Transatlantic crossings are unique because cruisers spend a significant amount of time at sea. To visit a variety of ports, cruise itineraries are often scheduled for 10 days or longer.
The prime advantage to a transatlantic crossing is the extraordinary number of diverse regions you are able to visit. You can visit the foreboding Loch Ness in Scotland, witness the hot springs and vast fields of cooled lava of Iceland, enjoy a delectable lobster lunch in Nova Scotia and lay on the sun-drenched beaches of Key West, Florida - all in a single cruise!
If you prefer long, relaxing days at sea and the freedom to set your own schedule, a transatlantic sailing may be the perfect cruise for you.
Your dependency on a guide will depend on the amount of time you are spending at a port, and where that port is. When you port in places like Europe, the wealth of museums, churches and monuments will justify a guide. In regions with challenging terrain, such as Iceland, a guide might also be necessary.
Sun and sand are the primary reasons people cruise to places like Bermuda, St. Croix and Barbados, and if your transatlantic cruise stops in such balmy places, a visit to the local beach or craft market won’t require a guide.
Examples of shore excursion opportunities on transatlantic cruises include:
Swim in the invigorating waters of Iceland’s Blue Lagoon, whose therapeutic powers are legendary.
Light tackle fish in Key West, FL for sailfish, tarpon, snapper, king mackerel, sharks and blackfin tuna.
Golf at one of the Caribbean’s finest courses in St. Croix, Virgin Islands.
Sail to Cape Spear, the most northern point in North America, and observe communities that steadfastly cling to the cliffs and caves of the rock known as Newfoundland.
Go off-road into Iceland’s hinterland onto the Langjokull Glacier past the Kaldidalur mountain pass.
Come face-to-face with alligators during an Everglades airboat tour in Fort Lauderdale.
Visit the famed antique shops of Nova Scotia.
Experience Amsterdam’s Aalsmeer Flower Auction, the word’s largest wholesale market for flowers and plants.
Purchase the world-famous blue pottery of Holland.
Journey to Reykjavik, Iceland and observe post-glacial lava fields, geothermal springs, the 60-foot Stokkur Geyser, Lake Thingvallavatn and Gullfoss, an exquisite waterfall.
Submerge yourself in the El Yunque Rain Forest in San Juan and marvel at giant hardwoods, bamboo groves, miniature orchids, colossal tree snails and tropical ferns over 40 feet tall.
Walk through Dublin’s “Garden of Ireland”, a natural scenic wonderland composed of domed granite mountains, purple rolling hills, silvery streams and lush bog land.
Pet the shaggy coats and flowing manes of Lerwick’s Shetland ponies.
Stroll through a tropical rainforest in Fort Lauderdale while hundreds of butterflies flutter above you.
Ride a camel up the slope of Timanfaya National Park’s Fire Mountain in Lanzarote, Canary Islands.
Sightsee in Lisbon Portugal and experience Black Horse Square, the Jeronimos Monastery, the Christ the King statue and Vasco da Gama Bridge - the third longest bridge on the planet.
Explore the Torshavn, Faroe Islands, and see the 13th-century ruins of the St. Magnus Cathedral and the church of St. Olaf - consecrated in A.D. 1111.
Ride along the infamous Freedom Trail in Massachusetts and witness the Boston Common, the site of the Boston Massacre, Paul Revere’s house, the State House and Old North Church.