A Taste of Local Flavor
Cruise ships can take you to an amazing number of ports, and shore excursions are your opportunity to disembark and immerse yourself, even for a brief time, in the sights, smells and feeling of another place. Some shore excursions even give you a personal experience with some aspect of the local culture.
For example, chocolate lovers who visit Tallinn, Estonia, with Regent Seven Seas Cruises can enjoy the flavor of fine European chocolates and learn to make them. At Café & Chocolaterie Pierre in Tallinn’s cobblestoned Old Town, Master Confectioner Pierre will teach you the fine art of making delicious truffle fillings and covering them smoothly with chocolate. A walking tour of the Old Town is included and may help burn a few calories so that you can enjoy more treats.
Guests of Holland America Line’s ships that dock in Rio de Janiero, Brazil, can learn the fiery dance steps of the bossa nova and samba. Professional instructors at one of Rio’s dance schools will teach you to move to the rhythms of these famous and exciting dances, which are integral to the culture of Brazil. Imagine how you’ll amaze your fellow passengers when you hit the dance floor on the ship to show off your new moves.
If you’re an oenophile, then a cruise is an excellent way for you to expand your appreciation of wine even further. Cruise lines offer a wide selection of wine on board, but there’s nothing quite like stepping into an authentic vineyard to make the experience feel complete. For example, on Celebrity Cruises itineraries featuring Barcelona, you can visit the vast underground cellars that produce well-known "cava” wines. Follow the process from fermentation to corking, and of course enjoy a tasting with a chance to purchase your favorites.
Disney Cruise Line ships that call on Cadiz, Spain, offer the opportunity to be a beekeeper for a day. At the Museum of Honey and Bees at Rancho Cortesano, you can learn about beekeeping, one of the world’s oldest forms of food production. You’ll put on a hooded suit and gloves to take a close-up look at life in a beehive. Then, you’ll learn to make fragrant candles from beeswax and rosemary.
Royal Caribbean offers a family-oriented cultural experience for passengers who visit Skagway, Alaska. You can experience the life lived by the many thousands of gold prospectors who flocked to the area during the Klondike gold rush of the late 19th century. At the Klondike Gold Fields, you and your family can dress up like prospectors, take an up-close look at a real gold dredge and other mining equipment, and pan for some gold that you can keep.
Talk with me about more opportunities to immerse yourself in a destination’s culture during a shore excursion on your next cruise. It is highly recommended that you set up these types of shore excursions in advance so you don’t waste precious time on your cruise making last minute plans, or worse yet, miss out on the experience altogether because it is sold out.