A luxury cruise voyage can truly enrich your life. Not only will you be traveling with like-minded people who love to cruise, you will develop great, lasting friendships among your many cruising companions.
When you cruise you can travel to fabulous ports of call anywhere that cruise ships sail. Not only are there mega cruise liners which everyone is familiar with, there are a number of different sizes and types of ships. The medium, and particularly the smaller size cruise ships can navigate further up inland waterways to cities and historic landmarks where larger ships could never go.
The larger cruise ships usually have one or two organized shore excursions at each port of call. If there are two sightseeing excursion events scheduled the same day, one may take place early in the morning and the second one in the afternoon. Most morning shore excursions normally get back to the ship in time for the people to feast on a fantastic lunch buffet.
Sometimes, on a second excursion, you could arrive back at the cruise ship late in the afternoon or early evening. This may make you a bit late for dinner if you have opted for the first sitting.
It is also your prerogative to explore the city, town, island, or tourist attractions and landmarks on your own. Just remember that you are responsible to get back on time or your cruise ship could sail without you. However, if you book a shore excursion through the cruise ship, they will not depart the port until everyone is back on board.
Take full advantage of the time you have in port by using it wisely. Some vacationers decide to disembark and go it alone by hiring a car and driver to take them to see and explore the sights. Usually taxi drivers charge by the carload and not per person so if you want to save some money you can split the cost with a few other fellow passengers. If you leave early in the morning you may be able to get back in time to enjoy the lunch buffet.
When you cruise you should bring a detailed guide book or books that cover each of the destinations you know that you will be visiting. Even if the weather is less than optimal for your shore excursion, always take your camera as the weather, if inclement, can improve very quickly.
And don’t judge a port by the dock and its surrounding area. It is usually a freighter loading and unloading area and the major warehouse and industrial district of a city or town. You may have to travel out of the port area and into the city or town to really see the unique tourist attractions and historical sites as well as experience the local culture.
What is the difference between a river cruise and a barge tour?
Although they have similarities, there are major differences between these two types of sightseeing tours. Firstly, the ships that sail the rivers can accommodate approximately up to one hundred and eighty people, while barges usually only can accommodate five to twenty-five people.
The second big difference is that the river cruises can visit a number of countries and cities in a week, while barges travel on man-made canals from town to town moving at a much slower, walking pace, and can only cover approximately fifty miles in a week. Thirdly, river cruise ships have a restaurant, lounge, and entertainment, while barges are essentially first-class, floating hotels, and have a dining room and lounge as well as a sun deck. The most popular river cruises and barging tours are located in Europe.
What is a luxury cruise tour package?
A cruise tour package is similar to a regular cruise that stops for half-day or full day shore excursions but gives you the best of both a luxury cruise and a land holiday all wrapped up in one. The main differences between the two is that the land part of your vacation includes transportation by train or luxury motor coach travel to a centrally located quality hotel accommodation at your inland destination. You will be chaperoned by an expert tour guide for the land portion of your itinerary. These combo packages are generally longer, lasting from ten days to three weeks or even a month or more. On most cruise tours you can decide to take the land segment of your vacation either before or after your cruise.
Besides Europe, you can book a cruise tour for South America, Australia, Asia and the United States. Alaska is one of the most popular cruise tour destinations in the world.