Before You Go
For most activities, a relatively moderate level of exertion is required. You will need to climb, unaided, in and out of Zodiacs for excursions ashore. Many of the landings will be “wet” and require that you wear waterproof, knee-high boots. Ashore, you must be able to walk moderate distances over occasionally rough and often slippery terrain. We’ve designed our shore excursions to accommodate both those who enjoy gentle strolls and those who prefer more active hikes. Summer temperatures in Alaska range from approximately 40º to 60ºF, but can get down into the high 30sºF, and high winds are also possible. Flexibility is a must, as itineraries are subject to change, and landings may be tidal or weather dependent.
Trip Preparation: Gear Up!
Even the wind, rain, and snow of wild Alaska can’t beat this Adze Alpine Softshell Jacket, specially crafted with Polartec® Windbloc® stretch fabric and moisture-wicking fleece. Climb, trek, and paddle in comfort—the fleece interior feels great on your skin whether you’re layering with short or long sleeves.
Please pay close attention to the following sections: Passport and Visa Requirements, Health Information, and Baggage Allowance.
Activity Level & Accommodations
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 uneven surfaces, such as cobblestones and climb stone steps that may not have handrails. Opportunities will also be available for optional hikes requiring more exertion.
Arrivals & Departures
Departure / Airport Check-In Procedures
Please arrive at the airport for your flight to Anchorage 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 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.
Please contact Zegrahm at 1.800.628.8747, 206.285.4000, or 206.219.1641 should you encounter significant delays or problems en route. Proceed to your airline’s ticket counter or flight gate for immediate assistance. Advise Zegrahm of all changes to your arrival into Anchorage so that we may inform our Expedition Leader.
Arrival / Departure Transfers
Upon arrival, transfers and assistance between airports and group hotels are arranged for participants arriving on group dates or for those who have booked additional night(s) through Zegrahm Expeditions at our group hotel, Marriott Anchorage Downtown. If you are arriving early and booked extra nights at the Marriott Anchorage Downtown independently, transfers will also be provided for you.
Upon departure, transfers and assistance between airports are arranged for participants departing on group dates only.
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.
For your flight to Anchorage, Alaska, then on to Nome and return flight home from Anchorage, please check for luggage weight restrictions with your airline provider.
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.
Average daily temperatures will range from the low 40s°F to upper 60s°F.
The following are average high/low temperatures in June for selected locations on our itinerary:
|St. George Island, Alaska||50º||44º|
You will receive your Pre-Departure Packet—including a Personal Information Form that will need to be returned to Zegrahm, 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 in the United States is 110V with North American, standard-style outlets which accommodate a flat-blade, 2-prong plug. If you are bringing standard, North American appliances with you, you will not need a converter or an adapter. The Silver Discoverer has 110 AC power. The electrical receptacles on the ship accept plugs of a type known as North American non-grounded or type A.
You will need to purchase airfare from your home city/Anchorage/Nome, Alaska and Anchorage, Alaska/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.
Insect bites can be a problem, and we urge you to bring an adequate supply of both insect bite relief products and insect repellent.
Take precautions to avoid overexposure to the sun as we will be outdoors for extended periods. Bring a sun hat with a wide brim or scarf, polarized sunglasses, and a high-SPF sunscreen. 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.
Be sure to bring a sufficient amount of your personal medications as pharmacies may not be found in the remote areas of this expedition.
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 by 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
Your final documentation will include contact information for our hotel, including phone and fax numbers as well as email addresses. Complimentary WiFi is available on the Silver Discover.
Following are local times that apply to this expedition when it is 7:00am on the North American west coast:
|10:00am||New York, NY|
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, 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.
It is necessary to be prepared for the conditions you may encounter on excursions. Lightweight long-sleeved shirts and long pants serve a dual purpose, as protection from sunlight as well as insects. Warm, polar-fleece jackets that can be layered on top will add warmth.
The following tips should help you feel warm and comfortable in cold weather:
- In wet weather, wear water-repellent outer garments that will keep you dry on the outside and still “breathe” enough so that moisture from your body can escape.
- Dress in layers. Air is a very good insulator. It is better to trap air in several layers of light, loose clothing than in one or two heavy layers. Wool, silk, polar fleece, and other synthetic fabrics are much more effective in trapping air than cotton. When damp or wet, polyester down is a better insulator than goose or duck down.
- Body heat is most likely to be lost from parts that have a lot of surface area in comparison to total mass—namely, hands and feet. Keep them warm and dry. For hands, mittens are better than gloves; for feet, thermal socks are a must.
- Even if all the rest of your body is covered, as much as 90% of the heat you lose can come from your head, so be sure to wear a hat.
Mosquito Repellent Clothing
In addition to insect repellent sprays, which are applied to the skin, there are a variety of mosquito-repellent garments available for travelers. Buzz Off clothing has an insect repellent woven into its fibers that lasts for several washings. The Buzz Off line includes various styles of pants, shirts, and hats, as well as accessories such as socks and bandanas. (ExOfficio also carries Buzz Off clothing, which can be purchased online).
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 this program and it is recommended it be valid for 6 months upon arriving home. A visa is not required for participation on this program.
If you are traveling independently of the group or to any other countries prior to or after the expedition 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 US 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. All nationalities are covered under the Group Permit for our visit to Provideniya, Russia obtained by Zegrahm Expeditions on your behalf.
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. Airfare 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 and 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. Gift certificates to our Zegrahm Store and Longitude Books will offer you the opportunity to purchase gear 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.