(10:00 a.m. EDT) — Cue the wanderlust: Princess Cruises has teamed up with three of Europe’s leading tourism associations for a new shore excursion program aimed at bringing passengers closer to each destination.
Set to launch this summer, the “Global Partners and Local Experts” program includes shore excursions designed in partnership with Cruise Baltic, Cruise Europe and MedCruise. The tours will reflect each association’s expertise, recommendations and goal to offer the most authentic experiences in its respective ports.
In addition, passengers can enjoy local speakers, port guides and walking maps, and new port welcome and departure experiences. The program will be available on select ships whose itineraries span the three regions.
Here’s a sneak peek of some of the new for-free shore excursions, and which ships will offer them. Prices are not available yet.
Port: Berlin, Germany
Available on: Regal Princess’ Scandinavian and Russian cruises
Details: For small groups, this all-day guided tour includes visits to Checkpoint Charlie, the Berlin Wall remains, Brandenburg Gate and Riechstag, home of the German Parliament. Passengers also will enjoy a traditional German lunch, exclusive cocktail party and shopping along the famous Kurfurstendamn boulevard. Transportation is via train.
Baltic Regal Princess Cruises
Port: Cork, Ireland
Available on: Caribbean Princess’ British Isles cruises
Details: The Fota House, Arboretum and Gardens excursion is designed specifically for families. Parents can enjoy a guided tour of property, while kids stay entertained with their own guide and a handful of activities. Youngsters also will receive an illustrated map, with which they can lead their parents on a walk through the 27-acre arboretum and gardens. Tea or coffee and cookies will be provided at the end of the day.
British Isle Caribbean Princess Cruises
Port: Portofino, Italy
Available on: Royal Princess’ Mediterranean cruises
Details: For a taste of the Italian Riviera, passengers can opt for this four-hour, guided walking tour of Portofino. Highlights include visits to the Piazza Martiri dell’Olivetta, Church of St. Giorgio and Hotel Splendido, which includes a brief history of olive oil production as well a chance to sample various oils with focaccia bread and wine.
Mediterranean Royal Princess Cruises
As a complement to the shore excursions, Princess also has launched a series of short videos narrated by local experts such as tour operators and members of the associations. The videos — which booked cruisers will receive in email ahead of their sailings — include a quick background on each port as well as sightseeing suggestions.
The “Global Partners and Local Experts” program is part of Princess’ new “Come Back New” initiative, which includes new dining and entertainment options recently unveiled on Emerald Princess and Ruby Princess, following the ships’ refurbs. Cruise Critic was onboard Ruby Princess to check out some of the new features, including a spinoff of NBC’s “The Voice,” and Share, a new specialty restaurant led by Celebrity Chef Curtis Stone.