Sunday, February 18, 2018

Celebrity Cruises Introduces the Discovery Collection Shore Excursions

Some cruisers would never consider walking off their ship with or without a guidebook in hand, to independently explore a foreign city! Many like the comfort level a shore excursion, whether it be ship sponsored or not. Others would disagree, saying there is so much more enjoyment heading out to discover a port by wandering the streets, chatting with the residents, and sitting down to enjoy the local cuisine.  Personally, my familiarity with the port city will often hedge my decision one way or the other. But if I choose a shore excursion, it must be one that offers an authentic experience I could not achieve on my own.  That is why I find Celebrity Cruises’ Discovery Collection so appealing.

The tours in the Celebrity Cruises Discovery Collection range from eclectic, off-the-beaten-path adventures for the naturally curious explorer, to tours that take travelers to the must-see locales of every port. They are expertly crafted for those seeking immersive experiences in a small group setting. With a maximum of 24 guests in each tour, guests will get more time at each location, individual interaction with their guide, and a more up close and personal travel experience.

I have been to Barcelona many time.  It’s such a great walking city but also has an easy to use subway and bus system.  I have visited all the iconic Gaudi sites, wandered the Gothic Quarter, tasted my way through La Boqueria Food Market, enjoyed tapas tours with local guides, explored different districts, sought out the restaurants where the city residents eat and have been to an amazing flamenco show. Still, I would jump at the opportunity to take the Celebrity Discovery Collection tour that visits the Secret Basilica in Barcelona! After climbing the 260 steps to the 14th-century Basilica del Pi’s bell tower, where its largest bell, Antonia, can be heard ringing throughout the Old City, guests are treated to a live concert of medieval music from the same period.!  That is such an incredible experience!

In Tuscany they offer a food and wine experience  that already has my mouth watering! Guests travel to the picturesque village of Lari. There, receive a warm welcome to Pastificio Famiglia Martelli, where eight employees, all family members, produce pasta in the shadow of a 12th-century castle. Then it’s off on another scenic drive through Italian wine country to Torre a Cenaia, an authentic farmhouse. After a carriage ride through the estate and an entertaining culinary demonstration, savor a delicious lunch of Tuscan pasta, complemented by wine selections. This is not the type of experience that is accessible to everyone who visits the area and another reason why I feel Celebrity’s Discovery Collection Shore Excursions are so special!

Leave it to Celebrity Cruises to find and offer these hidden gems to their guests! There is no better way to experience and discover all that a destination has to offer!

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