Cruise lines are creating more immersive shore excursions so passengers get a better understanding of the culture of the destinations they visit.

Princess Cruises are currently launching its’ Across the Ditch program where passengers can learn the Haka, sample local cuisine and wine as well as visit Maori communities.

Azamara Club Cruises is known for its great shore excursion program and has just announced some remarkable experiences when the Azamara Journey returns to Australia.

The events are uniquely local and visitors will get a real sense of what each port has to offer when the 690-passengr ship visits Exmouth, Perth, Bunbury, Albany, Esperance, Kangaroo Island and Adelaide.

The line is also known for its Azamazing Evening on worldwide voyages. Adam Armstrong, managing director of Azamara in Australia and New Zealand said, “Azamazing Evening Events are exclusive, bespoke events that truly connect our guests to the heart and soul of a destination.

“These new Australian and New Zealand events are sure to blow both our international and local guests away, immersing them in the atmosphere and culture of these beautiful ports after hours – which completely transform at night.”

2018 Australia and New Zealand Azamara Events

A Taste of Western Australia

Showcasing everything from local produce and wine to aboriginal music performances and dance collaborations, this immersive event presents the best Western Australia has to offer. There will also be performances from Mark Atkins, one of Australia’s finest didgeridoo players, and Steve Pigram, a member of the highly influential indigenous Australian band from the 90’s – The Pigram Brothers.

Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra in Hobart

The evening starts with a performance from Tasmanian Police Pipe Band. Next on the schedule is another display by Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.

An Evening Symphony at St Paul’s Cathedral – Wellington

Guests will travel into the heart of Wellington to visit its strikingly modern cathedral, completed in 1998, and be welcomed with cocktails and canapes. Next is a performance by Orchestra Wellington, such as Tchaikovsky’s ‘Nutcracker Suite’ and Grieg’s ‘Hall of the Mountain King’.

An Evening of Fine Wine and Entertainment – Adelaide

Passengers will be greeted with wine tasting stations showcasing prestigious South Australian wine, selected exclusively for the event by the National Wine Centre. Guests then take their seats to experience the exquisite vocals of one of Australia’s iconic music industry artists – Christine Anu.

Other cruise lines with great shore excursions

Crystal Cruises

The luxury line has a number of different types of cruising types – adventure, river and ocean. Crystal offers some out-there shore excursions – at one stage, they once offered visits to a top-secret cosmonaut training facility in Russia. But you can drive Italian sports cars in St. Tropez, or even go gorilla tracking in Uganda.

Oceania Cruises 

Known for its great food onboard, Oceania Cruises also hosts some of the best culinary shore excursions. The line has accompanied Culinary Discovery Tours where it guests can meet the locals at food marketplaces with the ship’s chefs. The groups are limited to 18 participants. Once you’ve picked up your ingredients, you’ll go back on the ship and cook with the local produce. 

Princess Cruises

Australia’s most popular line Princess Cruises has developed a partnership with Discovery Communications to offer its guests Princess’ Discovery Tours. They’ve also partnered with the Animal Planet to offer slightly more off-beaten excursions. You can enjoy bird watching with naturalists at the Scarlet Macaw Sanctuary in Costa Rica’s Puntarenas.

Windstar Cruises

This boutique line has a special range of shore excursions called Concierge Collection which offers intimate and unique shore excursions. These are available in Europe, Tahiti and Costa Rica. For example, you can visit a family home in Visby, Sweden where you can learn about their customs and try Swedish snacks.