Princess Cruises has announced the first “Discovery at Sea Tours of the Year” award, honoring top-ranked Discovery and Animal Planet shore excursions in Alaska and Europe from the 2015 cruise season. Winning tour operators were recognized at a special ceremony aboard the Royal Princess in Port Everglades to honor the best shore excursion experiences in various ports in these popular cruise destinations.

Discovery and Animal Planet excursions debuted in Europe and Alaska in spring 2015 as part of the cruise line’s Discovery at Sea program, which it described as an exclusive partnership designed to create memorable vacation experiences for the whole family.

 Discovery and Animal Planet exclusive excursions are unique tours that cannot be booked independently and are available only through Princess Cruises. The tours are designed to provide enriching and immersive once-in-a-lifetime experiences and show guests the most fascinating animals around the globe.

“Getting out to truly experience Alaska and Europe is so important for our guests visiting these magnificent destinations,” commented Bruce Krumrine, Princess’ vice president of shore excursions. “Within our Discovery at Sea partnership and some of the best tours in Alaska and Europe, these top-rated local tour operators play an integral role in providing our guests with unforgettable cruise vacation moments, and we’re pleased to recognize their outstanding contributions.”

“The ‘Discovery at Sea Tours of the Year’ awards embody our partnership’s shared values and goals of providing Princess guests with culturally rich and immersive vacation experiences focused on adventure, exploration, knowledge and entertainment, while igniting their curiosity,” added Robert Marick, vice president, licensing and global location based entertainment, Discovery Communications.

The 2015 “Discovery at Sea Tours of the Year” were the highest guest-ranked tours out of 295 options in Europe and 55 in Alaska.

In Alaska, Discovery Recommended the Taku Lodge Feast and 5-Glacier Seaplane Discovery in Juneau, offered by Wings Airways, and the Kroschel Wildlife Refuge tour in Skagway, operated by Chilkat River Adventures.

European recommendations include the Hermitage, Gold Room, Peterhof and Catherine tour in St. Petersburg by Arctur Travel; the Giant’s Causeway and Antrim Costal tour in Belfast by Excursions Ireland, and the Ultimate Bay of Naples, Pompeii, Positano and Amalfi Coast tour in Naples by Aloschi Bros.

Discovery and Animal Planet shore excursions launched in Alaska and Europe in spring of 2015. Now more than 800 tours are available worldwide, including in the Caribbean, Mexico and Hawaii.