Is this the most extravagant cruise excursion ever?



Looking for the ultimate cruise excursion for your next holiday at sea? Head to Russia on a Baltic cruise with Crystal Cruises and you'll have the rare opportunity to fly a Soviet MiG.

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All you need is a spare £36,000 for this once-in-a-lifetime shore excursion and you'll be transported to the Sormovo Air Base to undergo a physical exam and flight instruction, before the captivating flight over the Russian countryside at speeds of up to 1,536 mph - that's twice the speed of sound.

While the luxury experience for cruise guests might break the bank, the 12-night all-inclusive summertime sailing itself costs a mere £4,065.

Who said cruise tours were all museums or beaches! Check out more of the wackiest cruise excursions around the world...

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The world's most unusual cruise excursions
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The world's most unusual cruise excursions

Choosing your shore excursions is one of the most exciting things about planning a cruise holiday. With many experiences to be had, it can be tricky picking just one memorable tour to experience on land, as well as deciding whether to organise an activity yourself or book a tour with your cruise line.

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Thankfully, a number of cruise lines know that holidaymakers want unique and exclusive trips to make the most of their time in a destination, and offer some out-of-the-world experiences that you'll want to snap up before you sail. Whether it's a quirky day out in Shanghai by sidecar, or a once-in-a-lifetime ski tour of Antarctica, these are the most unusual cruise excursions to add to your next cruise holiday...
 

Travellers sailing with Crystal Cruises from St. Petersburg, Russia on one of its summertime Baltic cruises (and in possession of a spare £36,000!) have the rare opportunity to fly a Soviet MiG. This excursion transports you to the Sormovo Air Base, where you will undergo a physical exam and flight instruction before donning a helmet for a spellbinding journey over the Russian countryside at speeds of up to 1,536 mph - that’s twice the speed of sound! Planet Cruise offers a 12-night all-inclusive Baltic fly cruise with Crystal Cruises from £4,065 per person sailing from Tilbury on 7 June 2018.

Travellers sailing in China have the amazing opportunity to experience Shanghai in a vintage 1930s-style sidecar motorbike with Silversea. Guests will meet their driver, a long-term resident of Shanghai, who will take them through the exotic streets of the city. The tour provides the chance to see the old frescoes from the Cultural Revolution, the wedding market hidden in the People’s Square and the famous Bund on the banks of the Huangpu River. Silversea's 15-day voyage from Hong Kong to Tokyo departs on 25 April 2018, with fares starting from £7,300 per person.

This truly unique excursion allows you to play just over four hours of golf in the famous golf course at Vestmannaeyjar, located beside the sea in a sunken volcanic crater. You can take in the stunning views and the rugged coast while playing 18 holes at the golf course in the Vestmannaeyjar archipelago, off the south coast of Iceland. The excursion ($190 per person, paid on-board in US dollars) is available on Artisan Travel's nine-night Iceland Circumnavigation Cruise, which costs from £2,305 per person, with departures from May to July 2018.

Head to Norway on an Arctic cruise and you can experience an unusual Viking feast with Simply Sweden. As Viking history is important to the Lofoten Islands, a visit to the Lofotr Viking Museum is a must. Upon arrival, you'll be invited to experience the chieftain’s house, which has been recreated in full size and features exhibits of finds from the Viking Age. The chieftain and the lady of the house will welcome you to join them for a real Viking feast in the banquet hall, with traditional food, costumes, singing and dancing in authentic surroundings. The excursion is available on Simply Sweden's Across the Arctic Circle cruise between 1 April and 30 September, with prices for the seven-night holiday starting from £2,290 per person.

This unusual excursion offered by Holland America Line provides the opportunity to spend a day aboard the Aleutian Ballad, the boat that was famously capsized by a 60ft wave in the Bering Sea during the filming of series, 'Deadliest Catch'. Nowadays, the crab-fishing vessel is based in the Alaskan port of Ketchikan from where it sails among the forested islands of the Inside Passage. The catch of the day is likely to include the menacing-looking king crab, as well as giant octopus, sharks, starfish and eels. Almost as enjoyable are the crew stories of perfect storms, near-death experiences and the hardships of a fisherman’s life. Planet Cruise offers a nine-night Alaska fly cruise on Holland America Line’s ms Volendam from £1,523 per person, flying from the UK on 8 May 2018.

Where's the coolest place you've ever skied? How about hitting the slopes of the remote White Continent? On an Antarctic cruise with Aurora Expeditions, you can pop your skis on and enjoy privileged access to parts of the continent most visitors will never see, while catching glimpses of breaching whales and busy penguins from vantage points only accessible to intrepid skiers. Skiers will tour in small groups over varied terrain, while learning lifelong mountaineering skills such as ice axe use and roped glacier travel on full-day outings or two to six-hour excursions. Skiing is available on Aurora Expeditions' 18-day In Depth South Georgina, Falkland and Antarctica Voyage (from £11,265 per person) departing on 27 November 2017 and the 12-day Spirit of Antarctica Voyage (from £6,995 per person) departing 16 December 2017.

A true highlight for guests travelling on Tauck's Rhine cruise is an exclusive private evening inside Schloss Ehreshoven, or Ehreshoven Castle, in Engelskirchen, Germany. Normally closed to the public, Schloss Ehreshoven dates back to the 14th century and was later expanded in the style of a grand Baroque manor house surrounded by a moat and landscaped gardens.  A former home of the noble Nesselrode family, the castle hosts Tauck guests for a cocktail reception, dinner and live musical performances. Schloss Ehreshoven is also featured on Tauck’s The Romantic Rhine itinerary. The Rhine, Swiss Alps & Amsterdam - Northbound cruise costs from £3,765 for 10 Days, departing between May and October 2018.

Looking to cruise on land as well as on sea? A number of cruise lines, including Holland America and Carnival, provide the ultimate bucket list experience: the chance to drive a Harley Davidson. In locations as diverse as Alaska and the Caribbean, you can hire one of these iconic motorbikes for a day of either escorted or solo touring. Aspiring bikers will need a full motorcycle licence before they can roar off – but once behind the throttle they can experience why it is the ultimate way to ride like the wind and explore the local coastline. Planet Cruise offers a 15-night fly-cruise to the Caribbean with Holland America Line from £1,826 per person, flying from the UK on 17 March 2018.

For an experience like no other, passengers on Wildfoot's cruise to the Russian Far East can visit one of the most remote and largely untouched regions on the planet. Just a small number of the passengers can book a two-night excursion package to cross the tundra of the Wrangel Island Nature Reserve by specially-designed Jeep in the company of park rangers. While the other passengers follow a cruise route that circumnavigates the island, the small group of 'overlanders' will visit sites known for walrus, musk ox and Arctic fox, as well as spend a night in a field hut used by rangers for studying snow geese. The excursion costs £1,160 per person and is available on Wildfoot's 15-day Across the top of the World cruise, priced from £8,537 per person, departing on 6 August 2018.

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