South American Mosaic
Before You Go
This voyage requires a moderate level of activity. You will need to get into and out of Zodiacs for excursions ashore and walk, unaided, over sometimes rough terrain, including unpaved trails that may be muddy with exposed rocks and roots. Some of the villages we visit have boardwalks that can be uneven and in various states of disrepair. Expect high heat and humidity throughout
this itinerary and a variety of biting insects. Visas may be required and further information will be provided closer to departure.
Please pay close attention to the following sections: Passport and Visa Requirements, Health Information, and Baggage Allowance.
This voyage requires a moderate level of activity. You will need to get into and out of Zodiacs for excursions ashore and walk, unaided, over sometimes rough terrain, including unpaved trails that may be muddy with exposed rocks and roots. Some of the villages we visit have boardwalks that can be uneven and in various states of disrepair.
Arrivals & Departures
Please arrive at the airport for your flight at least two 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 the check-in agent properly tags your bags through to the final destination allowed, and that you have all baggage and E-ticket receipts.
Airlines change flight times frequently and if you booked your tickets through our air department, Zegrahm Expeditions will send you any updates 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.
Transfers and assistance between airports and group hotels are not necessary on this trip, as our group hotel upon arrival is directly adjacent to the airport. If you are arriving on or prior to the group day and Zegrahm Expeditions has booked additional night(s) at our group hotel, please make your way independently to the hotel for check-in.
If you are handling your own travel arrangements, please forward a copy of your itinerary to Zegrahm Expeditions as well as contact information where you can be reached prior to and after the program.
Airline baggage limitations and charges for checking bags vary by airline, destination, and class of service you are traveling. If you have purchased your tickets from Zegrahm Expeditions and have questions, please contact our Air Department for the specific allowances and limitations. If you have booked your own arrangements you will need to visit the airline website or contact the airline directly.
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 with you essential toiletries, prescription medications, and a change of clothing appropriate for the initial activities of our itinerary so that you will be more comfortable in the unlikely event your baggage is delayed in transit or is slow to be delivered to your room upon arrival.
Expect high heat and humidity throughout this itinerary. The following are average high/low temperatures in April for selected locations on our itinerary:
|Îles du Salut, French Guiana||85º||74º|
|Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago||88º||74º|
The U.S. dollar is the standard currency on board the Sea 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, MasterCard, or American Express credit card. The Sea 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 2014 the exchange rates are as follows:
|$1 US dollar (USD)||2.45 Brazilian real (BRL)|
|$1 US dollar (USD)||0.78 French Guiana euro (EUR)|
|$1 US dollar (USD)||3.27 Surinamese dollars (SRD)|
|$1 US dollar (USD)||205.68 Guyanese dollars (GYD)|
|$1 US dollar (USD)||6.35 Trinidadian dollars (TTD)|
ATMs can be 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 will vary greatly from country to country and will be nonexistent in rural areas. Belém, Brazil, and Trinidad will have the best access to ATMs. 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.
You will receive your Pre-Departure Packet—including a Personal Information Form that will need to be returned to Zegrahm, a complete packing list, reading list, and gift certificates—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 your departure.
The electrical current onboard the Sea Adventurer is 220V / 60Hz with two, round plugs. If you are bringing standard, North American appliances with you, bring a converter and an adapter.
Extending Your Stay
Interested in extending your stay? Speak with one of our Expedition Advisors to find out how easy it is for you to stay an extra night or two. Or, our Private Travel department is available to design customized extended stays for individuals, families, and groups of friends—the same horizon-broadening adventures and life-changing experiences as our group expedition, but on a flexible, intimate, and personalized scale. Call 800.628.8747 or 206.285.4000 for more information.
Flights are not included in the cost of expeditions; however, Zegrahm Expeditions has a fully-staffed air department that can assist you with flight arrangements.
You will need to purchase airfare from your home city/Miami/Belém and Port of Spain/home city. For more detailed information, please contact our in-house Air Department for fare quotes, reservations, or other air-related questions.
A yellow fever vaccination is required for this expedition as all countries on this itinerary are considered to be yellow fever endemic. You must bring proof of your vaccination with you in the form of an official stamp. Please check with your physician to determine the health precautions appropriate for you.
Yellow fever vaccinations, valid for 10 years, must be given at official centers designated by your state’s health departments. The International Certificate of Vaccination must be validated by the center that administers the vaccine and carried with you on your trip. Your local or state health department can provide information regarding the locations and hours of yellow fever vaccination centers.
