Shore excursions are a wonderful addition to a cruise, providing the opportunity to explore ports of call and nearby attractions. Some ports offer just a few excursions, but often the array of choices can seem bewildering.
Cruise Holidays recently asked its cruise experts what types of shore excursions they book most often for their clients. Here are their top five answers:
1. General sight-seeing tours, which usually make use of a coach bus, automobile or train. This type of excursion focuses on taking guests to the most popular attractions in port, such as historic landmarks, shopping districts and scenic views. There’s often a tour guide who provides information about what you see. While most of these tours make frequent stops to allow guests to take a closer look at the attractions, walking is usually minimal.
2. "Soft adventure” excursions, such as zip lining, biking, kayaking, rafting, ATV tours, fishing, swimming and horseback riding. These excursions often take place in areas that showcase the natural beauty of the destination. Take care to select a soft adventure excursion that suits your level of fitness – your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert can help.
3. A private vehicle and driver that will take you to the sights of your choice. This type of excursion provides the flexibility to see what you want and to spend as much time as you like at each stop. However, you will need to do some research to know where you most want to go, though your driver will certainly be able to offer suggestions.
4. Walking tours, which are popular in historical areas where the city streets are too narrow or rough to accommodate modern vehicles; and, in more modern cities where busy traffic patterns make it easier to walk to places of interest. Before signing up, be sure that you will be comfortable with the amount of walking required.
5. Water activities, such as snorkeling or scuba. Snorkeling can be done by just about anyone who can swim and is comfortable in the water. A brief lesson on how to use a diving mask and snorkel breathing apparatus is all that most people need to get started viewing colorful fish, corals and other sea life. Scuba, a form of underwater diving, requires more equipment and more instruction.
These "top five” are just the tip of the iceberg of shore excursion options. Depending on your itinerary, you may be able to choose from excursions that feature a relaxing afternoon at a beach club, jet boat rides, culinary or wine-tasting experiences, cultural events, flightseeing (sightseeing from a helicopter or small plane) and many others. Ask your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert about the excursions available on your next cruise.