Shore excursions can really enhance the cruise travel experience. Whether you like active or scenic, historic or cultural, Holland America Line features thousands of tours to fit every interest. If you can’t decide what shore excursion to take in the Mediterranean, get suggestions from the people who know best … our own past passengers!
The “Cruise Experts Tell All” series turns to our own guests to get an insider’s perspective on cruising with Holland America Line. We asked our Facebook fans for their favorite Mediterranean shore excursions, and the answers included a variety of inspiring experiences.
Favorite Shore Excursions:
My favourite excursion was to Capri. Absolutely best time, beautiful island, great food and a trip in a boat, of course! Cannot forget to mention excursion to Ypres. Everyone should do this one. It is humbling! — Ann Goody
We did excursions in every port and enjoyed them all. They were all memorable. However, our favourite shore excursion was definitely in Santorini to the village of Oia. With its magical picturesque architecture, it was a port we did not want to leave and left us longing to return. Kusidasi was another standout visiting the ancient ruins of Ephesus. Katakolon also greatly impressed with a visit to the ancient ruins of Olympia, site of the original Olympics. – Ian and Marg McHutchison
Ian and Marg McHutchison ranked Santorini, Ephesus and Olympia as their top tours.
Our favorite shore excursion would be hard to nail down. We loved going to the Vatican, and Taormina in Sicily. The Vatican was amazing even for a non-Catholic; grand and historic. — Patricia Nichols
My favorite shore excursion was in Sicily on a tour of Taormina and Mt. Etna. Spectacular and interesting to go from the warmth of a sunny day in Taormina to the snow at Mt Etna! Next favorite was to Melissani Lake, Kefalonia Greece. — Carol Knowles
Carol Knowles’ tour in Taormina featured sun and snow!
Staying in Kusadasi overnight allowed for two excursions. We choose Ephesus and the Terrace Houses on the first day and the Three Ancient Cities: Priene, Didyma & Miletus. Very interesting and being able to actually touch the artifacts and walk were people walked years ago was unbelievable. — Debbie Fuller
How do you rate shore excursions (LOL)? They were all fantastic. If I had to pick; I’d say the most challenging was the Acropolis at Lindos, but Ephesus had to be the best for the history. — Bob Thomas
We took a tour in Cadiz, the Flamenco Dancing event, and my wife learned to dance. In Portugal we visited the sites and a winery on another tour. They were amazing excursions. — Nick & Caroline Scime
Nick and Caroline Scime enjoy a tour in Cadiz and showcased Flamenco Dancing.
The nicest tour was an overnight from Civitavecchia to Livorno and staying overnight in Florence to see it illuminated. Tien-Lun Yao
Favorite shore excursion: Rome, Italy … a full day of sightseeing and a delicious lunch at a great restaurant. – William Norton
My favorite shore excursion was in Egypt, The Giza Pyramids, the Sphinx & The Nile in Style. To stand at the base of The Pyramids is awe inspiring. This unique and historical destination is truly one of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World. Visiting this part of the world was a once in a life time opportunity that we likely would not have pursued had it not been for this cruise itinerary. — Maureen and Garry Melnyk
Maureen and Garry Melnyk rated their tours in Egypt number-one.
Our favorite shore excursion was Pompeii because of the history associated with it. — Nancy and Joe Weigand
Nancy and Joe Weigand enjoyed the history of Pompeii.
I’ve had a lot of fabulous shore excursions in the Med and let me put in a good word for my some of my favorite Shore Excursions staff. Tessa Oostrik, Inge Klasen and Willeke van Paassen have all been a great help to me on my Med cruises. Thinking back to my most recent Med cruise, I really enjoyed the Ancient Herculaneum excursion. I was moved by visiting this ancient city that was destroyed in the year 79 AD. I felt strange standing in what was likely a bedroom of a house that was destroyed by volcanic ash. The city seemed surprisingly modern for something so old. — Ted Wade
In the Tuscany Region, the combination of Florence, Pisa and Luca was one of many shore excursion highlights during both cruises, the site seeing (Photo on Hop on Hop off bus), the cleanliness of the cities, the fascination of no cars in Luca and of course the opportunity to ‘hold up’ the Leaning Tower of Pizza. The proud locals of these towns ensured tourists shared in their enthusiasm and culture. — Steven Hood
If you’re taking a Mediterranean cruise that visits these ports, the shore excursions can be pre-booked so you get the tour of your choice.
Have you taken a shore excursion in the Mediterranean? What was your favorite tour? Tell us in the comments below!