3 Ways to Purchase Shore Excursions

If you have ever gone on a cruise or are currently thinking about one, you should know that shore excursions are just as much a part of the cruise experience as being on the ship itself. While shore excursions are optional, we highly recommend it! It’s as simple as choosing something you are interested in, booking the excursion, and letting the guides take it from there. When purchasing an excursion, there are three options- from the cruise line, from an outside company, and from locals right off the dock. So, which one is the best choice? Here is some information to assist you in the decision making process:

1. Cruise Line


  • High-quality excursions
  • The ship will not leave without you if your excursion is delayed
  • This may be the easiest and most guaranteed option


  • Often the most expensive option
  • Placed in a large group that doesn’t give you much room for a personal experience
  • Less room for personalization

2. Outside Companies


  • Usually has excellent quality
  • Less expensive than purchasing from the cruise line
  • More room for personal attention
  • If you don’t make it back to the ship before it leaves port, the company will fly you to the next port guaranteed


  • Options can be limited
  • Some excursions may be pretty expensive

 3. Right off the dock


  • You can usually count on saving the most amount of money
  • You may experience a little more adventure and spontaneity
  • You have the opportunity to make new friends with the local people


  • Uncertainty of quality
  • Guides may be little more than a taxi driver who can’t speak English very well
  • You can guarantee that you will be left behind watching the ship float into the sunset if you don’t make it back on time
  • May not accept credit cards

Now it’s up to you to decide how you will purchase your shore excursions. Of course, don’t think you have to do it all on your own if you don’t want to. Travel agents, like those at Columbus Travel, want to help you make the most out of your cruise experience.

Photos are taken in person or provided by the supplier except where credited.

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One thought on “3 Ways to Purchase Shore Excursions

  1. Anonymous

    I’m glad you mention how shore excursions let you leave everything to the guide. This could be useful since they know the area and can show you the best spots to visit. When choosing a shore excursion, you’d probably want to consider where you’re going, such as whether it’s Italy or the Caribbeans, so that you can plan ahead and find a company that is reliable and you can book ahead of time to make sure they’re ready for you when you arrive.

    • Name: Tiffany Locke

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