Shore Excursions

Written by Sarah Provost
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Shore excursions can be an important and highly memorable part of your cruise experience. They are usually optional and levy an extra charge, but they add immeasurably to your overall satisfaction. Shore excursions can range from golf to glacier hiking, from the casinos of Monte Carlo to the house of the Virgin Mary in Kusadasi.

Make Shore Excursions Part of your Cruise Planning

When researching your cruise options, be sure to investigate the shore excursions made available to you for each itinerary, and choose them on the basis of how well they complement your cruise. If your cruise will be a sybaritic expedition to the cultural centers of Europe, you might choose to continue that theme with an expedition to an Italian winery or a visit to the Hermitage. On the other hand, you might want a change of pace: a hike in the firths of Scotland, maybe, or a Jeep safari in Portugal.

Of course, your shore excursions will be site-specific. You're not going for a camel ride in Cabo, nor will you survey glaciers from a helicopter in Provence. Within those limits, however, you can find an extraordinary range of activities. You might want to plan your itinerary around your activity of choice; a golfer might not long for a cruise to Iceland.

On the other hand, it's important to be open to new experiences, and shore excursions are an excellent way to try something new with the safety and comfort of being part of a group. You might not wander into an Egyptian marketplace on your own, or rent a Jeep and head off into the African savannah. But with an organized shore excursion, you can add yet another fascinating experience to your cruise.

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