Shore Excursions for Nature Lovers
Some cruise vacations are made for people who love nature: for example, cruises to Alaska, Antarctica and the Galapagos Islands are all about great scenery, natural beauty and the opportunity to view wildlife in their native habitats. Shore excursions in these destinations enhance the experience – imagine the thrill of actually stepping on the Antarctic ice, watched by seals and penguins, or seeing giant Galapagos tortoises up close. Still, cruises to other destinations – Europe, the Caribbean, South America and more – offer shore excursions that appeal to nature lovers, too.
In Alaska, nature abounds. On shore, you can hike or take a ride on a 4x4 vehicle, watching for wildflowers, waterfalls, deer, eagles and bears. Or, you can ride the waves to watch for beavers along the shore, terns in the air and mighty whales in the ocean.
If whale-watching appeals to you but you would like to do it in warmer waters, cruise to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, sometime between mid-December and mid-March. Excursion boats can take you out among the gray and humpback whales. If you’d rather stay on land, you can ride a beautiful horse along a cactus-lined beach and see migrating whales off shore.
The Caribbean is full of places where you can snorkel through an underwater world of brightly colored fish, coral and other sea life. One of the best ports for snorkeling is Roatan, Honduras, where you can also view the underwater world through a clear-bottomed kayak.
If you love gardens, cruise the British Isles and take an excursion to County Wicklow, Ireland. Powerscourt Estate has some of the country’s finest formal gardens. You can also walk a nature trail along the Dargle River and see the 400-foot-high Powerscourt Waterfall.
South America has many spectacular natural features, including the amazing forests and wildlife of the Amazon basin. From Punta Arenas, Chile, you can travel through the Patagonian countryside to the Lake District and its breathtaking lakes, snow-capped peaks and lush forests.
If nature and the outdoors is where you want to be on your next cruise vacation, you can find a great, nature-oriented shore excursion in nearly any port of call. Ask your personal cruise expert to help you select shore excursions that will get you out in the open and bring you close to the natural wonders of your chosen destination.