5 of the best shore excursions
With stop-offs at ports in more than 20 countries, Thomson Cruises makes the world your oyster. We’ve handpicked 5 of the best trips you can take on dry land when you wake up in a different country every day…
The beautiful game doesn’t get much better-looking than in Barcelona. You only need to look at the vital statistics of the Nou Camp stadium for proof. Seating more than 99,000 people, it’s the largest football stadium in Europe and the 11th biggest in the world. On a Sporting Barcelona excursion, you’ll get to go behind the scenes at the Nou Camp. You can snoop around the players’ changing rooms, the press room, and the trophy room, which rivals the Tower of London in terms of treasures. What’s more, you’ll get to stand beside the pitch where football legends like Ronaldinho and Messi scored some of their trickiest goals. Natursports / Shutterstock.com
It’s easy to understand why Rome wasn’t built in a day. The eternal city has one of the biggest sights-to-miles ratios of any place on earth. Throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain and climb the Spanish Steps and you’re barely scratched the surface of what the Italian capital has to offer. And that’s where the Rome All In One Day excursion fits in. This one helps you tick off as many of the city’s attractions as possible – you’ll see the Pantheon, Venice Square and the Colosseum before you’ve even had lunch. In the afternoon, you’ll visit Vatican City and you’ll feel dwarfed as you stand in the shadow of St Peter’s Basilica. This one’s more than a house of worship – it was worked on by Renaissance masters like Michelangelo and Raphael, so it’s more like a 3D work of art.
Set off on a celebrity safari in Moncao and Monte Carlo. This part of the world is the natural habitat of racing drivers, pop stars and Hollywood actresses. On a Moncao and Monte Carlo excursion, you’ll get to see where the principality’s pulling power comes from. The trip begins with a journey up the coastal road, passing Eze. This Medieval town halos the hilltops outside Monaco, serving up eagle’s nest-views of the sea. In Monaco, you’ll take a walking tour, passing the Oceanographic Museum, cathedral, and the Prince’s Palace. Then you’ll take a spin around a section of the Grand Prix circuit. Next up, you’ll have some free time in Monte Carlo. Drop a coin in one of the slot machines at the Monte Carlo Grand Casino or just head next door and sip a café crème in the famous Café de Paris.
When it comes to history, Athens carries excess baggage. It’s one of the oldest cities in the world, and it’s weighed down with archaeological sites, museums and galleries. On the Athens and the Acropolis excursion, you’ll get to see the best cross-section of these sites. You’ll tick off Constitution Square, the Houses of Parliament, and the Old Olympic Stadium first. Then, you’ll get to explore the Acropolis. This UNESCO World Heritage Site sits on top of a huge lectern-like rock, 150 metres above Athens city. The buildings on top of this stony plinth include the ancient temple of Athena Nike, who was the goddess of victory in war and wisdom, and The Parthenon, where the ancient Greeks went to worship the goddess of civilisation and justice.
This excursion is Egypt 101, and the curriculum includes a visit to the National Archaeological Museum in Cairo, home to the largest collection of Egyptian antiquities in the world. You’ll find yourself trying to transcribe the hieroglyphics on a replica of the Rosetta Stone, which was found in Tutankhamen’s tomb. Plus, you’ll see the remains of Egypt’s pharaohs and queens in the eerie Mummies Room. The Egyptian education on this trip continues at the Giza Plateau. The Pyramid of Khufu is the last remaining Wonder of the World. When you’ve finished looking at the pyramids, head over to their neighbour, The Sphinx. This half-lion, half-human statue stands at a towering 20 metres tall.
Visit our site to find out more about excursions with Thomson Cruises.