Santorini Caldera - Emerald Princess Cruise ship in the Mediterranean

Our Top 6 Cruise Excursions & Bonus Wild Sea Lion Video After taking more than 20 cruises, these are our favorite cruise excursions

Have you booked your favorite cruise and looking for the top excursions to go on?  Rick and I have been on more than 20 cruises in the last four years.  And in doing so, we’ve been on a lot of excursions.  Indeed, some of them were very nice.   And others were awesome.  Naturally, there were some pretty bad ones as well.  But today, I want to write about my favorite cruise excursions so far.

Let’s dig in.

Alaska

Top Cruise Excursion: Glacier Point, Alaska

The Glacier Point cruise excursion in Skagway Alaska is always a fan favorite in Alaska. We started right at the pier where we boarded a small boat that took us through the Skagway Inlet to the little harbor of Glacier Point. From there, we boarded a bus that took us to the base camp, where we got all suited up for our adventure.

Glacier Point Alaska - top land and cruise excursions and a favorite of everyone who visits
The wilderness at Glacier Point, Skagway Alaska
Rick: Ready to paddle to the glacier on of his favorite cruise excursions
All suited up ready to paddle to the glacier

From there, we reached the shore of a river where our canoes were waiting for us.  We paddled for about half-hour in a beautiful wilderness with the view of the majestic Davidson Glacier, our final destination.

The Davidson Glacier - one of top alaska land or cruise excursions and favorite among many
Davidson Glacier Alaska
Rick and Andrea Ready to get in to our canoe in Alaska
Ready to start our adventure
The wilderness of Alaska
Paddling in the wilderness of Alaska

Finally, we began the last leg of our excursion. It was a half-hour walk on the glacier moraine to reach the glacier itself. At this point, I already took hundreds of photos, and I was about to make hundreds more. When we reached the glacier, it was even more amazing than I expected. We were able to touch it, explore it, and see this incredible wall of ice close. That was a fantastic experience that I will not forget.  Did I mention, this cruise excursion is a great way to stay fit on a cruise?

The Davidson Glacier - a favorite and among the top cruise and land excursions
Davidson Glacier Alaska
Davidson Glacier
Davidson Glacier
Our final Destination, Davidson Glacier - a top cruise excursion
We finally did it we reached the Davidson Glacier

After spending about a half-hour at the glacier, we started our journey back to the cruise ship. While I think the Glacier Point cruise excursion should be at the top of anyone’s bucket list because it’s simply incredible, it’s not for everyone.  To be sure, it requires a lot of physical activity and a lot of walking on a very uneven surface.

Mexico

Chichen Itza, Cozumel Mexico

Visiting Chichen Itza has been at the top of our bucket list for a long time and I was excited to visit these ancient ruins from a cruise excursion when we arrived in Cozumel.  To be sure, I booked it as soon as I could.  Indeed, others warned it would be a long day, and it was.  But, it was 100% worth it.  Indeed, I’m happy I went because it made my list of top cruise excursions.

After arriving in Cozumel, we first took a ferry boat to Playa del Carmen.  Here, we boarded a very comfortable bus.  The bus ride was very long, about 2.5 hours each way.  And yes, and I have to admit the ride was rather dull as well. Unfortunately, there’s just the thick Yucatan jungle to be seen from the bus window.

Mayan Carving - one our our top cruise excursions and fan favorite
Mayan Carving at Chichen Itza

Once we (finally) arrived at the site, I was speechless. Chichen Itza was even more fascinating than I expected.  We walked around the Mayan buildings mesmerized from what we saw.  The highlight of the site is, of course, the famous El Castillo Pyramid. Additionally, it was nice being able to walk around such an incredible site not packed with tourists.

Swimming with Sea Lions, La Paz Mexico

We took this excursion during a cruise in the Bay of Cortes, Mexico. We boarded a small zodiac that took is to a small island off the coast of La Paz, Mexico. There we saw a big colony of Sea Lions. Some were lying on the rocks; some were swimming.

Wild Sea Lions In Mexico - A Top Cruise Excursion and Fan Favorite!
Wild Sea Lions in La Paz Mexico

We jumped in the water, and we snorkeled towards them. I have to admit, at first, it was a little scary to see these big wild animals so close. However, once I realized that they were rather docile, I start enjoying looking at them swimming around me and playing around. One of them came close and let me touch it. I was quite amazed by that.

