Shore Excursions – What to Expect

Posted May 17th, 2012

Shore excursion experiences are as much a part of the cruise experience as the night time entertainment and midnight buffet.  Half the fun of taking a cruise is getting to explore new and exciting places you have never been before, so shore excursions are a vital part of any cruise holiday!

To enhance your visit in each port of call, cruise lines all offer organised shore excursions – for an additional fee.  These can be booked onboard at the ships’ excursion desk, or even from your cabin, or online before you depart.

But, these cruise line organised tours aren’t your only option when it comes to exploring ports, and you are limited really only by your imagination (and your research skills) if you want to do something different.

To help you out, we put together a few handy tips and guidelines so that you can make the best decision for you!

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What to expect:

Shore excursions offer all different levels of activity and interest, so you can always find something to suit your tastes as well as your physical ability. However, what’s on offer does vary greatly depending on what is available in each destination.  Cruise lines offer a mind-boggling array of shore excursions, with everything from basic snorkelling trips to overnight tours to see the Great Pyramid’s in Egypt. So to help you get to the bottom of it all, and find the perfect tours for you, we have broken them down into different tour categories:

Active Tours:

Watersports to Hiking, biking etc...

Day at the spa, pleasure cruise on a sail board, Wine and food tasting, Cultural performances.

Sightseeing Tours:

Bus tours visiting main attractions at your destination.

Full Day/Half DayTours:

Shore excursions vary in length - depending on the activities and how far the site  is.

Half day tours focus on one item and leave you free time on your own.  Whilst full day tours will show you a wide range.

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Guided Tours:

Led by a tour guide, explaining the sights to you.

Some are guided with free time at the end to browse.

Free Time Tours:

Take you to a place and let you discover the sight on your own.


Focus on one sight or activity and give you an overlook.

In-depth Tours:

Pack loads of activities into one trip.

Long and full days.

Making the most of your time.


Cruise lines offer car and driver packages so you can customise your tour. Concierges who arrange shore excursions exclusively for your party.

Boutique Tour:

Cruise lines offer specialised excursion for around 25 guests.

Looking for more information on Cheap Cruises or Cruise holidays? Call a cruise holiday expert at a Cruiseabout store nationwide on 0800 22 11 14.

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