As with most cruises, one of the main highlights of a trip along one of the world’s rivers is the chance to get off the ship and explore some fantastic ports. As river cruises are more likely to take you to some hidden gems and lesser-known destinations, there’s even more opportunity to get out there and discover something unique.
And when it comes to shore excursions, these come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Whilst you’re also free to take a self-guided tour of your surroundings, here are just a few types of activity you can look forward to.
Active shore excursions are becoming more and more popular, as cruise lines attempt to give guests some variety in types of activities they can enjoy. Depending on where you are in the world, you could find yourself cycling, kayaking, hiking or even zip-lining through a range of environments. Sometimes these activities will be leisurely, allowing you to sightsee as you go and other times things will be more fast-paced with the activity itself being the main crux of the excursion.
If you like to get the pulse racing or you feel slightly guilty about the buffet lunch you just enjoyed, an active tour can be a great way to try something different and explore further afield.
With the small groups that are often taken on river cruise excursions, it’s possible to organise some really exciting, behind-the-scenes tours. Although these may come with a more expensive cost, it’s a rare opportunity to see something from a different perspective or experience a famous attraction without the crowds.
You could find yourself enjoying a private performance of Mozart’s music in Salzburg or having access to areas of the Vienna’s Schönbrunn Palace that are usually not seen by the public. These VIP events add an extra sprinkling of magic to your river cruise and are definitely worth doing if you get the chance.
Food will become a big part of your river cruise, both on and off the ship. There will be many situations where you can sample the local cuisine and shore excursions are a great one to consider. As well as activities where you can stroll through market places accompanied by the chef, you’ll also be taken to properties that specialise in one particular food or drink product. This could be a winery where delicious regional wines are produced or a bakery known for making superior delicacies from that particular town or city.
A somewhat more intimate and immersive food and drink excursion is the invitation into a family’s home or restaurant to dine with them. They will proudly serve up a menu of traditional dishes for you to try whilst you ask them questions about life in that part of the world.
A step up from the standard city/town tours that are typically offered free of charge, you can embark on an excursion to one or a group of attractions that have a specific theme. For example, you could visit a number of places in Vicksburg that are linked to the American Civil War on a Mississippi River cruise. Or, you could visit Amsterdam during tulip time and be taken on a floral tour of places such as Keukenhof Gardens and the Bloemenmarkt (flower market).
Not only do these allow you to indulge a specific passion or hobby, but they also help you learn about some of the important things that the town or city is known for. This means you get to see the most popular sights but in an authentic way.
If you would like to know more about the types of shore excursions you can look forward to during a river cruise, call us on 0800 028 4272. You can also sign up to our mailing list to stay up to date with the latest news and deals.
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