When Princess ships start their fall season sailing throughout the Caribbean this month they will introduce 126 new shore excursion options for passengers. Whether travelers want meet the area's friendliest crocodile, take a mud bath in a "volcano," explore underwater through an unmanned ROV, or try some of the Caribbean's most unusual experiences such as dog sledding or camel riding, Princess offers the perfect opportunity for passengers to enrich their vacation time ashore. Among the new choices are Princess' first excursions offered at the line's private island, Princess Cays.
These new tours are part of the line's approximately 800 Adventures Ashore® in 41 ports during the 2007-08 Caribbean and Panama Canal season. In addition to these new experiences, the excursions program offers passengers a wide array of opportunities to experience Caribbean ports including choices ranging from scenic sightseeing and visits to historic attractions to highly active adventures such as zip lines, golfing, scuba diving and other water sports.
"These new excursions offer passengers so many choices for enjoying their time in the Caribbean -- from visiting the playgrounds of the rich and famous to exploring rain forests," said Jan Swartz, Princess' senior vice president of customer service. "We work very closely with local tour operators in each destination to ensure that passengers have a rich selection of quality experiences in each port."
Some highlights of the new Caribbean excursion options include:
Dog Sledding in Jamaica (Ocho Rios) - Dog sledding in the Caribbean? Just say "mush mon"! While common on Princess Alaska cruises, dog sledding in Jamaica is an experience unto itself. The very unique Jamaica Dog Sled Team is made up of former street and shelter dogs who now love to race their wheeled sled. Passengers can choose from two excursion options - one where they get to ride on the dogsled and another where they can watch the fun. Both tours allow for time to meet the dogs and reward them with treats.
Meet Pocho - An Amazing Crocodile (Limon) - Princess Exclusive - Quite possibly the only such show in the world, this excursion offers the opportunity to witness Costa Rica's own "crocodile whisperer" in action. Pocho is a 16-foot American crocodile who was shot by poachers, then found and nursed back to health by "Chito," a local fisherman. Today Pocho has bonded with his savior to such an extent that Chito can swim with him, tickle him, make him do rolls, and hand feed him. Passengers will watch this amazing interaction between man and beast from a secure area that is still close to the action.
Mud Volcano & Scenic Drive (Cartagena) - A mud bath like no other, this opportunity is unique in the Caribbean. Cartagena's famous mud volcano is a 50-foot mud cone formed by bubbling mud that resembles a miniature volcano with a crater at the top. Filled with a rich mud offering reputed healing properties, the volcano offers passengers the opportunity for an unusual mud bath, which can be followed by a dip in a nearly freshwater lake to rinse off.
Camel Trek and Dunn's River Falls (Ocho Rios) - Another unique experience found nowhere else in the Caribbean - Camel riding. Passengers can channel their inner Lawrence of Arabia with a camel ride through the scenic countryside of Prospect Plantation. Participants will also enjoy a bike ride and a cooling climb of Jamaica's famed Dunn's River Falls.
Underwater Remote-Operated Vehicle Eco Tour (Tortola) - A completely unique experience in the Caribbean, this excursion offers passengers the opportunity to view the underwater world in comfort as a state-of-the-art remote-operated vehicle (ROV) - like that seen in the movies and on Discovery Channel specials -- provides a close-up look at the mysteries of the deep on a large plasma screen. Participants will view the workings of this unique technology plus be able to experience "diving" among reefs and ship wrecks without getting wet.
Catamaran Sail & Swim to Anguilla with Lunch (St. Maarten) - Princess' first tour of the low-key island of Anguilla, the new playground of the rich and famous. This excursion takes passengers to the island in style aboard a luxury catamaran and includes an introduction to the area plus plenty of time to enjoy Shoal Bay Beach - rated as one of the top-10 beaches in the world and one of the finest in the Caribbean. A great option for passengers who have been to St. Maarten before and are looking for a new experience.
Veragua Rain Forest (Limon) - A visit to a brand new nature-themed park just one hour from the port of Limon, allowing for more time to explore Costa Rica's rich rain forest. Passengers can learn about many of the forest species with unparalleled exhibits designed by a world-renowned research and conservation organization. The park features a state-of-the-art gondola that travels through the forest canopy, a dramatic 65-foot waterfall, and an informative research station.
Sea Eye Glass-Bottom Hydrofoil (Barbados) - One of only two such vessels in the Caribbean, the Sea Eye offers passengers the opportunity to combine a fun fast-moving hydrofoil ride with the wonders of viewing the undersea world through the ship's glass bottom. The ship's speed will enable visits to several scenic stops where passengers can view a shipwreck as well as reef life and exotic fish through the huge glass bottom, the first of its kind in the world.
Complete Mustique Retreat with Lunch as Basil's (Bequia) - One of the line's first tours to Mustique, a private island that has long attracted the rich and famous. An island tour will take passengers throughout this limited-access island, including an opportunity to see the homes of many local luminaries, plus a three-course lunch at Basil's restaurant - a scenic local landmark overlooking the Mustique fishing village. Visitors will also have some free time to explore or visit the beach.
Glass-Bottom Boat Cruise (Princess Cays) - Come aboard Princess' newest vessel - the state-of-the-art glass-bottom SeaView Princess. The first excursion option on Princess' own private island, this tour offers a view of the area's pristine coral reefs and the multitude of sea life that make their home there. This hour-long tour adds a new dimension to a day at Princess Cays, one of Princess passengers' favorite destinations. A new scuba dive excursion also debuts on the island.
Eight Princess ships will sail throughout the Caribbean and Panama Canal in the 2007-08 season, including the new Emerald Princess which sails these waters for the first time. The line's amenity-filled ships present an array of itineraries that vary from week-long getaways to 16-day explorations of the Caribbean's less-known locales.
Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company's website at www.princess.com.