Call all horse-lovers and those who just seek an adventure! Saddle up for a gallop across the globe! From the warm beaches of the Caribbean to breathtaking mountains of Iceland, Holland America Line offers many shore excursions for cruisers to go horseback riding. Whether you’re a cowboy, cowgirl or just someone looking for a little excitment, “tack up” and hold on tight while we take you through some of our favorite places to ride.
“The essential joy of being with horses is that it brings us in contact with the rare elements of grace, beauty, spirit and freedom.” –Sharon Ralls Lemon
Ride Through Winding Mountains in Reykjavik, Iceland
Ahh, peaceful Iceland. It’s scenic fjords and mountains are worth a little wind chill! If you find yourself on a cruise calling at Reykjavik, this tour is a must. Here, experts and novices alike enjoy a scenic ride through the Icelandic countryside.
Guests get the rare opportunity to ride the famous breed of Icelandic pony, a purebred descendant of the horses brought to Iceland by the Vikings more then 1,000 years ago! Hardy, sure-footed and friendly by nature, Icelandic horses are extremely pleasant to ride. The tour is guided by an expert rider, and all necessary riding gear is supplied. All you have to do is enjoy the view!
Trot Along The Golden Paths of Skagway, Alaska
Heading west to Skagway, Alaska, this shore excursion is the perfect way to see nearly two hours of pure Alaskan beauty. Guests begin this tour with a entertaining drive through charming, historic Skagway and along the scenic coastline to the ranch in Dyea. Once you arrive at the ranch, you’ll climb aboard your trusty steed and head off into the Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park.
Trot down trails as your knowledgeable guide tells tales from the wild days of the gold rush. You’ll pass by some of the few remaining signs of what was once a rambling gold rush town of 10,000, including the Slide Cemetery. Ride out of the rain forest and onto the Dyea flats overlooking the northern tip of Lynn Canal. Soak in the serenity and marvel at the majestic mountains, streams and Alaskan wildflowers. After the ride, relax with your guide as you enjoy refreshments and Alaskan salmon pâté. This adventure is sure to invigorate those who have been lured to Alaska by tales of its spectacular beauty.
Saddle Up By Land and Sea at Half Moon Cay, Bahamas
No harm, no foal if you can’t stand the cold! Warmer regions offer many options for those looking to ride. Saddle up for the horseback riding experience of a lifetime at our award-winning private island, Half Moon Cay! A short tram ride will bring you to the corral where you’ll go through an orientation setting before setting off to the highest point of the island and enjoy panoramic views. From there you’ll continue along the bay back to the corral to enjoy a refreshment while your horse is prepared in a special saddle pad for swimming. Finish off this tour of a lifetime by heading into the turquoise-blue ocean for the unique sensation of riding a horse while it’s swimming!
Ride Along The Shores of Castries, St. Lucia
This tour departs the pier at Castries, St. Lucia, for a 30-minute drive to Hoof Print Horse Ranch. From there you’ll drive through the town of Castries and up the Morne to the Roseau Valley. Enjoy spectacular views of banana plantations and lush tropical mountainous landscaping.
Next, you’ll meet your horse and listen to safety instructions before saddling up. Take pleasure in a delightful two-hour ride that allows you to truly relax and take in the sights and sounds of Roseau. You’ll spot St Lucia’s very own rum distillery off in the distance and catch a close-up view of what was once the sugar cane plantation, as well as swinging by Roseau Village.
Finish off this amazing tour with a visit to Roseau Beach, where you will have a chance to swim in the Caribbean Sea with your horse! At the conclusion of your trek, you’ll return to Hoof Print Horse Ranch for refreshments.
Splash Around Ocho Rios, Jamaica, on Your Trusty Steed
Begin this tour with a drive along the scenic coastline in an air-conditioned bus. Once you arrive it’s time to saddle up for the horseback ride and swim. Guides will educate you on Jamaica’s rich history, culture, flora and fauna as you ride along the Papillion Cove where Return to Treasure island and Passion & Paradise were filmed. See the remains of Richmond and Llandovery, two of the oldest sugar estates on the island. Feel the refreshing Caribbean breeze when you look out over Chukka Beach, then end the journey with a cold drink as your guide unsaddles the horses for an amazing bareback ride in the ocean.
