When you head ashore in port to enjoy your day on a cruise excursion, a little bit of swimming, snorkeling or a catamaran ride might be just the right amount of excitement. Indeed, these activities are great options for having some fun in the sun whether you are on a Mediterranean or Caribbean cruise.
But for those of you who love to get your heart racing and push things to the extreme, we’ve got some of the best cruise excursions for adrenaline junkies.
Hanging Bridges in Costa Rica
Costa Rica has earned its reputation for eco-tourism, and you can immerse yourself in the biodiversity of its incredible nature parks to see exotic birds and animals like tree frogs, toucans, monkeys and sloths. On cruise ship visits to Puntarenas on the west coast, you can explore rainforests on a series of heart-stopping skywalks. These hanging bridge tours put you up high in the rainforest canopy to spy birds and other animals. The bridges are affixed between the trees with cables, and they sway and bob as you walk across spans that are more than 300 feet long and 200 feet in the air.
It’s thrilling — and a little nerve-wracking for some – and you’ll never get a better view of these vibrant forests.
Swim with Sharks in Hawaii
Nothing will give you a bigger adrenaline rush than to be up close to the predators that occupy the top of the marine food chain. Even with the steel bars between you and the sharks assuring your safety, you are guaranteed an indescribable rush as you are submerged into the waters. Cage diving is available on cruises that visit Hawaii, where you can go off the shores of Oahu. Princess Cruises offers these excursions as part of its partnership with Animal Planet.
Dog Sledding in Alaska
Admit it, you’ve always wanted to try mushing. A cruise to Alaska offers the unique chance to climb on the rails and drive a sled powered by beautiful huskies. Iditarod-style dog-sledding cruise excursions combine interactions with the dogs and learning how they are trained at the racing kennel along with sled rides up to two miles long. The ultimate tours are likely to include helicopter rides and glacier tours.
Bungee Jumping in Cabo San Lucas
Ah, bungee. The ultimate test for the avowed thrill seeker. Have you had this challenge on your list of things you’re eventually going to try? Well, you might as well go for it on your cruise stop in Cabo San Lucas, where you can launch yourself out of a glass-floored gondola suspended 300-feet above a picturesque canyon. Make sure you bring your action camera for this one because you’ll want video of you flying through the sky with the ultimate look of exhilaration (terror?) on your face.
Powerboat Tour on St. Maarten
The island of Saint Maarten is one of the most beautiful cruise ports in the Caribbean, and it’s filled with amazing beaches on both the French side (St. Martin) and Dutch side (St. Maarten) of the split island. A power boat ride is the best way to get around to see as much as possible. Plus, it’s so much fun ripping through the surf as you see all the top sights and make the most of your precious time in port. Powerboat tours can include stops at Maho Beach, Orient Beach, a beachfront barbecue lunch at a restaurant and snorkel time.
Zipline at Labadee
Ziplining is a popular excursion activity at numerous cruise ports. But the Dragon’s Breath at Royal Caribbean’s private cruise destination of Labadee, Haiti, is a different kind of experience. From a cliffside launch point 500 feet above the beaches, you soar on the longest zipline ride over water in the world, reaching up to 50 miles per hour. The breathtaking ride travels almost a half-mile to a landing zone at a rocky outcropping that is lashed by foamy sea surf.
John Roberts is a freelance writer and operator of InTheLoopTravel.com. He writes about cruising and active travel, highlighting how people can connect with the world and other cultures through rewarding travel experiences.