Long gone are the days when cruises were seen as an exclusively laid-back holiday option. Don’t get us wrong, there’s still plenty of room for that too, but today cruise ships also offer exciting cruise activities that’ll get your pulse racing and your heart revving. There are casinos, rock-climbing walls and water parks, and that’s only on the ship – step on land and a whole world of thrill-seeking is at your feet.

If thrilling cruising is the way for you, you’re in for a treat. Here we give you our handy guide to the top ships, activities and ports of call that’ll keep you on your toes.

Best ships for thrill-seekers

Marella Discovery 2

Launched in 2017, this brand new ship is one of Marella Cruises’ largest and is jam-packed with thrill-seeking activities and attractions. Make your way to the rock-climbing wall and see if you can beat the fastest time to the top. You can also check out Marella Discovery 2’s gaming centre and casino if you want to test the fates in a fast-paced game of Roulette. Alternatively, if you love a challenge spend the evening in the ship’s own interactive escape room, where you and your friends can try to break the codes to escape in time.

Marella Explorer

A high flyer in the cruising world is Marella Explorer. This impressively luxurious vessel not only aims to impress, but it aims to thrill too. It’s got a whole host of exciting activities onboard including a huge pool with slides, a shimmering casino and a nightclub. If you’d rather get your thrills from the comfort of your own seat, you can also visit the indoor cinema and theatre where you can watch West End-style shows, some with acrobatics and live music.

P&O’s Arcadia

There’s never a dull moment on P&O Cruises’ Arcadia. It offers the very best in entertainment, with a three-tier theatre and the Monte Carlo Casino, complete with two roulette tables and three blackjack, as well as over 50 slot machines to test your luck. If you like to take your thrills in the form of sport this ship has also got you covered, with their own sport’s court where you can play tennis, football, volleyball, basketball and cricket.

Princess Cruises’ Regal Princess

Don’t be fooled by the name, Regal Princess has a wild side ready and waiting for you to explore. She’s home to a vast array of fast-paced activities, from a running course to a video game room, live shows with juggling and aerobatics and even laser tag. To top it all off Regal Princess has a glass-bottomed walkway extending 28 feet beyond the edge of the ship. Lower your gaze and take in the epic ocean view below you – just make sure you’re not scared of heights.

Best destinations for thrill-seekers

The Arctic Circle

While the Arctic Circle might once have been viewed as the last untouched frontier, the cruise industry has ensured that such an age is good and over. Nowadays, there are many lines that reach these northern territories, including Greenland, Norway and the Faroe Islands. Once here, you can let your inner adventurer run wild with dog-sledding excursions, hiking trips past glaciers and late-night chases of the Northern Lights.

Cruises to the Arctic Circle – With P&O Cruises’ itinerary to the Arctic Circle, you can experience the majesty of Norway up close. Whether it’s a hike through the Westeras Mountains or a two-hour guided kayak tour, getting active in the great outdoors has never been easier. The most pulse-racing activity is arguably the RIB boat excursion, where you can speed through the water while taking in the gorgeous landscape.

The Amazon

The Amazon is the kind of place that needs no introduction. Home to an array of fierce and exotic animals, it offers a lush rainforest terrain that begs for zip-lining and a tough, balmy environment. It’s the ultimate adventurer’s paradise, so chug down the leaf-lined Amazon River and you won’t be disappointed.

Cruises to the Amazon – With P&O Cruises you can spend days exploring the Amazonian jungle, pausing in ports of call like Santarem, Manaus and Parintins. All of these destinations have their own special flavour, from the meeting-point of the Amazon and Tapajos waters to small villages where you can truly immerse yourself in the culture of the region.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica may be small compared to the rest of the world, but it contains a whopping 5% of the world’s biodiversity, as well as having the largest percentage of protected areas on the planet. Zip-lining, taking Jeep tours through the jungle and embarking on watersports adventures out on the beach are therefore a given here.

Cruises to Costa Rica – Princess Cruises offers a special Costa Rica cruise that’ll take you to Puntarenas, the gateway to Costa Rica’s capital city of San Jose. While docked, you’ll have the opportunity to go on a crocodile-spotting safari, hike up an active volcano or take an aerial gondola ride high over the treetops.

Best shore excursions for thrill-seekers

Cave tubing – For one of the most amazing adventure excursions when cruising, head to Belize with Marella Cruises. Here you’ll get the chance to sit yourself down in an inner tube and float your way down the rapids, taking in age-old limestone caves as you go. Not a bad way to sightsee, if we do say so ourselves.

Dive with whale sharks – With this Princess Cruises excursion in La Paz, Mexico, you’ll suit up and grab some snorkelling gear before jetting out to sea. Humongous whale sharks wait below for an up-close meet-and-greet, but don’t worry – they’re very docile creatures.

Zip line through the forest – Over in Jamaica with Marella Cruises, you can head to a special zip line park, criss-crossing between platforms and travelling across elevated walkways through the trees. Fly through the rainforest hundreds of feet in the air, and even explore the countryside on an ATV.

Go on an off-road tour – See St Kitts through an off-road excursion on your next Cunard cruise. 4×4’s will take you inland into the rain forest where you can catch a glimpse of the Vervet Monkeys and the forest’s lush interior. On the way back you’ll stop off at the beach so you can have a swim in the Caribbean Sea.

Is your heart racing yet? Start planning your next cruise adventure today.

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