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What Is Adventure Cruising?

 

A Question of Attitude

Some people think of cruise ships as floating retirement homes, full of people too old or infirm to enjoy a more active vacation. Yet a brief internet search for ‘party’ or ‘family’ cruises will quickly burst that bubble. Even rock bands are taking their fans on cruises these days. And I’ve come to discover that cruises also have a lot to offer to more active world explorers.

Like most people, I see cruise ships as floating hotels. In fact, far more luxurious hotels than I would generally stay in. When it comes to land-based accommodation, cheap and cheerful is usually our motto. Hotels are little more than places to sleep, so any luxury is wasted. We generally arrive late in the evening and leave early in the morning, ready to stuff our day full of new adventures.

In this last respect, our ship-based holidays are much the same. We’re always among the first to disembark upon arriving in port, and the last back onboard. In between, we run around like crazy things, cramming as much into our day as possible.

 

 

First Off - Grenada (2013)

 

Last Back - Haifa, Isreal (2010)

 

 

You WILL Relax


But when evening falls and the ship moves away from the dock, everything changes. We’re literally forced to relax and recharge our batteries, important aspects we never seem to factor into land-based vacations.

Usually, we go up on deck and watch our previous destination slip away behind us while sipping a refreshing drink. Perhaps we’ll have a swim. Maybe a nap. Then it’s time for a wonderful, leisurely meal. All these things we rarely enjoy on a driving holiday, since we habitually arrive at our evening destination much later than intended, after visiting one too many places along the way.

 

 

Leaving St Kitts (2013)

 

For those interested, there’s always all sorts of live music and entertainment available throughout the ship after dinner. But to be honest, we rarely take advantage of it, as we’re generally exhausted from our day, and turn in relatively early.

But the best thing about a cruise ship is that someone else does all the driving! While we’re relaxing and sleeping, our whole hotel is relocating to a new and exciting location.

 

 

Approaching Ketchikan, Alaska (2007)

 

Approaching Alexandria, Egypt (2010)

 

The next morning we awake revitalised. And over breakfast we watch our next port of call slip into position alongside our hotel. Then it’s down the gangplank and off we go, all thoughts of relaxation banished until the evening.

 

 

Cruising Adventures

The key to Adventure Cruising is being independent. When ever we can, no matter where we are, we usually walk or hire a car, and explore on our own. Occasionally, we may decide it’s best to take a tour arranged through the cruise company, but only when we feel safety is an issue, or we have a very tight time schedule (cruise ships won’t leave without you if you’re on one of their own tours). Even then, we try to get on a smaller, more active tour.

“So, what sort of adventurous activities have you done from a cruise ship?” I hear you ask.

 

Well, how about a helicopter flight up onto a glacier followed by a trek across the ice? We did that in Alaska’s capital, Juneau.

     
 

How about cycling down a mountain, crossing an international border along the way? Or taking a floatplane to see wild bears fishing for salmon? We did both of those things in Alaska, too.

   

 

 

How about heading off on our own on foot to explore every last back street of far away places? We did that Haifa (Israel), Alexandria (Egypt), Tallinn (Estonia) and Helsinki (Finland), to name just a few.

   

 

 

How about riding one of the longest, highest, fastest ziplines in the world? We did that in Puerto Rico.

   

 

 

How about heading off on our own to Poland, 200 miles away, for lunch and a few geocaches? We did that when our ship docked in Germany.

   

 

 

How about exploring deserted beaches and isolated mountain forests? We’ve done that on several Caribbean islands

   

 

   

How about...? Well, you get the idea.

 

 

For more detailed accounts of My Adventure Cruising exploits, click here.

 

 

 
 
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