Luxury Cruises – Travel In A Hotel To Exciting Ports Of Call

by Dorothy Yamich

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 sail to fabulous ports of call anywhere that cruise ships visit. Not only are there mega cruise ships which everyone is familiar with, there are a number of sizes and types of ships. The medium, and especially the smaller size cruise ships can navigate further up inland waterways to historic cities and famous landmarks where larger ships cannot 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.

Its also your prerogative to explore the tourist attractions and landmarks of the city, town, or island, on your own. Remember that you are responsible to get back on time to your cruise ship or it could sail without you. However, if you book the shore excursion through your cruise ship, they will not depart the port until everyone is back on board.

Take advantage of the time that you have in a port by using it wisely. Some vacationers may want to disembark and go it alone by hiring a car and driver to take them to explore the sights. Usually the taxi drivers charge by the carload and not per person so if you want to save money you can split the cost with a few of your fellow passengers. If you can leave early in the morning you should be able to get back in time to enjoy the great lunch buffet.

When you cruise you should bring a detailed guide book that covers each of the destinations you know that you will be visiting. Even if the weather is inclement for your shore excursion, always take your camera as the weather can improve very quickly.

And don’t judge any port by the dock and the surrounding area. It is usually the freighter unloading and loading area and major warehouse district of the city or town. You will probably have to travel out of the port area and into the town or city to see the historical sites and unique tourist attractions 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 land package is similar to a 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 combined in one. The main differences between the two is the land part of your vacation includes transportation by train or motor coach travel to a quality hotel accommodation at your inland destination. You will be accompanied by an expert tour guide for the land segment of your itinerary. These combo packages are generally longer, lasting from approximately ten days to three weeks or even a month or more. On most cruise land tours you can decide to take the land part of your holiday 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.

If you would like to enjoy the best of both worlds – an incredible dream cruise holiday and a land tour adventure – a luxury cruise tour is the ultimate vacation experience.

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