One of the most exciting aspects of a cruising holiday is planning your cruise activities onshore. You'll come across a variety of fascinating ports on any one journey, and one of the best ways to make the most of your port stops is by planning cruise activities exploring the new sights, exotic cultures and world-renowned landmarks you can find there.
One way to do this is through joining in some onshore excursions. From the marvels of the Mediterranean to the pearls of the Pacific, the list of onshore cruise excursions, cultural opportunities and adventurous activities offered by your ship will boggle the mind...
Cultural experiences onshore
If you're travelling to overseas ports on your cruise, you're in for a very exciting and very culturally enlightening experience. Cultural cruise activities vary depending on where you're cruising. Large cruise lines may take you to several different countries on your cruise, or even continents, and you will have the choice to immerse yourself for a short time in a completely different existence to your own. Get set to learn, absorb and explore the world around you.
It's time to go ashore! Some of the smaller port stops are relatively easy to explore independently, however one of the best ways to experience the very essence of your port of call is to participate in your cruise ship's pre-booked cruise activities and shore excursions.
Designed to cover a range of tastes, shore excursions arranged by your cruise ship include anything from cultural walking tours, cooking schools and shopping tours to helicopter rides, mountain biking, canoeing, white water rafting and wildlife treks. Travelling on these shore excursions you will meet like-minded people from your cruise.
The cruise ship's shore excursions have been designed to make the most of your port in the timeframe you are given - they want you to see the best, but still make it back to the ship before departure! Quite often excursions offered by the cruise ship take considerable planning and would be difficult to arrange yourself once in port, so they make life much easier for you too. Another benefit of taking part in cruise activities such as shore excursions is that they're arranged by the cruiseline, are covered by insurance, and the ship will not depart until all shore excursions have returned.
Shore excursion booking procedure
It's a good idea to start planning your shore excursion choices early. Ideally the excursions should be booked as soon as you arrive on the ship, as the most popular trips have a tendency to fill up very quickly. Some cruise lines will even allow you to book in advance of your cruise, either online or with your travel consultant: you will most likely receive a program of your ship's shore excursion options with your cruise documents once you have booked and paid for your holiday. Shore excursions are generally an additional cost to your cruise and can be billed to your shipboard account.
Once on board, first timers may wish to attend the very informative 'shore excursion and debarkation talks' that are sometimes hosted by the ship's cruise directors. These are a great way to find your feet on shore, so to speak.