars and your bank will convert the charge to the currency it honors.
As of November 2018, the exchange rate is as follows:
|$1 U.S. dollar (USD)||0.88 Euros (EUR)|
ATMs are a good option for obtaining local currency if you have a Visa or MasterCard debit or credit card, though please have some cash available as back-up. 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 currents are as follows:
- Spain 230V/50Hz with electrical outlet types C & F
- Ocean Adventurer 220V with electrical outlet type A (European-style two-prong)
PLEASE NOTE: Most modern electronics (cell phones, computers, and tablets) are dual voltage and don’t require a converter. 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 the 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/Barcelona and Bilbao/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.
Winds can be strong, and the seas can be rough when traveling by ship. If you are prone to motion-sickness, consult with your physician to determine the best remedy for sea sickness. The ship’s doctor will have sea-sickness medicine on board, but it is best to bring your own as well.
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 vaccine. This will vary by guest and can only be advised by a medical professional.
Drink plenty of fluids whenever you can, not just when you are thirsty. By preventing dehydration, you may prevent a range of medical problems associated with traveling. Take precautions to avoid overexposure to the sun. Bring a sun hat with a wide brim or scarf, polarized sunglasses, and a high-SPF sunscreen.
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. Details of this policy are available online at www.travelguard.com/zegrahm.
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
The Ocean Adventurer has computers with Internet access, as well as Wi-Fi in the main lounge. Please note that Internet connections aboard the ship are low-bandwidth and intermittent at best. Rates will be posted at reception for Wi-Fi costs.
Your final documentation will include contact information for the group hotel and the ship, including phone numbers and email addresses.
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.||Barcelona, Spain (CEST)|
|3:00 p.m.||Porto, Portugal (WEST)|
Should you have any 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 is available, 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, and T-shirts are a good basis for your wardrobe. Warm, fleece jackets can be layered on top for additional warmth for cool morning and evenings. In the event we encounter rain showers during our program, please consider packing a lightweight rain coat.
The sun can be strong, so bring adequate sun-protective clothing and gear, wear hats, and use sun block, as we will be out in the sun for extended periods of time. Men and women should dress modestly with no above the knee shorts and shoulders covered when visiting religious sites. It is recommended for women to pack a scarf or pashmina to cover their shoulders during these religious site tours.
Please Note: You will need to pack a small bag with one night’s worth of clothing for an overnight stay in Granada.
Shore excursions will involve a fair amount of walking over uneven surfaces and often slippery terrain. Sturdy, comfortable walking shoes with thick soles or light hiking boots are recommended for walking on the uneven terrain. If you have weak ankles, high-top hiking boots will provide better support than regular shoes. Make sure your shoes or boots are well broken-in before your trip. If you suffer from balance issues it is recommended to bring walking sticks or trekking poles for the added support.
Passport & Visa Requirements
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 November 3, 2019. If you do not have a passport, or if it is not valid for the correct length of time, you must apply for one as soon as possible. You need to have a minimum of two blank pages available for entry/exit stamps in your passport and secure additional pages ifnecessary.
As of January 1, 2016, the U.S. State Department no longer allows additional pages to be inserted into passports. 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.
A tourist visa is not required of U.S. citizens for entry into Spain or Portugal for stays under 90 days.
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 US dollars and must be paid in US 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.