Today’s cruise ships have fabulous features to keep you entertained onboard, but many people cruise for what’s on shore as much as what’s on board. Shore excursions can be the most memorable part of a cruise, and more of them are being designed to provide active, cultural, and educational experiences. Here are some examples of new types of shore excursions being offered on a growing number of itineraries.
Food excursions. It’s fun to learn about and taste the authentic
local cuisine. Look for culinary shore excursions that visit a farm, restaurant, or cooking school. Some even start with a trip to a market to select ingredients
for a favorite local dish, followed by watching – or even helping – a trained
chef prepare it.
Sustainability excursions. Many shore excursions emphasize
the appreciation and preservation of nature and some cruise lines take care to
work with local tour operators who are committed to reducing any impact on the
environment. Some excursions take this a step further by offering “voluntourism”
opportunities that will get you involved in community-based, eco-focused
Active excursions. It’s delightful to take a bus tour to see
the sights of a port city, but if you like to be active, many cruise
itineraries offer heart-pumping alternatives. Look for excursions that will
take you hiking, biking, golfing, canoeing, kayaking, ziplining, snorkeling or
diving; if you’re sailing to Alaska or Norway, how about glacier trekking or
dog sledding? (Tip: You might want to schedule a massage in the spa the day
after an active excursion!)
Nighttime excursions. Instead of a sunset sail away, some
cruise itineraries offer overnight stays in popular ports. They’ll offer
excursions that will introduce you to the local nightlife, which might include
dining, dancing, listening to music, catching a cultural performance, or going
to a street festival.
Overland excursions. If a cruise port brings you close to an
inland site you’re longing to see (think the Great Wall of China, Machu Picchu,
or the Taj Mahal), find out if the ship offers an overland excursion; if the
ship stays overnight in port, you may be in luck. The excursion will include
transportation, dining, a hotel room, and whatever else you need to enjoy the
If you like the sound of one of more of these types of shore
excursions, ask Anita, your professional travel advisor, for help selecting a
cruise that offers some of these wonderful onshore experiences.
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