ShoreTrips -- an Independent Shore Excursion Provider (Part 2)

| April 6, 2009
Now you have other options besides the same old cruise ship shore excursions.

Save Money by Bundling ShoreTrips also created innovative ways to save on tours by bundling packages of options from different ports on various cruise ship itineraries. "Our customers can save a good deal of money by buying their shore excursions in packages. When a ship is doing a Western Caribbean itinerary, for example, passengers can sign up for a pre-set bundle of excursions covering that region and save money over our already lower priced individual options."

Such a package for Western Caribbean sailings includes cave tubing in Belize, a multi-stop snorkel trip in Grand Cayman and an all-inclusive fun day at the beach in Cozumel. There are alternative options for Ocho Rios, Roatan and Montego Bay as well -- depending on the ship's schedule. Customers simply pick three excursions for the ports they are visiting and get a preferred price on the combination -- in the case of the Western Caribbean that price will run $150.00 in total.

"We have been getting consistently good feedback from our clients," Barry says. "Unlike the cruise line tours, we offer more creative options with pretty much something for everyone. In Hawaii we have tours to explore the local cuisine, as well as small group trips to major attractions like Pearl Harbor and Volcanoes National Park. But we also offer private dolphin encounters where our guests really get to spend time interacting with these amazing creatures. We also offer guided hikes and even a ride in a soarplane -- with an aerobatics add-on if the guest so desires. Even our helicopter flightseeing excursions are different. That's because we charter one helicopter at a time to make sure our customers get a more private experience."

"We have great options for families, too," Barry told me. "In our travels, Julie and I have discovered that Europe and Greece in particular are especially difficult for family touring. The adults want to see all the sites -- the ruins, historic antiquity, museums and everything else. But the kids get tired of tramping in and out of museums every day. So, what we do is put together optional tours with the neat stuff that kids like to do as well, letting them enjoy their European vacation too."

ShoreTrips for Everyone, Even Large Groups "How can ShoreTrips offer what the cruise lines can't?" I asked Barry. "Simple," he replied, "My wife and I personally research everything that is available in a region, but the cruise lines can only use operators who can handle very large groups. We have no such requirement. Our first concern is quality and reliability, and we're more than willing to work with someone who can only handle only one small group per day."

Barry considers variety of tour options to be equally important. "The cruise lines pretty much offer 'cookie cutter' trips, while we focus on more unique options. Our more active customers want hiking, biking, and high-energy excursions, but even those who prefer something more sedate still want unique options. We give them a tour with unique twists, such as off-the-beaten path sites and private tours of places that are too crowded during normal business hours. We also offer a more luxurious level of tours, with comfortable mini-vans, smaller boats and even limousines. We very rarely ever use large motor coaches for our trips."

But that doesn't mean ShoreTrips cannot accommodate larger group tours. They can put together customized excursions for large groups often at far better prices than the cruise lines offer. Alternatively, a group leader can register her group at the ShoreTrips Web site and pre-select groups of excursions for each port. She can then direct her group members to use the ShoreTrips Web site individually to book the tours they want. In this case ShoreTrips can assign group members to separate vehicles just for their own friends or family.

Continue Article >> ShoreTrips -- an Independent Shore Excursion Provider (Part 3)

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