There’s nothing wrong with being a choosey cruiser when it comes to selecting shore excursions. In fact, several cruise lines are letting guests take the wheel and customize their own land tours with the help of a trip planner or travel agent.
Azamara: Roll your own shore excursion
Azamara Club Cruises’ destination-immersive voyages are able to customize their land tours through the brand’s new “Private Journeys” program. Prior to embarkation, guests receive access to Azamara’s dedicated team of destination insiders who use their extensive knowledge of travel to create land tours that are customized to guests’ preferences. The concierge-style service tailors “Private Journeys” to guests’ interests, travel style and budget, helping arrange everything from exclusive experiences to sightseeing tours with a private guide.
“Private Journeys” can be as simple as a personal guided tour in Wadi Rum and Petra, Jordan, or as elaborate as a private car tour in Singapore with lunch at a restaurant headed by a Michelin-starred chef, and visits to the Singapore Zoo, Chinatown and Arab Street. Azamara stays longer in ports, sometimes overnight, to allow guests time to fully immerse themselves in the destination. During Azamara’s Kotor, Montenegro, “Private Journeys” program, starting at $1,290 per person, guests have the opportunity to go on a private cruise to a tiny island church in Montenegro where they’ll witness hidden Baroque art.
Royal Caribbean enabling custom journeys
Royal Caribbean International has added new custom journeys to its already robust offering of close to 3,000 shore excursions worldwide. Guests can book “Private Journeys,” tailored to their budget, interests, experience and travel style, on any of the cruise line’s ships or itineraries. Prior to sailing, guests are connected with one of nine destination insiders who help plan every detail of their shore experience, such as personalized activities, programs and adventures for solo travelers, couples, families and small groups.
For example, the “Misty Fjords & Crab Feast Private Journey” in Ketchikan, Alaska, includes an exploration of the Misty Fjords National Monument from a de Havilland Beaver float plane, followed by an Alaskan fireside meal. Afterward, guests go on a narrated flight above the Alaskan wilderness, where they choose between an alpine lake or remote fjord to enjoy a fireside meal of smoked salmon and Dungeness crab paired with Alaskan amber beer, wine, or champagne. “Private Journeys” require a $100 deposit.
Create one-of-a-kind experiences with Celebrity
Celebrity Cruises has introduced new dedicated destination insiders to its already existing “Celebrity Private Journeys” program. These seasoned world travelers offer an elevated level of personalized service for guests booking “Celebrity Private Journeys,” by helping guests create one-of-a-kind land experiences — from surprising a significant other with lunch for two at an exclusive clifftop restaurant in Santorini or taking a helicopter ride to the world’s only seven-star hotel in Dubai for an exclusive champagne and cocktail pairing. Guests also have the option to choose their mode of transportation, whether it’s a car, limousine or aircraft, in addition to having the option to add a private local guide to their “Private Journey.”
Note: Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. owns Azamara, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises.
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