Back in October I interviewed adventurer and explorer Ben Fogle on his return from his first cruise to find out what he thought about his Celebrity Cruise experience. I was surprised to learn that for him it’s always been about the journey and how you get there as well as the destination itself. Last week I was thrilled to meet Ben in person to find out about the exciting and unique new shore excursions that he’s designed for Celebrity Cruises as their ‘Destinations Expert’.
I went up to London to meet Ben with the other Destination Bloggers as part of the #GreatAdventures launch for Celebrity Cruises to find out about the exciting new shore excursions.
Ben wanted to come up with an eclectic mix of tours that enhance the destination experience and enable visitors to immerse themselves in a place rather than just looking in on it from the outside. ‘To embrace the spirit of exploration.’ He explained that ‘adventure’ is different for everybody and can be as simple as just taking yourself out of your ordinary life and doing something completely different. The new tours are for people who want to take a bit of their holiday back home; that they can keep and build on, that want to embrace the spirit of exploration. Let me introduce Ben Fogle’s Great Adventures.
I love the idea of the Sicilian Gastronomic Tour. Imagine a visit to Catania’s marketplace, choosing your produce and learning how to cook it with celebrated Sicilian gastronomy expert Eleonora Consoli. Then take the experience home by recreating the dish for friends washed down with a glass of great Sicilian wine that you’ve discovered on your visit. I had a taster Sicilian cooking experience with Ben and some food bloogers at Food@52 and if that was anything to go by I’d definitely book this excursion! Great fun, great flavours and fabulous food.
If you prefer to be more active then Ben Fogle’s Croatian Adventure might be for you. Experience Croatia on land and sea with a triathlon-themed tour that includes biking, RIB rides, swimming and sea kayaking. You don’t need to be athletic to do this one as the biking and kayaking are low impact and it’s suitable for all age and families. What a memorable way of exploring the beautiful Croatian coastline and getting very close to nature.
Or how about an Archipelago Adventure in Stockholm, Sweden? Get right up close to this beautiful landscape on a kayak tour. Again this is low impact, suitable for all ages and families alike. There is a RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat) included so you get up some speed to actually cover a bit of distance and see more of the stunning 24,000 islands, islets and skerries that make up the archipelago. How many people do you know that have explored the Stockholm Archipelago?
If it’s history you’re into how about indulging the adventurous spirit and those early days of exploration with a visit to Oslo on The Great Norwegian Explorers tour? Visit The Fram the ship that took Ronald Amundsen south to Antarctica and the Kon Tiki Museum where Thor built his great raft that he set off on to try and prove that Easter Island had been settled from South America. Two great tales of maritime exploration and an added dimension to your cruise experience.
What’s your favourite gelato or ice-cream flavour? Is there a flavour that you dream of but have never been able to buy? If the answer’s yes then The Sun, Sorbet and Sorrento tour is perfect for you (and me!). Imagine actually working with a chef to create your own recipe and make and savour your dream gelato flavour. A unique, hands-on, immersive experience with Italians, gelato and a beautiful Italian destination to boot.
The most inspired excursion for me is The Norwegian snorkelling with salmon. I mean have you ever even dreamed this was possible or even heard of it before? I definitely haven’t. This trip takes you to one of the great Norwegian rivers where you’ll dip into crystal clear waters and snorkell with the wild, dancing salmon. A totally unique experience and perfect for someone that wants a wildlife encounter unlike any other. So, which Great Adventure would you choose?