Explore: The world’s best cruise excursions
One of the big attractions of cruising is the opportunity it presents to experience a vast array of diverse cultures and scenery all served up in one trip. Every cruise offers guests a multitude of excursions and in amongst them are some real gems that just shouldn’t be missed.
Laura Lamb, Head of Product & Media at Reader Offers Limited, picks out her top five.
Luxury African Safari
No trip to this vast continent should be complete without a stay at a game reserve and this all-inclusive voyage aboard Silversea’s stylish Silver Cloud offers the experience of a lifetime with an incredible four night stay at the luxurious, award-winning Shamwari Game Reserve. Home to the coveted ‘Big Five’ Shamwari stretches across 25,000 hectares and is one of the largest private game reserves where guests will be guided by expert rangers in an open game viewing vehicle to see wildlife roam freely across the landscape under the African sun.
Soak Up a Grand Prix
A luxury cruise combined with the magic of the Grand Prix is a must-do experience for F1 enthusiasts. There are cruise combinations right across the F1 calendar season from the only twilight race in Abu Dhabi to the atmospheric and dramatic night race that is Singapore, or if your preference is people-watching, then head for the glitz and glamour of Monaco. Tickets are included with every package, which mean that you can enjoy all of the action and high-speed thrills as drivers race their cars around the prestigious circuits in search of the much sought-after drivers’ championship.
Rocky Mountain Train Journey
Breath-taking scenery featuring glacier-fed lakes, majestic mountain ranges and ferocious rivers abound in this two-day rail journey aboard the impressive Rocky Mountaineer. This follows the historic train route constructed over 100 years ago through Canada’s West and the Canadian Rockies.
The entire journey takes place during daylight hours meaning you can enjoy every minute of your adventure through the snowy peaks and scenic valleys of Canada’s spectacular wilderness. Some of the most stunning wildlife including moose, elk, big horn sheep, black bear, eagle and osprey often make an appearance as you travel through their wild habitat. Amidst this heavenly backdrop you will experience the most attentive service with gourmet meals prepared by award-winning chefs.
This Rocky Mountain adventure can be combined either pre or post an Alaskan cruise with Celebrity Cruises or Holland America Line.
The Orient Express
As the prelude to your Mediterranean cruise aboard the Celebrity Constellation, the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express train is unlike anything you will ever experience. Having long played a significant role in the golden age of travel, the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express has now been lovingly restored to its former glory and is one of the world’s finest luxury experiences.
Departing London Victoria, once aboard the Venice-Simplon-Orient-Express’s gleaming carriages you can sit back in the opulent interior of its beautiful restaurant cars to experience an exquisite dining experience as you journey through the Kent countryside. After crossing the Channel and having sampled a delicious four-course dinner, prepared by skilled French chefs you can retire to your cabin, now a cosy bedroom.
Awash with further breakfast and lunchtime culinary experiences you can while away the afternoon admiring the scenery of the Italian Dolomites. There’s just time for afternoon tea in your cabin before the train crosses the Venetian Lagoon and pulls into Santa Lucia station where you will disembark to meet up with your cruise ship.
Located some 500 miles to the west of Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands are one of the remotest civilisations on earth and a luxurious cruise aboard either Silversea’s Silver Galapagos or the Celebrity Expedition mean you can get close to 2,000 difference species not found anywhere else on earth in a combination of exciting excursions that you can’t afford to miss.
A tour of the many islands that make up the archipelago is the best way to explore – the biggest, Baltra, is where land iguanas have been successfully reintroduced as part of a breeding project. The volcanic islet of Bartolomé is home to the Galapagos penguin – the only member of the species to live on the Equator. Española is the oldest island in the group and is popular thanks to its population of waved albatross. Despite Fernandino Island’s active volcano and a rocky landscape, land iguanas, flightless cormorants, pelicans and sea lions all call it home.
The Galapagos Islands inspired the theories of Charles Darwin’s Origin of the Species and so your adventure is not complete without a trip to some key places dedicated to his name: The Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz Island where scientists from across the globe work to conserve the Galapagos’ unique ecosystem and wildlife.
While it’s easy to get carried away looking at the wildlife onshore, equally exciting is the ocean and those brave enough have the opportunity to frolic with sea lions, swim alongside marine iguanas, hammerhead sharks and play with penguins.
For more information on the destinations mentioned or for details regarding exclusive offers, telephone 0845 604 7479. Alternatively, search to find your cruise at www.readeroffers.travel/info