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WINGS Birding Tours – Information

Estonia in Spring

Migration along the Baltic Sea

Tour Information

Note: The information presented here is an abbreviated version of our formal General Information for this tour. Its purpose is solely to give readers a sense of what might be involved if they take this tour. Although we do our best to make sure that what follows here is completely accurate, it should not be used as a replacement for the formal document which will be sent to all tour registrants, and whose contents supersedes any information contained here.

ENTERING ESTONIA: United States citizens will need a passport, which is valid for at least six months beyond intended length of stay. A visa is not necessary for stays up to 90 days, but one blank page is required for the entry stamp. Citizens of other nations should contact the nearest Estonian embassy for entry requirements. 

COUNTRY INFORMATION: You can review the U.S. Department of State Country Specific Travel Information at http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/country/estonia.html, and the CIA World Factbook background notes on Estonia at https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/en.html

PACE OF TOUR AND DAILY ROUTINE: This tour is not a strenuous one but we will have some early starts, taking a picnic breakfast with us. Leisurely walking, occasionally over moderately rough terrain, is the only physical requirement. Some longer walks (though not more than 4 miles) may be taken, but on flat ground, and good paths or boardwalks. The minibus is never too far away if anyone wants to return early or sit out any particular walk. On most days we’ll have lunch in local restaurants. After lunch there will often be time for a break. On some evenings we will stay in the field until late and eat our dinner at a local restaurant to optimize our birding time. On at least one evening we will go out after dinner looking for owls.  

HEALTH: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all travelers be up to date on routine vaccinations. These include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your yearly flu shot. 

The CDC further recommends that travelers have protection against Hepatitis A as one can acquire the illness through contaminated food or water in Estonia, regardless of where you are eating or staying. 

The most current information about travelers’ health recommendations can be found on the CDC’s  Travel Health website at http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/estonia?s_cid=ncezid-dgmq-travel-single-001

Smoking:  Smoking is prohibited in the vehicles or when the group is gathered for meals, checklists, etc. If you are sharing a room with a non-smoker, please do not smoke in the room. If you smoke in the field, do so well away and downwind from the group. If any location where the group is gathered has a stricter policy than the WINGS policy, that stricter policy will prevail. 

Miscellaneous:  Water is safe to drink at all the places we stay but see note above about Hepatitis A. 

CLIMATE: We can expect almost any kind of weather during this trip. Our early mornings, especially when watching the Arctic migration, can feel very cold and it may be below freezing. If it is windy it can feel even colder. The days can be mixed and we could have rain one day and warm sun the next. 

ACCOMMODATION: Throughout the tour we’ll be staying in hotels or holiday parks. All rooms will have a private shower and toilet. 

Internet:  Estonia leads the way when it comes to free internet access with nearly all hotels (including the ones we use), restaurants, cafes, airports, ferries and petrol stations offering free Wi-Fi. Mobile phone access is very good throughout. 

FOOD: Normal western standards. Fish and different meats are frequently served as main meals. Please let us know in advance if you are a vegetarian. 

WINGS tours are all-inclusive, and with the exception of WINGS tours to destinations in the US, no refunds can be issued for any tour meals participants choose to skip. 

Drinks:  The tap water is safe to drink and water bottles provided on the first day can be topped up at hotels and restaurants. Soft drinks, water, tea and coffee will be provided at lunch and dinner, as will local beers (or wine if appropriate). 

Food Allergies/Requirements: We cannot guarantee that all food allergies can be accommodated at every destination. Participants with significant food allergies or special dietary requirements should bring appropriate foods with them for those times when their needs cannot be met. Announced meal times are always approximate depending on how the day unfolds. Participants who need to eat according to a fixed schedule should bring supplemental food. Please contact the WINGS office if you have any questions. 

TRANSPORTATION: Our transport will be minibuses driven by the leaders for maximum flexibility. Participants should be able and willing to ride in any seat in our tour vehicles.

Updated: 07 June 2016