American Cruise Lines (ACL), a small-ship operator with a robust line-up of North American itineraries, will debut more than 50 new shore excursions in 2021. Here's a sampling of the new options.
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
This new excursion will be offered in conjunction with ACL’s new 2021 "Cape Codder Cruise." In Massachusetts, passengers will have exclusive access to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and learn about how the institution is working to understand and sustain the world's oceans. The ship calls directly at Woods Hole for this excursion.
Cruisers will meet working scientists and engineers and get a behind-the-scenes look at WHOI’s research, technology, and marine operations facilities, including a sneak peek at vehicles and robots used for ocean exploration.
They'll also visit the NOAA Fisheries Woods Hole Science Aquarium and enjoy a special presentation by a leading oceanographic expert in the Redfield Auditorium.
Massachusetts Maritime Academy
Also being offered to guests on that same "Cape Codder Cruise" is a visit to the Massachusetts Maritime Academy's campus at Buzzards Bay, where the next generation of industry leaders and maritime professionals are trained. Cruisers will visit the academy grounds, a 360-degree full bridge simulator and the Emergency Response Operations Training Center.
They'll also learn about the academy's green technologies while standing at the base of its massive 280-foot wind turbine. Officers and cadets will talk to cruisers about life at the academy. In addition, the tour includes views of the USTS Kennedy, a former commercial freighter and current training vessel of the United States Maritime Service.
Chilkoot Lake Wildlife Kayak Adventure
Offered during Haines, AK, port calls is the new "Chilkoot Lake Wildlife Kayak Adventure" excursion, available on all three of ACL's 2021 cruise itineraries. Among those itineraries is the new "Alaskan Explorer Cruise," which includes a rare overnight onboard in Glacier Bay.
The new wildlife kayak adventure begins with a seaside drive to Chilkoot Lake State Park, a salmon-filled river flowing into the sea, a turquoise lake surrounded by snow-capped mountains and Tlingit cultural sites. Cruisers have the potential for spotting such wildlife as bald eagles, brown bear, and migratory birds are often seen here.
Cruisers will board a tandem kayak for a paddling adventure on the lake. What's special? Huge waterfalls spill off cliffs surrounding the lake, which is ringed by lush forests.
LeConte Glacier Flightseeing Adventure
Offered on all ACL Alaska itineraries calling at Petersburg, AK, is a new "LeConte Glacier Flightseeing Adventure." shore excursion. Cruisers taking this shore excursion will board a de Havilland Beaver floatplane for a 45-minute flight to LeConte Glacier.
The flight will provide bird's eye views of the ACL ship at dock, Frederick Sound and LeConte Glacier Bay, home to Alaska’s southernmost tidewater glacier. Cruisers will see blue icebergs, hanging glaciers, seals and birds in the fjord.
Aquarium Snorkel Encounter
ACL is introducing a new "Aquarium Snorkel Encounter" on all its "Great Rivers of Florida" cruises during the calls at St. Augustine, FL. Cruisers will grab a wetsuit, mask and snorkel and dive into the warm tropical waters of a controlled aquarium to view colorful fish and marine life.
An expert marine biologist guide will walk cruisers through the aquarium snorkeling basics and also share knowledge about the local wildlife, both in the aquarium and throughout Florida. Participants in this excursion will glimpse such marine life as the queen angelfish, blue headed wrasse and even the occasional southern stingray.
Savannah Comedy Trolley Escapade
A new excursion on ACL’s "Historic South & Golden Isles" voyages that call in Savannah, GA, is the "Savannah Comedy Trolley Escapade." It's a high-energy, whirlwind comedy trip through the city's wild and hilarious history.
It's designed as a witty history lesson with entertaining comedy skits, musical numbers, costume changes, a few absurd appearances, and lots of Savannah history and inside gossip.
Mardi Gras Madness
"Mardi Gras Madness" is a new excursion available on select, longer Mississippi River cruises that end in New Orleans, LA.
Cruisers will enjoy a private, exclusive, behind-the-scenes experience at Mardi Gras World. Shore excursion participants will tour that 300,000-square-foot working warehouse where floats are made for the annual Mardi Gras parades, as well as participate in a mask making workshop.
The itineraries where this Mardi Gras Madness excursion is available include "Grand Heartland" (August 11, October 23 and November 5, 2021) and "Mississippi River Gateway" on October 9.