Wild & Ancient Britain with Ireland
Before You Go
For most activities, a relatively moderate level of exertion is required. You will need to climb into and out of Zodiacs for excursions ashore and walk one to three miles over sometimes rough terrain such as cobblestones and uneven, rocky beaches. In May, temperatures will range from the low 50sºF – mid-60sºF, cooling slightly as you travel north. Flexibility is a must, as itineraries are subject to change, and landings may be tidal or weather dependent.
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 will need to climb in and out of Zodiacs for excursions ashore. Many of the landings will be “wet” and require that you wear waterproof, knee-high boots. For excursions ashore, you must be able to walk, unaided, approximately two miles over sometimes rough, and often slippery, terrain. Flexibility is a must, as itineraries are subject to change and landings may be tidal or weather dependent.
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.
For participants arriving on the group date, a voucher for the Heathrow Express Train will be provided. This service runs directly from Heathrow to Paddington Station, which is connected to our group hotel via a walkway. If you are arriving prior to the group day and booked an additional night(s) at our group hotel, a Heathrow Express voucher will still be provided. Transfers will be provided to the Edinburgh airport at the end of the expedition. Additional details about these transfers will be provided in your final documentation.
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.
Zegrahm Expeditions would be happy to assist in organizing any independent, private travel plans that you may wish to add immediately before or after the group itinerary. If you would like to request any additional pre- or post-hotel nights or tours, please contact your Expedition Advisor directly. If you would like to plan a custom package, with a minimum of three nights’ accommodation that includes transfers and tours with a guide, please contact our Custom Travel Team by emailing Ciara.Sampaio@zegrahm.com.
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 London and from Edinburgh, 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.
Please be advised that we will be visiting remote areas that are prone to colder temperatures and extreme weather conditions in addition to the destinations listed below. We could experience temperatures 10 degrees colder with wind and rain. Consider your own internal thermostat and personal comfort when packing as temperatures could be significantly colder with a chance of wind and rain.
The following are average high/low temperatures in May for selected locations on our itinerary:
|London, England||66ºF (19ºC)||47ºF (8ºC)|
|Falmouth, England||60ºF (16ºC)||46ºF (7ºC)|
|Dunmore East, Ireland||59ºF (15ºC)||46ºF (7ºC)|
|Portrush, Northern Ireland||58ºF (14ºC)||42ºF (6ºC)|
|Kirkwall, Scotland||55ºF (12ºC)||41ºF (5ºC)|
|Aberdeen, Scotland||57ºF (13ºC)||41ºF (5ºC)|
|Edinburgh, Scotland||59ºF (15ºC)||41ºF (5ºC)|
|Royal Scotland Post Extension|
|Braemar, Scotland||57ºF (13ºC)||38ºF (3ºC)|
|Pitlochry, Scotland||57ºF (13ºC)||37ºF (2ºC)|
The Euro is the standard currency on board the Le Dumont D’Urville. 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, AMEX, or MasterCard.
The British Pound is the monetary unit used throughout Great Britain, including Northern Ireland, Scotland, and the Shetland Islands. We will also visit regions in Northern Ireland where the Euro is accepted.
As of December 2019, the exchange rates are as follows:
|$1 U.S. dollar (USD)||0.77 British Pounds (GBP)|
|$1 U.S. dollar (USD)||.90 Euros (EUR)|
ATMs are a good option for obtaining local currency if you have a Visa or MasterCard debit or credit card, although access to ATMs will not be available in the more remote areas of our expedition. Please have some cash available as back-up. Also, ensure you know your 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.
If you would like to use standard, North American appliances at our hotel in London, you will need an electrical converter.
The electrical currents for our group hotels and shipboard accommodations are as follows:
• Great Britain, Ireland, & Scotland Post-Extension 230V/50Hz with electrical outlet type G
• Le Dumont D’Urville 110V/50Hz with electrical outlet types A & B
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 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/London Heathrow, United Kingdom and Edinburgh, Scotland/home city. For more detailed information, please contact our in-house air department for fare quotes, reservations, or other air-related questions.
All gratuities for ship’s crew, hotel staff, local guides, and drivers associated with our itinerary are included in the cost of your expedition. Gratuities for extra services outside of group arrangements are your own responsibility.
At this time no inoculations or prophylaxes are required in conjunction with this expedition.
Winds can be strong, and the seas can be rough in this part of the world. 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, however we recommend that you bring your own after consulting with your doctor.
Be sure to bring a sufficient amount of your personal medications, as pharmacies are not found 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.
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 and $25,000 for medical expenses. If you would like to request more information about this policy, please contact our office at 206.285.4000, or review the pamphlet included 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
The Le Dumont D’Urville has free Internet access throughout the ship. Please note that Internet connections aboard the ship are low-bandwidth and intermittent at best. Your final documentation will include contact information for the group hotels and the ship.
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)|
|3:00 p.m.||Great Britain (BST) and Ireland (IST)|
|3:00 p.m.||Scotland (BST) — Post-Extension|
Enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the main dining room on board the Le Dumont D’Urville, which holds the full complement of guests at one seating. Afternoon tea is served in the lounge; coffee and tea are available 24 hours.
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, natural fabrics are recommended. As you pack, consider your own internal thermostat and personal comfort and adjust accordingly.
Laundry service is available on board the ship for a fee, 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 where 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.
Maximize the versatility of your travel wardrobe by packing clothing that can be layered. Wash-and-wear, lightweight, natural fabrics are recommended. Warm, polar-fleece jackets can be layered on top for additional warmth. Water-repellent outer garments will keep you dry on the outside and still “breathe” enough so that moisture from your body can escape. Make sure you dress in layers; it is better to trap air in several layers of clothing than in one or two heavy layers. Be sure to also wear mittens, thermal socks, and a warm hat.
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.
You will be required to climb into and out of Zodiacs for excursions ashore. Many of the Zodiac landings will be “wet landings.” During a wet landing, you will be stepping out of the Zodiac into shallow water. Therefore, it is essential that you wear knee-high waterproof boots. If your feet get wet, they will lose heat rapidly, so your boots need to be waterproof. The Muck Boot brand Arctic Sport model is highly recommended. However, a standard gardening boot with wool socks would also be a good option. Do not bring “moon boots” or leather boots.
Please Note: On board the ship, you may rent unisex* Dunlop boots, for an additional cost, that can be used for wet landings. You may refer to your to your pre-documents for more information on sizes. However, sizes are limited, so we recommend you bring your own boots for best comfort and if you require a unique size or fit.
If you would like to rent boots, once on board you will need to fill out a voucher located in your cabin and return it to the receptionist. Your shipboard account will be charged 50 EUR per guest for the rental. Please speak to an Expedition Advisor if you have any further questions.
Passport & Visa Information
A valid passport is required for participation in this program. It must be valid for six months after you return home, through November 26, 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 two (2) blank pages available for entry/exit stamps in your passport.
Recently, the use of E-passport gates at points of entry to the UK have been installed and may improve your arrival into Heathrow airport. If you would like to see if you are eligible please visit, https://onemileatatime.com/uk-e-gates-expanded-countries/.
Visas are not required of U.S. nationals for participation in this program.
Post-Extension Royal Scotland
A visa is not required of U.S. nationals for participation in this program.
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.