How to Book Shore Excursions on Your Cruise Vacation

How to Book Shore Excursions on Your Cruise Vacation
Shore excursions - the variety of tours offered by cruise lines to enhance the at-sea experience - range widely from guided city tours to extreme sports like skiing on glaciers and white water kayaking. There are a number of ways to make reservations for these excursions, both before and during the cruise. It's wise to reserve your first choices early as space is limited and the most popular activities are usually filled before the cruise begins.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • A cruise reservation A printed or downloadable brochure of the available shore excursions (optional)
  • A cruise reservation
  • A printed or downloadable brochure of the available shore excursions (optional)
Step 1
Reserve with your travel agent. Many shore excursions, particularly those with more complex travel components like flights or rail travel, can be booked at the same time you reserve your cruise. Talk to your travel agent about which activities you enjoy and have her offer a few suggestions. Some lines also offer a printed menu of the shore excursions.
Step 2
Book online. Increasingly, cruise lines are allowing those with cruise reservations to make arrangements online for shore excursions. Among those offering this service are Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruises and Holland America. Many lines also offer a downloadable brochure outlining the excursions.
Step 3
Talk to the shore excursion desk on the ship. If you arrive at your cruise without having made arrangements for shore excursions, don't despair. Many tours are still available during the cruise and sometimes cruise lines will add additional departures for popular activities. Generally, tours are booked at sea via the shore excursion desk, which is usually located near the purser's office. Some lines even let you book shore excursions from your stateroom via interactive monitors.

Article Written By Sandy Mitchell

Sandy Mitchell is an Ohio-based writer, blogger and editor. She writes for "The Better Drink" and other online publications. Before devoting herself full-time to writing, Mitchell was a travel agent and cruise school instructor for 18 years. She holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Bowling Green State University.

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