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Can I pre-book my Shore Excursions?

Yes, after you make the final payment on your cruise, you can pre-book your shore excursions directly with the cruise line.

Can I book more than one Shore Excursion in a day?

This depends upon the shore excursions you select and their departure and arrival times.

Cruise Lines may offer certain tours in the morning and in the afternoon, so it is possible to take two tours on the same day.

It is generally recommended that you allow one hour to get from one Shore Excursion to the next.

Can I bring our children on a Shore Excursion?

Yes, shore excursions can provide fun, educational and high adventure experiences for the kids and a lifetime of "Remember when we ..." moments for Mum and Dad.

Most cruise lines have age guidelines for their shore excursions, depending upon the age of the children.

Can I leave my children on the ship while we take a tour?

Having small children should not prevent you from enjoying all the activities available to you on your cruise.

Some cruise lines do offer their kids programs while you are in port, giving you the opportunity to enjoy Shore Excursions, independent sight-seeing tours, or shopping off the ship.

Are meals included on the tour?

Unless it is specifically mentioned in the tour description, meals are not included.

Most tour departure times complement the ship's meal service hours, so you can enjoy your meal aboard then go ashore. However, on some full day tours, or if you take more than one tour in a day, your return on board may not coincide with meal hours.

In that case, the cruise line may provide a box lunch or full meal at a local restaurant. Fortunately, regardless of when you return, there is always a buffet, snack, or room service available at all times onboard.

Can you tell me about Shore Excursions?

Shore excursions are optional, guided tours in a cruise ship's port of call. They are offered in almost all cruise ports and cities and are a great way to enhance your cruise experience by allowing you seeing more of the places you visit. Shore excursions highlight the best local attractions and sightseeing opportunities; the best places to shop; and help make the most of your time off the ship.

To get the most enjoyment out of your visit to a port of call, especially if you have not visited the region before, we recommend you book an organised shore excursion. Prices and duration vary for each excursion, and can be booked and paid for in advance through the cruise lines website or by telephoning the cruise line directly. Usually, these must be booked at least 10 days prior to your sailing date. Shore excursions can also be booked on board, however choice and places are limited we therefore recommend you book before sailing to avoid disappointment.

Alternatively, you may wish to explore the particular port of call on your own, please be aware of the ships departure time before you leave the ship and allow sufficient time on your return. Unfortunately, the cruise lines will not accept any liability for passengers missing the departure time.

Do I have to purchase my shore excursions through the cruise line?

You have choices. Booking your shore excursion with the cruise line has a number of benefits including variety and convenience. Cruise Lines typically offer a number of different shore tours to choose and for any budget and physical activity level. They also give you the opportunity to both pre-book your tours online on their websites or wait and book them once you get on the ship.

If you book something online and then you change your mind, you can cancel or rebook another tour onboard with 24 hours notice, you may find that the cruise lines tours to be more expensive than if you had purchased them on your own.

Seasoned cruise travellers know that there are convenient and affordable alternatives to booking your shore excursions directly through the cruise line. Planet Cruise is delighted to offer competitively priced shore excursions on many of the most popular attractions and activities. You can save over 30% off the cost of many of the same tours that the cruise lines offer.

Do the transportation vehicles have child seats and restraints?

Local tour operators and cab drivers do not provide child car seats or child restraints. Most vehicles do have seat belts, but you should check your individual vehicle when you board.

If a child seat is important, it is your responsibility to bring it and properly fit it in the vehicle.

How can I learn about the Shore Excursions that are available to me?

Every cruise line sells shore excursions. As a convenience to their passengers, they provide a complete list of tours with descriptions and prices in advance of your cruise both on their websites and with your cruise documents. Selected shore excursions are also available on our website.

What's more Planet Cruise may also be able to save you money on the most popular shore excursions, typically at a discount of approximately 30%. We buy from the same operators as the cruise lines but without the same mark ups! And our excursions can be cancelled up to 24 hours prior to the start of the excursion with a full refund.

You can pre-book them prior to leaving home or wait until you board your ship.

How much do Shore Excursions cost?

The cost of a shore excursion varies by the tour and the cruise line.

Walking and driving tours to local land attractions, beach escapes, or simple museum tours can be purchased for as little as £15 - £25 per person.

More high adventure activities like snorkelling, wave runner tours, swimming with stingrays, jeep safaris, helicopter and flight-seeing tours, glacier trekking, dog-sledding, white-water rafting and salmon-fishing will cost more.

You can review the costs of shore excursions prior to booking your cruise and you can actually pre-book them prior to arriving at the ship.

Fares for shore excursions are subject to change without notice.

Planet Cruise may also be able to save you money on the most popular shore excursions, typically at a discount of approximately 30%. We buy from the same operators as the cruise lines but without the same mark ups! And our excursions can be cancelled up to 24 hours prior to the start of the excursion with a full refund.

How physically challenging are Shore Excursions?

Most tours require some degree of walking; however, some excursions include extensive walking and hiking. Likewise, the grand entryways of local museums, castles, forts and attractions; sprawling gardens; hilly and icy Alaskan terrain; or Europe's cobblestone streets can all make walking and climbing even more difficult.

Some tours can be very high energy. High adventure white water rafting in Alaska, climbing Dunn's River Falls in Jamaica, bike tours in Hawaii, hiking the hill in Santorini (or riding the mules up for that matter) and kayaking may require you to be in good shape before hand.

Whatever your fitness level, we highly recommend comfortable, low-heeled walking shoes.

To assist guests in choosing their shore excursions, most cruise lines grade their tours according to the level of activity they entail.

Should I tip my tour guide or driver?

Extending a gratuity to your guide or driver is strictly optional; however, in some countries, these personnel may anticipate that if you were pleased with their services, you will reward them, a commonly accepted guideline is £1 per person for a half-day and £2 per person for a full day.

What's included with a Shore Excursion?

Shore excursions include transportation to the attraction or activity, the services of a local tour guide, equipment and gear (if applicable) and entrance fees if applicable.

For example, if you are taking a scuba tour in Cozumel, your tour will include the transportation from the ship to the local dive facility, all scuba gear and tanks, the trip to the dive spot; two dives, and return transportation to ship.

In Alaska you may try a Glacier Trekking Helicopter Tour. Again, transportation from the ship to the helicopter, glacier trekking gear (boots, coats, gloves, ropes etc) would be provided, your helicopter ride, the glacier trekking and then transportation would all be included.

Some tours may also include meals, drinks and refreshments depending on the tour.

Will I have any free time to explore on my own?

This really depends upon the tour. Whenever possible, departure and return times are scheduled to give you time to shop or explore on your own.

The local guides are considered top experts on local history and sights, offering you a chance to fully appreciate and experience their hometowns.

Shore excursions are designed and organised in such a way as to maximise your time in each port and yet allow sufficient free time as well.

Will I need special clothing on my Shore Excursion?

You should plan to dress accordingly for the destination you are in and the tour you are taking.

Certain tours like scuba diving, white-water rafting and glacier trekking will provide the appropriate equipment, gear and clothing as part of the tour.

Additionally, your shore excursion description will provide more clothing recommendations as well.