In this post, we take a closer look at how we were able to save about $1,000 by planning independent shore excursions rather than booking them through the cruise line.
Planning Independent Shore Excursions for India
In late December, 2017, we embarked on a 14 night cruise that included ports in the UAE, Oman, and India. Our three Indian ports were Cochin, Goa and Mumbai. For the three ports visited in India, after some preliminary research, we determined that we could achieve meaningful savings if we booked private independent shore excursions instead of booking excursions offered by the cruise line.
Our travel party included a total of 7 passengers – 4 adults and 3 children. No one in our travel party had ever visited India before. So, any excursion we selected would be an adventure.
We started by identifying appealing excursions on the cruise line website. An internet search yielded several tour companies offering excursions similar to our top choices. We compared quotes from several tour companies. From those quotes, we identified one reputable company that offered excursions in all three cities. Ultimately, we saved about $1,000 across all three ports with our independent shore excursions as compared to comparable cruise line excursions.
In addition to this financial savings, all of our tours included our own private transportation on a climate-controlled 15-seater mini-bus. They also included an English speaking guide (seperate from the driver). The private aspect of the tours gave us the flexibility to adjust the schedule to suit our pace and energy levels. A big plus when travelling with kids! Read More …