Dedicated Cruise Specialists experts advise that consumers’ experiences in port can make or break their vacation.
“One of the single-most important factors consumers consider when booking a cruise is where the itinerary will take them and what they can experience ashore,” said Annie Scrivanich, Senior Vice President, Cruise Specialists.
“What we’re currently observing from a trend standpoint is that consumers are heavily interested in experiences that immerse them in the local culture, people and environment, and particularly those with a philanthropic or preservation element.”
Scrivanich added that, because the shore tour experience is so critical to consumers’ overall vacation satisfaction, Cruise Specialists operates its own privately organized program for both independent and group travel.
“We offer unique tours not available through the cruise lines and our private excursions feature smaller groups led by an expert guide host, private motor coaches and truly unique and exceptional experiences, Plus, our Cruise Specialists host accompanies our group departures, a feature that sets us apart from other companies.”
Examples of unique tour experiences, include:
Angkor Wat Adventure and Humanitarian Tour
Benefit the Cambodia Clean Water Project in Siem Reap. The Clean Water Project provides clean, bacteria-free water in the rural community. A portion of the proceeds from each participant in the three-day, two-night tour funds new wells for local residents.
Guests on the excursion are able to visit and dedicate a new well, constructed with their donations. The tour also includes visits to a number of stunning temples and cultural sites. Over the past five years, Cruise Specialist clients have facilitated the construction of a well each year.
Maori Village & Geothermal Reserve
In Tauranga, New Zealand, where guests have the opportunity to visit the sacred Tamaki Maori Village and enjoy an authentic cultural performance and traditional ‘hangi feast’ before heading to the Te Puia Thermal Reserve.
There, guests take in the renowned spouting Pohutu geyser, silica terraces, pools of boiling mud and dramatic steam vents before heading to the Maori Arts & Crafts Institute where young people from across New Zealand work as apprentices to learn and preserve traditional Maori artisan skills.
Lima Lifestyle: Then & Now.
Through this complimentary excursion, guests experience the beauty of Callao (Lima), Peru, while exploring the city’s legendary lifestyle. This excursion includes a visit to Lima’s oldest house called Casa Solariega de Aliaga, which is inhabited by descendants of its original owners. Then, guests proceed to a modern house, Casa Luna, which is located on Santo Toribio Avenue, an exclusive neighborhood of San Isidro.
Heather Visser, who is the Shore Excursion Manager for Cruise Specialists, cited several things to consider when choosing a shore tour. Those include:
- Determine your areas of interest and level of comfort from a physical activity standpoint. There are multiple types of excursions that cover all levels of activity. They can range from scenic sightseeing and cultural experiences to adventure activities, water and beach, or food and wine.
- Take the time to research and plan ahead. Shore tours are one of the most important aspects of the trip, so invest the time to learn, evaluate and plan.
- Book ahead. Booking ahead of time guarantees your spot, especially for those tours that have limited availability.
- Consult an expert. There are hundreds of shore excursions available during any given cruise, so seeking advice from an expert like Visser and the team at Cruise Specialists will provide much better guidance than simply reading the tour descriptions.
Cruise Specialists has been in business for more than 30 years and has assisted over 9,000 guests in fulfilling their dreams of circumnavigating the globe.
Ready to find your perfect excursion? Call 888-681-7408