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ShoreTrips -- an Independent Shore Excursion Provider (Part 3)

| Wednesday, 01 Apr. 2009

Now you have other options besides the same old cruise ship shore excursions.


ShoreTrips' Prices -- Creative Customization is the Key But here's the big question. How do ShoreTrips' tours stack up against the cruise lines' offerings in terms of price? "Even though we don't focus on price as the primary draw for our tours, we find we are pretty competitive," Barry responded. "If price is the main factor we can customize our tours in ways the cruise lines can't. For example, if you have a larger group of people we can save money by using larger vehicles like tour buses. But beating the cruise line prices is not our focus. In general, our lower priced excursions are usually a bit more expensive than the cruise lines, but to offset that, you get a far better, smaller group tour experience."

"With the medium priced excursions, we are about the same as what the cruise lines charge, but once again we offer more customized experiences."

"But the higher ticket items are where we become very competitive. With things like flightseeing excursions, or all-day tours in Europe, our prices generally fall well below what the cruise lines charge. And you get a far more personalized experience to boot!"

"For example," Barry added, "in Europe there are places where large tour buses cannot go due to local ordinances or streets that are too narrow. So the passengers either leave the bus and walk several blocks to reach the site or they just miss it altogether. Since we use sedans, limos and mini-buses we can often take guests right to the door of the tourist attraction -- a great time saver and an important consideration for people with mobility challenges.

"In the case of our group tours," Barry continued, "we can group people into our smaller vehicles based on their mobility level, allowing one group to go at a slower pace and view some sites from the vehicle rather than walking. Another vehicle can carry the more active members and make more stops where walking gives the best access.

Regional ShoreTrips Options Right now ShoreTrips serves the Caribbean, Bermuda, Alaska, Europe, and Hawaii, as well as several other popular cruising regions. An example of their more creative excursions include such things as Alaska tours to see the crab fishermen at work, taking a glacier flight in a floatplane and then returning to an exclusive lodge to enjoy a feast of Alaskan delicacies, a canopy ziplining adventure in Juneau, and a U-Drive jeep stampede adventure in Skagway.

In Hawaii, the company offers such things as an "eat your way through Honolulu" excursion where guests visit four different restaurants with a local food expert as their private guide. Also, how about a movie tour with a special visit to the location where "Lost" was filmed? There is a nighttime helicopter tour to take guests high above Waikiki after dark to view all the glittering lights along the shoreline.

Barry says that guest reviews of his company's tours have been fantastic and many of them are included on the web site. While his company specializes in tours for cruise ship passengers, they also work with land tour groups. With the cruise lines, ShoreTrips works closely with their vendors and the cruise lines to fit their tours into the hours the ship is in port. And just like with the cruise line tours, Barry added, a full refund is given if for some reason the ship can't make it into port on the day the guest has arranged a ShoreTrips excursion. Guests can also cancel tours for a full refund up to 11 days in advance, or 14 days for European and the Mediterranean tours.

For more information about ShoreTrips, just click here to visit their website.

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