One of the main problems of booking shore tours independently from the cruise line, is that most will not meet you from the ship. Booking all your shore excursions through the cruise line is the convenient option, but not very cost effective, so where is the middle ground?
Here at Cruise.co.uk we are now dealing with an exciting new shore tour provider that picks you up directly from the ship. Did I mentioned that the tours are up to 60% cheaper than the cruise line direct . For years the cruise lines have marked up the price on their own excursions with the knowledge, passengers prefer to go with what is deemed the most convenient and safe option. The new cruise tour company that we are using, not only Guarantees to get you back to the ship in time, they also use most of the same suppliers the cruse line use direct. So generally most of the time you can get exactly the same excursion for a much better price.
To give you an example lets look at St. Petersburg. Over 90 % of cruise passengers that get off here will go on the cruise line trip as they include a Russian Visa. It is much easier book a shore tour through the company, than it is to arrange a Russian Visa before travel. With this new company, not only do they include a Russian visa for the trips, they also do a multi tour discount. Most ships will stop at St. Petersberg for 2-3 days, what you can do is book a comprehensive 2 / 3 day tour at a massively discounted rate. This of course does not just apply to St. Petersberg, you can do a 3 day Italy trip that includes excursions in Rome, Livorno, Naples and many more.
If you want to know exact fares, have any further questions or just want more information please let me know.