There’s more to a European cruise experience than sightseeing in port. Beyond castles and churches, piazzas and palaces are wild shore excursions meant to thrill and exhilarate — and get your heart racing more than a visit to the “Mona Lisa” ever could. Indulge in Europe’s renowned culture, architecture and natural wonders on these fast-flying, high-revving excursions that’ll satisfy even the wildest thrill seekers.
Your destination: the French Riviera. Your vehicle: A road-hugging, speed-churning, eye-turning Ferrari, Maserati or Lamborghini. Your mission, should you choose to accept it: feel the engine purr while you fly higher and higher above the Mediterranean Sea, navigating the mountainside hairpin turns that make the South of France’s roads some of the most exciting in the world to drive. And your guide? He called shotgun.
Available on: Celebrity Cruises and Crystal Cruises
If you’ve ever wanted to see an active volcano up close, you’ll want to make your way to the tiny island of Nea Kameni near Santorini. Of course you’ll have to hike from the beach up the gravel slope (over lava fragments!) to get to the volcano’s rim, but that will give you plenty of opportunity to not only see the moon crater-like volcanic rock formations, but also the stunning views of the Aegean Sea in the distance. Afterward, you’ll take a dip in the mineral-rich, sulfur springs below.
Available on: Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean International
Words typically used to describe a fjord include steep and narrow, neither of which typically bode well with bikers. Daredevils, however, will love an adrenaline-pumping, 3,000-foot descent down the side of a mountain — beginning at the scenic Flydalsjuvet, viewpoint — to the town of Geiranger. (It actually means the “Pit of Fly Valley” in case you were wondering). Best of all, unlike cars and motorcycles, which have speed limit restrictions, bike riders are encouraged to ride as fast as they want and to stop where they like, while zipping down the super scenic road.
Available on: Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean International
Among the many hidden treasures tucked into the Croatian landscape is the Cetina River gorge, set in the spectacular cliffs of the Biokovo Mountains, about an hour from the cruise port of Split. Sure it’s beautiful, but this still relatively undiscovered river also delivers thrills in the form of level two and three rapids that you can traverse by canoe or kayak. And if you need a break from paddling, there are the cool green waters of the Gubavica waterfall — a refreshing bonus for cruises needing a swim.
Available on: Crystal Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line
Note: Check with your cruise advisor for age requirements and other restrictions before you set out on your adventure.