PORTS OF CALL

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    Sometimes it pays to put yourself in the hands of the experts. Discover extraordinary fun, must-do experiences and savings with Shore Excursion packages. Planning a vacation can become like a second job. So many decisions. So many websites. Enough information to fill a book—actually, hundreds of them. That’s where we can help. We’ve organized all the must-see sights and must-do adventures into a single shore excursions magazine, Port : Adventure. You’ll get expert guides, find secure and trusted service, and how to maximum the amount of time in each port to enjoy your vacation. We save you the precious time it takes to organize the ultimate shore side experiences during your cruise vacation. And, on top of that, show you where to find value priced shore trips to save you money. All you have to do is relax and enjoy your cruise vacation.

    Shore Excursions
    Begin a new vacation each time you set foot ashore!

    No matter where you are in the world, shore excursions offer you the opportunities to experience international cultures, sample local cuisine, sightsee and more.

    Cruise shore excursions are also unique because of their flexibility. You can take guided tours or customize your sightseeing by renting transportation or embarking on walking tours.

    Hit all a port of call's local highlights or focus on one or two extended activities. It's your cruise!

    ShoreTrips offers shore excursions that are creative, personal and better priced than those offered by the cruise lines. Each activity is hand-picked by owners, Barry and Julie Karp, who experience each excursion first-hand, guaranteeing agents piece-of-mind and customer satisfaction. Endorsed by Arthur Frommer, ShoreTrips offers unique shore excursions to the Caribbean, Alaska, Europe, Mexico, Hawaii, New England/Canada, Bermuda, and South America.


    In The News:

    Cruise Lines Face Stiff Competition For Shore Excursions.

    Shore Tours -  Tips - Shore Excursions
    from Raye & Marty Trencher

    The battle for your money is on!

    4 independent Shore Excursion websites now offer cheaper shore excursions than your cruise line. The cruises lines are not happy and one line, Norwegian is fighting back, offering kids free shore excursions and teens at 50% off.*

    For as long as we can remember, the cruises lines have had a virtual monopoly on the sale of shore excursions. These are sightseeing tours and activities that are sold onboard and online to cruise passengers for the ports-of-call stops on their itinerary. It's a huge revenue producer for the cruise lines and the income is not shared with their travel agent partners.

    According to a PhoCusWright study, nearly a quarter of retail travel agents and 41% of home-based agents typically bypass the cruise lines to book shore excursions. Consumers often find cruise lines arranged shore excursions are overpriced, over crowded and represent only a small portion of what's available to see and do locally.

    So, every day, more and more travel agents are turning to independent companies to arrange shore excursions for their clients and the incentive to do so, is simple. They get paid a share of the revenue in the form of commissions for selling the sightseeing tours and activities offered by the independent shore excursion consolidators.

    So with all this new competition, where do consumers find the best savings on shore excursions?

    Let's begin by saying, the vast majority of cruise travelers purchase shore excursions for the ports-of-call on their itinerary from the cruise line. Why not? It's easy, convenient and can be booked online in just minutes. The shore excursions desk onboard takes care of it all. The buses pick you up right at the pier, and at the end of your shore tour get you back to the ship on time to board, before the ship sails off to another port-of-call.

    But if you do it that way... is it the best way to save money and still have a great time ashore? The answer may not be what you think.

    In addition to the cruise line's themselves, there are four major independent Shore Excursion providers who have a significant web presence. And one company, Shore Tours Group who has consolidated them all, into a one-stop shop for cruise enthusiasts.

    How much can you save by booking through independent Shore Excursion providers rather than from the cruise line?

    Let's look at the independent Shore Excursion providers.

    First, what do they all have in common?

    All 4 firms display hundred's of listings of shore excursions and tours for your specific cruise, displaying results by the types of activities you want, ship and itinerary, and guarantee that any shore excursions they offer will coincide with the ship's port-of-call schedule. All you have to do is go to to their web site, use the pull down menu on their home page and search for cruises that match your itinerary.

    Once you fill in the info needed, you'll be taken to a list of available shore tours, some which are operated by the same ground operators who service cruise line passengers that book onboard at the shore excursions desk. There are hundred's of ports-of-call itineraries that match major cruise lines: Carnival, Celebrity, Holland America, Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), Princess Cruises, and Royal Caribbean.

