What is adventure cruising?

Lorna Cowan / 08 December 2016

Forget about any ideas you have that cruises are just for people who want to take things easy. Yes, there’s plenty of time for rest and relaxation, but cruises are also perfect for those who love active holidays, and an adrenaline rush.



From learning top tips from celebrity experts on board, to taking exhilarating excursions ashore, cruises can be one big adventure. 

And in the safe hands of Saga, who this year won the prestigious Cruise International ‘Best for Enrichment’ award, you can be sure of enjoying a memorable holiday for all the right reasons. 

Looking ahead to 2017, Saga cruises has introduced a range of fun new experiences for you to try. Take your pick!

Discover more about cruises to Norway and Scandinavia Find out more here.

Enjoy a husky ride

Fancy a sled ride being pulled along the snow by a team of excited huskies? You can do just that on Saga’s Bright Lights to Norway cruise.

The ship docks at Alta, a town well tucked in the Arctic Circle, and a short transfer takes passengers to the Holmen Husky Centre, where some four-legged friends will be waiting for you.

 Once you’ve slipped on some thermal suits, boots and gloves, it’s time to get settled on your sled. And as a guide will be doing all the steering, all you need to do is sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.

And what a ride it is. You’ll travel 10 miles through a winter wonderland, past picturesque forests and rivers. Listening to the howls of the huskies, you’ll quickly realise you’re not the only one having fun.

Then as dusk falls, tonight you’re swapping your cabin for a tepee. However, don’t worry, it’s equipped with electric blankets and a wood-burning stove so you’ll be cosy and comfortable.

With a clear roof above your bed, don’t fall asleep too quickly in case you miss a spectacular performance, courtesy of the Northern Lights.

Husky rides are also available on Saga’s Northern Lights Adventure. Just 12 miles from the dock in the historic city of Tromsø, the Tromsø Wilderness Centre is home to around 240 huskies, all trained to pull sledges through the harshest polar conditions.

Hold on tight as you set off on a ride you’ll remember forever.

Set sail on a magical voyage to the Northern Lights and enjoy a thrilling ride on a husky sled Find out more here.

Swim with turtles

Prefer the temperature a little warmer? You can still indulge in a little animal magic while cruising in a sunnier part of the world.

On Saga’s Treasures of the Caribbean cruise, a day excursion will take adventurous holidaymakers along the scenic coast of Barbados to a premier snorkelling site.

Professional instructors will point out colourful tropical fish and coral reefs before directing you to the best spot in the clear azure waters to swim with Hawksbill turtles. Not something you can do every day.

Take a hike

If you like to stretch your legs and walk through stunning landscapes, a cruise could be just the holiday for you. Walking excursions are often offered, from flat easy strolls to energetic hikes across challenging terrain.

On Saga’s Canary Island Medley cruise, keen walkers have the chance to stomp around Mount Teide, Tenerife’s famous volcano.

Trekking through the beautiful and rugged Ucanca Valley for over two hours, you’ll have plenty of time to appreciate the flora and fauna in this picturesque part of the island.

Cruise passengers can also take a strenuous six-mile hike to the heart of a volcano’s crater, the Bandama Caldera in Gran Canaria, an excursion offered on Saga’s Jewels of the Canary Islands cruise.

The crater is over 650 feet deep and has a diameter of almost three-quarters of a mile. And for anyone with any concerns, the volcano was last active 3,000 years ago.

You’ll need your hiking boots for another six-mile trek, starting from the top of the Fløibanen Funicular, high above Bergen and the Norwegian fjords – an excursion on Saga’s Springtime in the Fjords cruise.

Mountains, lakes and wild rivers are aplenty, as are breathtaking views.

Learn to ski

Always been tempted to learn to ski, but didn’t want to commit to a week’s holiday in case you couldn’t find your feet? Well, it may surprise you, but you can have a taster on the slopes while on a cruise.

Set sail on Saga’s Bright Lights in Norway cruise and when the ship visits Narvik, you can head off for a two-hour ski lesson in the neighbouring ski resort of Narvikfjellet.

You’ll be kitted out with all the necessary gear before you bravely head to the beginner’s piste. Good luck!

Go paddling in a kayak

Downsize your sailing vessel while staying in the West Indies island of Nevis, and take to the water in a kayak.

Paddling along the striking coast, keep your eye out for brown pelicans, the national birds of the island.

You’ll also have time to snorkel and find out what’s swimming underneath too. This water excursion is just one of the adventures available on Saga’s Treasures of the Caribbean cruise.

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Hone your wine tasting skills

Learning more about good food and wine can be interesting and enlightening and, of course, highly enjoyable. 

On Saga’s A Taste of France and Spain cruise, not only is a celebrity chef and other experts on board, giving cooking demonstrations and sharing unique insights, passengers are able to visit various wine districts and châteaux on excursions.

A visit to the Château de la Roquetaillade will be a highlight of your holiday. The authentic French medieval castle, a listed National Monument, is a wonder to behold, and the wines you can taste equally delightful.

On the same cruise, you can take a tour of the world-famous Margaux wine district, stopping at one of Margaux’s Classified Grand Cru Châteaux, where you’ll listen to a talk on the art of wine making, then enjoy a wine and cheese tasting experience.

Ride in a helicopter

This excursion is perfect for adrenaline junkies, who love the idea of soaring high above a Caribbean island in a helicopter.

When Saga’s cruise ship docks in Antigua, on the itinerary of the Murder Mystery in the Caribbean cruise, you can fly 17 miles over to the island of Montserrat, much of which was destroyed in 1997 by a volcano.

Sadly a tragic event, you’ll have a bird’s-eye view of Plymouth, the former capital that is still buried under ash. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience and not to be missed.

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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.