These six tours are offered in destinations all around the world and range from planting trees in a forest to bringing supplies to a local orphanage. If you are looking to give back the next time you cruise, here are six Holland America shore excursions where you have the opportunity to give back.
Lisbon, Portugal – The Tagus Estuary Wetlands is home to more than 120,000 birds and is a hotspot for bird watching. During parts of the year, especially during migratory periods, you can spot up to 100 different species of birds in a day. Part of your entry fee helps ensure that this safe haven for European birds is maintained and improved. The proceeds are used to operate the Estuary.
Juneau, Alaska – The Discover Alaska’s Whales tour takes passengers out on a research vessel that studies the habitat of humpback whales. It is one tour where whale sightings are guaranteed and you’re also likely to observe sea lions, seals, and porpoise. You’ll become a marine scientist for the day recording the animals various behaviors. You will help researchers continue to understand humpback whales.
Huatulco, Mexico – The Rural Communities and Traditions tour will take you off the beaten track to the heart of Oaxaca. This tour gives guests a glimpse into the roots of Mexico where your tour fee will help support local family owned businesses. You will also visit the Iguanas Wildlife Handing Unit that was established to foster reproduction and release of reptiles.
Reykjavik, Iceland – The Iceland Tomorrow tour will take you to the circle of an active volcano, bubbling hot springs, and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Thingvellir. You will help take part in Iceland’s afforestation program where you’ll plant a tree in your name . At one time, 25% of Iceland was covered by woodlands. That number has dwindled to just 1%.
Fuerte Amador, Panama – The Authentic Embera Native Village tour will take you back 600 years where you’ll learn about the traditions and lifestyles of these proud people. You’ll visit Chagres National Park where you’ll make your way to the village via a dugout canoe. The chef will welcome you with a traditional series of dances. You will also have the opportunity to interact with the locals and purchase incredible crafts and souvenirs.
Brisbane, Australia – The City Sights, Koala Sanctuary & Tree Planting tour will have you doing a little bit of everything. You’ll see spectacular view over the city, enjoy a city tour, and visit the world’s first and largest koala sanctuary. Not only will be have the opportunity to take a photo with a koala, but you will plant a gum tree that will help provide habitat for local wildlife. Did I mention that you can also feed a kangaroo and see other Australian animals like the platypus?
Holland America Line is a cruise line owned and operated by Carnival Corporation and currently has 14 cruise ships in their fleet.