Excursions

Excursion Focus: Royal Palms Beach Club in Grand Cayman

In:
08Sep2016

One of the most popular spots to visit on a Royal Caribbean cruise to Grand Cayman is Seven Mile Beach for the clear water, beautiful beach and amazing views.  Across Seven Mile Beach, you will find lots of hotels, beach bars and other establishments that offer different experiences for guests to enjoy while there.  One such location is the Royal Palms Beach Club, which can be a great spot for those looking to spend some time on Seven Mile Beach with some extras included.

The Royal Palms is a quick taxi ride away from where Royal Caribbean's tenders drop guests off.  Simply exit the tendering area, go past the shore excursion area and into the parking lot.  From there, you can take a taxi that will be a short 9 minute ride for $4 per person.

The Royal Palms has a $2 per person entrance fee, and then it is up to you to pick and choose what you want. There is plenty to see and do at Royal Palms, and this means you can customize your day here to suit your needs.

Umbrellas will cost you $15 per day, beach chairs $10 and beach cabanas are $100 for the day.  There are also other optional activities that are available to purchase, such as jet ski rentals, snorkel gear, paddleboards, parasailing and more.

The Royal Palms has a restaurant and bar, which you can order from and enjoy the food on the beach or at the bar.

There is also a pool available for use.

Thanks to Royal Caribbean Blog reader Ken Jarvis for providing these photos and details for anyone interested in checking out the Royal Palms for themselves.

Review: Beach Loungers on CocoCay

In:
07Sep2016

Please welcome guest blogger Kayla Gillman, who is here to talk about her recent visit to Royal Caribbean's private destination of CocoCay in the Bahamas.

For an upgraded beach experience on Royal Caribbean's private island Coco Cay without the cost of a cabana, you may want to consider the shaded Beach Loungers located on the South Beach of CocoCay (the beach formerly known as Barefoot Beach). 

I recently had the chance to visit the island while aboard Majesty of the Seas, and since it was my friend's first cruise, wanted to do something a little extra special during our visit.

We disembarked the ship in the morning around 10:30 AM, and made our way to the Shore Excursions desk on the island. Here, we were asked to step around to the back of the building where a tram quickly scooped us up, and brought us on our way down to the Lounger area. If you are not a fan of long walks on the beach, this would be a great option for you. However, I have found that walking down to this area of the island to be quite enjoyable as you get a chance to see the vast majority of the island along your way.

Upon arrival, we walked over to the shaded bar area where we were greeted by our attendant. She handed us our towels, and showed us which loungers were still available to us (the loungers are available on a first come; first serve basis so if you have a particular space in mind plan on getting there early).

We selected our lounger, and our attendant followed us with a cooler of water and a fruit plate. Our two beach mats were already brought out and leaning up against one side of our clamshell lounger.

We relaxed for a little bit and grabbed a Coco Loco (souvenir cup and all!) from the bar where we were first greeted by our attendant, who was available there for us the remainder of the day.

I have to say, I thought that for what we paid for two people this was an excellent value as the beach mats alone run $18 per person. We very much enjoyed floating along the beach with our drinks and relaxing in the shade of our cabanette. I would highly recommend this to anyone looking for a quiet, calm beach day.

It also appears that there is quite a bit of construction happening in the area – it looks like there have been some new cabana structures added to the area as well, but I did not notice them in use.

Need a break from lounging around? The excitement of the brand new Floating Bar is just a quick walk away – you can see it from your lounger!

We swung by here for a quick drink, and I have to say this is quite a welcome and fun addition to the beach.

At the end of our day, we turned our towels back in to our attendant and wandered our way back down the beach and made our way back to the tenders. Looking forward to the chance to book one of these loungers again and enjoy a fun day on Coco Cay!

