Part of the allure of a cruise vacation is visiting several ports of call during the same trip. Planning a cruise with many port visits allows cruisers to see more, travel further, and take in a deeper experience of the ports they visit. On these “port-intensive” cruises, the ship acts as a floating hotel—the ship sails at night and arrives in a new port almost every day. The days in port are long, which enables travelers to plan day-long excursions to capture an exciting and authentic experience. We have four reasons why port-intensive cruises are a wise choice in cruise travel.
More Stamps in Your Passport
For a cruise that calls in five or six ports, the cruiser gets an opportunity to experience various destinations all in one trip. The ship arrives early and is usually in port at least eight hours, which promotes a full day of touring. The cruise lines offer well-planned, well-organized excursions or tours to see the destination. Taking ship-organized tours is an efficient and safe way to spend the day in port. In some cases, a single cruise can visit three or four countries in one sailing.
Local Culinary Inspiration
With a port-intensive cruise, the ship’s culinary bend often incorporates the signature dishes and flavors of the ports visited. For example, a cruise starting in Barcelona and sailing to Italy, Spain, and France, will highlight local cuisine and wines in the main dining room’s changing menu.
Fewer Plane Tickets
Flights are expensive—even if you’re flying mid-week, it’s still pricey. Planning a port-intensive cruise gives you more bang for your buck—you get to visit multiple cities and countries with just one plane ticket. On a European cruise with day-long visits in ports like Barcelona, Rome, Naples, and Marseilles, guests can get a peek into three countries in one week. Norwegian Cruise Line’s Pride of America sails seven-day voyages year-round in Hawaii which is an ideal bet for a honeymoon. You can island hop by air to see all of Hawaii, but inter-island cruising is a way to see the Hawaiian splendor more leisurely and affordably.
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Local History & Culture
Carnival’s shore excursion department has more than 200 different landside experiences—from tours of centuries-old ruins to wine tastings in the French countryside and more. With a long day in port, cruisers can travel further from the beaten path.
The Ship without Crowds
Although most guests depart the ship, not all ports appeal to every guest. Some guests like to either take a half-day excursion, while some may opt to simply stay onboard. While everyone else is out exploring, it’s a good opportunity to enjoy the ship’s amenities (like the pool and spa) without the crowds.
Ready to go on a port-intensive cruise?
Carnival Cruise Line: Carnival Vista’s European sailings on September 13 and October 11, 2016 (Athens to Barcelona) – 10-day sailings featuring eight European ports Kusadasi, Turkey; Rhodes, Greece; Valletta, Malta; Messina, Naples, Civitavecchia/Rome, and Livorno, Italy; and Marseilles, France.
Princess Cruises: October 1, 8, and 15, 2016, round trip from Brooklyn on Regal Princess. Ports: New York City (Manhattan or Brooklyn), New York; Newport, Rhode Island; Boston, Massachusetts; Bar Harbor, Maine; Saint John, New Brunswick (for the Bay of Fundy) and Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Norwegian Cruise Line: Year-round sailings on Pride of America, the only ship that sails year-round from Honolulu on seven-day intra-Hawaii cruises. The voyage includes Hawaii’s main islands, including an overnight in Kahului, Maui; an overnight in Nawiliwili, Kauai; stops in Hilo, Hawaii and Kona, Hawaii; as well as an afternoon cruise by the spectacular Napali Coast.