Cruises are perfect for vacationers who simply want to relax and be entertained; but, a cruise can also be a chance to experience a new culture, something at the top of the wish list for a growing number of travelers. Here are a few quick tips for selecting a cruise that will satisfy your appetite for cultural travel:
Consider a Luxury Cruise Line
Most luxury cruise lines operate fleets of smaller ships that offer advantages for those interested in cultural experiences. These ships don’t have all the family-friendly features of larger ships, such as water parks, ziplines or kids clubs. Instead, they offer sophisticated comfort and a focus on what you’ll discover on shore. Smaller ships can visit many out-of-the-way places that can’t accommodate larger ships, opening new possibilities for culture-focused itineraries. In addition, these cruise lines often bring guest lecturers on board to help you prepare for what you can do and see on shore.
If you’re worried that the cost a luxury cruise might be outside your budget, be sure to look at everything that’s included in the base fare; it will probably include extras that you would pay for separately on a big-ship cruise. Also, ask your Cruise Holidays travel professional to help you find seasonal bargains or special discounts.
Look for Itineraries with Longer Port Calls
Again, smaller luxury ships have advantages when making port calls. Not only can they sail into smaller ports, but they can also often depart later than a larger ship that has more passengers to re-board. This will give you more time to explore the cultural attractions and enjoy some authentic local cuisine on shore. Also, some luxury cruise itineraries feature overnight stays in selected ports, giving you the option to travel farther inland.
Design Your Own Shore Excursion
Many shore excursions focus on sightseeing or adventure, but others focus on local culture through architectural tours, culinary experiences, museums, performances, personal tours of culturally significant sites, and more. If you find a cruise you like but it doesn’t offer the specific on-shore cultural experience you’re looking for, you have the option to design your own shore excursion. Ask your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert for help in selecting a reputable local tour operator or finding a personal driver for the day.
For more ideas about cultural cruising, including themed cruises, talk with Anita, your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert.
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