Beach Loungers may be reserved ahead of your cruise via the Cruise Planner. They run $59.00 for two people, and included you receive 2 floating beach mats, 2 bottles of water, towels, and transportation in addition to the reserved shaded "clamshell" loungers. Keep in mind when reserving the loungers, that you will only need to book under one person – this will cover the admission for two people to your lounger.

 

#TeamCocoCay #ClubCocoLoco #SorryMatt

Is a Royal Caribbean Walt Disney World shore excursion a good idea?

In:
Category: 
13Jul2016

There are many Royal Caribbean cruises that stop in Port Canaveral and offer shore excursions to Walt Disney World. Often, guests wonder if it is worth it to take these trips and how much they can really do in the time they have.  The super-talented Laurel Stewart from TouringPlans.com wrote this guest post about visiting Walt Disney World for those on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

If you’re cruising between a US East Coast port like New York City or Baltimore and the Caribbean, you may have noticed that Port Canaveral is a stop on your journey. Two of the many port excursions offered here are PC11 - Disney World Express Service (Disney World Express Service - PC11) and PC50 - A Day at Walt Disney World (A Day at Disney World - PC50). We’ll take a look at the differences between PC11 and PC50 and try to help you decide if they are worth your time and money.

Photo by Richard Macko

First the basics. Walt Disney World is not in Port Canaveral. The trip from your ship to the Walt Disney World resort is around an hour (more with traffic) along FL-528. At least two hours of your port excursion will be spent on a bus traveling to and from Walt Disney World.

Walt Disney World is four theme parks, two water parks, and the Disney Springs shopping area. There is no admission cost to visit Disney Springs. Guests who choose the Royal Caribbean Walt Disney World port excursions will be dropped off at Disney’s Ticket and Transportation Center (TTC). The TTC is a monorail or ferry ride to the Magic Kingdom, a monorail trip to EPCOT, and the bus transportation hub to all other resort areas. If you plan to visit a park other than Magic Kingdom, you’ll need to factor transportation time (and money, if you choose to take a cab or Uber instead of a Disney bus) into your plans.

Admission prices vary at the parks from day to day, and single day admission to Magic Kingdom is higher than to the other three theme parks. Water park admission costs less than theme park admission. If your excursion does not include park admission, check out https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/tickets/ for pricing.

If you’re interested in visiting Walt Disney World during your cruise, you might wonder how much you and your family can see and do in one day. TouringPlans.com offers tools for planning trips from a one day visit to any length of vacation to help you make the most of your time. A tool that is particularly useful to guests on an excursion is a customized touring plan. As part of the TouringPlans app, Lines, and online at TouringPlans.com, subscribers can enter the dates and times of their visits, schedule time for meals, breaks, and shows, and add the attractions they want to see, and TouringPlans will arrange them in the best order to save the most time in line. Doing this ahead of time, before booking a Walt Disney World excursion, will let you see how much you’ll be able to do during your day in the park.

Let’s look at the differences between the two excursions:

 PC11PC50
Cost per person$39$134
Duration10 hours9 hours
Time in park (approximate)7 hours6 hours
Includes admissionnoyes
Meals includednono

So what can you do in 6 hours at Magic Kingdom? Check out a sample day at http://touringplans.com/plans/print?id=2020916. This plan was optimized for a particular day at Magic Kingdom, with moderate walking speed, and no FastPass+ reservations. This includes the three “Disney Mountains,” three more attractions, and a break for lunch.

Recommendations

Photo by Richard Macko

If this is your only chance to visit Walt Disney World for awhile, these opportunities are a decent way to get a taste of the vast resort. But be aware, 6-7 hours is not much time to spend in the park. The cost of transportation is reasonable given the distance traveled, but paying for entire day’s admission (and single day admission is the most expensive admission on a per day basis) is somewhat expensive, not to mention that you’ll need to budget for meals during the day.

If you do decide to visit, we recommend PC11 and purchasing your park admission before your cruise. Why? Because you’ll be able to make FastPass+ reservations ahead of time, which will definitely save you time in line during your short trip. You should also create a MyDisneyExperience account, download Disney’s app, and link your park admission to your accounts before your cruise.

