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Monday, June 10, 2013

Avoid paying highly inflated prices for shore excursions in Alaska

Avoid paying highly inflated prices for shore excursions in Alaska

Do-It-Yourself Sightseeing Saves Money

The sales pitch is a familiar one, the technique high tech.

You've booked your Alaska cruise, registered online at the cruise line's web site and gave them your email address. Online Registrations are necessary these days for Homeland Security purposes and for the cruise line to communicate important information to you via e-mail.

E-mails are also great marketing tools. The cruise line will be sending you a series of e-mails months prior to and leading up to your sailing date. Many contain offers to buy something. Everything, from upscale dining options, spa treatments, photography and one of the biggest revenue producers for the cruise line: shore excursions. The marketing message will urge you to book long before sailing, as the most popular shore excursions sell out quickly.

Believe the hype and bite on their offers and your Alaska cruise could become much more expensive. Much more.

The competition for your Alaska cruise business is fierce. Cruise lines offer low rates and incentives such as onboard spending credit to stay competitive with their competition. However, once they've got you booked, you are a "captured" audience. They will bombard you with extra cost services that are profit centers contributing to their bottom line.  

How much money can you save if you do-it yourself?

That depends. If you plan on doing a lot of sightseeing in Alaska, ( train tours, helicopter glacier overviews, salmon fishing etc. ) say one or two tours in each port-of-call, then you will save hundreds of dollars.  If, you are more likely to just get off the ship and walk around, say in downtown Skagway, visit the shops, buy a t-shirt and get back onboard, not much.  Even on a limited budget, you could save as much as $100 in a single Alaskan port-of-call by taking a do-it-yourself approach to cruise shore excursions. Visit 3 ports of call on your cruise and the savings add up. Just think what you can do in Alaska with an extra $500.00 in your pocket.  

However, you have to do your homework. You need to plan ahead. Know what you want to do in each port of call prior to sailing. Visit independent tour operators and shore tour providers on the internet. Compare side by side prices, details and read what people have to say about the company you are considering. Research the possibilities thoroughly. Find out everything there is to know about the most popular or out of the way Alaska sights or activities. Visit the cruise line's own web site and choose those tours you want. Jot down the details and prices. Use that information when you compare prices and features against other shore excursion vendors.

Once you understand the itineraries, prices and shore excursion descriptions, go back online and visit companies like Shoretrips, Shore Excursions Group or Port Promotions. These vendors will arrange a shore excursion for you, often at a savings of over 25 -35% what the cruise line charges and you can read reviews of trips other cruise travelers have booked.

Finally, if you are looking for independent shore excursions as an alternative to the cruise line high prices and crowded tours, and want to compare prices and features side-by-side, you'll want to visit The site touts itself as Your Ultimate Guide to Discounted Shore Excursions for hundred's of Ports-Of-Call, all around the world. Some of the most popular shore excursions include those in the Caribbean, Alaska, Canada and New England, Europe, Mediterranean, Hawaii, Mexico and Mexican Riviera, Panama Canal and Bermuda.

They have a Cruise Shore Excursion Comparison Shopping Tool where you can find and book top Shore Excursions where ever you cruise worldwide. Browse By Port, Cruise Ship, Departure Date and Duration.

When it comes to Alaska shore excursions, Each port-of-call ( Juneau, Ketchikan, Skagway, Sitka, or Haines ) feature tours that appeal to diverse interests. Whether you enjoy history, nature, adventure or simply sightseeing, in Alaska, it's likely there is a shore excursion for it.

Do your research and to learn more about the 300+ ports cruise lines visits each year, as well as key points of interest, favorite activities and the full range of independent shore excursions offered by 4 shore excursion experts to help you explore. Compare prices side-by-side and choose the shore excursion that's right for you and your family.

Shore excursions in Alaska do not have to be expensive. Here's how to avoid paying highly inflated prices for shore excursions in Alaska: Do it yourself, save money and have a great time.


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