By Larry R. Fox and Barbara Radin Fox
Once cruise lines seems to offer just port calls, a party atmosphere and sunburn. Now they are opting for ever more lavish land excursions and on-board experiences. Here are some of the latest offerings:
● In 2012, ultra-luxury Silversea Cruises is adding 19 new mid-voyage land adventures. In total, the company will offer more than 50 specially tailored overland excursions next year. Unlike a partial-day shore tour, these single- or multiple-day inland adventures offer inquisitive travelers more time to enjoy an interactive and immersive experience with the people, history, wildlife and natural attractions that lie just beyond the ports of call. From the Amazon to Zululand, glaciers to deserts, ancient ruins to modern wonders, Silversea offers an eclectic collection of overland adventures. You can witness the spectacular sand dunes of the Namib Desert, climb the steps of the Potala Palace in Tibet, or observe a passing herd of elephants while you sip tea on the veranda of a colonial manor house in South Africa.
● Globetrotting Princess Cruises passengers will be joined by a variety of intriguing special guests aboard Pacific Princess during its 107-day World Cruise departing Jan. 13, 2012. Among the celebrated speakers scheduled to appear onboard are screen idol Tab Hunter; “Leave it to Beaver” star Jerry Mathers; “The Love Boat’s” Gavin MacLeod; legendary Disney Imagineer Rolly Crump; Suzanne Lloyd, granddaughter of silent film star Harold Lloyd; Oscar-nominated Filmmaker Leslie Iwerks and Space Shuttle Astronaut Robert C. Springer. In addition, a variety of expert lecturers will join the cruise to inform passengers on topics such as World War II history and computer forensics.