Other options

Book PC11 and visit a water park instead. This is less expensive. Allow one additional hour for transportation between the TTC and water parks, and pack a dry change of clothes.

Book PC11 and visit Disney Springs instead. Disney Springs offers dining and shopping in a themed environment without an admission cost. Again, allow time for transportation.

Visit Kennedy Space Center instead. KSC is much closer to Port Canaveral and can easily be experienced in a day.

For all Port Canaveral/Orlando Shore Excursions, check out these Royal Caribbean options.

TouringPlans loves RoyalCaribbeanBlog! Click this link for a special RoyalCaribbeanBlog readers discount. Discount code is automatically applied and is good for new subscriptions only.

Excursion Focus: Le Galion Beach in St. Martin

In:
09Jun2016

Picking the right shore excursion for families is always a challenge because depending on the age of your kids, what is appealing to one family might be completely uninteresting to another family.  When you have young kids, the choices become even more complicated.

Just over the French side of St. Martin is a small beach that offers the perfect kind of beach day for young children or anyone that enjoys going to the beach without waves.

Description

The appeal of Le Galion beach is a horseshoe shaped beach that has little to no waves, which makes it perfect for kids that cannot swim or are not strong swimmers. 

The beach is a short drive from where Royal Caribbean docks its cruise ships and just over the French side of the border.  Upon arrival, there is a large cove surrounded by a beach that provides easy access to the water.

There is no cost to access the beach, but there are charges to use the chairs and/or umbrellas (5 Euros for either).  The beach is frequented by tourists and locals alike, with locals usually setting up further down the beach where they can just put out a beach blanket.

The chairs and umbrellas are provided by the nearby bar and restaurant, which offers waiter service and has a full bar menu, as well as a good-sized lunch menu.  

Over the years, the amenities and offerings at Le Galion beach have been improved and there are diving platforms (complimentary), kayaking, paddle boarding, jet skis and more available for hourly charges.

Comments

Le Galion is a quiet family beach that is great for non-swimmers and kids to have a relaxing day.  The beach is a shallow lagoon, and adults can walk out many dozens of yards from shore and not have the water go past their waist.  

Le Galion also tends not to get as crowded as some other beaches frequented by cruise guests.  It is a laid back beach experience that offers just enough for kids to do, without relying on a ton of water toys that can turn the ocean into a virtual playground.

We have brought our children to Le Galion for years because the beach experience is perfect for kids that just want to splash around without fear of getting knocked over by waves or suddenly finding them in deeper water than before.

The cost to use the beach chairs and umbrellas is fair and waiter service that brings drinks and food is pretty good.  There is nothing else around, so you are dependent on the beach bar for food and drink, but their prices are fair for the French side of the island and the staff speak English and French fluently.

If you want a quiet, relaxing beach that has little-to-no waves, then Le Galion beach is perfect for you.

Excursion Focus: Castillo El Morro and San Cristóbal in San Juan, Puerto Rico

In:
28May2016

Exploring a port of call's history can be just as interesting and fun as spalshing at the beach or enjoying local cuisine.  In Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, history comes in spades and among the most popular historical spots tourists can see are the two old Spanish forts that guard the city,  Castillo San Felipe del Morro (El Morro) and San Cristóbal.

These two forts are among the most popular historical sites to see in Old San Juan, and they offer an intriguing look back at the island's rich history as well as provide amazing views of the surrounding area.

Description

The two Spanish forts are located on the north side of Old San Juan, and are within walking distance of each other.

El Morro is the more famous of the two forts, as it guards the entrance to the harbor, while San Cristóbal was built to defend the city itself.

The city of San Juan provides a free shuttle from the cruise area up to the forts, although the distance is walkable by most people and there is a lot to see and do along the way.

Starting with El Morro, the fort is set opposite a rather large grassy area, where you will often spot locals and tourists flying kits, taking dogs for walks and otherwise enjoying the wide open space.