    There are two distinctions from cruise line purchased shore excursions that all 4 companies have in common - better prices - fewer crowds. Not in all cases, but in the majority of offerings. These companies focus on smaller groups visiting more interesting and authentic locations using more personalized local operators. While the cruise lines are experts in delivering cruises, these companies are experts in delivering shore excursions.

    The value of discounts, depends on the independent Shore Excursion provider, but you can save up to 60 percent off cruise line prices for hundred's of comparable cruise line-organized shore excursions.

    ShoreTrips

    Shore Trips is a family company run by Barry and Julie Karp, owners of ShoreTrips. Both of them have had a very hands-on approach to servicing their clients in their respective businesses and an intuitive sense of the desires of today's travel -savvy audience. They have worked hard to develop a way for you to have smaller, more personal tours and adventures and yet feel secure knowing that all of the people they represent have an understanding of your expectations.

    Shore Excursions Group

    Shore Excursions Group was created with one goal in mind – to provide exceptional travel experiences to cruise passengers in the ports they visit around the world. To accomplish this, they have compiled an exceptional array of tours delivered by local experts with decades of experience serving travelers and delivering excellent tours. Their owners and management team are comprised of seasoned travel industry executives who leverage their considerable experience to delivery memories of a lifetime.

    Brad Miller is the former Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer for Abercrombie & Kent, a leading luxury travel company. In that role, Brad was responsible for contributing to Abercrombie & Kent's international growth through the development and acquisition of tour products and travel experiences around the world with a specific focus on cruising and land based experiences.; Michael Bonner; has over a decade of experience working in the cruise industry in a variety of roles for both Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and Viking River Cruises.

    Port Promotions

    According to Gordon Barr, the companies president, Port Promotions was founded to provide independent shore excursions as an alternative to the Cruise Line high prices and mass markets. Their tours are guaranteed to be less expensive and less crowded than those on the cruise ships. Port Promotions has emerged as one of the leading providers of independent shore excursions throughout the world, and is committed to providing a quality experience with a personal touch at a reasonable price.

    Viator

    Over the last 15 years Viator has built one of the industry's largest selection of tours and activities – all provided by local tour operators they hand-picked for quality, value and service, all backed by their low-price guarantee, and supported by hundreds of thousands of unbiased traveler reviews and photos.

    What are the Potential Savings?

    How much savings can you expect from independent Shore Excursion providers? Here are a few examples.

    • Juneau, Alaska: Whale Watching with Mendenhall Glacier $131.00 per person. Comparable tour booked with Royal Caribbean $171.00, potential savings $80 per couple!
    • Naples, Italy: Capri Day Trip with Lunch from Naples $133.00 per person. Comparable tour booked with Carnival Cruises $199.00, potential savings $132 per couple.
    • Mazatlan, Mexico: Estero Ecological Reserve Jungle Tour;$45.00 per person. Comparable tour booked with Princess Cruises $79.00, potential savings $68 per couple!
    • Hilo, Hawaii : Volcanoes National Park and Rainbow Falls;$59.00 per person. Comparable tour booked with Norwegian Cruise Line $89.00, potential savings $60 per couple!

    Note: Comparisons are based on the recommended retail price for one adult, displayed on a cruise line website for the equivalent shore excursion, tour or activity listed on an independent Shore Excursions provider's website. Prices were accurate at the time of publication, but may have changed. So, be sure to visit these firms web sites for the most up-to-date prices and availability.

    Shore Tours Group

    Now comes a new service: Shore Tours Group. This website let's you compare side by side the rates from all 4 shore excursion companies as well as view the shore excursions offerings from the cruise lines official sites. A one-stop-shop site that utilizes a Shore Excursion Comparison Shopping Tool to find shore tours, shore trips and shore excursion deals when shopping for a cruise.; The company can help you search for over 5500 shore excursion daily deals in one place. Real-Time shore tour deals you can book online and pay less than the cruise lines. Get unpublished exclusive discounts on top popular shore excursions without the hassle of searching all over the Internet. Worldwide destinations are represented, with an emphasis on discounted shore excursions for ports in the Caribbean, Alaska, Europe, Hawaii, Mexico, and Bermuda.