Trot Through Turquoise Waters at Montego Bay, Jamaica
This horseback ride and swim adventure begins with a transfer to the quaint fishing village of Sandy Bay. Saddle up for this spectacular ride featuring panoramic views of the Jamaican coastline with a picturesque mountain in the backdrop. Learn interesting facts about Jamaica’s second city and tourism capital, Montego Bay. You don’t have to be an experienced rider to enjoy this tour as the horses are well trained and your attentive guide will be there to assist all riders along the way.
Choose From Two Unique Riding Tours at Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
A call at Puerto Vallarta offers two different horseback riding journeys ashore. The Countryside on Horseback tour begins with a short drive to a hacienda where your guide will conduct a short orientation, then match each rider with a horse that suits his or her ability. Riding along the Mascota River, you will pass through quaint little villages, viewing local scenery and vegetation including mangos, bananas and an assortment of different trees. If conditions permit, you can enjoy the hot springs and a swim on horseback!
The Hidden Beaches by Sea & Horseback tour is a bit more epic. Start your tour aboard a comfortable, all-weather, inflatable speedboat – the ultimate way to discover traditional fishing villages and the spectacular beaches of Quimixto and Pizota on Puerto Vallarta’s pristine southern shores.
The outstanding scenery will mesmerize you as you leave civilization behind and the tropical jungle dips toward the ocean below. The lush forest provides a spectacular backdrop to the hidden jewels of Quimixto and Pizota, both of which are only accessible by sea. Small groups are guaranteed and your guide will make sure that you have an outstanding day of discovery and adventure.
While in the charming Mexican fishing village of Quimixto, take an interesting and insightful horseback ride to some beautiful waterfalls where you can enjoy a swim in the refreshing waters.
Pizota is the next stop — a tiny settlement well off the radar of most travelers to Vallarta where the pace of life is distinctly relaxed. The spectacular beach and pristine waters provide the perfect location for snorkeling and kayaking but it is the peace and quiet of this remote village that is truly stunning, offering the perfect opportunity to relax and unwind.
Take In Scenic Views By Horseback At Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Come smell the fresh salt air on this shore excursion as you ride a horse alongside the mighty Pacific Ocean. Begin by boarding a vehicle for the approximately 35-minute scenic drive to one of Cabo’s Pacific beaches. There, you’ll meet your guide at a quaint seaside ranch, mount your horse and set off on a leisurely hour-long ride along the cactus-lined beach.
From atop a sand dune January through March, you might be able to spot migrating whales. Enjoy a beverage back at the ranch, where you will have a short time to explore the traditional desert houses, interact with the farm animals and shop at the boutique filled with local arts and crafts before returning to the pier.
Catch A Canter At Chiloe Island, Chile
Begin this journey at the Port of Castro, then head north along a rural road. Admire the typical houses of the island on your way to the foothills of Piuchen Mountains. You’ll isten to a short safety briefing, then pick a horse. Next you’ll begin your ride along the countryside paths from the thick vegetation of Coihues to the shores of Lake Rio San Pedro. Breathe in the fresh air as you take in picturesque views of quaint farmlands surrounded by an evergreen forest. Finish off this enjoyable tour with a light snack served by the riverside.
Explore Something More Exotic at Puerto Montt, Chile
This adventure begins with a 45-minute drive to the charming area of Frutillar, located in the Los Lagos region of southern Chile. Upon arrival at the stables, you will have the opportunity to listen to a short briefing about horseback riding and riding gear.
Once you’re ready to ride you’ll hop on a horse and start with soft slopes. Keep your eye out for the local sheep herds and learn about livestock management from your local guide. The long path goes deep into the exotic Valdivian Rainforest. This temperate forest is part of the Neotropic Ecozone that lies mostly in Chile and extends into a small part of Argentina. Your guide will point out the local flora and fauna as you enjoy the beauty of the forest.
There’s no greater way to adventure than with the wind in your hair and the “clip-clop” of a horse’s hooves on the ground beneath you. Whether your life journey takes you to Iceland, Alaska, the Caribbean, Mexico or Chile, we guarantee these tours on horseback offer a fulfilling adventure.
And remember, all of your tours can be pre-booked so you don’t miss out on your dream shore excursion. Click HERE to book now!