Like San Cristóbal, once inside the fort, guests are able to tour the fort on their own and explore every aspect of it. The park staff do offer guided tours at certain times that narrate the experience. Nonetheless, you should feel free to explore the fort on your own, as there is plenty of signs to help tell the fort's story.

There are many areas of the fort to explore, as El Morro is rather large and offers views of the entrance to the harbor, the ocean and the surrounding areas.

Admission to El Morro gets you admission to San Cristóbal as well (and vice versa).

After a walk to San Cristóbal, you will find a fort similar in nature to El Morro, but this fort offers better views of the city and harbor.

San Cristóbal was built to defend the city against land based attacks and is larger than El Morro. In fact, it is the largest fortification built by the Spanish in the New World.

Like El Morro, San Cristóbal provides a self-guided tour of the facility and there are plenty of nooks and crannies to explore.

If your Royal Caribbean ship happens to be in port during the evening, El Morro is lit up quite nicely and provides even more beautiful photo opportunities.

Comments

The two Old San Juan forts are among the most famous historical sites in Old San Juan and they are to Old San Juan what the Statue of Liberty might be to New York City.

There are two good tips we can offer for seeing the forts: try to go there early in the day before the temperatures rise and take the complimentary trolley from the cruise ship terminal.

Since Puerto Rico is in the tropics, it tends to get quite hot and humid in the afternoon, especially between the months of March through November.  Given that the fort is almost entirely outdoors, ideally you will visit it in the morning before it gets too hot outside.

If you are wondering about which fort to see if you only have time or energy for one, El Morro tends to be the better choice for its photo opportunities and slightly smaller footprint. Keep in mind that admission to one fort gets you into both (for up to 7 days), so there is no financial reason not to see both.

Be sure to bring your cameras to either fort, because the views offered are really quite impressive.  

Both fortifications can be explored everyday from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm either on your own or on one of the ranger led programs held throughout the week.

Cost: $7 per adult. Children 15 and under are free.

Excursion Focus: Caribbean Scenic Railway Tour in St. Kitts

In:
23May2016

When you cruise to enough Caribbean islands, a lot of the shore excursions start to sound the same: swim here, hike there, see that.  They are certainly fun, but many of those excursions start to feel all the same.

For those looking to try something different or if you want to see a whole different side of St. Kitts, the Caribbean Scenic Railway Tour is for you.

Description

The Caribbean Scenic Railway Tour is a tour of the backcountry of St. Kitts via a relic from the days when sugar cane was the the industry in St. Kitts (tourism replaced it).

Guests can board an old railway train for a sightseeing tour of a good portion of St. Kitts and its beautiful landscape.

The train is comprised of about a half-dozen two-deck railcars, that provide views of fields, mountains, oceans, neighboring islands and anything else along the way.

The train is a one way tour, so a bus will bring you to one stop or the other (depending on where the train ended up last) and guests board the train for the tour. The same bus will meet you at the conclusion of the train tour to bring you back to the ship.

The train cars are double-deckers, with the top deck being open air and offering the best views.  The bottom deck is air conditioned and also has a restroom.  While the bottom deck of the train car features large windows, more often than not, your view is blocked by vegetation.

The train crawls down the 30-miles of track to provide plenty of time to see a lot of St. Kitts.  

Since this train was built to transport sugar cane from the fields to the processing facility, you will not be seeing much of St. Kitts that tourists get to see.  That means you will get to see St. Kitts in her natural environment.

Along the way, guests are served unlimited soft drinks and cocktails.  There is a waitress on each car that takes drink orders, makes them and then repeats until literally no one else wants anything.  

Throughout the ride, a tour guide will narrate the journey and share information on St. Kitts' history, local lore and anecdotes.

The train will take you across varied landscapes and you see quite a bit of the island's natural beauty.