    Final Notes

    On a cruise you simply unpack once and each day wake up in an exciting new port of call.; You don't have to arrange transportation from place to place, carry your luggage around, or use a lot of your vacation time in transit, or waiting in crowded airports to fly to your next destination. Once you arrive at your port-of-call, you can choose from several options to experience the sights, sounds and things to do of your port call. You can set off on your own to explore the island, city or countryside, or you can follow the crowds of cruise travelers who booked shore excursions with the cruise line. But what you now realize – and what the cruise lines did not want you to know – is that there is another option, and it’s one that can help you save both time and money on your trip.

    The secret is, it's just as easy to book your own shore excursions, which could be smaller in size, of better quality, and may be cheaper in price. Use a comparison shopping tool like that found at Shore Tours Group and you save more than just money. Time. And we all know – time – is a precious commodity.

    So, who do go with, your cruise line or an Independent Shore Excursion Provider?

    The choice is always yours.

    If you'd like more information about price comparison shopping for shore excursions,

    simply email the Shore Tours Group.


    * Norwegian Cruise Line’s Freestyle Cruising® comes ashore with unlimited free adventures for kids like swimming with dolphins, horseback riding and hundreds more. Kids 12 and under free. Teens 50% off. All ports. All sailings. Offer dates 4/16/12 – 5/13/12.


    Shore Excursions

    Don't just see the world. Explore it and discover new places, new foods, new experiences. Now you can go online and view cruise line shore & land excursions. Programs that let you will get you up close and personal with some of the most exciting destinations in the world.

    Please remember that the cruise lines have certain rules and restrictions regarding your purchase of shore & land excursions online. Please be sure to read and understand their policy before you make any online purchase.

    Shore Excursions Offered By The Cruise Line

    You can check out shore & land excursions anytime. However, to book an excursion online, you'll need your reservation information. If you have this on hand, on most cruise line sites you can make your reservation today. Click on the cruise line name link below to view their offerings.

    Other Shore Excursions ( not offered by the cruise line )

    3  independent companies, specializes in shore excursions for a variety of worldwide destinations. Click on a link to see their offerings.

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    Shoretrips

    More About Shoretrips

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    Shore Excursions Group

    More About Shore Excursions Group

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    Port Promotions

    More About Port Promotions

    Shore Excursions Offered By

    The Cruise Lines

    Click on the cruise line name link below to view their offerings.

    There’s so much to do on — and off — a Carnival cruise. Sure, you know the ship’s gonna be a blast. But what happens when you walk down the gangway into a port? Well, we’ve got the answer: a full-fledged fun bonanza! We’ve tracked down the coolest stuff in every port — which means you can be sure the good times won’t slow down just ‘cause you’re leaving the ship. So go ahead… snorkel, zip-line, ride a 4X4, swim with dolphin, shop or just relax on the beach. We’ve got tons of great shore excursions for you to try. Land ho!

    Carnival

    Cruise Line

       
    Make the most of your vacation with a shore and land excursion that appeals to your interests. Knowledgeable, professional guides lead all excursions and offer special insights into the culture, history, wildlife, and geology of each destination. Discover first-hand how islanders went about the business of growing, harvesting and refining sugar in 18th century Barbados. Take an invigorating mush across a snow-covered glacier aboard an Alaskan dogsled. Or stroll through the maze of tiny streets in Mykonos, the birthplace of Apollo. Celebrity Cruises
       
    shore excursions that have been specially selected by Disney Cruise Line—provide you and your family with the very best recreation, leisure and sightseeing each destination has to offer. By adding a Port Adventure to your cruise, you'll receive an unforgettable experience ashore along with the peace of mind that comes with having Disney do all the planning. Whether sailing into the horizon, exploring an under the sea world, pillaging with pirates or splashing through the waves on some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Port Adventures set the course for a whole new way to add even more magic to your Disney Cruise Line vacation.

    Disney

    Cruise Line

       
    Holland America Line offers a wide variety of shore excursions to fit your lifestyle, ranging from easygoing activities to high adventure. Each of our tours provides the highest level of quality, safety, convenience and value. Once you have booked your cruise, you can easily book your shore excursions online; we recommend you book early for the best selection. Holland America
       
    Surfing in Hawaii. Dogsledding in Alaska. Scuba diving in Belize. Exploring ancient medieval cities. You can book your adventures ashore up to two days prior to sailing, so take a look and book now, as the favorites sell out fast. Norwegian Cruise Line
       
    Learn more about the 330+ ports Princess visits each year, as well as key points of interest, favorite activities and the full range of excursions we offer to help you explore. Princess Cruises
       
    Add Explorer to Your Resume! Discover new places, new foods, and new experiences. Travel to some of the most exciting places in the world and do things you never dreamed you would. This is your vacation and with our Shore & Land Excursions, you can be sure it'll be one of the best ever. Royal Caribbean
       
    See and experience more while in port. To make your vacation even more memorable, Windstar® Cruises offers an extensive shore excursions program. Windstar Cruises

    Shop thousands of destination activities, pre and post cruise things to do worldwide!

