If you are one of those people, once that ship hits a port you will probably want to take part in either some sightseeing or activity-based shore excursions.

There are a wide variety of excursions that are dependent on where your cruise takes you. You can snorkel, explore the historic sights, hike on glaciers, or just shop in the local markets. A good part of the memories of your holiday can be of islands, cities, and countries that you actually got to set foot on.

There are two ways to set up your shore excursions. The most convenient way is to take advantage of the outings that the cruise line plans for your cruise at an additional fee. They can be anything from just a guided sightseeing trip of the area to visits to museums and more active events like snorkeling, sailing, or hiking. You can usually sign up for these when you book your cruise or once onboard the ship.

Quality of Shore Excursions can vary from Ship to Ship

Booking the tours provided by the cruise line has its benefits. First of all it’s convenient and you can be sure that the tour operators are trustworthy. You can also be sure that the ship won’t leave port until all of the tour buses have come back.

Sometimes booking the cruise excursions that the cruise line plans is not the best way to go, however. The quality of the tours and tour operators can vary from ship to ship and you may find out too late that your excursion consists of nothing but being dropped off at the local souvenir shops.

If you want to plan your own excursions, do your research about the local sights well in advance of the cruise and look into what tours are available. Some cruise-related websites have information about the ports of call, including great suggestions on how to spend your time ashore, what are the best excursions, and even tips on the best restaurants and beaches.

Two types of Organised Cruise Excursions

There are a lot of different and exciting excursions for passengers on Alaskan cruises. In Juneau you can go whale watching or take an afternoon hike. From just outside of Skagway you can take a jeep trip through the Yukon Territory or a helicopter tour of the glaciers. Another shore excursion in Ketchikan is zip lining through the rain forest.

· Once you hit port on just about any Caribbean cruise there are snorkelling and scuba diving excursions. In Cozumel you can combine snorkelling with riding an ATV through the jungles.

Many destinations offer pleasure cruises on sailboats, cultural performances, a spa day, or wine tasting, all depending on what is available at that location.

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