Comments

What struck me about the Caribbean Scenic Railway Tour and why we booked it is because it was a fairly unique shore excursion. Royal Caribbean claims this is the West Indies' last railway.

There is no question that the tour lives up to its promise of showcasing a large swath of St. Kitts and seeing the mountains, valleys, bridges and beaches are quite lovely.

We also picked this excursion because we were traveling with 1- and 5-year old children, and they certainly were able to enjoy the experience.

The 30-mile track and slow pace means the ride will take about two hours.  I enjoyed the ride, but when it was over I was ready to get off and do something else.

You will see a lot of natural beauty but not much in the way of towns or villages.  This train was originally built to move sugar easily, not with tourists in mind.  I was expecting to see more of the island that might appeal to see later, but other than a glimpse of Brimstone Fortress, there was not much in that way.

Still, if you want a relaxing and easy way to see St. Kitts, it is difficult to not to go with this tour.  It is quaint, beautiful and just the right pace for almost anyone.

Cost: $109 per adult or $59 for children. Infants are free.

Royal Caribbean partners with National Geographic to offer high quality equipment on select shore excursions

In:
Category: 
31Mar2016

Royal Caribbean is offering guests the chance to explore coral reefs, shipwrecks and underwater volcanoes with the top-quality gear of National Geographic Snorkeler.

Seventeen new Royal Caribbean shore excursions will offer these National Geographic Snorkeler tours. These tours can be reserved before you sail on Cruise Planner, the online booking tool, or onboard the ship.

National Geographic touts their equipment as, "high-quality, performance dive snorkeling equipment."

In addition, guests can purchase their own National Geographic Snorkel set onboard a Royal Caribbean ship.  Guests that book a tour featuring National Geographic Snorkeler equipment will enjoy 10% off the gear at the Dive Shop and at the Shore Excursions Desk.

Here are some examples of the National Geographic Snorkeler excursions

Excursion Focus: Blue Waters Beach Escape in Falmouth

In:
15Mar2016

If there is one Caribbean port of call that seems to generate the most questions about what to do there, it has to be Falmouth, Jamaica.  

On a recent cruise to Falmouth, we had the chance to try the Blue Waters Beach Escape shore excursion.

Description

The Blue Waters Beach Escape is a shore excursion sold by Royal Caribbean, that promises guests a beach experience very close to port (only a 10 minute bus ride) with white sandy beaches, blue water, complimentary drinks and food and some other extras too.

Guests meet the tour group in the designated tours area, located close to the Falmouth port gate.  There, guests check-in and are given bracelets for all members in their party.

Guests are picked up in an air conditioned coach bus and driven to the beach, which is a bit under ten minutes away.  

Our bus driver gave passengers a brief overview of Falmouth and Jamaican customs.  The bus ride is quite short, so there is not much to see along the way.

Upon arrival, guests are taken through the entrance area and given a short overview of the facilities and options.  

After that, guests are free to choose a seat on the beach and enjoy the area as they see fit.  

Blue Waters features a beach with designated swim area, as well as these amenities

  • complimentary Wi-Fi access (signal seems to only be available near the bar)
  • complimentary beach chair
  • unlimited Jamaican inspired food
  • select complimentary drinks

Comments

Our family struggled mightily with what to do in Falmouth and we picked Blue Waters because it was a short ride to the destination and the price was not as expensive as some other options there. With our young children, avoiding a long bus ride seemed like a good idea.

Blue Waters is great for someone looking for a basic beach day and not interested in all the upgraded amenities or options at some of the other all-inclusive resorts in the area, such as the Hilton Rose Hall resort.

The water is indeed blue and a very nice beach experience.

Unfortunately, there were aspects of the excursion that did not sit well with us, but may be fine for you.

Upon arrival, the beach was nearly full and while we were able to get a beach chair, some guests who arrived after us had no chairs available and had to settle for beach chair mats until chairs were freed up by departing guests.  The shore excursion title says, "An exclusive Blue Waters Beach Escape", but clearly this was not as exclusive as one may have thought.

