Shore excursions are a great way to explore cruise destinations. Here are our top tips to ensure that you make the most of your time on land

1. Despite the cost of excursions, sometimes they offer the easiest way to visit must-see destinations. For instance, book a cruise excursion in Russia and your visa will be taken care of, but if you want to do your own thing you’ll have to organise one before you leave, which can be expensive.

2. Excursions should also include tickets to museums and galleries so you won’t waste time queuing in places like Paris or Rome.

3. If you do your own thing, and don’t get back before the daily departure time, the ship will sail without you, but if you’re on an official excursion that gets delayed, it won’t.

4. Most cruise line websites won’t reveal how much excursions cost unless you have a booking number, but Fred. Olsen and Thomson Cruises have good reputations for reasonable prices.

5. All cruise ships offer excursions but you will need deep pockets to go on one every day. Voyages To AntiquitySwan Hellenic and Hebridean Island Cruises all have excursions with expert guides included.

Read Adventure Cruises: What’s on board?

Read Family Cruise Tips

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