Wackiest Cruise Shore Excursions
the motor coach tour—these outrageous excursions will rock your boat.
Ketchikan, AK, is a
quiet town full of fishermen, forested hills, and the occasional totem pole, but
on some afternoons, leather-clad gangs roar through town on their Harleys.
Easy Riders? Not exactly. They’re Holland America cruise ship passengers on a group shore excursion, one of
the increasing number of unique, adventurous—outrageous, even—options that
cruise lines are offering to their customers.
lines have been ramping up ships with amenities like rock climbing walls and
ziplines to draw a younger, more active crowd,” says Carolyn Spencer Brown,
editor in chief of Cruisecritic.com. “It makes sense that they’re doing
the same for shore excursions.”
while a traditional cruiser may be content with motor coach tours, onboard
casinos, and multiple trips to the buffet, this new generation of thrill
seekers wants “more to ‘do, rather than view,’” says Lee Lennon, Yachts of
Seabourn’s director of Destination Services. “And they
want to go back and make their friends say, ‘Wow!’”
of these wow factors involve vehicles—fast ones that spin, swoop, skid, or
screech. For instance, go sailing with Crystal Cruises from St. Petersburg, Russia, on its summertime
Baltic cruises, and you could end up flying a Soviet MiG. At the Sormovo Air
Base, on the outskirts of the historic Nizhny Novgorod, participants undergo a
physical exam and flight instruction before strapping on a helmet for a
dizzying journey up over the Russian countryside at speeds of up to 1,536
mph—that’s twice the speed of sound. The cost for this two-day extension: a
pricey—but just as adrenaline-fueled—is a cage dive off the coast of South Africa, into waters infested with great white sharks. While not known to be
man-eaters (though their reputation says otherwise), the torpedo-shaped
creatures—which can grow up to 20 feet in length—swim up menacingly close to
the five-man steel cage, close enough for glimpses of their razor-sharp teeth.
Crystal Cruises also offers this outing, on its 19-day cruise from Mumbai to Cape Town, for under $500.
lines’ growing list of extreme shore excursions is so wide-ranging that you’re
guaranteed to find something that floats your boat.