Adrenaline junkies take note: there’s no need to hang up your quest for extreme adventure when you board a cruise ship. A new breed of shore excursions are embracing the wild side of what’s available in port. So if plummeting drops and twisting turns are more your speed, check out these five heart-pumping activities available on your next Caribbean cruise.
1. Ride High on the Hog: Harley in Paradise Tour
This is your chance to rev up and hop on a classic Harley Davidson motorcycle for a wind-in-your-face ride through the cruise port city of Marigot and across the Caribbean island of St. Maarten. Though this isn’t for first-time riders. Cruisers with valid motorcycle licenses can book a full-day rental and explore the Dutch/French island via the open road. Maps and a suggested route is provided, making sure you hit the island’s most popular spots and best restaurants along the way.
Available on: MSC Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean International
2. Off-Road in the Jungle: Xrails to Jade Caverns
For the uninitiated, an Xrail is a two-person, all-terrain vehicle (ATV) with four wheels on an “X” frame that drives like a mix of a quad bike and a dune buggy. This off-road adventure in Cozumel not only takes you through an inland jungle, but also travels so close to the ground that you’ll feel every bump and ditch. Once you’re all muddied up off-roading, you’ll conclude the tour with a dip in Jade Caverns’ turquoise waters before heading back to your cruise ship.
Available on: Royal Caribbean International
3. Race a Sailboat: Crew an America’s Cup Yacht
Ever wondered what it feels like to step aboard a multi-million-dollar racing yacht? How about sailing one? If St. Maarten is on your cruise itinerary, not only can you hit the water in a 70-foot racing vessel with 80-foot masts — including famed yachtsman Dennis Connor’s America’s Cup-winning sailboat, Stars & Stripes — but you also can grind, trim and wind (sailing terms, not twerking ones) while racing against another team in a 12-meter regatta.
Available on: Carnival Cruise Lines, Disney Cruise Line, Crystal Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line
4. Bobsled Through a Rainforest: Jamaica Bobsled
There’s no need to star in a movie about Jamaica’s unlikely Winter Olympian heroes to experience all of the stomach-churning thrills of bobsledding. Become part of the action when cruising to Ocho Rios, where you’ll embark on a three-hour bobsled tour through Jamaica’s rainforest. Plunge more than 2,000 feet down Mystic Mountain on what feels like a rollercoaster ride — minus all the switches and gear. It’s just you and your sled, flying down a gravity-driven, twisting and turning plunge through the tropical forest.
Available on: Norwegian Cruise Line, Carnival Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean International
5. Scramble Over Slippery Rocks: Canyoning in Martinique
Canyoning is the ideal activity for any cruiser having trouble deciding between extreme watersports and adventuring on shore. It combines rock climbing, rappelling, sliding and jumping — in and out of the water. Your reward for toughing out the physicality of climbing up and down the slippery rocks and breathtaking slopes of Absalon River in Martinique? Diving into a crystal clear, undisturbed river after you’ve traversed your last natural obstacle.
Available on: Norwegian Cruise Line
Note: Check with your cruise line for age requirements and other restrictions before you set out on your adventure.