Cruises should be about more than views of the ocean on an extended relaxing boat ride. For many people, not even the shows, gambling, and other events on board complete a cruise holiday.
What can make a cruise a true holiday experience are all the exciting shore excursions and sightseeing opportunities that are offered while the ship is in port. Depending on the cruise’s destinations, there can be so many exciting activities available that it can be difficult to decide on what to do in the time you have on shore.
There is the thrill of climbing a glacier in Alaska or the Baltics, snorkeling in azure waters of the Mediterranean or Caribbean, or a relaxing day of wandering the local shops and trying out local cuisine. These excursions are often what make a cruise memorable.
The easiest way to plan and book shore excursions is to take advantage of those offered by the cruise line. These outings that the cruise line offers run from sightseeing excursions to more adventurous activities like hiking, sailing, snorkeling, or scuba diving.
You can plan these in advance and add them to the price of the cruise or sign up on board. The advantages of using the tours and activities that the cruise line provides are the convenience, knowing you can trust the operators of the tour, and the assurance that the ship won’t depart until the tour busses have returned.
On the other hand, there are times when going with the cruise line’s excursion is not the best choice. Each cruise line is different and the quality of the tours and their operators can be significantly different. You may find you’ve missed out when your tour does nothing but drop you off to shop with an arranged pickup time.
If you decide to plan your shore-based activities yourself, do some research and plan in advance. Many of the websites about cruising provide valuable information about the best things to do or see in specific ports and the better excursions.
Shore excursions fall under two categories – active and sightseeing. Active excursions might include activities like these:
Sightseeing excursions tend to be bus tours that take you to see the most scenic spots in that area or to the best shopping areas.