No other vaccinations are required for this expedition t this time.
Malaria prophylaxis is strongly recommended. Malaria risk exists throughout the regions we will be visiting, but with a few basic precautions, it is easily avoidable.
Insect bites can be a serious problem in the jungles of South America. We urge you to bring an adequate supply of both insect bite relief products and insect repellent.
Protect yourself against the heat and strong sun. 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, sunglasses, and a high-SPF sunscreen.
Be sure to bring a sufficient amount of your personal medications, as pharmacies are not found in the remote areas of this expedition.
During our program, food and drink taken as part of our itinerary and at our hotels are perfectly safe. However, tap water is best avoided. Bottled water will be provided.
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 your expedition includes $100,000 in emergency evacuation and $25,000 in medical expense. 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 Sea Adventurer has computers with Internet access as well as Wi-Fi in the main lounge. Vouchers to access the Wi-Fi can be purchased at reception and cost approximately U.S. $25 for 30MB of data. Please note that internet connections aboard the ship are low-bandwidth and intermittent.
All suites are equipped with a telephone. Rates will be provided onboard.
Your final documentation will include contact information for the ship, including phone and fax numbers as well as email addresses.
Following are local times that apply to this expedition when it is 7:00am on the North American west coast:
|10:00a.m.||New York, NY; Brazil; Guyana; Trinidad & Tobago|
|11:00a.m.||French Guiana & Suriname|
Should you have any dietary needs, please let us know on the Personal Information Form included with the Pre-Departure packet, 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, natural fabrics are recommended. As you pack, consider your own internal thermostat and personal tastes 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.
The ship is air-conditioned and heated throughout, with individual controls in each cabin. Comfortable and casual clothing, in the expedition spirit, is recommended.
Typically there are two occasions on board 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, dressy attire, and men, possibly a jacket and tie. The degree of dress is in accordance with one’s personal preference.
Sporty summer-weight clothing is a good basis for your wardrobe. Loose, lightweight, wash-and-wear slacks, skirts, blouses, shirts, and T-shirts made of natural fibers are recommended. 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. Also, keep in mind that we may encounter a rain shower or two on our excursions.
Shore excursions will involve a fair amount of walking over uneven trails. Sturdy walking shoes with thick soles or light hiking boots are recommended for walking on the often-rough terrain. If you have weak ankles, high-top hiking boots will provide better support than shoes. Make sure your shoes or boots are well broken-in before your trip.
Sport sandals with a sturdy sole are the best type of footwear for wet landings, especially where there are rocky beaches. They provide excellent protection and dry quickly. Other footwear you may wish to bring includes canvas sneakers that you don’t mind getting wet or dirty. You will want to wear pants that are easy to roll up, shorts, or a sarong for wet landings.
You will receive a complete Packing List with your Pre-Departure Packet, approximately five months prior to departure.
Passport & Visa Requirements
A valid passport is required for participation in this program. It must be valid for six (6) months after you return home, through October 17, 2015. 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 five blank pages available for entry/exit stamps in your passport and secure additional pages if necessary. We suggest that you carry extra passport photos and a photocopy of your passport’s information page when you travel.
Visas are required of U.S. nationals for entry into Brazil and a visa kit has been sent to assist you in obtaining your visa. Please read the instructions carefully and then complete and forward the requested documents for your visa. No additional visas are needed of U.S. nationals for entry into the other countries visited on this itinerary.
A tourist card is required of U.S. nationals for entry into Suriname. This will be issued onboard the ship on arrival into Suriname. The cost is approximately US$45 per person which will be added to your shipboard account during the expedition.
The process for obtaining Brazilian visas in advance is determined by the government of Brazil and their designated consular agents in the U.S. While the visa service will do everything possible to ensure smooth and timely processing, please understand that application rules, turnaround times, and fees are determined by the government of Brazil and can change with no notice.
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: Nationals of countries other than the U.S. should check with their 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.
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
- 60 through 119 days prior to departure: 50% of expedition fare
- 1 through 59 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.
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. Gift certificates to our Zegrahm Store and Longitude Books will offer you the opportunity to purchase items from our store along with books or maps suggested in the highly recommended titles sent. The certificates will be sent in your Pre-Departure Packet approximately five months prior to departure. Please refer to the gift certificates for more details.