It might be hard to imagine ever wanting to leave a Thomson Cruises ship, but these new shore excursions for winter 2014/15 will surely tempt you.

Who could resist getting friendly with sloths at a sanctuary when visiting Costa Rica? Or climbing aboard a train to see the historic Panama Canal? These are just a couple of the 12 new activities to choose from, along with some good old favourites too. Open for bookings now, we give you the lowdown on these fresh new adventures.

Wild water

Wild water

Cause a splash on your holiday with some aqua action. On a kayaking trip in Costa Maya, you can paddle out into the Caribbean Sea and spy on marine life through the clear-bottomed kayaks. If you’re heading to Philipsburg in St Maarten, go kayaking across the Caribbean’s largest salt water lagoon, Simpson Bay, and soak up the sights. Alternatively, for a more relaxed watery experience, swim, sunbathe and sip refreshing mojitos on the uninhabited Caret Islet in the Pointe-a-Pitre lagoon, Guadeloupe.

Board a bus, boat or train

You are on holiday, so it’s probably best to take it easy on your feet. Drift over the Almond Hill Lagoon, Belize, in an airboat, where you’ll spot turtles, manatees and maybe even a crocodile!

Fancy a party on wheels? In Colombia you can get a ticket to board the Chiva Party Bus, and bust out your signature dance to Afro-Colombian music, stopping off at landmarks along the way.

If trains are your preferred method of transport (after cruise liners, of course) then catch a train ride along the Panama Canal Railway, chugging through the rainforest with a glass-domed observation deck.

The scenic route

Trainline near the Panama Canal

Sucker for sensational scenery? Get off the beaten track in Lisbon and see glimpses of Sao Jorge Castle along the way. Meanwhile, the picturesque harbour front in Castries, St Lucia, is the perfect setting for a walk up Morne Fortune, where you will take in wide-angle views.

Interact with the sights that Philipsburg has to offer by taking part in The Race. Fun challenges are set for the whole family that involve sandcastle making, sampling local cuisine and jumping into the ocean.

Some old favourites

Cycling

It’s nice to have new things but Thomson Cruises know the value in keeping their oldies but goodies as well. Rome might not actually have been built in a day, but a day spent here is certainly a great one, with the walking tour taking you from one famous site to the next, including the Colosseum.

Glamorous Nice, Monte Carlo and Monaco will leave you feeling like a celebrity, especially after stopping off at Casino Square. Other shore excursions – such as sun and rum in Antigua and a train ride through St Kitts – add an element of fun for any cruise holiday.

Whether on the Dream, Celebration, Majesty or Spirit, there are a variety of unique experiences waiting to be discovered on distant shores. Each ship also offers guests a bike hire service, so you can get pedalling around every port at your own pace. Just be sure to seriously unwind when back on board, ready for the next dry land adventure.

Images by Mangrove Mike, Roger Wollstadt and Andrew King used under Creative Commons License.

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