How is a cruisetour different to a shore excursion?

A cruisetour is different to a shore excursion, because the latter is available as an optional trip during a cruise ship’s port visit, while a cruisetour, is a trip you can make either prior to your cruise or after.  You can take cruisetours virtually everywhere you embark on your cruise, or disembark, so next time you think of a cruise whether it’s from Venice, Rome, London, Miami, Vancouver, or any other port at all – think about a cruisetour, and you will get to see more of that particular place.  A cruisetour allows you to visit different places, and to see them in greater depth.  Transportation is included, as well as accommodation, and some meals.  Most cruisetours are run by cruise lines, so it makes sense to book them along with your cruise.  You should always book your cruisetours prior to taking your cruise.

I took a post-cruise tour, which started from Seward, which was where the Vancouver to Alaska cruise finished.  Also, just something to note…..I would never have seen bears during my cruise – even on the shore excursions that I took (however, there are some excursions where there is a chance to see bears), and since I love bears, this cruisetour made it worthwhile to me, especially when I saw the Grizzly Bear in Denali Park.  The Black Bear that I saw even though it was in a Conservation Center, was also another highlight of my cruisetour, as was the Wilderness Express train, and my stay at the Hotel Alyeska.  I also enjoyed seeing Mount McKinley.  Therefore, as you can see – you would not be able to experience Denali Park, Mount McKinley, the Wilderness Express train, Mount McKinley, or Hotel Alyeska without going on a cruisetour, unless you fly to Alaska just specifically to experience these places.  I hope this explanation has made it a little clearer to you as to what a cruisetour is, and sometimes it is more difficult to write about it than to show it in a video, so I’ve attempted to explain it in a video that I made – please see the next post, and I will also put a link here:  Cruisetour – Alaska

Anyway, to continue my recount of the cruisetour, I have included some pictures below.  The bus was right outside the cruise ship, waiting to take us on the next adventure.

Cruisetour – Alaska

We then went to the SeaLife Center (I showed you some pictures of the sea lions and seals in a previous post), here are some pictures of the actual Center

SeaLife Center, Seward, Alaska

SeaLife Center, Seward, Alaska

vicinity of SeaLife Center, Seward, Alaska

We then went back by bus to near where the cruise ship was docked to catch a Resurrection Bay Wildlife Cruise.  This is where I caught a glimpse of a whale, you can see that in my video that I will post at the bottom of this page. Here are pictures of the port of Seward:

The port of Seward, Alaska

Radiance Of The Seas, Seward

Port of Seward, Alaska

Port of Seward, Alaska

Port of Seward, Alaska

Port of Seward, Alaska

Now, for the highlight of the cruisetour, or at least my favorite part – the Wilderness Express train – you just have to experience this train.  It has two levels, and has a glass dome, which makes for excellent viewing.  You can see the wildlife of Alaska as you zoom on by, we saw caribou, and bald eagles (you will see the bald eagle on my video, didn’t get a picture of it, just video footage).

The Wilderness Express

That’s me – Davinder – both outside the train, and on level two of the train in the glass dome portion of it. Everybody else had gone downstairs to eat.

The Wilderness Express

Here I am with a fellow CruiseOne franchise owner and his wife, and another travel agent.

The dining car on the Wilderness Express

Have you ever delved into your food, and then realized you should have taken a picture first?  Well, this halibut was so good, that I could not resist, and I took the picture too late.  I probably should not even include this picture here, but I promise this was just about the best dish of food I had during the whole trip to Alaska – it was delicious!

Food on the Wilderness Express (half-eaten!)

I’m not sure if I showed you this picture of the caribou, but we saw these from the train.

Caribou, Alaska

Well, if they could make a song and sing it to the tune of “Welcome to the Hotel California”, they should do it for the Hotel Alyeska.  Welcome to the Hotel Alyseska, it’s a lovely place.  We arrived at this beautiful hotel way too late, it must have been at about 9pm.  The next day we had to leave at around 11 am, and that certainly was not fair.  I just loved this hotel.  It is simply beautiful, and I could easily stay here for three or four days at least, a visit of one night is not worth it.  It has so much atmosphere, and words cannot describe it – both inside and outside of the hotel, it is exquisite.

It was snowing when we arrived there, and this was on Friday, May 18th.  The Hotel Alyeska is one of the best ski resorts in Alaska.  It is a very popular place, and rightly so.

Hotel Alyeska, Alaska

Hotel Alyeska, Alaska

Hotel Alyeska, Alaska

Hotel Alyeska, Alaska

Hotel Alyeska, Alaska

Hotel Alyeska, Alaska

The next morning, we took a tram up to where all the skiing takes place, and there was so much snow.

Tram at Alyeska Resort and Hotel

Tram, Alyeska Resort and Hotel, Alaska

Hotel Alyeska, Alaska

Out of the four hotels that I stayed in during the four day cruisetour of Alaska, the Alyeska Resort was undoubtedly the best.  It is just magical.

Hotel Alyeska

Goodbye, Hotel Alyeska and the Wilderness Express train.  I wish I’d had more time with both of you – you were both part of my most incredible experiences of the cruisetour, and both occurred on Day One of the four days.  I’m glad that I captured you in photographs and video, as now I will always remember you.

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About luchanik

I love travel, and cruises, and exploring the world. I also like taking pictures, and treasuring those memories.

2 responses to “How is a cruisetour different to a shore excursion?”

  1. Sartenada says :

    Shore excursion and cruise tour. I never thought it before. I think that it happens in Helsinki. There are lot cruise ships which visit Helsinki every day during summer. Many passengers of those cruise ships select different tours when they are in Helsinki.

    Here are two links to my posts presenting short Shore excursions on the waters of Helsinki:

    Helsinki shoreline cruise 1

    Helsinki shoreline cruise 2

    Maybe this is just it what You mean with shore excursion.

    Back to Your post. Your photos are great and I looked them very carefully. One of my favorite photos was the photo from You on The Wilderness Express.

    Great post!

  2. luchaniktravel says :

    Hello Matti,

    I am confident that shore excursions and cruisetours are also available on the cruises in Helsinki. I looked at your two posts and they are wonderful! From what I can see – those are most likely port visits – which are close to where the cruise ship docks. A shore excursion would take you further away from the port to an area of interest – perhaps like the Ice Castle in one of your other posts.

    I am glad that you liked the picture showing the Wilderness Express train – I really enjoyed being on that train! Thank you for visiting my blog, and posting a comment. Have a fabulous day!

    Regards,

    Davinder

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