COVID RESTRICTIONS: currently in Scandinavia and the Baltics there are no longer Covid restrictions, but we ask that during your tour with us, onboard the coaches, onboard ship and in group activities, you wear a facemask. You may bring your own from the U.S. You should also be following social distancing guidelines, when possible, as well as hygiene guidelines (cleaning of hands regularly... etc). You can find the latest company policy on Covid restriction on our website.
DAY IN THE LIFE: on the Danish island of Bornholm we are taking you on a visit to a local business/farm. This will allow you to experience the day-to-day life of an actual family, who welcomes us into their home. You also get the opportunity to get your hands dirty and help out, if you so choose. I recommend that you bring a change of clothes that you won't mind getting dirty.
HOME HOSTED: in Latvia we will visit a family in their private home, for an authentic Latvian meal. This is one of the highlights of the OAT experience. If you wish you can bring a small present, for example something from your own state. Bringing a gift is a choice and in no way obligatory. I recommend the gift to be something functional or edible.
WEATHER: summer in Scandinavia is unlike summer in the States. The weather is colder and can be unsteady. Maybe cool and rainy in the morning, but followed by an afternoon up to 70-80 degrees. When you pack your clothes include a rain jacket or windbreaker, a sweater against the cold, maybe a small umbrella, and good shoes that support you on wet pavement and uneven cobblestones. Whatever the weather throws our way, it is going to be part of the Baltic experience. Let's make it a great experience.
SHIP SAFETY: the captain of the MV Clio has your safety as a first responsibility. This may mean that the ship itinerary is adjusted if the weather on the sea is too rough for safe sailing, even if it means missing a port of call. The chances of this happening are small, but not zero.
SEASICKNESS: the Clio is an ocean-going vessel and we will mostly be sailing out of sight of land. The Baltic Sea is known for occasional rough conditions. If you have any concerns about seasickness, please consult your physician for preventative measures. The ship moves across the waves, even when it's calm, and this affects people in different ways.
BANK: it is advisable to inform your bank that you will be visiting seven Baltic countries. This will ensure that your cards are accepted when used in different countries from one day to the next. The countries are: Denmark, Poland, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Finland, and Sweden.
MONEY: the ship accepts cash dollars, as well as VISA and MasterCard. However, American Express (AMEX) cannot be used on the ship. Note also a change in banking laws: tips for the ship crew cannot be put on your credit card. This may influence how much cash you wish to bring.
PIN: in Scandinavia and the Baltic countries debit/credit cards all have a 4-digit PIN code. This code is always required when using the card in ATMs. Please ensure that you obtain a PIN to your cards from your bank.
CASH: cards are widely used and this is an advantage because you don't need to have local currency in your pocket. Four countries use Euros (Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania). If you wish to have a little cash on hand I recommend getting Euros. An amount of Euro 50 in cash would take care of most needs.
ELECTRICITY: the ship has the regular 110V outlets that you are used to in the US. However, before boarding and upon finishing the trip you will be staying in a hotel on land. The currency in the hotel is 220V and the plugs are two round ones. Please check your pad or phone chargers to make sure they can handle this voltage (most can), and bring an adapter for the plugs.
INTERNET: the hotels and the ship have wireless Internet. Speeds vary; in other words it may be slow.
EARPHONES: we provide you with Whispers, a radio device that allows you to hear the voice of the guide easily. The Whispers have a regular audio plug (3.5mm), so you can use your own earphones for greater comfort. We provide standard ear buds of course.
WATER BOTTLE: you may want to bring a small reusable water bottle for the day excursions.
ARRIVAL IN COPENHAGEN: once you have collected your suitcases, go through the customs area toward the exit. An OAT Driver or Trip Leader will be waiting for you in the arrivals hall. Look for the OAT sign. There is a walk of approx 200 meters to the bus. Travel time to the hotel is approx 25 minutes.
LOST LUGGAGE: I want to include a note about what to do if your luggage does not arrive. I really hope it will not happen. But if it does, you need to give the Info desk inside the luggage claim area the information that will allow your bags to catch up with you as quickly as possible. The information is: hotel name and address (Hotel Admiral, Toldbodgade 24, Copenhagen), followed by name of cruise ship (MV Clio) and date of departure from port. Please also give them my personal cell phone number: +46 768972063, contact name Stephen Muires.
CARRY-ON: given the chaotic state of air travel this summer, I recommend that you pack your carry-on with the base necessities that you will need for the first few days of the trip. Pack your medication into your carry-on.
THE HOTEL: you will be staying at the Admiral Hotel. More central is not possible. The hotel is located on the waterfront near the famous Nyhavn (New Harbor). The Danish Royal Palace is on the other side of the street. The hotel is welcoming, historic and expresses a typical Scandinavian style.
HOTELS GOOD TO KNOW: Scandinavian values focus on simplicity and the idea that less is more. Please note that the hotels we have selected for you are in fantastic locations, with easy access to shopping, restaurants and various points of interests. In Scandinavia the hotel rooms tend to be on a small side and do not come equipped with an air-conditioning unit as for most of the year we have the heating on instead. The tap water is drinkable in all the hotels. In most Nordic hotels you will find only soap dispensers on the shower walls. Hair dryers are available in most places.