Last updated: 02:30 PM ET, Fri April 08 2016

Royal Caribbean International Renews Destination Interest with Overnight Tours

Cruise Line & Cruise Ship | Royal Caribbean International | Jason Leppert | April 08, 2016

Royal Caribbean International Renews Destination Interest with Overnight Tours

Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean International

Royal Caribbean International has unveiled its new Multi-Day Adventures for more immersive touring of iconic destinations with two-day overnight shore excursions. Highlighted world regions include the Caribbean, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

The immersion begins as guests disembark the ship in one port, begin their extensive touring complete with a shoreside hotel stay, finish their touring the next day and rejoin the ship at the following port. These special fully-guided excursions include dining, airfare as applicable, hotel accommodations and transportation.

READ MORE: Shore Excursions Made Easy in the Big Easy

Some examples provided by Royal Caribbean are as follows:

• Tikal and Ceremonial Show – Guests fly from Belize or Honduras to Guatemala, where they will explore the ancient Mayan capital with a jungle expedition to stroll through the ruins of Tikal National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There they will treated to a Mayan ceremonial  experience before flying back to join the ship.

• Agrolida Region and Katakolon – This Mediterranean showcase features Greece’s Acropolis in Athens, the Mycenae site of Argolida and an overnight stay in Nafpolio, as well as touring of Olympia, the location of the first Olympic Games.

• Bangkok – Thailand’s “City of Angels” capital is experienced with a motor launch along the city’s canals and river tributaries and exploration of monuments and points of interest like the Wat Traimit or “Temple of the Golden Buddha;” the Asiatique riverfront, Wat Arun or the “Temple of Dawn,” and the Grand Palace.

The two-day approach to cruise touring is not new, but it is certainly less common. One of corporate cousin Azamara Club Cruises’ hallmarks is overnight port stays for more extensive excursion options and evening tours, but the ship doesn’t move to a different port in between. Even onboard its other corporate cousin Celebrity Cruises, I once stayed far inland overnight in a hotel in Cairo, Egypt, similar to the Royal Caribbean way, but the ship also remained in Port Said for our return the next day.

READ MORE: Carnival Dramatically Enhances Shore Excursion Offerings

Royal Caribbean’s program has, in fact, been done before for trips to say Machu Picchu in Peru where land tours can extend beyond two days to fly out from and back to the ship again. It’s a welcome renewal though from a line that has been heavily focused on building the world’s largest cruise ships, often viewed as destinations unto themselves.

Companies like Viking Ocean Cruises, and even Azamara Club Cruises, espouse to be an alternative to mega-ship cruising with a return to prioritizing the destination over elaborate shipboard attractions. So, it’s nice to see, among the rock climbing walls and surf and skydiving simulators, that Royal Caribbean has not forgotten about the places it actually sails to. Now it would seem you can have your cake and eat it too.


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