The top cruise lines offer scrumptious food, exciting entertainment, and activities for the whole family on their ships. The on-shore excursions, of course, are often the best part of the trip.
Despite the appeal of a ship’s amenities, travelers usually can’t wait to take advantage of the tours, sightseeing, shopping, and other pursuits at the various ports of call. Tourists can explore the destinations on their own or find out about the guided tours available locally and through the cruise line.
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Here are six of the best on-shore excursions for cruise lovers:
1. Grand Cayman — Considered one of the most popular on-shore excursions in the world, Grand Cayman is the largest of the Cayman Islands in the Caribbean. It has beaches, coral reefs, and the colonial Fort George ruins. The popular Stingray City is a sandbar where rays actually take squid from the hands of tourists, Cruise Critic points out. Guides accompany visitors in the shallow water where they can actually feel the skin of creatures.
2. Cozumel — Another Caribbean destination is the Mexican Island of Cozumel, which includes beautiful beaches, dolphin encounters, snorkeling, and the Mayan ruins near cliffs above the ocean. Tourists can take half-day or full-day trips to the ruins located in the ancient city of Tulum.
3. Naples, Italy — It’s one of the busiest ports of call for Mediterranean cruises. A popular shore excursion is the tour of Pompeii, Sorrento, and Capri, according to USA Today. Just a half-hour drive from Naples, Pompeii features the ruins and ash-covered remains from the volcanic eruption in 79 A.D. Sorrento on the bay has wonderful views of Naples while Capri offers visitors splendid gardens and shopping.
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4. St. Tropez, France — Located in southern France, this vacation paradise is another popular choice for Mediterranean cruise travelers. It includes breathtaking views of the sea from the center of the seaside town.
5. Barcelona, Spain — There is plenty of sightseeing and culture in the Spanish city with bus tours and historic sights. Independent travelers can take advantage of public transportation, Cruize Cast explains. Plus many attractions can be enjoyed through walking tours, such as the Picasso Museum and the gothic architecture of buildings.
6. Juneau, Alaska — Tourists could wind up whale watching or whitewater rafting with this on-shore excursion. Helicopter tours allow visitors to check out Alaskan dog sledding or tourists can walk along a glacier and enjoy the wonderful scenery, according to Alaska.org.
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