How to Choose the Perfect Shore Excursion

Do you remember choose-your-own-adventure books? There’s nothing like the thrill of knowing that your decisions can lead you to new places, new faces, and new experiences, and wondering what story will unfold next.

Each of your decisions was guided by what kind of outcome you wanted. If you wanted to get into some mischief, you’d know to make a design to break a rule. Or if you wanted nothing but a happy ending, you’d take the fairy-tale route.

The same goes for travel. You may want to travel to learn about other cultures. Or maybe you want to try new foods. Maybe you want it all!

Next cruise you take, you can add a “choose your own adventure” twist thanks to our special cruise excursions that meet every traveler’s unique desires.

Whether you’re out for action or relaxation, spontaneity or carefully-planned expeditions, you’re bound to find a shore excursion that will make your cruise even more personal.

Our cruise excursions are classified into 5 categories: cultural, scenic, active, water and culinary.

We guide you through each of the 5 types of shore excursions, how to choose which is best for you, and suggest some of our favorites along the way!

Cultural Shore Excursions

“If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion, and avoid the people, you’d be better staying at home.” – James Michener, American author.

Exploring new lands without learning about the culture of the people who live there isn’t giving yourself the full travel experience. If your goal is to gain new perspectives and try things you never would have at home, you might be the “cultural excursion” type.

Our Cultural Shore Excursions allow you to discover the heritage, traditions, and flavors of new places.

For example, take the Gaudi and the Sagrada Familia Tour in Barcelona, Spain. Here, you’ll take an exclusive tour of the Sagrada Familia Cathedral. This cathedral is the most visited attraction in Spain, famous for its breathtaking architecture and the stunning scenery surrounding it.

The building and its towers are so elaborate that it’s still being built, even after over 135 years of construction.

Scenic Shore Excursions

“I am not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.”

– Mary Ann Radmacher, author of Lean Forward Into Your Life

For some of us, there’s no such thing as a vacation without taking in stunning sceneries. Our Scenic Shore Excursions provide up close and personal access to some of the most spectacular natural environments on Earth.

If scenery is your favorite part of traveling, you might want to consider the Damajagua Waterfalls Excursion in the Dominican Republic.

For this excursion, you and other tour participants will meet at the Amber Cove Cruise Center. A tour guide will welcome you, give you a rundown of the day’s itinerary, and you’re off!

You’ll begin with a narrated countryside drive through a tropical forest, surrounded by mountains and lagoons (27, to be exact).

Then, it’s time to get active and begin your hike to the first waterfall, where you can splash, jump and play like a kid again. You’ll return to your destination by sliding down 12 naturally carved waterslides like Tarzan himself.

Culinary Shore Excursions

“Laughter is loudest where food is best.” – Irish Proverb

Prepare your palate for delectable apps, entrees, and desserts from anywhere in the world you choose. Our Culinary Shore Excursions are the foodie’s dream come true.

Consider trying The Real Coffee Tour and Oxcart Factory in beautiful Costa Rica. The tour guides will pick you up at the port and you’ll enjoy a scenic journey through Costa Rica to a real coffee plantation, where you’ll witness for yourself the process coffee goes through before reaching for your cup.

After you’ve been brightened by a delicious cup of coffee, you’ll take another road trip to visit a settlement known for craftsmanship. Here, you’ll witness the art of creating oxcarts. While oxcarts might seem like a basin tool in the states, here they are crucial for the lifestyle, and building them is considered an art.

As the last stop, you’ll find yourself in a village called Grecia. It’s known for one-of-a-kind buildings like a neo-gothic church made entirely of metal.

Active Shore Excursions

“Do one thing every day that scares you.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Adrenaline junkies, this one’s for you. We know the thrill of testing your body’s limits in new lands — the rush you get from learning everything you’re capable of, enjoying the combination of serotonin from exercise and the thrill of exploring a place you’ve never been.

Our shore excursions like the Backcountry Jeep and Canoe Safari Day Excursion satisfy all your needs for adventure and challenge. You’ll take the wheel of a 4-wheel drive Jeep and navigate the rocky backroads of Revillagigedo Island near Alaska. Your tour guide will make sure you learn along the way, keeping in touch via 2-way radio.

End the excursion floating in a canoe on the gorgeous Lake Harriet Hunt.

Water Excursions

“If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water.” – Loren Eisely

Water is the one thing that connects us all, and the driving force of nature. If you‘re a fan of water excursions, chances are you’ve been on kayak trips.

But have you been on a clear-bottom kayak in one of the world’s top snorkeling locations?

Our Clear Bottom Kayak Excursion is just that. You’ll venture through the clear, crisp waters of Bonaire, a small island outside Venezuela.

As you paddle, you’ll witness the incredible ecosystem complete with seahorses, turtles and sting rays, and end it by snorkeling through it all.

Get a Taste of it All

There are many different types of travelers, and all of them deserve the trip of their dreams.

Whether you like to relax on a beach or snorkel offshore, climb rocks or take photos of them, there’s nothing like an excursion you chose yourself to make your next cruise more memorable than any trip before.

But what if you want a little bit of everything? Warm beaches, delectable entrees, and big adventures? South America has it all for you.

Learn more about our South American Excursions here >

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