Asia

Batu Caves, Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

When we arrived in Kuala Lumpur, on our South East Asia cruise, I didn’t know what to expect. Kuala Lumpur was an incredibly beautiful city.  For example, the people are friendly, polite, and respectful.  Additionally, we bought an excursion from our cruise ship to the famous Batu Caves there and turned out being one of the top excursions of the trip.  The ride from the cruise port to Kuala Lumpur took about an hour.  Also, the Batu caves are about 20 minutes by taxi from the Petronas Towers.

When we arrived at the site, we were immediately mesmerized by the giant golden statue of the Indu God Murugan.  For example, the people climbing the stairs next to the gigantic statue looked like tiny dots.  At least, when compared to the statue.

Batu Caves - walk to the top - one of my favorite cruise excursions ever
Batu Caves, Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

The site is also home to many monkeys that walk among the people.  Also, the often try to steal food from unsuspecting people.  To be sure, the monkeys at the top of the caves are always a favorite on land or cruise excursions.

Monkey at Batu Caves - One of my favorite cruise photos
One of the many Monkeys at Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur

To reach the entrance of the cave, we climbed the 272 steps. At the time, they were doing some restorations to the temples inside the caves.  Furthermore, they were asking everyone to bring up a bucket of sand or brick to help.  Rick jumped in and decided to help.  He carried up a big bucket of sand up the stairs, while I happily took the photographs.

Rick Carrying a Bucket of Sand up to the Batu Caves
Rick Carrying a Bucket of Sand up to the Batu Caves

Inside, the caves are massive and are lined with many Indu temples.  Certainly, I was thrilled to take a lot of photos on this fantastic site.  Then, when we got to the top, it was easy to see why the Batu Caves are a favorite thing to see when picking land or cruise excursions.

Temple in Batu Caves
One of many temples inside Batu Caves

So, if you’re visiting Kuala Lumpur, I think you should check the Batu Caves out.

Batu Caves
Batu Caves

Our Favorite Cruise Excursion in Halong Bay, Vietnam

Halong Bay, Vietnam is an iconic place that everyone has seen in millions of photos.  But, in real life, it’s an even more breathtaking sight.

We arrived on board the Sapphire Princess on our 19 days South East Asia cruise.  Indeed, the excursion was effortless.  For example, we boarded the junk boat right off our ship, and we sailed towards the bay.  Then, our guide took us to our first stop to visit the Dong Thieng Chung caves.  These caves are beautiful and famously lit with different colored lights.

After visiting the caves, we sailed in the bay among the many limestone mountains that peak out the ocean. Plus, we passed by many traditional Vietnamese sailing boats and junk boats.

Vietnamese Fishing boat
Halong Bay, traditional fishing boat

Mediterranean

Santorini Volcano Hike, Santorini Greece

We took this excursion during our 21 day Mediterranean Cruise on board of the Emerald Princess.  Furthermore, in case you missed it, Princess was voted Travel Addicts’ favorite Cruise Line of 2019.  To be sure, Santorini was one of our favorite cruise excursions in Greece – no question.

Emerald Princess Cruise Ship in the Mediterranean - The top of Santorini, Greece - certainly one of our favorite cruise excursions
Emerald Princess in Santorini

We arrived in Santorini after a short tender ride. Once there, we didn’t immediately visit Santorini.  Rather, we booked an excursion to the Volcano.  Then, our boat waited for us to take us to Nea Kameni Island, the active Volcano in the Santorini Caldera.

We docked in a small port.  Then, from there, we started our hike, on a short gravel path, to the top of the volcano. From every corner, the views were breathtaking.  Indeed, old lava from ancient eruptions, the Mediterranean, and the beautiful towns of Fira and Oia lined the path.

The Little Dock on Nea Kameni Island - In Santorini, one of our Top Cruise Excursions in the Mediterranean
Nea Kameni Island, the dock

Once we reached the crater, we were able to see some steam venting at the summit. Our guide, a volcanologist from Athens University, was excellent.  For example, he was able to give us plenty of information about the geology and the history of this volcano that last erupted in 1950.

Our hike to the summit was only about an hour long. Fortunately, we were able to get there very early in the morning when the paths were clear and had no other tourists.

Us at the top of Santorini Volcano - among our favorite cruise excursions
Us at the summit of the Volcano

These are my top land and cruise excursions so far.  Did I miss any?   Feel free to let us know what your favorite land or cruise excursions are!

-Andrea

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