The food is described as, "unlimited food (jerk chicken, pasta) served up by 5-star chefs," and while the food was free, it certainly was not five-star level food.  Jerk chicken, salad, a seafood pasta, hot dogs in a sauce and another option or two were plentiful, albeit not very tasty.  My picky wife and children essentially ate nothing and I cannot say the food was anything remarkable.

Lastly, the Wi-Fi signal was only available near the bar area and there were so many other guests using it, that it was essentially useless.

With all of that being said, I think Blue Waters is a good option for someone that wants a basic beach day, does not need frills and does not want a long ride to/from the excursion.

Royal Caribbean guests on the excursion also have a select menu to choose from that includes a number of unlimited alcoholic beverages.  

I also did like that there were buses running back to the port quite often, so it allowed guests to leave early if they wanted.

Ultimately, Blue Waters is a nice beach, but was too crowded for our taste and the dining options available were also lackluster. As long as guests go in with the right expectations, I think Blue Waters can be a good (and close) option, but it is important to understand what this excursion offers.

Cost: $79.75 per adult or $59.75 per child. Infants are free.

Royal Caribbean now offering custom shore excursions

In:
09Mar2016

Royal Caribbean announced today a new program, where guests can create their own personalized shore excursions to immerse themselves in local culture, cuisine and adventure across 288 ports of call in 77 countries.

Private Journeys will allow guests to connect with one of nine concierge-style represenatives, known as Destination Insiders, to plan their shore excursions.

Destination Insiders will design personalized activities, programs and adventures for individual guests, couples, families and small groups.

To make a custom experience as part of an upcoming cruise, guests must complete and submit a Private Journeys request form online, at least 30 days before their sailing date.

Private Journeys bookings will require a $100 deposit applicable to the final cost of the destination experience.

In celebration of the new launch, Royal Caribbean is waiving the required deposit for all Private Journeys booked before March 31, 2016. Guests with confirmed cruise reservations can begin planning their Private Journey with a dedicated Designation Insider by calling (844) 571-7851 or (801) 666-3031.

 “Private Journeys is a natural evolution of Royal Caribbean’s renowned shore excursion program that allows us to offer guests the bespoke travel destination experience of their dreams, even if they don’t know exactly what that is yet,” said Roberta Jacoby, Managing Dirictor, Global Tour Operations, Royal Caribbean International. “As travelers continue to seek out more personalized and immersive destination experiences that can be intimately shared with only their family and friends, Private Journeys empowers guests to make that a reality and a seamless element of their Royal Caribbean vacation.”

Examples of Private Journeys

Misty Fjords & Crab Feast 
Ketchikan, Alaska

Explore Misty Fjords National Monument from a de Havilland Beaver float plane, followed by a sumptuous Alaskan fireside meal. After a narrated journey soaring above the Alaskan wilderness, guests will land either on an alpine lake or remote fjord. Then, sit by the fireplace, sip Alaskan Amber beer, wine, or champagne paired with smoked salmon, followed by steaming Dungeness crab.

Lunch at Belgium’s Michelin-Starred Restaurant Jardin 
Bruges, Belgium 

Go behind the scenes at one of the world’s acclaimed restaurants. The owner will show guests the kitchen, where Belgian recipes and the bounty of the North Sea come together. After the tour, savor a gourmet lunch served in Jardin’s exquisite dining room.

Yachting in the Dubrovnik Riviera 
Dubrovnik, Croatia

Journey by private yacht into the untamed and unspoiled reaches of Croatia’s Dubrovnik Riviera. Cruise down the rugged coastline and go ashore to explore the Old Town of Dubrovnik itself. Then, climb back aboard and set off exploring this archipelago of 14 pristine islands and islets. Go ashore to explore the 15th century ruins on the island of Kolocep. Swim in secluded lagoons and soak up the sunshine in five-star style.

