Shore Excursions for Avid Hikers
Some first-time cruisers are surprised and pleased to find that their options for shore excursions extend far beyond sightseeing tours of the port cities. While excursions that feature bus tours, museums and shopping are delightful, many ports of call offer more active pursuits, too. For example, choosing a shore excursion that includes some hiking is a great way to stretch your legs and see scenic attractions that may not be accessible by tour bus.
If you visit Ushuaia, Argentina, on a cruise of South America or Antarctica, you can hike through the Alvear Mountains to the Five Cascades waterfalls in the Tierra Mayor Valley Natural Preserve. Regent Seven Seas Cruises offers an excursion that travels a bit further from the port, letting you trek through the Patagonian countryside along the shore of Lake Fagnano.
Some excursions available to cruise passengers calling on Juneau, Alaska, combine the thrill of "flightseeing” – sightseeing from the air – with hiking on frozen glaciers. For your safety and comfort, glacier boots will be provided.
Some of the best hiking can be found in out-of-the-way locations, such as Olden, Norway. The Yachts of Seabourn visit this northern port in the summer months. Hikers can follow a scenic path to the top of a waterfall, gaining a wonderful view of Jostedals Glacier. In addition to the view, hikers get another reward in the form of tea and cakes at the charming Briksdal Inn.
Guests of Norwegian Cruise Line ships that call on Cabo San Lucas can take a ride through the scenic desert to the Fox River Canyon. Here, mountains, greenery and waterfalls provide a terrific contrast to the surrounding desert. After hiking for about an hour, you can relax and refresh yourself under shady trees before returning to the ship.
Be sure to ask your personal cruise expert about the intensity level of any hiking included in shore excursions that interest you. To ensure a good experience, be realistic about your hiking abilities and choose your excursion accordingly. Also, be sure to bring along clothes and shoes appropriate for hiking.