    Our goal is to provide access to exceptional travel experiences to cruise passengers in the ports they visit around the world. To accomplish this, we have gathered three of the most experienced sightseeing tour operators, who have compiled an exceptional array of tours delivered by local experts with decades of experience serving travelers and delivering excellent tours. These companies are experts in providing exceptional shore excursions. They understand that in today's fast paced world, vacations have become an increasingly important way to relax, reconnect with family and friends, and experience new and interesting places. With this in mind, they provide the highest quality tours by performing extensive research, site inspections, and detailed reviews. While other companies also offer excursions, we strongly believe you should check these three companies out and determine for yourself, if their expertise and approach set them apart. The large cruise lines sell shore excursions - typically in very large groups visiting high traffic sites. Visit shoretoursgroup.com for more details.

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    In The News

    New Web Site Helps Consumers

    Save Money on Shore Excursions.

    Learn More

    Shore Excursions Magazine

    What To See And Do...

    FEATURED ARTICLES

    Port: Adventure

    Cruises can take you to so many places. With 350 Embarkation Ports and hundreds of Ports of Call around the globe, there’s something ashore for everyone. Where in the world do you want to go?

     

    CARIBBEAN: Bury your toes in sugar-white sand, unearth Mayan ruins and shop at outdoor markets for duty-free handicrafts.
    BAHAMAS & BERMUDA: Soak up electric blue waters, track the pursuits of legendary pirates and unravel the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle.

    MEXICO: Tour ancient villages, old-world factories and traditional plantations. Or daydream in a hammock on a sun-drenched beach.
    SOUTH AMERICA: Encounter mummies, active volcanoes and pink dolphins in a country that celebrates both ancient tribes and sophisticated cities.
    PANAMA CANAL: Sail through this $350 million man-made wonder en route to fascinating countries like Costa Rica and Aruba. ALASKA: Trek across the "Great Frontier" and explore mile after mile of stunning fjords, glaciers, forests and mountains.
    CANADA & NEW ENGLAND: Breathe in the life of rugged seaside villages and the spirit of the American Revolution.

    MEDITERRANEAN EUROPE: Stand at the feet of Michelangelo's David, stare into the eyes of da Vinci's Mona Lisa, and take in the most inspired works of art ever created.
    NORTHERN EUROPE: Toast to the wonders of lofty castles, grandiose cathedrals and pastoral countryside in an Irish pub.

    HAWAII: Relax on Waikiki Beach and snorkel amidst lava rock in Nawiliwili Kauai. Or explore Hawaii's memorials and monuments.
    ASIA: Experience a kaleidoscope of Oriental cultures and landscapes and walk the meandering Great Wall of China.
    AUSTRALIA & SOUTH PACIFIC: Trek past boiling mud pools and powerful geysers in Tahiti and then attend a world-class performance at the Sydney Opera House.

    TRANSATLANTIC: Visit the most geographically diverse regions of the world during a cruise across the Atlantic Ocean.
    AROUND THE WORLD: Voyage to several continents across the globe and sightsee lively capitals and rustic villages.

    River Cruises:
    UNITED STATES: Get a closer look at America by sailing its most legendary rivers, including the Napa, Hudson, Ohio, Missouri and Mississippi.
    WORLD: Sail alongside medieval castles, ancient ruins and luxuriant vineyards on rivers such as the Nile, Murray, Danube, Yangtze and Rhine.

    Disclaimer: Shore Excursions, Shore Trips and Shore Tours are provided by the Cruise Line or Independent Sightseeing Vendors. Shore Excursions Magazine, Cruise Direct Online and Travel Direct are not responsible for their services, nor web site content. If you choose to purchase products or services from them, the business arrangement is strictly between

    you and them.


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