Rostock by Vintage Auto
Berlin, Germany

Guests can settle into the seat of a vintage beauty and have a personal driver show them the German countryside. Rumble to the resort town of Heiligendamm for a snack of Canapés and champagne overlooking the Baltic Sea. Guests can even take the wheel on the scenic stretch to Rostock, and enjoy a guided walk through narrow streets lined with 15th-century gabled homes. Finally, board a sightseeing vessel and unwind on a lovely cruise back to port.

Royal Caribbean announces new shore excursions for Australia, the South Pacific and New Zealand

In:
06Mar2016

Royal Caribbean has launched a range of new shore excursions for Australia, the South Pacific and New Zealand, many of which are only available only on Royal Caribbean.

“Our new and improved offering means there’s something for everyone; whether you’re a seasoned traveller or a first timer, we’ll take you off the beaten track and show you a new side to a range of Australian, New Zealand and South Pacific destinations,” said Adam Armstrong, regional commercial director, Royal Caribbean.

There are 18 new shore excursions and here is a look at some of them.

Airlie Beach: ‘Gone Fishing’

Join an expert skipper for small-group reef and bottom fishing adventure around the Whitsunday Islands. Catering to all levels of experience, guests can test their fishing skills in the sparkling blue waters sheltered by the world-famous Great Barrier Reef, rich with reef fish like coral trout and red emperor.

Cairns: ‘Tropical Jet Boating’

A jet boat captained by a Cairns local takes guests for a wet-and-wild ride on the Cairns waterfront and into the Trinity Inlet. The captain will take the time to let passengers know all about the beautiful location – with lush green mountains, rich wildlife and beautiful waterways only accessible by boat – plus demonstrate some of the tricks and maneuvers the jet boat can do. In the tropics, this ride is a great way to escape the humidity, get ready for lots of spray and water!

Hobart: ‘Mt Wellington Descent by Bike’

Experience an exhilarating guided mountain bike ride down the 4,000-foot Mt. Wellington. The tour will take guests to the top of the mountain for panoramic views to the city of Hobart, followed by a gentle, scenic bicycle tour through the magnificent alpine forest and terrain.

Port Hedland ‘FIFO Mining Experience’

For anyone who’s ever wondered what FIFO (fly-in fly-out) working life is really like. Port Hedland is the center of the iron-ore industry in Western Australia. Here, thousands of workers fly to mines to work for a number days at a stretch. The tour visits Gateway Village, where guests will don their high-vis gear and hardhat and take part in a prestart meeting (a pre-shift, crew-wide safety meeting) as well as tour the facility. Head to the crib room for refreshments, plus see where miners spend their time after their shifts at the worker accommodations. The tour also includes a stop at Redbank Bridge, which passes over some of the world’s longest trains, carrying iron ore and solar salt from Port Hedland to the rest of the country.

Port Hedland ‘Historical Town Tour’

Peel back the layers of history of Port Hedland with this tour that takes in the historic West End, where large-scale street art meets a colorful market teeming with arts, craft and foot, as well as Koombana Lookout, where the huge bulk carriers move in and out of the harbour as they have for more than a century. Then take a look at the mining equipment and rolling stock used in years past, and see how much the industry has changed at the Don Rhodes Open-Air Mining Museum. Plus, trace the pioneering heritage of Port Hedland on an exclusive tour of the Dalgety House Museum with members of the local historical society. Built in 1903, the house is one of the few examples left of early 20th-century architecture.

Port Hedland ‘Pretty Pool Discovery with Tea’

Explore Port Hedland’s famous Pretty Pool, a coastal area with an incredibly important ecosystem. Guests will learn about how mangroves help support the flatback turtles, who make this beach their home each year. These turtles rely on the protection the mangroves give to the nests they’ve dug in the sand. Afterward, head to local restaurant, Pretty Pool Provedore for tea, coffee and an array of scrumptious treats.

