Cruise shore trips and cruise shore excursions, in many ways, mean the exact same thing. But they may differ slightly in some respects. A cruise shore excursion may consists of as little as a day filled with shopping and touring museums or a night of dining and dancing at a local club. A cruise shore trip can go beyond just 1-2 activities on one dayâ€”it can last several days and consist of a many different activities from the basic to the over-the-top.
Cruise Shore Trip
A cruise shore trip is essentially a trip within a trip and they are common on cruises with longer cruise itineraries such as 14-day, 21-day or 26-day cruises. This allows for more overnight stays on multiple ports of call. Cruise shore trips on a 7-day or 10-day cruise itinerary is not uncommon.
Unlike cruise shore excursions, which may be considered short and optional, cruise shore trips may be a necessity since the ship will typically remain at the port of call for several full days if you are on an extended cruise vacation.
Cruise shore trips are typically scheduled events and paid in advance when you book your cruise, with a long list of tours and visits to notable attractions and stays in local hotels. You may opt to plan your shore trip as you go along, but this can be costly and if youâ€™re unfamiliar with a certain area, the chances of getting lost increase greatly.
Types of Cruise Shore Trips
Depending on the type of cruise vacation (European, Caribbean, Hawaiian) shore trips can run the gamut from several days of â€œflightseeingâ€? or guided tours on foot to adventure trips such as hiking, snorkeling, diving, riverafting or horseback riding. Longer cruise itineraries will include several days of sailing and several nights in port allowing the passenger to city hop or even country hop!
Sample Cruise Shore Trips
Depending on the cruise line and destination, each line has its own set of shore trip offerings ranging from the basic to the extravagant. For example, Crystal Cruises offers a MiG fighter jet flight over Moscow. This is a two-night overland adventure. Guests can also take an a chartered plane to Dresden. In the basic category, the vast majority of Hawaiian vacations will typically include at least one short shore trip consisting of an overnight stay on one of the many islands. The dayâ€™s activities are up to you.
How to Book Cruise Shore Trips
Once you have paid a deposit on a cruise, you can also begin planning your cruise shore trip. Booking your cruise shore trips and cruise simultaneously can save time and it can secure your spot on the trip. This can also ensure that you will have a hotel reservation as well. Depending on the time of year, hotels may fill rather quickly so itâ€™s always a good idea to book ahead.
Keep in mind that certain cruise shore trips may fill up quickly and depending on itinerary, some might not be available for every ship and sail date. To book cruise shore trips, your cruise travel agent or cruise line representative will help you with the arrangements.