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Johnstone - Answered a Question by Gibson (03 Jan 08 22:40)

Hi There. If you go to the Fred Olsen website and click on destinations, then click on the med on the map, it then lets you click on all the ports of call which gives you a brief description of the destination. At the bottom of this page there is a link to click on shore excursions which will tell you what is available. I've never sailed with fred Olsen, so can not comment on the quality or value of their excursion programme. generally speaking, cruise lines use local guides/agencies who are knowledgeable about their subject. However they can be expensive compared to doing it on your own and obviously less flexible. Some excursion programmes have full day trips that pack a lot in but leave you rather tired and often mean that you are rushing to get ready for dinner when you get back, rather than getting back a bit earlier and haveing a more relaxed time of it.if you do it by yourself (provided you research in advance where you want to go and use this site and the port review site) you can spend as much or little time as you wantashore and see exactly what you want. A word of caution if you do gDIY then make sure you are back to the ship in plenty time, as they won't wait for latecomers. if however you are on an official excursion, if they are late back, they do wait for you, I must admit that when I was on my first cruise I used shore excursions at every Port of call as i was nervous about trying to do the "sights2 on my own. I booked excursions for every day in advance and ended up skipping a couple because I just got too tired of the early starts and being away all day. Whatever you decide to do have fun and you dont need to book up all your excursions before you go or on the first day. Most ships let you book a day before at their excursion desks. So if you do decide that you prefer the excursion route, then why not just book 1 or 2 for your earlier ports of call and see how you like them. If you do fancy having a go at DIY, then type in piraeus in the search box in the questions and answers section of this site and you will find many descriptions of how to make the most of your visit, including info on transport, cost etc. Enjoy.

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