How we saved over $200 each on shore tours.

Anyone who’s ever cruised will know that shore tours can be expensive.

There’s no argument that they’re perfect for some people. If you want everything organised and the security of the guarantee  to get you back to the ship on time, then the cruise company’s shore tours might be for you.

Hawaii Day 6 (115)

If you like the idea of the tours but find them a bit overpriced, and if you’re prepared to do a bit of research, then you can often find cheaper (sometimes much cheaper) alternatives which give you the same or almost the same experience.

When Mum, my sister and I did the recently blogged 7 night Hawaiian cruise we decided to use the alternatives.

At our first port of call the cruise option was “Lahaina on your own” which took you to Lahaina on a bus then left you to explore it … on your own.

We took the local bus at a fraction of the price and did exactly the same thing.


The next 4 tours we did were with Roberts of Hawaii who seem to specialise in replicating the cruise tours. We chose a 4-trip package with them.

Our final trip was to Pearl Harbor after the cruise, but the ship did also offer a matching one.

So here are the costs (from 2012):


I don’t know about you, but we thought we got very good value.

Hawaii Day 10 (105).JPG


3 thoughts on “How we saved over $200 each on shore tours.

  1. Interesting post! We’ve only been on one cruise, but wouldn’t dream of doing the organised tours! In Amsterdam, you could pay 60 euro to be taken half a mile on a coach, then onto a crowded canal boat tour. We walked the short distance into town, admiring the sights, and taking photos on the way, chose our own canal trip for 14 euros, then had a lovely walk by ourselves around the town, returning when we chose to. We hate being herded round like sheep! Everyone – don’t go on the organised cruise tours, they are a rip off! Get a street map and do it yourself!


  2. I agree Georgie. We’ve also done that. Or hired a car. Or caught a local ferry to an island. But sometimes when the distances are great and the time is short, a guided tour is the best way to get a taste of a place. Or see something specific.
    I also find that guides give stories and insights into a place that you don’t get simply from doing your own thing. I love guided walks as well. We’ve done lots of them in different places too.
    Between our family members we’ve been on dozens of cruises and done day trips in many different ways. One way isn’t right for everyone or everywhere.


  3. I think you do get a better value going on your own. The risk is not as bad if your phone gives you maps to help you get around. If I didn’t know the language I would probably take the shore tour, but maybe not even then.


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