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Silversea Cruise: Go Beyond the Port?

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DH and I are on the Silvesea Spirit on Sept 25-Oct 2nd; Lisbon, Cadiz, Malaga, Barcelona, Marsaille and Nice.

I am a bit puzzled about the excursions that are offered by the cruise line that involve arriving at the port and then travelling anywhere from 45 minutes to 3 hours to get to another destination. I have never been to any of these ports, except Barcelona, and am wondering if these ports are not worthy of exploring on their own merit? Should I be looking at these extended trips beyond the ports?

DH and I are very happy to walk around and explore a city, have a sit down and watch people while having a glass of wine, and poking around winding streets and stores. I thought that's what we would do at these ports, but now am wondering if the cruise line knows something I don't otherwise why so many options to LEAVE the port?

Any ideas or suggetions?? Thanks!

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