Suva ‘Kila Eco Trek’ (FIJI)

Immerse yourself in Fiji's pristine rainforest at Kila Eco Adventure Park. The tour departs the Port of Suva, the capital’s large maritime gateway. Suva, which is situated on a hilly peninsula, is the most cosmopolitan city in the South Pacific.  Your tour leaves the bustling urban center and proceeds along a scenic route to Kila Eco Adventure Park. You’ll explore the Park’s beautiful scenery on your eco-walk, which includes views of the expansive valley and mountainous terrain.  Walk through jungle paths, past flowing waterfalls, and the colorful flora and Fiji’s only linear botanic garden as you roam the virgin lowland tropical rainforest. The walk takes guests past several varieties of flowering trees and plants like coconut, giant baka, mango and palm.

Auckland ‘Tamaki Hikoi Maori Volcanic Walking Tour

Join members of the Ngati Whatua tribe on a guided walk of their lands, exploring the heart of Auckland at Mt. Eden, a dormant volcano. For hundreds of years, Maori of this local tribe have passed down through generations their tribal history and traditions. On this tour, take advantage of their knowledge and wisdom as you make your way to Mt. Eden, once the site of the largest fortified Maori pa (fortress) in New Zealand.

Take in the natural and cultural history of the volcano while overlooking spectacular views across of the city below. Learn about Maori culture and heritage, finding out why Auckland was so fiercely contested, how the tribe co-existed with the land, and the impact of colonization on its indigenous people. After your walk, enjoy coffee, tea and delicious scones.

Bay of Islands: Glow Worm Caves and Kauri Forest

Enjoy the serenity of the Puketi Kauri Forest and explore caverns lit by twinkling glowworms. Get up close to the ancient and majestic Kauri trees during an educational guided walking tour of Puketi Kauri’s sub-tropical rainforest, rich in native flora and fauna. Next, be surrounded by luminous glow worms in the natural underground wonderland of the Kawiti Caves, and take in its unique stalactite and stalagmite formations.

Tauranga: ‘Coastal Cuisine Tour’

Get ready for the ultimate dining experience in the stunning colonial coastal town of Tauranga and its scenic surrounding region. This 'foodies tour' introduces you to the unique and delicious bounty of the Bay of Plenty. The rich soils and gentle climate have produced ideal growing conditions for both the Maori and European gardeners. Citrus fruit, avocados, wines and more have been cultivated in this region, which makes for a delicious coastal cuisine tour. You’ll travel to lush farmlands, beaches, and into Tauranga to try a wonderful assortment of foods. Sample specialty breads made from wheat, wholemeal and rye at the Artisan Bakery. Try different types of salami made by natural curing and wood smoking. Experience a wide range of fresh seafood and fish dipped in a crisp batter at the Fish Market. Enjoy the delicious, top quality Manuka honey products. Then, tour a kiwi orchard when you climb aboard the KiwiKart. While here, you’ll learn why the kiwifruit is among the most healthiest fruits in the world, and how this unique fertile land, climate, and geography make it an ideal location for growing the kiwifruit compared to other places in the world.

Wellington: ‘Craft Brewery Tour’

Beer lovers can go on a tasting tour of Wellington’s finest craft brews. An array of breweries in the heart of the city are an integral part of the capital's vibrant cultural scene. This tour visits four different locations so you can sample an amazing assortment of quality of beers.  Your guide explains the workings of the breweries and describes different  beers produced. Find out how malts, hops and some other New Zealand grown ingredients formulate these traditional, high-quality beverages.  You’ll get to learn what innovations are used to derive some of the country’s most delicious beers. Watch as the frothy beverage is poured, savor the aroma, and quench your thirst with a delightful sip or a great big gulp. Discover new flavors as enthusiastic brewers share some of their new recipes. Introduce your taste buds to a spectrum of award-winning, bold, seasonal, and crisp beers. Enjoy the chance to sample limited runs. Fill your flagon or take a bottle home.  

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