Shore excursions – tours and activities in the ports of call – are a highlight of any cruise. Shore excursions are just as varied as cruise itineraries. For example, you can go flightseeing in Alaska, tour the great art galleries of Florence, or go snorkeling along the Great Barrier Reef.
If you’re not
sailing on a luxury line that includes excursions in your cruise fare, you’ll
pay a per-person fee for each shore excursion. So, it’s important to choose
excursions you’ll love. Here are a few tips for selecting the best shore
excursions for you.
research on the ports of call and the excursions that are available in each.
Being well-informed about the places you’ll visit is the first step toward making
good shore excursion choices. Then, look at the excursion options in each port;
you’ll find descriptions on your cruise line’s website.
Read the shore
excursion descriptions carefully. Each description explains how long the
excursion will last, how much physical activity it involves, the type of
transportation used, whether or not snacks and beverages are provided, and much
more. Read this information thoroughly so you won’t be surprised.
about activity levels – and attention spans. Selecting an excursion that’s
beyond your physical abilities is a recipe for frustration. If an excursion
requires a certain level of physical ability – such as climbing stairs or walking
over uneven ground – the description will say so. Pay attention to excursion length,
as well. If you think that you or one of your companions might grow tired or
bored on a long excursion, look for a shorter option.
If you have a
must-do shore excursion in mind, book it early. It’s often possible to book
shore excursions in advance of your cruise. Popular excursions may be
completely booked even before the ship sails, especially if capacity is limited.
Early booking will help you avoid disappointment.
remember that shore excursions are not mandatory. You can stay on the ship
while it’s in port: in fact, you might enjoy a break from touring. Spending a
day on board while most passengers are onshore provides a chance to explore
the ship and its amenities. A port day is often a good time to have a spa
treatment, read a book by the pool, work out with a trainer, or enjoy lunch in an
For more shore
excursion information and tips, talk with Anita, your professional travel
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