As cruising becomes more and more popular, not only are the experiences onboard important, but also the opportunity for unique experiences ashore. Therefore, cruise lines offer a range of hundreds of shore excursions at ports around the world. Hard to pick the right one? Online cruise portal CruiseAway by Dreamlines has picked 8 shore excursions that will blow your mind.
1. Sailing on an America’s Cup Yacht
This adventure is not literally a shore excursion as guests change their cruise ship for a much smaller and fast boat. For the duration of the excursion, guests become a member of the crew and sail together in a Regatta on the fastest sailing boats in the world. This tour takes place in the harbour of Auckland, New Zealand, along with others this tour is bookable through Holland America Line.
2. Hunting auroras on a snowmobile
When in the far north of Europe during the winter, chances are quite high to see famous auroras illuminating the sky in fluorescent greens. These spectacular polar lights can best be seen in dark winter nights. Jump on a snowmobile and follow your guide through the fields of never ending snow, hunting for auroras. An unforgettable adventure in the most northern part of the European continent in Norway, made possible by Hurtigruten.
3. Exploring the tunnels of Viet Cong
When going ashore in Ho Chi Minh City, take the opportunity to explore the recent history of Vietnam and explore the life of Viet Cong during the Vietnam War in the 1960s. With entering the Cu Chi tunnels history becomes alive. This 250-kilometer-long labyrinth gives an impression of the life of the guerrilla fighters. Around 16,000 people lived in this underground complex with storerooms, smokeless kitchens, sleeping quarters, hospitals and even schools. Among others, Silversea offers this fascinating shore excursion.
4. Doors-off helicopter ride over Kilauea Volcano
What can be more thrilling than flying 150 meters over an active volcano in a helicopter without doors? Norwegian Cruise Line gives 4 passengers at a time the incredible opportunity to hover over the molten lava of one of the world’s most active volcanos. The massive crater of Kilauea would already be impressive by itself, however, with the doors off in the helicopter it makes this shore excursion to one of the ultimate adrenaline adventures.
5. Camping in Antarctica
Follow the historical explorers of Antarctica and put up your tent in the snowy wilderness of the south pole. For one cold and adventurous night, you can feel nature in a way civilised areas can never let you. Even with all the necessary equipped, the night under the southern skies will form lifelong memories. If the weather conditions are correct, Hurtigruten gives passengers the opportunity to feel like Sir Douglas Mawson for one night.
6. Scuba Diving in the ship wreck of RMS Rhone
An adventure under the sea and scuba dive in an old ship wreck. The RMS Rhone is a sailing ship that sank 1867 in a hurricane close to Salt Island in the British Virgin Islands. The area around it was declared a national park in 1980. Today, the wreck is an artificial reef and because of its colourful flora, fauna and overhead passages, it is a very attractive area for scuba divers. Certified scuba divers can have this underwater excursion while cruising with Carnival.
7. Kayaking on the Panama Canal
On Gatún Lake – once the biggest artificial lake on earth and part of Panama Canal – sporty and adventurous cruisers can go kayaking. While watching the wonders of the islands of Gatún Lake, ships from all over the world will pass you by. An incredible and unique sight that is only possible on the Panama Canal. Holland America Line additionally gives the opportunity to watch the Aqua Clara Locks letting ships and boats in and out the canal. Truly a once in a lifetime experience.
8. Admiring the Nazca Lines from the air
Around 1.500 years before Europeans first discovered South America, the Nazca Society lived in the region of today’s Peru. They drew huge pictures of animals onto the ground – some by the size of a football field – that outlived their time. Oceania Cruises fly’s passengers in a small aeroplane over these amazing sculptures on the ground. Imagine what skills the Nazca society needs to have evolved to be able to build these structures. Mind blowing!